Robert Guerrero got back into the win column on Saturday night, taking a brutal unanimous decision from Yoshihiro Kamegai in a Fight of the Year candidate at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Scores were 116-112 and 117-111 twice for Guerrero.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 116-112 for Guerrero.
Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KO), who was making his return to the ring after a 13-month layoff after losing to Floyd Mayweather last May, didn’t box as much as was expected, instead choosing to settle for a brutal slugfest, overcoming a terrible cut over his left eye which was swollen shut by fight’s end.
Kamegai (24-2-1, 18 KO), a power puncher without a notable victory coming into the bout, pressured his better-known foe from the outset. He definitely won the stylistic matchup, forcing a brawl in a fight that had the Carson crowd on its feet and harkened back to many great main events held at the venue in recent years.
Much of the bout was contested in close quarters, with both men loading up and throwing bombs in an area no bigger than a phone booth. Neither guy was willing to back down in what proved to be an absolutely brutal war of attrition that far exceeded expectations.
In the co-featured bout, Vasyl Lomachenko put his name into the boxing history books, easily outpointing the previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. to win a majority decision and a world title in just his third professional bout.
Scores were 114-114 and 116-112 twice for Lomachenko.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 117-111 for Lomachenko.
Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) tied the late Saensak Muangsurin of Thailand by capturing a world title in just his third professional bout. He was the better, stronger fighter throughout, using his superior technical ability to neutralize Russell’s speed and land hard combinations, particularly to the body.
Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KO) has been a hot prospect for a number of years, but he’s frequently been the subject of criticism for facing low-level opposition. Unfortunately for him, it seemed like the seeds of poor matchmaking came back to haunt him on this night.
Lomachenko, who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Ukraine, zeroed his attack in on Russell’s body from the opening round. His punches were harder, cleaner and seemed to zap a lot of Russell’s speed in the later rounds, making him an easier target.
Russell was the more active fighter, but the vast majority of his punches connected with nothing but air, making a draw verdict on one of the official cards look particularly curious.
In the opening contest of the evening, former welterweight champion Devon Alexander rebounded from losing his title to Shawn Porter last December, outpointing the rugged Jesus Soto Karass for a unanimous decision in an exciting contest.
Scores were 97-93 and 99-91 twice for Alexander.
Alexander (26-2, 14 KO) was the faster, more aggressive fighter early. He controlled the distance, countered Soto Karass at will and seemed to bank most, if not all, of the early rounds by being more aggressive than we’ve become accustomed to seeing him in the past.
Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KO) came on late, taking advantage of a fading Alexander to close the distance and score more, particularly to the body, in the later rounds. But by the time he finally got going it was too late to close the early gap.