Following his disappointing no-contest against Isiah Thomas last year, Abel Sanchez product and top cruiserweight prospect Murat Gassiev returns to the PBC airwaves against Jordan Shimmell tonight in an IBF eliminator. Along with Wes Nofire vs. Joey Abell, the two headline the latest installment of the ever-irregular Toe-to-Toe Tuesday on Fox Sports 1.
Gassiev (22-0, 16 KO) rode into his December showdown with Thomas on a seven-fight knockout streak and seemed to be getting the better of his foe before decking him after the bell in round three, ending proceedings prematurely. He figures to be a massive favorite against Shimmell (20-1, 16 KO), who lost wide to Thomas two fights ago.
Nofire (19-0, 16 KO) vs. Abell (31-9, 29 KO) ought to be fun while it lasts. The 6'6" Nofire has stopped his last four opponents and Abell has gone to the judges just four times in forty fights.
Murat Gassiev def. Jordan Shimmell by KO at 2:54 of Round One
Joey Abell def. Wes Nofire by TKO at 2:12 of Round Three
Stephan Shaw def. Danny Kelly by unanimous decision (59-55, 60-54 x3)
Murat Gassiev vs. Jordan Shimmell
Round one: Shimmell putting together some early combinations. Solid jabs as well from the American. One minute in. Gassiev yet to land anything big. Right hand by Shimmell on the inside. Stiff jab from Gassiev. One minute in, Shimmell lands a right hand More volume from Shimmell. Gassiev to the body. MONSTROUS left hook knocks Shimmell out cold. Holy moly.
Final result: Gassiev def. Shimmell by knockout
Leduan Barthelemy vs. Rafael Reyes
Round one: Barthelemy with the southpaw jab, eats some rights from Reyes. Straight left from Barthelemy splits the guard, then a counter uppercut and digging left to the body. One minute in. Barthelemy controlling range at the moment, landing well on the counter. Reyes with a right downstairs. One minute to go. They trade near the ropes and Reyes lands a left hook. Barthelemy comes back with an uppercut and opens up inside. Lead uppercut lands, Reyes with some short blows in the clinch. 10-9 Barthelemy.
Round two: Barthelemy continues to work on the outside behind the jab. Good counter left dings Reyes. Clinch. One minute in. Reyes just whiffs on a 2-3. Straight left lands for Bathelemy, then an uppercut as Reyes drives. One minute to go. Body shots land. Reyes lands well on the ropes and Barthelemy retreats. BIG right hook sparks Reyes and he twists his ankle on the way down. He's in no shape to continue and the doctor calls it.
Final result: Barthelemy def. Reyes by TKO (Doctor's Stoppage)
Wes Nofire vs. Joey Abell
Round one: Left to the body from Abell, who's moving quite a bit in the early going. Good overhand left just connects. Nofire content to jab so far. One minute in. Left hook by Nofire. Clinch. Good straight left by Abell, who walks into a jab. Another 1-2 connects. Another on the counter. On the lead this time. One minute to go. Nofire looking a bit more active. Abell with a left downstairs. Clinch. 10-9 Abell.
Round two: Good exchange, both men connect. Right hand by Nofire and both men land well in the clinch. Fun fight thus far. Clinch. One minute in. Clinch. Abell with a right downstairs. Left hand, clinch. HARD left hands by Abell have Nofire on the retreat and he clinches. Clinch. One minute in. Left hand, clinch. Both land rights. Nofire has very little answer for the left thus far. Abell cracks him with a 2-3, then clobbers Nofire with left hands in the clinch. The big man goes down face-first, but manages to regain his wits and beat the count. 10-8, 20-17 Abell.
Round three: Abell sporting a cut from a headbutt. Another left hand, clinch. Nofire presses forward behind the jab, ties up. Abell slams home a right hook inside and Nofire goes down again. He ties up right away on the restart. One minute in. Nofire just rushing into the clinch. Abell continues landing his left with relative impunity as Nofire just ties up. Straight left hits home, another big left on the exit from the clinch. Abell blasts him with yet another left hand as they exit the clinch and Nofire collapses. He gets up in time, but he's got nothing left. This one's over.
Final result: Abell def. Nofire by TKO
Danny Kelly vs. Stephan Shaw
Round one: Shaw sticking out the jab to start. Kelly looking to match him, not doing quite as well. One minute in. Shaw with a right downstairs. Not a very active fight thus far. More jabs. Kelly prods the body. One minute to go. Shaw lands another right downstairs. 3-2 by Kelly as Shaw works his left hand. 10-9 Shaw, I guess.
Round two: The jabfest continues. Seriously, that's pretty much all they're doing at the moment. One minute in. Shaw with a combination, then a quick left hook. He's starting to get a little more active. One minute to go. Kelly to the body. Solid body shot by Shaw. 10-9, 20-18 Shaw.
Round three: Kelly reaches him with a right hand early on, a little more active than before. Shaw showing some solid hand speed, but not getting through the guard. One minute in. More jabs from both sides, Shaw goes to the body with a right. Counter right from Kelly. One minute to go. Shaw lands a 2-3. 10-9, 30-27 Shaw.
Round four: Pulse-pounding stuff, this. 2-1 lands for Shaw. Kelly with a right to the body. Shaw continues jabbing well. One minute in. To the body, then upstairs and met by a Kelly right hand. Clinch. Shaw finds his mark with the left. One minute to go. Good combination, including a hook to the body. Kelly opens up on the ropes, eats a left hook. Jabs until the bell. 10-9, 40-36 Shaw.
Round five: Shaw staying busy with quick combinations. Kelly with a right downstairs. Shaw's well in control now. Kelly lands a counter right upstairs. One minute in. 1-1-2-3 by Shaw, then a pair of hooks. Good left, he's working on the ropes. Shaw has Kelly fairly well outclassed, but isn't extending for the finish. One minute to go. Shaw keeps up the jab until the bell. 10-9, 50-45 Shaw.
Round six: Shaw's in cruise control at this point. One minute in. Shaw's just picking him apart and Kelly's showing zero urgency. One minute to go. 1-2, then a series of lefts by Shaw, who stays busy until the end. 10-9, 60-54 Shaw.
Final result: Shaw def. Kelly by unanimous decision