Oleksandr Usyk defended the WBO cruiserweight title with a TKO-9 (1:53) win over Thabiso Mchunu, dropping the South African three times, including twice in the ninth round.
Usyk (11-0, 10 KO) struggled with Mchunu’s awkward style in the first two rounds, but after feeling out what the challenger was bringing to the table, he took over, and by the sixth round had gotten a good rhythm.
In the end, Usyk was willing to simply walk through what Mchunu (17-3, 12 KO) was throwing, battering him into submission in the ninth round. It was the first cruiserweight fight on HBO since Toney-Jirov in 2003, and while it certainly didn’t live up to that war, it’s good to see the cruiserweights get a spotlight on America’s biggest boxing network.
Featherweight prospect Joseph Diaz Jr improved to 23-0 (13 KO) with a solid 10-round decision win over Horacio Garcia (30-2-1, 21 KO), outclassing Garcia over the course of the fight. All three judges had it 100-90 for Diaz. BLH had it 99-91, giving Garcia the fourth round.