Before the Sept. 14th mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions thought to wet fans’ appetites with a stacked Fox Sports 2 card to take place on the Thursday before. Although much longer than the original triple-header that was advertised, it was an overall entertaining night of fights that had everything from professional debuts, controversial stoppages, and satisfying conclusions to a rematch.
The opening bout of the televised portion of the card featured the professional debut of Diego De La Hoya as he took on Luis Cosme. Many weren’t sure what to expect from De La Hoya, but one couldn’t help but be impressed by his impressive use of combinations and blistering hand speed. He used both to his advantage before hurting, and eventually stopping, Cosme in the third round of their bout. It’s still way too early to predict just where De La Hoya’s career may go from here, but there’s no ignoring the potential he harbors.
The second featured bout of the telecast ended even faster, as former U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (8-0, 7 knockouts) took on Jesus Tavera (5-4, 1 knockout) in what was supposed to be an 8-round fight. As records indicate, no one expected this fight to be especially competitive, and Spence seemed to be especially aware of that. Spence wasted no time in attacking Tavera’s body and formulaicly breaking his opponent down. As soon as Spence went on to further mix things up, Tavera managed to go down twice in the same round, forcing the referee to call an end to the bout, thus awarding Spence his fourth-straight KO victory.
One of the more interesting match-ups of the evening was a junior middleweight bout between Jermall Charlo (16-0, 12 knockouts) and Rogelio De La Torre (10-4, 6 knockouts). Whether it was due to Charlo’s bad weight cut or the last minute nature of his taking the bout, De La Torre made the fight a lot closer than many originally expected. Rather than just awarding Charlo the win, De La Torre did his best to outwork his much bigger opponent. As De La Torre worked to keep busy and win some rounds in the judges’ eyes, Charlo responded with single, yet booming, power shots that increasingly affected his opponent. As the fight wore on, De La Torre began to fall apart. This led to Charlo knocking him down and forcing the referee to step in and call a halt to the action in the final round. It certainly wasn’t Charlo’s best performance, but with a move to middleweight in his future it will be interesting to see how he fares against bigger opponents.
The first of the originally featured bouts was a contest between Julian Williams (13-0-1, 7 knockouts) and Hugo Centeno Jr. (19-0, 10 knockouts). With both fighters still undefeated at this point of their careers, many expected an intriguing and competitive match-up between the two. As competitive as some may have expected it to be, it was clear from the beginning that Williams was winning the bout. From the opening bell to the fights eventual stoppage, Williams was out-boxing, and frankly out-working, Centeno. To his credit, Centeno did try to box from the outside and keep Williams at bay, but, as the eventual headbutt proved, Centeno wasn’t finding much success in that either. After the accidental clash of heads, the referee called an end to the bout disappointing not only the fans, but both fighters as well. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise fun bout.
The co-main event of the evening was also one of the more entertaining bouts. Pitting super middleweights Badou Jack (15-0-1, 10 knockouts) and Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13 knockouts) against each other, many thought the bout would act as a solid gauge as to determining Badou Jack’s potential in an otherwise stacked division. The verdict thus far? Jack may not be ready….yet.
At the start of the ten round fight, Periban’s experience was showing early as he was getting the best of Jack both early and often. As Periban was slowly building a points lead, Jack would continue with his patient attack and begin finding a home for some of his bigger shots. This led to Periban slowing down by the middle rounds, and Jack seemingly able to take control. Still, Periban wouldn’t go away, and that was especially obvious after taking some of Jack’s best shots and responding with his own. By far the closest round of the fight was the tenth, and that was a round that some thought Periban stole. Whether he did or not, the judges saw the fight as a majority draw on scores of (95-95), (95-95), and (96-94, Periban). It was a fun scrap that will undoubtedly be seen again for the sake of closure.
The main event was the highly anticipated rematch between Shawn Porter (22-0-1, 14 knockouts) and Julio Diaz (40-9-1, 29 knockouts) of a bout that many thought Diaz had won, but instead ended in a draw. The second time around there was a clear winner, and that was thanks to a dominant performance by Shawn Porter. Neither fighter was looking to leave with another blemish on their records, and it showed in the hellacious back and forth between the two. Although the fight wasn’t necessarily close, it was undoubtedly competitive in that Diaz refused to go down regardless of the fact that Porter was landing clean punch after clean punch. Was this due to Diaz having a granite chin, or is Porter not the power puncher that he has led us to believe? Regardless, the two put on an exciting fight that was further highlighted by the chopping body shots that both landed on each other, yet both seemed unaffected.
Although Diaz did his best to walk away with the win, it was clear that Porter was out-working the former title holder round after round. The judges seemed to see the fight in the same light as they all awarded Porter the decision on scores of (97-93), (97-93), and (98-92). Even with the victory there seem to be more questions than answers when it comes to Porter, but for now he can rest easy knowing that he has managed to overcome the lone flaw of an otherwise perfect record.