By: Coach “K” (SBB)
November 6th, The Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
In the featured attraction of Golden Boy Promotions and Kathy Duva’s Main Events “You’re Next” pro boxing card, Brooklyn’s former world champion Zab “Super” Judah showed his maturity, winning the vacant WBO NABO light welterweight title in a tightly contested, 12-round split decision over previously unbeaten Argentine banger Lucas Matthysse.
The main event, an IBF & WBO 140 lb eliminator, was clearly a contrast of styles with Judah a southpaw moving and boxing, sticking with his jab to set up his big left hand. The Argentine slugger Matthysse, carrying a record of 25 KOs in 27 fights, fired away with both hands, banging the Brooklynite's body.
Despite some booing from the “Super” partisan crowd, Judah showed his coming of age by staying cool. He appeared to grab a lead by taking most of the early, tightly-contested rounds.
Matthysse applied more pressure in the middle rounds and Judah suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental clash of heads in round eight.
The Argentine brawler continued to stalk Brooklyn’s light welterweight star attempting to use his weight and strength advantage as a factor (he weighed in 151 lbs fight night to Judah at 143lbs). Matthysse finally reached Judah in the 10th, dropping the former champion with a heavy right to the head. Judah appeared stunned, but made it upright and weathered the storm to make it to the bell.
In the championship rounds, loading up on all his shots, Matthysse continued his attack. But Judah showed that newly-found maturity and mixed in some strategic clinching with a few sporadic volleys and forced Matthysse to chase him until the final bell.
After the very competitive bout, the judges' scorecards were announced to mixed reviews with judges Joseph Pasquale and Hilton Whitaker scoring it 114-113 for Judah and Judge Waleska Roldan calling it 113-114 for Matthysse.
In an exciting lightweight co-feature, California’s three-time world-champion, and southpaw Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, (28-1-1, 18 KOs) showed Championship poise. He picked his spots and out-boxed fellow Californian Vicente Escobedo, (22-3, 14 KOs) a 2004 Olympian. Guerrero won a 10-round unanimous decision, winning the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title. Guerrero floored his childhood rival in rounds three and six with vicious left uppercuts to establish his dominance.
Escobedo, who owns wins over Kevin Kelley, Roberto David Arrieta and Carlos Urias, appeared in excellent condition and had his moments, but was hurt several times in addition to the knockdowns.
Guerrero, never in trouble, applied a steady attack setting up his power shots and using an educated right-hand. He mixed jabs and hooks and led the former Olympian into big left uppercuts.
After establishing a formidable lead with the two knockdowns, Guerrero smartly moved a bit more in the ninth and 10th rounds, forcing Escobedo to take bigger chances, resulting in big missed shots. “The Ghost” stopped timely to land clean counters.
Following the sound ending Round 10, the judges scores were announced 100-88, 98-90, 96-92, all for “The Ghost” earning him the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title. It was his sixth title belt, making him the mandatory challenger to the winner of the Juan Manuel Marquez / Michael Katsidis WBA Super World and WBO lightweight title fight November 27th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
After the fight, “The Ghost” acknowledged respect for Escobedo and affirmed he hurt his left hand in the seventh round.
On the undercard: Brooklyn’s 2008 Olympian Sadam “The World Kid” Ali destroyed Louisiana’s “Southern Pride” Gary Bergeron in an over-matched welterweight fight. Ali dropped Bergeron twice, the second time with a driving left hook, right-hand combination forcing a stoppage at 2:18 of Round 2.
Miami, Florida veteran lightweight Ilido Julio (40-19-1, 35 KOs) proved to be no problem for Cincinnati, Ohio’s Jr. Adrien Broner when Broner blitzed the overwhelmed veteran, hurting him early. Broner banged Julio with both hands, dumping him twice and forcing the referee to call the action at 1:34 of round one. Broner remains unbeaten at 18-0 with 15 KOs.
In an entertaining light heavyweight bout Newark, New Jersey’s Angel Concepcion proved too big and too strong for Philly’s rugged Maurice Amaro, earning a 40-36 times three, unanimous decision to stay unbeaten at 3-0 as Amaro slides to 1-3.
Long Island junior lightweight Mike “Lefty” Brooks used his strength and superior power to launch a concentrated body assault on Philadelphia’s Kywayne Hill to score a 40-36 unanimous decision shutout. He moved to 3-0 with 1 KO, giving Hill his fifth straight loss and dropping him to 1-6.
Middletown, New Jersey’s, Tyrone Luckey used his significant size advantage and a solid jab to set up combinations that floored Lawrence, Massachusetts' Alex Monte three times before official intervention ended it at 2:55 of Round 3. Monte (1-2) suffered his second straight loss as Luckey advanced to 2-0, recording his second KO.
Unbeaten Newark lightweight Mike “The Artist” Perez took just over a minute to paint where Miami’s Hevinson Herrera. Perez blasted Herrera with a right-hand, left-hook combo, flattening the Colombian like a drop cloth at the Museum of Modern Art. The fight ended in dramatic fashion at 1:02 of Round 1. Perez moves to 10-0-1 with 5 KOs while Herrera drops his third straight, falling to 14-7-1 with 12 KOs.
Las Vegas' Jr. middleweight Bastie Samir remained perfect by disposing Reidsville, North Carolina’s Damion Reed in the first round of their scheduled four-rounder with a brutal combination. The one-sided action ended at 2:47 of Round 1. Samir climbs to 6-0 with 6 KOs as Reed slips to 2-4, 1 KO.
Golden Boy Promotions' newly signed Canadian welterweight Mikael Zewski showed all the traits of a ring general, shutting out Philadelphia’s “Hitman” Ardrick Butler in their scheduled four-rounder. Zewski's movement and combination punching advanced him to 5-0 with 3 KOs while Butler dips to 5-3, 2 KOs.
Kathy Duva’s next boxing event at The Prudential Center headlines Tomasz Adamek vs. Vinny Maddalone in New York vs. New Jersey Dec. 9th.
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