Tonight's scene is Atlantic City, New Jersey for ESPN's Friday Night Fights, where Kevin Johnson and Devin Vargas look to provide heavyweight excitement in the main event. The co-feature saw a rematch between Jorge Luis Teron and Aldo Valtierra in the lightweight division.
Jorge Luis Teron (22-1-1, 15 KO) vs. Aldo Valtierra (25-10, 13 KO) - Lightweight
Teron was looking to even the score with Valtierra after his disputed split decision loss in December. It was not much of a contest tonight as Teron picked apart the 38 year old nearly the entire fight. Teron was on the attack but not necessarily going for the kill and more like a methodical beatdown. The New Yorker landed more punches than the Mexican and controlled the first 8 rounds. There was a small moment of brilliance from Valtierra when he knocked the mouthpiece out of Teron's mouth on a solid right hook. It was his best punch of the night in a 9th round in which he clearly won, but by then the outcome was inevitable.
Solid night for Jorge, but he lacked the "knockout instinct" when he had Valtierra hurt on a few occasions.
Jorge Luis Teron - UD 10
How judge Kason Cheeks had this fight 96-94 is beyond me. Frank Cappucino scored it 97-93 while Al Bennett had it 99-91.
Ho-hum fight. Not really exciting.
Kevin Johnson (21-0-1, 8 KO) vs. Devin Vargas (17-0, 7 KO) - Heavyweight MAIN EVENT
While the first 2 rounds were decent, I'm going to describe the action starting from round 3. It started out with Vargas backing Johnson against the ropes and firing away, but his lack of punching power really showed as he connected on several shots. But with about :30 left in the round, the unbeaten Kevin Johnson had Vargas on the ropes and got drilled with left hooks, and they were hard enough to hurt his fellow unbeaten opponent. He had no defense for any of Johnson's punches and eventually went down with just seconds remaining. Vargas did get up and survived the round but he was clearly stunned and bleeding from the nose. He was knocked down for the first time in his amateur or pro career.
Vargas' kept touching his right ear with his glove in round 4, but rebounded well in a pretty even round.
Back came Kevin Johnson though. The left hooks were just too much for Vargas to handle and went down for a 2nd time. He spit out his mouthpiece, buying him some time to recover, and survived the final 21 seconds.
"I cannot hear out of my right ear." - Devin Vargas told his corner in-between rounds.
Vargas never recovered, wincing in pain touching the right side of his face throughout round. Johnson came out with aggression in the final minute and Vargas' legs began to wobble. His corner threw in the towel. Johnson jubilant. Vargas reduced to tears in his first pro loss.
Kevin Johnson - TKO 6
A very impressive win for Kevin Johnson. This is a heavyweight prospect to look out for. He's got fast hands and just dominated Vargas throughout the night. Vargas had the aggression early but lacked effectiveness. Johnson had aggression and effectiveness and came away the winner.
Robert Brown (0-1, 0 KO) vs. John Lennox (1-0, 1 KO) - Cruiserweight
Definitely obvious that these guys are getting their feet wet in the pro boxing world. Brown has pretty good hand speed. Lennox is a Jersey native and tried to make an impression. For Lennox, Teddy Atlas said it best, he doesn't really have good control of himself.
A dramatic turn in the final round. Lennox floored Robert Brown with a right hand with :36 left. Lennox came in and started throwing and landed the final punch of the fight with a thunderous left hook that nearly sent Brown to the canvas at the bell, but the ropes saved him. He was clearly shaken up but was spared the possibility of getting knocked out at the death, which I thought was total crap because I thought he was down before the bell rang. Alas, Lennox won this fight to close out Friday Night Fights.
John Lennox - SD 4
I have no idea where they got a split decision. The knockdown was actually the difference in this fight. Lennox should've won this unanimously. Shoddy judging could've meant a draw had Brown not gotten decked.
39-36 Lennox, 38-37 Brown, 38-37 Lennox.
And in case you're wondering, Bruce Seldon vs. Gabe Brown was not shown on TV. Boxrec doesn't even have the results of the fight.