Juan Urango retained his IBF junior welterweight title and Tavoris Cloud won the vacant light heavyweight strap of the same sanctioning body in dominant performances on the season finale of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
Urango (22-1-2, 17 KO) was dropped on a signature right hand bomb from hard-punching veteran Randall Bailey in the sixth round, which instantly cut him under his right eye. For a moment, it appeared as though Urango may not recover, but he in fact did so very well. Bailey (39-7, 35 KO) also didn't show anything more than that right hand during the entire fight, which was eventually his utter doom.
Urango dropped Bailey twice in the ninth, and Bailey took a knee in the 10th. In the 11th, with Bailey clearly hanging on for dear life and on jelly legs, the challenger's corner stopped the fight. It was a merciful end.
In the other main event, Florida's Tavoris Cloud (20-0, 18 KO) battered Englishman Clinton Woods (42-5-1, 24 KO) for a full 12 rounds. Bad Left Hook had it 118-110 for Cloud, but with a couple of rounds that I also felt could have gone to Woods. The official scores were 116-112 across the board. Cloud showed great stamina, throwing 1,113 punches total and attacking viciously throughout the entire bout.
For the 37-year old Woods, it was perhaps a final brave performance. It was jaw-dropping at times that he did not hit the canvas, hanging on courageously and fighting off his back foot, trying to stand toe-to-toe with the younger, faster, stronger man. Woods said before the fight he would retire if he didn't win, and he just might. Chances may have run out for the veteran.
It was, overall, a fun night of fights in Florida, and hopefully ESPN2 can put together more cards of this caliber. There are a lot of good fights out there looking for a home.