Arif Magomedov squared off against Derrick Webster in a 10 round middleweight bout in the co-feature of ShoBox: The New Generation, live from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This was a solid matchup between two undefeated fighters. It was interesting to see GH3, the promoter of the evening, put these two fighters in a match against each other, but it is sink or swim in this sport.
Webster started off very slow and seemed hesitant to let his hands go. I wouldn’t call Webster gun-shy, but he was actively staying out of any sort of range that would allow him offensive success. It was almost like he was waiting for Magomedov to make a mistake, but he wasn’t even putting himself in position to take advantage of one.
Magomedov wasn’t entirely successful with his offense, either, and he was certainly finding it difficult to create drama with Webster so reluctant. Still, Magomedov was at least fighting and letting his hands go.
The body work was impressive from Magomedov and he continued to work steadily throughout the fight. He never seemed to truly hurt Webster in the fight, but he did step up from round to round in small ways. That was the case for most of the fight early on, but he scored a big round in the 5th, at least by comparison. Magomedov found a way to close the distance for longer periods of time, although cutting off the ring was still an issue for the slow-footed Russian fighter.
Webster was only ever busy with the jab, but it was rarely used to set up anything of significance. He had difficulty landing any of the punches he utilized, while Magomedov was much more accurate with his power shots, but failed to set them up as his jab was almost nonexistent. That said, Magomedov found a way to trap Webster in round 7 where he delivered two right hands that sent his opponent to the canvas.
Webster did step things up in the final few rounds. Round 8, we started to see signs that Webster was at least considering being active, and round 9, which was his best round, he appeared to be “going for it” as his corner suggested. But Webster never truly made an attempt at causing real damage, and his effort was only raised by comparisons to his performance thus far.
Magomedov was desperate to keep Webster in one place, which was usually with his back to the ropes until he found an escape. However, Magomedov found a way to land another solid right hand in the final round that sent his opponent to the floor for the 2nd time in the fight. The second knockdown was similar to the first in that Webster wasn’t really hurt, but it differed from any other significant landed punch from Magomedov because he did it in open field.
The judges’ scores were predictable, but credit to them for all seeing the bout the same at 99-89 for Magomedov.
Adam Lopez fought Eliezer Aquino in his first scheduled 10 rounder. Lopez had been on quite a roll lately, but he came into this fight with absolutely no knowledge of Aquino.
In the first round, Lopez started off composed but ready as he sent Aquino to the canvas on a flash knockdown. Aquino didn’t take too much time to recover, and never really appeared effected by the shot, before began aggressively pursuing Lopez.
Aquino was very active and found a way to push Lopez back even though he was the smaller man in the ring. He loaded up on every punch he threw and Lopez felt his power before the bell sounded to end round 1.
Aquino made Lopez fight his fight, but Lopez found success boxing from a distance. However, instead of utilizing his reach and keeping Aquino at the end of the jab, he allowed Aquino to crash the inside and fought his smaller opponent in his comfort zone.
Lopez gave Aquino what he wanted, but ability began to show up in the fight and Lopez’s slick approach to power punching off the counter separated him from his wild opponent.
The body shots that Aquino was landing seem to make a difference in the fight, and Lopez clearly did not like being hit with them. Lopez was still able to command the fight when he allowed his natural ability to go on display.
Lopez was able to hurt Aquino in the 5th round with one of the best punches of the night. But Aquino came back in the 7th round and really dug deep—utilizing power punches in bunches.
It wasn’t long before Lopez took control and had Aquino against the ropes. It was a true sign of Aquino’s work rate which led to an inability to maintain such a physically demanding fight plan.
The fight went the distance and Lopez won a majority decision with the judges’ scores of 96-93 twice and 95-95.
The televised opener was a shocker as Samuel Clarkson defeated Jerry Odom. Odom was aggressive and made the mistake of not respecting Clarkson’s power at the start of the bout.
Clarkson knocked Odom down in the 1st and then twice in the 2nd before the referee eventually called a halt to the bout in the 3rd. This was Odom’s second career loss.