March 21: Brian Vera stunned Andy Lee.
May 7: Reynaldo Lopez beat Mike Oliver.
May 23: Jose Luis Herrera took out "Awesome" Aaron Williams in the fifth round.
June 4: Gabriel Rosado outpointed James Moore.
June 11: Deandre Latimore (who?) pounds on the IBF's No. 1 154-pound contender, Sechew Powell.
Win: Latimore, TKO-7.
Deandre Latimore is a 22-year old kid from St. Louis who has moved out to Las Vegas to take his career to the next level. He once stepped up in competition, facing Ian Gardner, a tough and awkward guy who had been in with really good opponents prior to Latimore. Latimore was knocked out in the third round.
On paper, the legit contender, Powell, should have walked over him. I recently ranked the junior middleweights (with Vernon Forrest at No. 1, so that needs to be re-thought), and I didn't put Powell in the top ten. There's always been something off-putting about him. Ishe Smith is a fine fighter, and you can argue that Smith beat him. Kassim Ouma killed him back in 2006, and I've never been able to put that out of my mind.
He very often fights with a complete lack of passion. He did it again tonight, and the upset-minded Latimore wound up beating the crap out of him, starting mid-fifth round and ending in the seventh when the referee called it off. Maybe a bit of a premature stoppage, but Powell was getting routinely tagged by that point and really not fighting back at all.
The early rounds featured good back-and-forth action, but almost all of the fight's best shots were landed by Latimore (19-1, 15 KO).
Powell (23-2, 14 KO) is now in no man's land. So much for a mandatory shot at Verno Phillips' IBF strap, and so much for making any immediate mark on a division that is being turned over very quickly this year. The coming emergences of guys like Joel Julio, Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland could make this division worth watching again.
This is also yet another shot at Buddy McGirt as trainer. His guys aren't winning lately, and he's starting to take some heat. Even Paulie Malignaggi struggled badly with Lovemore N'dou a couple weeks ago, due to a hand injury and those idiotic hair extensions that you would have thought never would've gotten past Buddy in the locker room.
Whether the stoppage was a bit premature or not, look, Latimore won. He was winning the fight and it didn't look like that was going to stop. He had Powell consistently on his back feet, in a corner, on the ropes, not fighting back, not landing anything of note, and getting drilled. He hurt Powell several times. You can't argue that.
Congrats, Deandre, and welcome to people knowing who you are.
On the undercard, Peter Quillin outpointed Dionisio Miranda over ten rounds to stay unbeaten.
Actually, let me try to do a quick re-shuffling of the 154-pound top ten.
1. Cory Spinks (didn't really lose to Phillips)
2. Sergio Mora (still not a fan, but his style looked good at 154)
3. Joel Julio
4. Sergiy Dzinziruk
5. Joachim Alcine
6. Yuri Foreman
7. Vernon Forrest
8. Daniel Santos
9. Verno Phillips
10. Alfredo Angulo or James Kirkland