While the eyes of the boxing public are rightly fixed on tomorrow’s blockbuster battle between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, this past evening saw scattered action around the world.
The most notable bout pitted George Groves against former title challenger Eduard Gutknecht. While Groves (25-3, 18 KO) didn’t manage to put Gutknecht (30-5-1, 13 KO) away, he reportedly gave him what Basil Fawlty would call a "damn good thrashing." He dominated throughout, winning eleven rounds on all three judges’ cards and extending his current winning streak to four.
Groves is currently the mandatory challenger for Callum Smith’s EBU title, but "Mundo" will almost certainly vacate that belt in pursuit of the winner of James DeGale vs. Badou Jack.
RingTV hosted a card from Indio, California that featured Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Mauricio Herrera in the main event. Despite losing two points for low blows, Cano (29-5-1, 21 KO) walked away with a split decision.
Herrera (22-6, 7 KO), who suffered one of his very few clear-cut losses in May against Frankie Gomez, is notorious for being "crafty" but had few answers for Cano's straightforward slugging. Cano landed consistently, utilizing volume and power to dictate the pace. Two judges scored it 97-91 for him, while the third had it 95-93 for Herrera. The commentators agreed with the first two and, while I probably wasn't paying as much attention as I should have, I am inclined to agree.
Over in Ekaterinburg, Russia, a bunch of young unbeatens took home wins and seemingly-busted prospect Dmitry Mikhaylenko survived an early knockdown to stop Breidis Prescott in the main event. Prescott (30-9, 22 KO), a late replacement, put Mikhaylenko (22-1, 10 KO) on his rear with a jab in the first round but couldn’t follow through. "The Mechanic" ultimately crushed him in the eighth round with a running left hook that sent him stumbling through the ropes; Prescott made it back to his feet, but turned away from the referee in clear resignation.
You can watch the card in its entirety here. Mikhaylenko vs. Prescott starts around the 5:08:30 mark, the finish around 5:35:00.
Finally, in Buenos Aires, Diego Chaves smashed overmatched countryman Luis Pablo Zarate in a single round. Chaves (25-2-1, 21 KO) has now won twice in the last four months after a nineteen-month layoff following his draw with Tim Bradley.