Jose Uzcategui may not have been ready for Matt Korobov, but he was way, way too much for Julius Jackson. In the main event of PBC's trip to San Antonio, the Venezuelan bruiser *insert chef pun here*'ed the former Olympian, dropping him four times en route to a second-round finish.
The fight effectively ended in the first minute, when a massive overhand right from Uzcategui (24-1, 20 KO) sent the taller man to the canvas. Jackson (19-1, 15 KO) never got his legs back, going down twice more in the round before a fourth knockdown in the second prompted Tony Weeks to move in. The knockout presumably puts Uzcategui in line to eventually take on James DeGale if the latter manages to dispose of Lucian Bute later this year.
This is a big setback for Jackson, whose brother John got knocked out by Andy Lee last year in a fight he was clearly winning. "The Chef" seems like a genuinely nice individual, so I hope he manages to bounce back from this.
In the six-round swing fight, Texan prospect(?) Ryan Karl had an unexpectedly tough time with unheralded Alfonso Olvera in a fun little clash of aggressive guys who don't move their heads when they punch.
Karl (10-0, 7 KO) looked to be the more technically-sound puncher from the start, but had issues with the Olvera's jab, counters, and use of distance. The two were fairly even for the first four rounds until Karl forced Olvera (4-2, 2 KO) to take a knee with a heavy right hand to the temple in the fifth. After controlling the sixth via well-aimed right hands, Karl took home the decision on scores of 58-56 (twice) and 59-55.
Karl looks like he has a bit of potential and is only 23, so he should have time to tighten up his offense and learn to slip punches, especially since he trains with Erislandy Lara.
The card began with a lightweight clash between former champ Miguel Vazquez and former 130-pound titlist Argenis Mendez. In a sloppy, foul-heavy, but somewhat entertaining clash, Mendez took home a unanimous decision on, well, questionable scorecards.
In short, it was a Vazquez fight; "El Titere" circled, fired a stiff jab, and rushed into the clinch head-first with ugly combinations as he is wont to do. This strategy seemed to pay dividends for the first half of the fight as Mendez (23-3-1, 12 KO) struggled to figure out Vazquez's bizarre timing.
Eventually, though, he seemed to manage it, catching Vazquez (35-5, 13 KO) coming in with check hooks and a powerful jab while limiting the Mexican vet's volume. Compounding Vazquez's troubles, he lost a point in the seventh for what I believe was excessive holding, although the headbutts are also a possible culprit.
Though the individual rounds were difficult to score, it looked like a close fight that would be decided by one or two rounds. The judges disagreed, turning in scores of 95-94 (reasonable), 97-92 (pushing it) and 99-90 (dude what) for Mendez.
Vazquez's fights are never easy to judge, but the idea that he only won one round is nonsense. To make things worse, this was one of his more enjoyable fights; a 5/10 ain't bad when you were expecting a 2/10. I can't imagine this loss will prompt him to be less conservative.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's events, click here.