Andrew Tabiti UD-10 Keith Tapia
A terrible mess of a fight, really -- not boring, necessarily, but an absolute disaster in terms of the styles never meshing. Just a metric ton of head clashes, lots of grappling, lots of elbowing, referee Jay Nady making himself the center of attention and frankly at times needing to do so, although his performance in the first round was outrageously over the top.
The judges got it right, though. Tabiti (13-0, 11 KO) won on scores of 97-92, 97-92, and 99-90, with BLH scoring it 98-91 for Tabiti, who landed the crisper punches in the odd intervals where there was somewhat normal boxing action, and scored a flash knockdown at the end of the eighth round on a shot that seemed to clip Tapia on the ear and even catch some shoulder.
Both guys clearly had some talent, both still a little raw, but this just never came together as an enjoyable matchup, and on paper it should have been.
Here's the flash knockdown from the eighth round:
Michael Hunter UD-10 Isiah Thomas
This fight was dreadful. Hunter (12-0, 8 KO) won easily, on scores of 99-91, 100-90, and 100-90, and it's hard for me to even figure out what round judge Eric Cheek scored for Thomas (15-1, 6 KO), who put in a miserable performance that was all defense and no offense.
Thomas looked a bit out of shape on the scales on Thursday, and in this fight. (Remarkably, he did not get shredded overnight by putting some weight back on.) And he fought like he was, too, providing resistance only in his ability to make Hunter miss a lot, but offering nothing in return. Hunter was just good enough to handily win this fight, and not good enough to make it a better fight than it was. Thomas' effort was lackluster. A really disappointing showing.
Ronald Gavril TKO-4 Juan Novoa
Pretty easy work for Gavril (16-1, 12 KO), who hurt Novoa (26-7-1, 24 KO) in the first round and finished him off in the fourth, after landing a good body shot that forced the Colombian to a knee. Novoa did continue, but referee Russell Mora jumped in to stop it as soon as the action resumed and another clean blow landed. It looked like an odd stoppage in the moment, but Novoa was wobbly, his eyes weren't really there, and Mora had the best seat in the house to know if something was up. There was no argument from Novoa about it, either.
After the fight, Leonard Ellerbe tweeted to Eddie Hearn about a potential matchup:
Sanjarbek Rakhmanov D-6 Alfonso Olvera
A split draw here, each fighter winning one card, 58-56, and the third even at 58-57. BLH had a 57-57 card, with Rakhmanov scraping out a draw on our tally by winning the sixth and final round with a big, exhausted effort.
Rakhmanov (4-0-1, 3 KO) certainly didn't impress here, as he looked downright mindless at times in the fight, loading up on his shots and doing little to box his way inside, just sort of hurling himself forward. This got him tagged a good bit by Olvera (7-2-1, 3 KO), who didn't have power but did stay active, and after a round or two was very aware of Rakhmanov being in love with his own left hook, and largely took that away by simply keeping his right hand high.
This could have gone either way on a 58-56 score, but the draw is totally legit. No one should feel robbed, and Rakhmanov should probably feel a little lucky.
Fourth round highlights, where Olvera hurt Rakhmanov: