Julian Williams vs Cuellar, Caleb Plant vs Freeman, Moises Flores vs Cusolito
BY KID HERSH
From Bethlehem Pennsylvania came an FS1 Tuesday night card. First up was Moises Flores (23-0, 16ko's) vs Luis Cusolito (21-1, 19ko's). In the first round Flores got to work early and often, pressing Cusolito backwards and overwhelming him a bit with the high work rate. Then in the second round Cusolito came alive, landing powerful right hands and left hooks as he showed the gaps in Flores's defense. The second half of the second round had the fighters trading powerful shots back and forth with great action. The pace continued in the third round with Cusolito rushing out of his corner to meet the Argentinian and show that he is not going to be pressed backwards for the entire fight and that he has heavy hands as well. It was an early explosion as he backed off, Flores showing a great chin thus far and not cracking from any of the heavy shots landed and always answering back but showing a deficient defense. The fourth and fifth rounds were very close while also being hotly contested. Both fighters were showing wear and tear from the torrid pace and heavy blows taken, with Flores finally appearing to slightly slow down from the damage and Cusolito bleeding by the end of the fifth from the nose. The sixth round had Flores showing more activity yet again and he carried it into the seventh as he just had that extra pep and energy while backing Cusolito around the ring. I actually would have thought that one of these men would have been down by now and would have guessed that it would be Cusolito. Alas though, he is looking like the type of guy that has a chin and you gotta break his will - which isn't going anywhere. He made some progress back in the coming rounds but in my book just couldn't quite get the better of the action, with Flores still relentless even if tired from the pace of this fight. The eleventh round was a doozy with both men still hammering away at the other with their best power punches. It was Flores who finally got to his man first in the championship rounds - landing a right hand with only about thirty seconds left in the eleventh that noticeably hurt Cusolito for the first time in the fight. He made it through the round, showing heart and chin, but Flores was also looking pretty tired himself although clearly laying it all on the line. The twelfth and final round I was really looking forward to and it started off just like I would expect with shots fired and going for broke but then about a minute in veteran referee Benjiy Esteves stopped the fight, prematurely to most peoples opinions when Cusolito was sent backwards from a series of shots that started with a left hand and he landed a couple of glancing rights also when Cusolito was going backwards but still was slightly blocking shots with his shoulder when the referee jumped in and stopped it. It was a great fight despite the ending and around the middle of it I was thinking that it could be a potential fight of the year candidate, but then it went down a notch past that point as Cusolito was looking the worse for wear going down the stretch. I would love to see a rematch of this fight, and I thought that even before Cusolito clearly had hurt his right hand - we saw it when they came back to interview Flores and he went to shake Cusolito's hand and he said no, showing the hand and the swelling.
Next up was Jamar Freeman (13-4-2, 7ko's) vs Caleb Plant (9-0, 8ko's). Plant cocked off in the first round, dancing and leaving his hands low but was getting tagged with jabs and not showing all that much himself. He also sticks his chin out - which I see just begging for a big shot to land on it but I am not sure if Freeman is the man to do it because he looks like a speedster that lacks pop. The bout was a landslide victory for "Sweethands" Plant, who won every round and scored a knockdown in the third. He was clearly impressive - he won every round - but yet there was something lacking in my mind. What it was, is the fact that he is such a cocky fighter but yet the performance did not match up. I realize I just said he was impressive but he hurt his man - who was clearly overmatched - a handful of times in the fight and could not capitalize on it at all. At one point I thought Freeman even wanted out of the fight but Plant could not do it. He lacked some key things really and did not show a clear head or any sort of cool in the ring as he constantly cocked off whether it was dancing or throwing behind the back shots. Heck he even watched himself on the big screen after his knockdown! A ways to go yet and he better keep that chin tucked, is all I gotta say. Impressive performance but hopefully that cockiness does not get the better of him.
Julian Williams got a first round knockout of Luciano Leonel Cuellar in the main event. He has always shown serious skill but here he just blasted the dude. J-Rock still looks like top level talent rounding out to me - can't wait to see the big step up when it happens.