The action is underway at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as the Crawford-Postol prelim bouts have concluded, and we are just under 40 minutes away from the main PPV broadcast.
Japanese middleweight prospect and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata stormed through George "Comanche Boy" Tahdooahnippah in the final preliminary fight of the evening, putting him away at 1:52 of the first round. Murata (11-0, 8 KO) crushed Tahdooahnippah (34-3-3, 24 KO) with a left hook to the body, a thunderous shot that put the Oklahoman on his knees. Tahdooahnippah took a count of eight, but once the fight resumed, Murata was all over him, bombing away in the corner until referee Benjy Esteves Jr stopped the fight.
Australia’s Lenny Zappavigna stopped China’s IK Yang in the sixth round of a 143-pound catchweight bout, which brought the action expected. Not a super great, "go out of your way to watch it" sort of fight, but if you tuned in, this one was the highlight of the prelims. Zappavigna (35-2, 25 KO) hurt Yang (19-2, 14 KO) in the fourth round, but Yang came back nicely in that one, though Zappavigna took over again in the fifth. In the sixth, the Aussie started fast, landing a clubbing shot that hurt Yang. Zappavigna followed him into the corner, still throwing shots, and referee Vic Drakulich called a stop to the fight.
Detroit welterweight Edward Williams pretty easily handled Texan Christon Edwards, winning by unanimous decision over six rounds. Scores were 59-55, 59-55, and 58-56, the latter probably a round generous to Edwards (6-2, 3 KO). Williams (12-1-1, 4 KO) didn’t show much power, but his length and height were enough to give Edwards trouble, as the younger man just couldn’t close the gap.
Ukrainian middleweight Stanyslav Skorokhod was able to largely dominate his fight against a game Hakim Bryant, winning on unanimous scores of 59-53, 60-52, and 60-52. BLH had it 59-53 for Skorokhod, who scored two knockdowns in the opening round, and as the fight wore on and Bryant (6-1, 4 KO) clearly wasn’t going to just go away, Skorokhod (11-1, 8 KO) just outboxed him, cruising (relatively speaking) to victory.
Omaha light heavyweight Steve Nelson improved to 3-0 (3 KO) with a fourth round stoppage of El Paso’s Tim Meek (5-3-1, 3 KO), when Meek’s corner waved the flag, and rightly so. Meek was dropped hard late in the first round, cut pretty badly in the third, and Nelson was hunting for the stoppage. The stoppage itself was odd, as a Nevada commission official ran into and then halfway across the ring to get referee Vic Drakulich’s attention.