Ievgen Khytrov vs Immanuwel Aleem, Yazmin Rivas vs Amanda Serrano, Thomas Dulorme vs Brian Jones
First up on the Showtime Extreme card was Thomas Dulorme (23-2, 15KO's) vs Brian Jones (13-6, 7KO's). In the first round Jones looked like he was in way over his head from the start and it continued in the second round as Toney err I mean Jones was taking a brutal body beating as well as head shots that he was trying to roll with but only having partial success in spots. Jones took a further beating and some low blows - with Dulorme docked a point in the fifth round for too many stray shots - but Dulorme looked to me to still be having trouble reaching Jones at times. It was surprising that Jones made it six rounds and I dont think you would catch too many people saying that Dulorme looked great. It was typical Dulorme in my book; looks flashy, looks super talented, but cannot seem to put it all together for some odd reason. There is always something holding him back in every fight but it's hard to pin a finger on.
Next up was Ievgen Khytrov (14-0, 12KO's) vs Immanuwel Aleem (16-0-1, 9KO's). Eddie Claudio was the referee. In the first round Khytrov got caught with an overhand right early in the round that buckled Khytrovs legs due to him walking into it and the shot landing on his temple. It clearly hurt him and he showed that he has no idea how to react in these situations because he did not hold on and instead took further punishment while trying to fight back. His punches were extremely drained of energy and power, although I will say that he was wisely going to Aleems body after the vicious onslaught in a further effort to drain Aleems gas tank after he could not take him out. He surprisingly made it through the round, with referee Eddie Claudio doing an amazing job at letting the action continue while some referees may have stopped it. Khytrov got a nice break before the second round as the doctor came over and was asking questions and checking him out - which seems like more of a first in an instance like this because it has only been one round, he is not bleeding, and he just had a minute to recoup in his corner so for all we know he is fully recovered at this point. And, sure as shit, immediately after typing that Khytrov came out and landed a left hook that sent Aleem backwards and on his toes while changing the momentum of the fight. The doctor may have handed the fight to him on a silver platter with that extra time! Khytrov took the fight back over with an extremely high output that continued through the third round. Aleem then changed the momentum yet again in the third round when he caught Khytrov coming in with a lead right hand followed by a left hook that backed him up. he followed up with two more left hooks that sent Khytrov to the canvas. Referee Claudio asked Khytrov where he was - thinking he may stop the fight - to which Khytrov gave the great answer of "in the ring" and the fight continued with Khytrov shockingly landing a right hand that buckled Aleems legs nearing the end of the third round. We got a potential candidate for fight of the year right here, if not round of the year in the third! Before the fourth round commenced both fighters were looked over heavy by doctors - marking the first time I have seen this and it seems like a big time overreaction here in New York. Khytrov had himself a great fourth round as he got back on a high work rate and backed up Aleem around the ring. Aleem was having success in spots but they were one punch at a time compared to Khytrovs combination punching. The fifth round Khytrov further breaking down Aleem, who was wasting a lot of his stamina by moving around the ring - excessively moving his legs. Aleem would shock everyone though by once again landing a huge overhand right to turn the tide of the fight yet again. The first overhand right backed up Khytrov, with the follow up overhand rights sending him to the canvas. Khytrov rose like a real fighter but the fight was over shortly afterwards as he was defenseless and only on his feet from muscle memory. Absolutely AMAZING fight that again can definitely be a candidate for fight of the year or even round of the year for numerous rounds - namely the third. Awesome fight, what a way to kick off the New Year.
Next up was Yazmin Rivas (34-9-1, 10KO's) vs Amanda Serrano (30-1-1, 23KO's). Referee was Sparkle Lee. The first round was very fast paced with Serrano being super aggressive and backing Rivas into the ropes before the end of the round by her super aggression combined with her straighter and far more crisp shots. Serrano continued her dominance through the two minute rounds with her conditioning, straight shots, and power. In the second half of the fight she started to box and picked her spots beautifully to show her dominance over Rivas. Rivas was out-fought for most of the fight as Serrano went on to win the UD, showing real grit and never backing up. Love seeing that.