Juan Dominguez vs Yenefel Vicente, Keith Tapia vs Garrett Wilson & Carlos Galvan vs Immanuwel Aleem
BY KID HERSH
From Trenton N.J. came PBC on FS1 on a Toe-to-Toe Tuesday boxing evening. First up was Keith Tapia (16-0, 11ko's) vs Garrett Wilson (16-9-1, 9ko's). In the first round Tapia got going right away with his accurate punching on the hard charging Wilson. Wilson has to come inside to do his work and he is already showing that he is going to catch hell in doing so as Tapia is easily firing, landing, and stepping out of harms way. His uppercut was the punch of choice that was doing great damage and backing up Wilson. The second round was one of the better ones on the year if I may so myself, with Wilson coming out throwing body shots and then loading up on his right hand, landing the bestpunch of the fight just before the midway point in the round when he connected with an overhand right that hurt Tapia. The punch backed him to the ropes, stunned, but he recouped quickly only to fight off Wilson and empty his entire arsenal - hurting Wilson in return! Tapia looked like he was going to punch himself out but he is in great condition and while nobody can throw punches in bunches with bad intentions forever - Tapia's stamina surprised me as he continued to do so and didn't gas himself out entirely. The third round was fought more in spurts - with Wilson landing his big right hand a couple times but otherwise mostly missing and expending a lot of energy in loading up on his shots. Tapia was picking is spots more than in the previous round and controlling the distance and tempo by using his length and accuracy. This continued into the fourth round where Tapia was controlling the distance and tempo for the first half of the round but then Wilson was able to draw him into a phone both fight for the remainder. Tapia is still winning the rounds but he has moments that are scary when Wilson lands a powerful shot or two, draining Tapia's advantage and instantly stopping his legs from easily moving him around the ring to set up his shots and pick off his opponent. The fifth round showed what a great fight this is - neither man backing down or giving in to the others will. By the end of the fifth round Tapia looked like he had broken down Wilson just enough to be able to use his physical advantage over the smaller man - and he carried that momentum into the sixth round as he used his legs effectively to control the ring. Wilson was showing his frustrationin the seventh round as he was not able to properly close the distance and land anything on Tapia. Tapia was in a great rhythm and Wilson even left his feet throwing a left hook two minutes into the seventh - trying absolutely everything he could to land a punch. Going down the stretch Wilson was game as he always is but very tired and a bit broken down. Tapia showed great stamina to close out the final minute of the ninth round, teeing off on Wilson and throwing punches in bunches in trying to take Wilson out. Credit to Wilson - he is really taking a hellacious beating at this point - but he is still "live" because he is still landing ann occasional shot here and there and he is a hard enough puncher to where it makes you think it could possibly hurt Tapia if landed right. Both fighters were very tired to close out the tenth and final round. Despite Tapia clearly taking this decision this wasa great fight and Wilson was in it all the way and showed his toughness and great heart - never, ever giving up in the true Philly fighting spirit of his hometown.
Next up was Carlos Galvan (11-3-1, 10ko's)) vs Immanuwel Aleem (14-0, 9ko's). Aleem mostly controlled the first round with his speed but I can see that he is relying far too much on just his speed - with his defense lacking as he leaves himself open to admire his work. Galvan didn't take advantage of this until about the final minute of the first though, when he realized that if he throws when Aleem does he might not connect first but as long as he throws a combination he is sure to land something. The fight was brought into close quarters in the second round, Galvan making his presence known and crowding Aleem to take his speed advantage away. Aleem was still the sharper of the two fighters but Galvan really closedthe gap this round by taking away Aleems best asset. Galvan was putting in good body work in the third round and the round was very close just like the second, but one gets the feel that the third round was still slightly fought at the tempo that Aleem wanted - even though he still isn't using his great speed advantage in his game plan - but I suppose proper credit needs to be given to Galvan for disrupting the game plan as well. Hard to say which is happening at times in this fight - kind of a tossup. Aleem came out guns blazing in the fourth round but Galvan took over after the initial burst of energy - again going to the body of Aleem and noticeably slowing him down for the first time in the fight. Surprisingly Galvan did not continue the momentum into the fifth round - starting very slow and maintaining the slow rate while looking like he wants to counter Aleem - which is not what worked so well for him last round. Galvan managed to bring the fight back to closer quarters in the second half of the sixth, Aleem looking tired and all too happy to fight on the inside yet again - which is beyond perplexing to me that not only him as the fighter but that his corner would not be on his ass to box from the outside and use his speed as the great asset it is, or could be. Aleem showed great athleticism and stamina in the seventh round when suddenly out of nowhere he put together a Sugar Ray Leonard-sque quick combination while in the pocket that got an "ooo" from anyone viewing, including myself. Pretty punches, fast hands, great athleticism, but he just needs to put it all together yet - to put together game plans to use these tools better instead of on-the-fly or trying so hard to set up the shots that he is making it look very predictable and taking unnecessary damage. It was an even round in the eighth and final going down the streetch - Galvan giving as good as he was getting and Aleem not giving ground unless absolutely necessary. The cards came in a close UD for Aleem - deserved but I disagree with the announcers fawning over him - I think he has quite a bit of work to do and polish to undertake to crack the top level yet. The announcers were talking world title fights and top level matchups but he is nowhere near that level yet.
Main event time with Juan Dominguez (19-0, 13ko's) vs Yenefel Vicente (19-0, 13ko's). Both undefeated with identical records and both are still fairly unknown while trying to break through to that next level. Let's get it on! Both were swinging for the fences wildly in the first round, with Vicente being really accurate with his hands despite looking technically wild at times. Dominguez looked stunned to my eyes numerous times in the round - with that stiff body and wide eyed look giving away that he has been hurt by Vicente's power. The difference between the two is head movement and defense - which Vicente has and Dominguez does not as he stands straight up stiff as a telephone pole. Vicente was still going strong in the second round, landing some powerful bombs, when Dominguez landed a hard low blow that stopped the action. Dominguez was then docked a point from another low blow shortly after. Vicente then landed aright hand to the chin early in the third round that might be the knockout of the year, dropping Dominguez to the canvas out cold. Dominguez is one tough cookie and so I think this might be one of those "perfect shots" that landed here - it sure surprised me because Dominguez came on strong in the final minute of the previous round although in all fairness that could have been due to the consecutive low blows taking the air out of Vicente.