Showtime Erislandy Lara vs Jarrett Hurd, Caleb Truax vs James DeGale, and Julian Williams vs Nathaniel Gallimore
BY KID HERSH
Showtime Championship Boxing from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Julian Williams (24-1-1, 15KO's) vs Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1-1, 17KO's). The referee was Tony Weeks. The first round was a feeler, with both looking fairly nervous. JRock calmed down a bit and was outboxing Gallimore with his punching and moving, which was blunting the work rate of Gallimore. In the third round Williams was dominating the action as he blasted the body of Gallimore and was landing more right hands as the fight turned to the inside. The fight turned into a good one in the fourth round as both men were landing their best punches and while Williams was in control for the most part, pressing Gallimore backwards at times, Gallimore landed a couple of shots that appeared to rock JRock, such as a good uppercut in the second half of the round as well as a flurry in the final seconds of the round. Gallimore carried the momentum into the fifth round where he had his best round of the fight as he was now having success on the inside, where previously it was all JRock. Gallimore was finding a home for his uppercuts but in the seventh round he looked very tired as JRock pressed forward and made it an inside fight. JRock has said in the lead up that he expects Gallimore to fade and his words could perhaps be coming true. JRock continued his success in the coming rounds, with Gallimore looking completely spent. Gallimore did not look like he was hurt so much as completely spent of energy seeing as how he does not have much success going the distance. Williams is not a combination puncher, or at least not the type of guy that sits down on his shots, so Gallimore was getting plastered but he was not showing signs of being seriously hurt. In the eleventh round Gallimore showed incredible will and heart as he stayed on his feet through the best punches that Williams could land; including left hooks that hurt him for the first time in the fight. It really looked like the fight was going to be over but somehow he managed to stay on his feet. The cards would come in 114-114, 116-112, 117-110 for the majority decision to Julian Williams.
Caleb Truax (29-3-2, 18KO's) vs James DeGale (23-2-1, 14KO's). The referee was Robert Byrd. In the first round DeGale was looking very sharp as he boxed and moved on Truax, causing the champion to reset. There was also a clash of heads in the first round that caused Truax to cringe in pain and go backwards. He seemed to shake it off fast, however, Truax did receive another headbutt that quite frankly looked intention from the challenger. It did not cause any blood or cuts. Truax continued his forward pressure and while he was not getting off many punches he was touching DeGale but it was DeGale that was being the ring general with his quick hands and feet. In the third round Truax turned the tides as he landed a good right hand midway through the round that put DeGale back into the ropes. From there on out it was all Truax as he pressed forward and upped his work rate. DeGale suffered a very bad cut due to a clash of heads but it was ruled a punch, which could change the course of this fight. Truax was having his type of fight - especially in the sixth round when he landed jabs and right hands. There were a lot of clashes of heads, still, but it did not look intentional as it was simply southpaw vs orthodox plus one man aggressing nonstop. DeGale was able to have himself a good seventh round as he seemed to catch a second wind. It was a bit of an ugly fight in the middle rounds, however, because there was a lot of awkward inside fighting and action and neither man was really the ring general. In the tenth round DeGale was docked a point for using his shoulder on the champion. It is not the first time DeGale used the tactic but it makes you wonder if it was really worth docking a point for because no "damage" was done and this has been a fight where it has been very ugly and there have been lots of head butts. It was intentional, however. DeGale surprisingly had his best round of the fight in the eleventh round as his face was a mask of blood and he had just been docked a point in the tenth round. The twelfth and final round was another good one for DeGale but it was still a tough fight to score overall. The cards came in 117-110, 114-113 X2 for DeGale - with the one card being pretty shockingly bad. It was a close fight that is tough to score, however.
Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14KO'a) vs Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15KO's). The referee was Kenny Bayless. In the first round it was all Lara as he easily landed 1-2's and moved out of range. He had Hurd missing so bad that he was stumbling over. In the second round Hurd was able to get his style of fight just a bit more by the end of the round, as he was pressing Lara into the ropes and unloading more punches. Lara was landing the cleaner blows but he was not getting the distance that he would like, as compared to the first round. The third round was very similar to the second, with Hurd catching and shooting on Lara while maintaining physical presence and pressure on him. The ight continued as a close contest, with Lara having a good round in the fifth by using his footwork more on Hurd instead of allowing an inside fight to happen. Lara carried the momentum into the sixth round early on, but by the second half of the round Hurd suddenly stormed back into the fight after he took a vicious uppercut by Lara and it seemed to bring some life into him as he tracked down Lara and pushed him against the ropes to go to work with combinations. The seventh round was a very interesting one because Hurd backed off, allowing the fight to be fought in the center of the ring. Lara did not seem to take advantage of this, however, as both men did more looking than punching. Hurd landed a beauty of a right hand at the very end of the round that looked like it was so heavy it moved Lara right off his feet. In the eighth and ninth rounds Hurd suddenly came out in a new gear as he was jabbing nonstop and really piling up the punches as Lara looked like he was fading. Lara could not keep the gigantic man in front of him off him and was having a very difficult time. In the tenth round Lara had his best round in a long time as he stood his ground and hammered home uppercuts and hooks on Hurd, who suddenly was not throwing as many punches as the previous rounds. Lara carried the momentum into the eleventh round and although it was another very close round Lara seemed to land the cleaner, straighter blows, although you could make a case for either man really. The twelfth and final round was a contender for round of the year as the fighters both put it all on the line and Swift Jarrett Hurd landed a beauty of a left hand that put Lara down on the canvas. The cards came in 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and finally 114-113 Hurd - with the twelfth round being the deciding factor in the fight! It was a helluva round and a helluva fight.