Omar Douglas vs Frank De Alba, Virgil Green vs Miguel Cruz, Christopher Brooker vs Leo Hall
BY KID HERSH
PBC on FS1 on Tuesday night from Bethlehem Pennsylvania. First up was Christopher Brooker (6-1, 5ko's) vs Leo Hall (8-0, 7ko's). In the first round Brooker came out pressing extremely hard with a very high work rate while bulling Hall into the ropes and unloading what he could. Hall was uncomfortable but didn't look like he was taking serious damage and instead weathering the storm. In the second round Hall took over as Brooker looked more winded. Hall was able to create distance and pick his spots - although he was not landing at a very high clip himself as Brooker was bobbing and weaving and being a hard target to hit. Brooker to the action back over in the third round, being elusive like in the previous with his movement and also catching Hall with sporadic punches that he didn't expect -- likely because he is fading himself now from the excited pace set by Booker. Booker is tired as well but his game plan is working thus far and he looks just ever so much rusher between the two - or maybe I should a tiny bit more energy in his step and snap in his shots. He hurt Brooker with a left hook a little over two minutes into the third that was the first punch I noticed thus far to clearly hurt and do damage to anyone. It was more of the same from Brooker in the fourth round and actually through the remainder of the fight as he continued pressing and outworking Hall, landing the crisper and cleaner blows and taking the UD.
Next up was Virgil Green (11-3, 4ko's) vs Miguel Cruz (11-0, 10ko's). The opening rounds were pretty tame, with both guys trying to get their timing down on the other and catch their opponent with counter shots. They really could only get one punch going at a time on each other and it was nip and tuck until Cruz got a power jab going in the third round. He carried it into the fourth round and hurt Green with what looked like a power jab to the chin but replays showed was more of a hybrid hook. The shot buckled Greens long legs and lucky for him he didn't have long to make it through the remainder of the round. He got buzzed with the same shot early in the fifth and then he was seriously hurt with a right hand two minutes into the round. I am surprised that Green's chin is so bad - because to my eyes these are not devastating shots at all, despite Cruz's knockout record. Perhaps I am mistaken but I think Green just has a very poor punch resistance capability. He managed to make it through the sixth without taking any flush shots but the fight was all over in the seventh round when he was clipped with a few flush shots, sending him to the canvas one time and then having him doing a goofy dance with his legs out of control which prompted the referee to stop the fight just before the bell rang to end the round. Green really can't take a shot to my eyes - Cruz, despite that knockout record, doesn't look like he is getting any sort of great leverage on his punches and doesn't even look to have any sort of nice snap to his shots or heavy fists that thud home. I think Green just can't take punches well.
Main event time with Omar Douglas (15-0, 11ko's) vs Frank De Alba (17-1-2, 6ko's). In the first round Douglas came out in his aggressive style as usual, walking down De Alba and mostly controlling the ring. De Alba had moments where he showed good movement and got his shots off first but he did not keep up with Douglas's pace just yet. Douglas stayed in the chest of De Alba in the second round as well, stunting some of De Alba's work rate as he was left reacting to Douglas's pressure and tempo. De Alba did not come on at all until the end of the round when he appeared to find his distance and his footwork/movement matched his punching. De Alba carried the better boxing over into the third round but unfortunately for him he just doesn't have the pop in his punch to get Douglas's rest. He was picking his spots well and finding a home for his left hand but Douglas was undeterred and De Alba might not be able to keep this frantic pace up - as he is forced to constantly move move move and fire off his shots in order to win in this manner - like I think he did in taking this round. Douglas really got the fire back in his belly in the fifth round, getting ultra aggressive and throwing punches in bunches with bad intentions. De Alba was overwhelmed and couldn't handle the pressure, looking very tired and slightly broken down. Douglas continued his success into the sixth round but he couldn't keep the torrid work rate up - the pace he set in the fifth round was just impossible to maintain - but he was still out-fighting De Alba who is a fairly accurate puncher but only throws one at a time and so naturally cannot get the edge on the two-fisted Douglas. He put up a good fight in the seventh in trying to trade shots back with Douglas but Douglas was looking much the much fresher man for the eighth round and it showed as he staggered De Alba two minutes into the round with a left hook to the temple. De Alba recovered, make no mistake he is very game tonight, but he was again out-gunned this round in his valiant effort to not give up and try to take the control back over in the ring. Going down the stretch in the final rounds it. Was fairly close fighting at times but overall Douglas pulled this one off with his excellent stamina and much better offensive Arsenal - with his two fisted attack clearly making him the superior fighter. He would only win a MD but at least the right guy got the nod!