Veteran Ismael Barroso outworked Yves Ulysse Jr for 12 rounds in tonight’s Thursday Night Fights main event, and at the end the judges gave the B-side underdog his deserved win on scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 117-111.
Bad Left Hook had it even wider for Barroso, scoring the bout 118-110 in his favor.
Ulysse (18-2, 9 KO) came in holding the WBA’s “gold” title at 140, and he was within striking distance of a world title shot of some sort, but he absolutely stunk the joint out in this fight and clearly deserved to lose. The 31-year-old Canadian didn’t throw enough, never dictated the pace of the fight at all, and just plain lost this fight. Ulysse has nobody but himself to blame here.
The only thing one can figure is that Ulysse may have wanted to let Barroso (22-3-2, 20 KO) punch himself out and gas a bit, as he saw back in 2016 when Barroso challenged Anthony Crolla. Through six rounds, Barroso was ahead on the cards in that fight, but he gassed out and Crolla attacked, stopping him in seven.
We never got to the point where Barroso gassed here, because he didn’t overly press matters or go for anything huge. He just kept consistently working, while Ulysse kept consistently waiting. Ulysse never fought with any urgency, either, and was, somehow, surprised when the scores came back in Barroso’s favor, or at least he pretended to be.
“It feels good,” Barroso said of the crowd’s support going in his favor over the bout. “I’m a warrior and I give the people the kind of fights they like.”
It’s a big, big win for the 36-year-old Barroso, and now he’s right there in the mix for a WBA title shot himself. And it’s a major setback for Ulysse, and indicates it’s probably time to stop thinking of him as more than he clearly is. He is what he is, and he’s not a serious contender.
For the fight, Barroso was counted as landing 154 of 964 (16%) total punches, and 118 of 530 (22%) of his power shots, compared to just 98 of 405 (24%) for Ulysse overall, and 72 of 260 (28%) power shots for the favored man.
D’Mitrius Ballard D-10 Yamaguchi Falcao
This was the well-matched fight that should have been expected on paper. Ballard, 26, is a pretty good middleweight prospect, not a blue chip guy or anything, and the 31-year-old Falcao was coming off a loss, but he was a top amateur and Olympian. Judges came back with a majority draw here, two cards of 95-95 and one 97-93 for Ballard. BLH had it 96-94 Ballard, but the draw is a fair result, and kind of showed the strengths and current limitations of both guys.
Going forward, Ballard (20-0-1, 13 KO) is young enough to get a little better, in theory, but Falcao (16-1-1, 7 KO) is just what he is at this point. Both guys were obviously disappointed by the result.
Mihai Nistor TKO-3 Christian Mariscal
Nistor, 29, was making his pro debut here. Tough to project him as a pro star, honestly — he’s a 5’11” heavyweight with a 69-inch reach and that’s tough to overcome. I mean we talk about Andy Ruiz being short at modern heavyweight, but Andy’s 6’2” with five inches of reach on Nistor. BUT! Nistor could be fun to watch. He’s was a solid amateur largely because he’s heavy-handed and tough, and those are things anyone can enjoy. Not everyone is going to be champion of the world, but the sport needs entertaining fighters for its many, many televised cards, too. If nothing else Nistor could be one of those.
Mariscal (13-5, 6 KO) is a 39-year-old Mexican fighter, only 5’10” himself and, you know, flabby, but credit to the veteran, he came to rumble. He was throwing bombs at Nistor straight away and did bust the Romanian’s nose in the first round, but once Mariscal’s limited gas tank had gone empty, it was all Nistor.