Miguel Flores vs Mario Briones, Bryant Perrella vs Ramon Ayala & Ahmed Elbiali vs Andrew Hernandez
BY KID HERSH
PBC Toe-to-Toe Tuesday on FS1 from Texas. First up was Ahmed Elbiali (13-0, 11ko's) vs Andrew Hernandez (10-3-1, 2ko's). In the first round you could see right away that Elbiali is a much larger man, having fought at the weight and being naturally a light heavy. Hernandez was the first to get off as he moved about the ring and landed a couple of surprising right hands flush. Elbiali adjusted to the rhythm and timing of his man and midway through the round landed his first flush shot - a right hand that thudded home and kept Hernandez moving. By the end of the round Elbiali had trapped Hernandez on the ropes and looked to be taking over the fight as expected. Alas though, Hernandez controlled the second round by continuing to move around the ring and pop his jab. If Elbiali unloaded or landed he would answer right back as well and by the end of the round Elbiali, the much larger man, was looking very frustrated. The third round was much the same until the action changed in the fourth, with Elbiali starting to land his shots and not look so frustrated. He continued his success into the fifth round where he imposed his size and will on the smaller man. To his credit though, Hernandez is not giving up or giving in and still landing surprising shots on Elbiali while possibly stunning him. The seventh round was an interesting one, with Hernandez standing his ground and firing off shots seeming to have a second wind. Right when you think this guy is done or the large man is going to impose his will, such as the seventh round when it started with Elbiali trapping him on the ropes and firing off a succession of powerful shots that hurt Hernandez, then he promptly comes right back - showing a great heart. The final round made this fight very interesting, as I thought Hernandez took it with his jab consistently landing and him controlling the range with his footwork, making Elbiali's looping slow shots miss. He also landed the best shots in the round in my opinion and closed the fight out in fashion. The cards came in and Elbiali got the UD. I had the fight a draw so it could have swung either way but let's be honest here; there was no surprise in that he was likely going to get the decision being that he is the young guy on the way up (promoted) and the bigger man in the ring, which tends to get noticed when it's close like this. In any case Elbiali showed a lot weaknesses here and needs to improve himself before he contributes his rise, or else he will be taking a loss soon and will have to take far more steps backward in his career.
Next up was Bryant Perrella (12-0, 11ko's) vs Ramon Ayala (23-5-1, 11ko's). In the first round Perrella was clearly the better, bigger man in there. The announcers revealed that Ayala took a hiatus from boxing and actually took this fight on only ten days notice, not even knowing that he was fighting a southpaw! Not much to write about here, with Perrella having target practice until Ayala did not come out for the third round. Perrella looks extremely good, along the lines of Sammy Vasquez and Errol Spence Jr., whom he lost to in the 2012 Olympic trials.
Main event time with Miguel Flores (18-0, 9ko's) vs Mario Briones (27-4-2, 20ko's). In the first round Flores was measuring his man, with Briones coming forward and outworking his man. He was doing a lot of missing but was pressing the action and forcing Flores out of his comfort zone a bit perhaps. In the second round Flores got busy and flipped the action from the first round, outworking Briones and putting in a lot of work to stunt Brione's high work rate from the previous round. He landed good uppercuts and body shots to establish himself in the fight. In the third round Flores continued his boxing and picking spots to land flush on Briones. He is landing very sharp shots and already puffing up Brione's face from the damage, as well as cutting his left eye. Flores continued this, battering his man, until the end of the fifth round when he was indeed battering Briones and drawing blood from the cut earlier while forcing it to bleed even heavier. Briones is still landing his right hand seemingly at will though. He isn't throwing the right hand very much but when he does he lands it flush. No noticeable damage has been seen thus far from it from at the end of the fifth he landed a few of them that looked to hurt Flores, or at least cause some worry before he headed back to his corner. He even caused a cut over his left eye to match his own against the undefeated prospect. Flores maintained his composure with the cut and was battering Briones with left hooks throughout the seventh round to pour the punishment on. Briones showed his fighting heart in the eighth round, standing in the pocket and slugging it out with Flores while coming out on the worse end of the exchanges. Briones was landing some great shots though, with both warriors bloody from the battle. Flores is just on a bit different level and whi8le both have great stamina and endurance (durability to boot) it is just too obvious that Briones is taking far more shots and getting his body worn down from the slicker boxer who is sharp shooting on him for eight rounds now. In the ninth round Briones showed that fighting spirit though, coming on strong and out-throwing Flores while pressing him backwards for a change instead of trying to walk his man down from following Flores around the ring which would result in a circle pattern of sharp shooting. The fight was closed out in excellent fashion with both men laying it all on the line. Flores seemed to take the ninth round off and then they traded again in the tenth round, closing out this great fight in fashion with Flores taking the shutout on two cards and 8 rounds to 2 on the third card. It was a perfect step up fight for the undefeated prospect because he had adversity to overcome (the cut) and a guy that was not going to go anywhere while still throwing lots of punches and landing plenty.