Gabe Rosado and Curtis Stevens still have some unfinished business after the Big Knockout Boxing middleweight title fight Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The two needed the full seven rounds, with neither fighter earning a discernible advantage over the other. Rosado bookended the bout well, but Stevens looked a little better in the middle rounds. In the end, the judges ruled it a majority draw, 66-66, per BKB:
Stevens made his disgust with the result known and also signaled his interest in a return fight:
He wasn't the only person who questioned the judges' scores, but Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix stuck up for the group, arguing that the nature of BKB makes it inherently more difficult to determine who's the better fighter at times:
In the grand scheme of things, the main event wasn't enough to put a damper on the night's festivities.
Here's a look at the full results from the entire card:
|BKB 2 Fight Card|
|Middleweight Title||Gabe Rosado vs. Curtis Stevens||Majority Draw|
|Junior Middleweight Title||David Estrada vs. Khurshid Abdullaev||Abdullaev, Unanimous Decision|
|Welterweight Title||Javier Garcia vs. Jonathan Chicas||Chicas, TKO RD 3|
|Cruiserweight Title||Anthony Johnson vs. Joey Montoya||Johnson, Unanimous Decision|
|Women's Lightweight Title||Layla McCarter vs. Diana Prazak||McCarter, TKO RD 7|
|Gabe Duluc vs. Antonio Canas||Duluc, Unanimous Decision|
|Jesus Soto Karass vs. Ed Paredes||Karass, Unanimous Decision|
|Julian Pollard vs. Elijah McCall||Pollard, TKO RD 4|
|Herbert Acevedo vs. William Hutchinson||Acevedo, Unanimous Decision|
To those unfamiliar with the BKB style, it's unlike anything you've ever seen in a boxing ring. Two fighters do battle in what the company calls "The Pit," which has no ropes, has no corners and is only 17 feet in diameter. Rounds are also only two minutes long rather than the standard three.
This is all done to encourage more offense and more knockouts. When you call yourself Big Knockout Boxing, you better deliver big knockouts.
Fans in attendance inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center certainly got their fill of excitement throughout the night. Ice Cube was certainly won over by BKB's unique approach:
A total of five belts—middleweight, junior middleweight, welterweight, cruiserweight and women's lightweight—were all up for grabs on the card.
In the first bout, Jonathan Chicas and Javier Garcia met to determine the welterweight champion. Chicas took the belt with a vicious knockout in the third round.
Layla McCarter and Diana Prazak followed with the women's lightweight championship on the line. McCarter dominated the bout throughout, earning a knockdown in the fourth round before finishing things off in the seventh. She landed a big combination of blows to wrap it up. BKB posted an Instagram video of the final sequence:
After the result, McCarter felt emboldened enough to challenge arguably the toughest female fighter in the world:
In what was perhaps the most entertaining fight on the card, Anthony Johnson retained the cruiserweight belt with a unanimous-decision victory over Joey Montoya. The judges scored it 68-65 across the board.
Both Johnson and Montoya registered knockdowns in the first round and exchanged knockdowns again later on. Johnson slowly began exerting his authority more and more as the fight went on, and by the time the seventh round wrapped up, few expected any surprises with the judges' scores.
The excitement of the fight was enough to sell Steve Kim on the idea of having Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao contest their highly anticipated superfight inside The Pit:
Khurshid Abdullaev took the junior middleweight bout in a wholly one-sided affair. The 25-year-old attacked David Estrada from the word "go" and didn't let up as the fight went into the later rounds. As if he hadn't already locked up the win by that point, Abdullaev sent Estrada to the canvas twice in the fifth round.
He did get docked a point in the sixth for a push on Estrada, which David Malandra Jr. thought might have had an impact on the final result if Abdullaev hadn't owned a sizable lead already:
In the end, the judges' scorecards had it 69-61, 69-61 and 68-62.
The majority draw between Rosado and Stevens served as the main event and final title bout of the night, but it was preceded by a far superior non-title fight between Jesus Soto Karass and Ed Paredes. The two went right at each other, throwing caution to the wind. They really seemed to embrace the BKB concept.
Kim went so far as to say that Karass and BKB are a perfect match:
Karass eventually took it 49-46 on all three cards, which was the most fair result. His blows looked to have done more damage over the five rounds, and he didn't seem adversely affected by Paredes' best stuff.
BKB certainly won't be everybody's cup of tea with such a heavy emphasis on knockouts, but there's no question that events like Saturday will only help it to grow in reputation.
Note: Fight scores are courtesy of BoxingScene.com's Ryan Burton.