Juan Carlos Payano (17-0) won a gutsy split decision over former multi time Olympian Rau’shee Warren (13-1) live from the Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. The bout was the feature on the very first “PBC” event on BounceTV.
It was a rough fight as both fighters made it a point to use dirty tactics in an effort to not be bullied. Payano, who fights with a rougher style in the first place, tried establishing an uglier fight which led to Warren trying to maintain his own physical presence.
Warren was impressive early with his natural hand speed and athleticism. Payano, to his credit, did not allow Warren to dictate the pace and in a sense nullified Warren’s superior ability with brute physicality.
Payano was doing his best to establish his fight, but he was deducted a point in the 3rd round for hitting on the back of the head. He was never officially warned, but he was constantly reminded by the referee, although that is not the same thing.
Warren, who was on a roll early, started to fall behind in the fight as Payano strung together some solid rounds. The in-fighting was certainly a big factor for Payano, but he was being first against Warren, and that in fact was what separated the two fighters in the middle rounds. Warren might’ve been the more talented puncher, but Payano was not hesitating and scoring first.
The fight was back and forth, even in rounds where one guy was dictating the other fighter was keeping it close, making certain rounds difficult to score.
In the 9th round, Warren was deducted 2 points on one foul. Normally, a fighter is deducted 1 point and if he commits the infraction again then he is deducted another point. However, if a referee deems a foul intentional then he will take 2 points. And that is exactly what happened in Warren’s case as took a swing and connected on a grounded Payano.
The fight was very close heading into the championship rounds. The point deductions were certainly going to play a factor.
In the 12th and final round, Warren scored a knockdown on Payano, who did a Shawn Michaels style get up to beat the count.
One judge scored the fight 115-109 for Warren, but the other two scored the bout 113-111 for Payano, giving him the split decision victory in a successful title defense.
Payano threw more punches in the fight and he connected on 166 of 709 (23%), while Warren landed 173 of 439 (39%).