Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley meet in tonight's main event, but there are seven fights before then, and BLH will cover them all.
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The early undercard fights are underway from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, on the Pacquiao vs Bradley card. We'll update this post with the results as they come in. Our live coverage -- including streaming video of the event -- will go on through the untelevised portion of the card, up until the HBO pay-per-view.
For the PPV results, the undercard (first three televised fights) will be covered here, while the Pacquiao vs Bradley main event will have its own post, so that the amount of comments does not weigh anyone's connection down too badly.
Results after the jump.
Super Middleweights: Jesse Hart TKO-1 Manuel Eastman
This was the pro debut for Jesse Hart, and he won quickly, as veteran referee and Hall of Famer (I know, right?) Joe Cortez stopped it at 33 seconds. Ring announcer Lupe Contreras called it a "vicious onslaught of punches." It was a nice combination, and Eastman wasn't going to win or anything. So essentially, whatever. It was easy work for Hart, who lost his Olympic bid in March and quickly signed with Top Rank. He's here, and he's got the look. We'll see if the skills match the appearance over time.
Welterweights: Andrew Ruiz UD-4 Taylor Larson
Larson might be the toughest 0-3-1 fighter in the sport. Trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr, he's a pure workrate battler who gave Ruiz (2-0, 1 KO) a nice test here. Ruiz has very nice raw offensive talent, but of course a lot of work to do as he's still a pup. He's worth watching, though. He's a nice looking young fighter at 19. Ruiz dropped Larson in the first round, had some trouble in the second and third (I still thought he won both rounds), and then closed strong in the fourth. Scores were 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35.
Welterweights: Mikael Zewski TKO-3 Ryan Grimaldo
Zewski improves to 15-0 (11 KO) with the win, but didn't draw rave reviews for the performance. I thought he was neither GREAT!!! nor TERRIBLE!!! -- just a fight for him, and he did OK and took care of business. He's not a blue chipper, but then I've never seen that. At 23 and with the right connections, he's got time to learn and get better, and I think he has potential to do that. Maybe not a future champion, but a future contender doesn't seem like a stretch or anything to me, and some guys just turn a corner at some point and put it together. He could do that. Grimaldo was stopped at 0:59 of round three when he got hit with some good shots and took a knee. After the fight, Joe Cortez (yeah, him again) told Zewski he's "championship material for sure."
Featherweights: Ernie Sanchez UD-8 Wilton Hilario
One figures if Hilario (12-3-1, 9 KO) had fought in the last year and a half, he might have won this thing. He was in it most of the way, but just got outgunned overall. Sanchez (13-3, 5 KO) had a lot of grit and threw plenty of punches, but technique is not yet his strong suit. There are some notable folks who think he has a real future. We'll see.
That's it for the prelim fights. Join us here for the PPV undercard.