Evgeny Gradovich started the year as an unknown, won a world title from Billy Dib, and now has made a dominant first defense of his belt, keeping the IBF featherweight title with a one-sided beating of a valiant but outclassed Maurico Munoz in Macao.
Gradovich (17-0, 8 KO) won on unanimous decision scores of 120-108, 119-109, and 119-109. BLH had it 120-108 for "The Mexican Russian," who beat on Munoz to the point that the Argentinean challenger had hematoma on both his right and left eyes when the fight was over.
Munoz (26-4, 12 KO) was very game throughout the fight, particularly over the first five rounds or so, where he was doing all he could to combat the hard attack of Gradovich, who refused to move backwards or give an inch to his opponent. But Gradovich's ceaseless pressure broke him down gradually, and took him further and further out of the fight. By the later rounds, it was all Gradovich, and had been for a while.
Is Gradovich ready for the real top dogs at 126 pounds, or would Top Rank and his team be wise to get him a bit more seasoning before targeting one of those guys?