Towering welterweight Jamal James scored the biggest win of his career last night as he neutralized former Olympian Javier Molina in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions' latest trip to Los Angeles.
The 6'2" James (19-0, 9 KO) essentially kept Molina (17-2, 8 KO) at bay for ten rounds through judicious application of his jab, combined with excellent footwork that saw him repeatedly escape the ropes and corners. Molina, though clearly the fast of the two, struggled to land clean, instead targeting the body and banking on brief flurries to win him rounds.
James' volume, supplemented by some head-knocking right hands, carried the day, however, as he won on scores of 99-91, 98-92 (Bad Left Hook's score), and 97-93.
James moves and boxes quite well for a man of his size, though he does tend to leave his chin out when throwing the right and didn't manage to truly rock Molina with any of his punches. He's a good work-in-progress, though, and definitely has the physical tools to be a force in the division.
In the second swing bout, super middleweight prospect and PBC veteran Caleb Plant literally ran circles around Adasat Rodriguez before stopping him in the sixth round. Rodriguez (11-5-2, 7 KO) basically had zero answer for Plant's footwork and head movement as the American casually strolled around the ring, landing potshots along the way.
The fight was so one-sided that it became rather dull; Rodriguez landed just 27 of 221 punches through the entirety of the bout and Plant (12-0, 8 KO) seemed content to simply outclass him. Thankfully, he changed his mind in the sixth, pressing forward with power combos and eventually landing a knee-buckling left hook. Rodriguez staggered to the corner, where Plant landed one more punch before the ref intervened.
Plant looked solid; I'd say it's about time for him to test the deep end's waters.
California's Malcolm McAllister took center stage in the first swing bout as he stopped Tyrone Selders in three. He nearly did it in one thanks to a powerful combo in the opening minute that sent Selders (9-8-1, 6 KO) teetering to the mat. From there, McAllister (7-0, 7 KO) attempted to put him away, but was stymied by return fire from a newly invigorated Selders.
Selders, McAllister's first opponent with a winning record, held his own in the second round with an active jab and combination work. McAllister still got in some hefty licks of his own, however, and managed to crack Selders again in the third with a series of power shots that left him out on his feet. The referee intervened after a big uppercut, ending McAllister's longest fight to date.
McAllister's obviously got considerable speed and power; hopefully, he can round out his game and have a go at the middleweight division's better fighters.
Nineteen-year-old super middleweight David Benavidez turned in an dominant performance in the opening bout, routing Kevin Cobbs in just two rounds. Benavidez (12-0, 11 KO) showed good ring cutting and accuracy as he went to work with powerful body shots around Cobbs' guard. He consistently forced Cobbs (10-2, 4 KO) to the ropes and shrugged off sporadic return fire before buckling his foe's legs with a right cross early in the second. Cobbs managed to clinch, but ate the same punch again, after which Benavidez battered him with patient power shots until the referee stepped in.
Benavidez definitely looks like one to watch, but he's due for a step up. He fought an 0-11 fighter four months ago and has just four total fights against people with winning records. Still, he did exactly what was expected of him, and it will be interesting to track his progress should he return to PBC.
For quick results and round-by-round coverage of the night's proceedings, click here.