There was a moment where it looked like the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing's main event wasn't going to happen. During the co-feature between Selcuk Aydin and Jesus Soto Karass, Showtime cut to backstage where Virgil Hunter, Mike Dallas Jr's trainer, was speaking to Jim Gray as Hunter watched Lucas Matthysse take a pill backstage before the fight. Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer was backstage examining the pills taken with the doctor. One round later we were told the pills didn't contain any banned substance -- they were Amino 4,500 -- and that they would still be drug tested as expected. The main event was on.
The whole ordeal took far longer than the actual fight as, during the announcers conversation about Matthysse's tendency to start slow, he landed a short, thudding right hand sending Dallas face first to the canvas. Dallas would not move for several seconds, clearly knocked completely unconscious.
There isn't much more action to discuss from the main event. It was a cold-blooded first round KO for Matthysse. He was expected to take the win, but the brutality of the first round stoppage was anything but expected.
Following the fight Matthysse called out Danny Garcia. Garcia faces Zab Judah on February 9 on Showtime, and it would only make sense for the winner to face Lucas. So, of course, if Garcia wins, he'll probably face Amir Khan in a rematch.
The aforementioned bout between Soto Karass and Aydin was a bit of a stunner as heavy favorite Aydin dropped a majority decision. Soto Karass came out strong in the early rounds, working at a range that was uncomfortable for the shorter Aydin and digging hard to the body when they did get inside.
Aydin looked lost for much of the fight as he was reduced to looking for single power shots in an attempt to change the course of the fight, but instead found himself on the end of the long arms of his foe. It was a surprising performance from the gutsy Soto Karass, a man known for always coming to fight and generally taking on any and everyone.
Considering we're not that far removed from that run of five fights without a win for Soto Karass, this win really sets his career back on the right course.
There was, however, some controversy to the bout. While it appeared a clear Soto Karass win, especially when he convincingly took the tenth round that Aydin desperately needed to even have a remote case for a draw, judge Richard Ocasio managed to turn in a 95-95 card. Judge Tim Cheatham saw the fight 97-93 as did Robert Hoyle so Soto Karass did get his hand raised. But it continues the run of at least one more event with a bizarrely indefensible scorecard.
In the Showtime opener, Jermell Charlo dominated and broke down the tough Harry Joe Yorgey before getting the stoppage in round eight. Charlo scored two knockdowns early in the fight before dropping Yorgey again and forcing the ref to stop the bout.
It was a good showing for Charlo. His jab looked solid as usual, but he showed a bit more power. Yorgey is a hearty guy, but Charlo basically walked all over him all night.
Other results from the card:
Francisco Vargas KO2 Ira Terry
Julian Williams TKO7 Jeremiah Wiggins
Jermall Charlo RTD5 Josh Williams
Julian Ramirez UD Juan Sandoval
Will Sands D Herb Begay
Errol Spence TKO1 Nathan Butcher