Any hope that Victor Cayo had of getting his career back on track and putting himself back into contention came crashing down last night, as Maryland prospect Emmanuel Taylor stopped him in the eighth round of the ESPN Friday Night Fights main event from Atlantic City.
Taylor (17-1, 12 KO) stuck to a pretty simple game plan throughout the course of the bout, keeping his gloves up, walking in, and then looking to land power shots. The shorter man, Taylor, just didn't really try to fight from the outside, where the long and lanky Cayo (31-4, 22 KO) waited for counter opportunities, and kept himself busy throwing his looping shots around Taylor's guard.
Cayo, 28, did have some success in the fight, but it was clear early that Taylor, 22, had the power to trouble him. Much of the Teddytalk coming into the bout was that Cayo had lost three fights, all by stoppage, to three world champions. But considering his last loss came to Nate Campbell, who was washed-up as far as being a contender, in 2012, it was clear coming in that one didn't need to necessarily fight like a world champion to beat Victor Cayo.
Taylor wobbled Cayo several times in the fight, but Cayo started landing some nice counter shots in the fourth round, hurting Taylor in that frame, and then flooring him on a right hand in the fifth. It was a good, clean shot, but Taylor recovered well, and in the seventh, he had Cayo looking stung and reeling just a bit.
The finish came the next round, when Cayo was clipped with a shot that jellied his legs a bit, which Taylor saw and decided to jump on. It was a good move. Cayo backed himself into a corner, where Taylor landed a hard right hand that put Cayo on the canvas. Though he continued, he really only took one more shot before referee Benjy Esteves Jr called a stop to the fight. It may have seemed a bit early, but Cayo didn't complain one bit, and his eyes told the story after the fight.
He's not a prospect, and he's not a contender. Cayo is now a decent action fighter who can be hurt, nothing more and nothing less. Like many fighters, he has done his damage fighting at home against weak opposition -- he has a couple of decent wins, like Julio Diaz in 2009, but I believe he lost a lot of confidence when Marcos Maidana wailed on him in 2010.
In the heavyweight co-feature, Magomed Abdusalamov struggled but kept his undefeated and knockout streaks alive, improving to 17-0 (17 KO) with a fifth round stoppage of game Victor Bisbal (21-2, 15 KO).
Bisbal, 32, really has no craft or noticeable skill, and he's sort of a jiggly fellow in terms of body type, but he fights hard and doesn't shy away from anyone. His fight last October on the WV2-Oquendo undercard in Puerto Rico, a win over Alex Gonzales, wasn't much to look at style-wise, but it had plenty of action. This fight was similar.
Bisbal started well, winning the first two rounds, and exposing the always leaky defense of Sampson Lewkowicz's heavyweight hype job, but Abdusalamov took over pretty well after that. Once Abdusalamov, 31, started landing his powerful left hand, the fight went into a predictable nosedive for Bisbal. He was finished in the fifth, put down hard and waved off by referee Randy Neumann.
Abdusalamov is not the next great heavyweight. He is, however, fun to watch. Guys with defensive flaws and big power generally are. He may not be heading for world title glory, but he's worth tuning in to see.