HBO Nursultanov vs Batista, Dargan vs Perez, Galarza vs Duarte, Murtazaliev vs Carcamo, Ashkeyev vs Flores, Vaughn Alexander vs Doughlin, Gogokhia vs Montes, and Villarreal vs Hooks
By Kid Hersh
Boxing is back in Atlantic City on HBO for the first time in a few years and hopefully here to stay. The undercard was very large and kicked off with Ismael Villarreal (2-0) vs Kieran Hooks (3-0-1, 1KO). This was a scrapper of a fight, with Villareal bulling inside and using a high work rate to push Hooks backwards and get his style of fight. Hooks had his moments, and made Villareal look a bit green, but its all part of the learning process.
Enriko Gogokhia (7-0, 3KO's) vs Ronald Montes (18-9, 16KO's). Gogo got off to a good start in the first round, landing jabs and straight left hands, but then in the second round, Montes was able to time him out a few times to upset his rhythm. Gogo was able to get back in rhythm, however, and hurt Montes with a left hand in the third round to take control of the fight back over. Gogo would win the UD in a fairly lacklustre fight but a decent test for this early portion of his career.
Vaughn Alexander (12-0, 8KO's) vs Denis Doughlin (19-6, 12KO's). This fight started off as a chess match in the first round, with Alexander waiting patiently while Doughlin rushed in and tried to make a fight of it. Vaughn then started to press forward in the second round, but he had his typical low output although he looked like he was trying to put mental pressure on Doughlin to physically wear him out, perhaps more than land punches. This continued through the coming rounds, although Doughlin went back to outscoring Alexander to make it an interesting fight to score. Doughlin had a solid work rate, even if it looked like he was forcing it due to Vaughn pressing forward nonstop. Alexander though, for his part, looked a bit 1D as he bulled forward and did not do much offensively. Vaughn looked a bit more like a bodybuilder than a boxer in this one. Both fighters looked a bit frustrated at the other as the rounds went by, with Vaughn being very frustrated with Doughlins southpaw style and not being able to get inside to unload his right hand. Doughlin appeared to see Vaughns right hand coming from a mile away, as he was constantly loading up on it and swinging away at thin air. Doughlin really pressed his point in the closing rounds of the fight, having the best tenth round you could ask for as he dominated the action and won the UD across all the scorecards.
Madiyar Ashkeyev (9-0, 5KO's) vs Eduardo Flores (24-29-4, 14KO's). Ashkeyev knocked the mouthpiece of Flores out in the first, second, and third round. The fight was ended when in the fourth round - yes you guessed it - his mouthpiece came out yet again and the referee waved the fight off.
Bakhram Murtazaliev (12-0, 109KO's) vs Fernando Carcamo (23-8, 18KO's). KO1 - via left hook - over in 41 seconds! Murtazaliev continues to impress...
Frank Galarza (19-2-2, 11KO's) vs Alex Duarte (13-5-1, 10KO's). It was really a slugfest in the first round, with Galarza clipping the chin of Duarte a few times and appearing to stun him. Duarte fought back every time though, swinging with bad intentions although only landing a few punches. Galarza looked wide open to get hit though defensively and so this one had the appearance of being one of those fights where either guy that landed might win. This one was over very quickly in the second round, after body shots knocked down Duarte twice and kept him down on the canvas the second time.
Karl Dargan (17-1, 9KO's) vs Jonathan Perez (37-22, 29KO's). Dargan looked every bit of the three years rusty in the first round. He was outpointing Perez in the coming rounds but not exactly putting on a heck of a show, as he couldn't land flush with his punches and find the proper distance. Dargan would go on to win the decision.
Meiirim Nursultanov (7-0, 6KO's) vs Jonathan Batista (17-14, 10KO's). Nursultanov