In what was likely both the best and the most controversial fight of the night, Beibut Shumenov scored a split decision victory over Gabriel Campillo, winning his first major light heavyweight title only ten fights into his career. For a number of rounds, the fight was a wildly entertaining affair, with nonstop action and momentum swings galore. Through the fight, Shumenov would lunge forward with maximum effort punches, putting the full force of his weight behind just about every punch he threw. Campillo on the other hand, not only proved to be very slippery but also adept at countering and trading when his opponent threw leather in his direction.
For a full 12 rounds, both guys fought their hearts out. At no point in the fight was there an extended lull in the action, and both guys deserve credit for that. However, as the fight progressed, Shumenov tired, and Campillo's short hook counterpunches started to rock Shumenov. During several of the later rounds, Campillo appeared to hurt Shumenov, and Campillo was putting on a clinic until he took his foot off the gas in the last couple of rounds. However, two of the judges seemed to watch a different fight than I did, with Levi Martinez scoring the bout 117-111 for Campillo (the same as the official Bad Left Hook score), Jerry Roth scoring the bout a puzzling 115-113 in favor of Shumenov and Patricia Morse Jarman scoring the bout a completely indefensible 117-111 in favor of Shumenov.
What's especially sad is that this was Campillo's US debut. The United States is quickly becoming 'the new Germany' when it comes to questionable scoring - just ask Chris John and Ali Funeka. In Campillo's last three fights, he had won decisions as an underdog on his opponents' home turf of Denmark, Argentina and Kazakhstan, respectively. Now, in the supposed boxing capital of the world he gets the short end of the stick from seemingly incompetent judges. Just remember this one before complaining next time about how some European fighter deserves no respect because he never comes to the U.S.
Despite the bad taste the ending the fight left in my mouth, I really do hope both of them get more opportunities to fight on U.S. television. They've both proven to be exciting fighters who are at a high skill level. Either of these guys against Jean Pascal or Tavoris Cloud would be a great fight.
- On the Shumenov-Campillo undercard, Erislandy Lara scored a 10th round TKO of Grady Brewer. Lara looked good but not great in the fight, which is about what one would expect against a spoiler like Brewer. Lara at times seemed to have trouble letting his hands go, and Brewer's odd punching angles meant that he was able to find his target more than Lara would have liked. Eventually, Lara found that a turtle shell defense with a style like that of Arthur Abraham was pretty effective, and from that point on he dominated. With about 40 seconds left in the fight and Brewer going for a knockout, Lara caught him with a perfect uppercut that sent down Brewer. When Brewer got up, he pounced on Brewer and referee Tony Weeks stopped the bout after a shoeshine combination with about 10 seconds to go in the fight.
- Jesse Brinkley won by unanimous decision over Curtis Stevens. While it was somewhat even early, Brinkley pulled away over the course of the fight, rocking Stevens a number of times, although Stevens showed good heart to end the fight on his feet. This too was a great fight, even though one guy mostly dominated the action. Brinkley is now the IBF #2 contender, or in other words, this was an eliminator for an eliminator.
- On the Shobox card, Chris Avalos won by 4th round knockout over Jose Nieves, and Archie Ray Marquez won a 10 round decision over Derrick Campos.
- In Connecticut, Peter Manfredo Jr. won a unanimous decision over Matt Vanda. On the undercard, Matt Remillard stopped Rafael Lora early, again. I still haven't seen a decent explanation for why he was rematching someone he just knocked out in 4 rounds.
- In Chicago, Don George, Andrzej Wawrzyk and Kenny Galarza all won their bouts.
- In Mexico, Jesus Ruiz defeated Luis Lemendez by decision.
- In Glasgow, Commonwealth lightweight titlist Lee McAllister beat Samuel Amoako. OliGold gave us a recap of that bout here.