Tonight at 9 pm ET on ESPN, Rob Brant returns home to Minnesota for a defense of his WBA “world” middleweight title, facing unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov in the main event of a tripleheader.
Prelim bouts start at 6 pm ET on ESPN+.
Brant (24-1, 16 KO) is coming off of a career-best win, upsetting Ryota Murata last October to win the 160-pound belt. He’s back at the Grand Casino in Hinckley tonight, where he’ll face Baysangurov (17-0, 7 KO), a 21-year-old Russian challenger who will be looking for an upset of his own.
In the co-feature, bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr (19-1-1, 9 KO) will look to continue his winning ways against Giovanni Escaner (19-3, 12 KO). Greer started his career 3-1-1, and has gone on a tear since then, becoming a nice-looking prospect at age 24. Escaner, a Filipino, is on his own eight-fight win streak.
Mikaela Mayer (9-0, 4 KO) will also be on the card, taking on Yareli Larios (13-1-1, 3 KO) in an eight-round super featherweight bout.
Wil Esco is on the call tonight.
- ROB BRANT def. KHASAN BAYSANGUROV by TKO (1:42 of Round 11)
- MIKAELA MAYER def. YARELI LARIOS by UD (79-73, 78-74, 80-72)
- JOSHUA GREER def. GIOVANNI ESCANER by KO (2:33 of Round 8)
ROUND BY ROUND
ROB BRANT vs KHASAN BAYSANGUROV
Round 1: Brant comes out quick with a jab to the body and a follow up blitz. Brant is applying a ton of pressure on Baysangurov early in this fight. Jab lands for Brant at the end of a combination. Brant setting a really fast pace, throwing a lot of punches. Brant whacks Baysangurov to the body with some straying low. Right hand lands for Brant, who won’t give Baysangurov time to think. Left hook lands for Brant this time. Short uppercut lands on the inside for Brant. Brant 10-9.
Round 2: Baysangurov better adjust to the pace of Brant real quick of he’s gonna be in some trouble. Brant picks up where he left off by keeping Baysangurov on the defensive by applying loads of pressure and throwing a lot of punches. Right hook misses for Brant this time. Right hand lands for Brant this time though and puts Baysangurov down! Baysangurov is up but bleeding from his nose. Right to the body lands for Brant. Brant jumps in with four punches and catches Baysangurov with some straight shots. Baysangurov is looking to break Brant’s momentum and lands a left hook to the body. Brant 10-8, 20-17.
Round 3: Brant comes out with a few jabs and Baysangurov tries to get in some of his own. Brant has clearly slowed down now, which isn’t saying much because it would be impossible to keep up the pace he was fighting at. Now Baysangurov lands a uppercut on Brant. Baysangurov is able to find time and space to mount a little bit more of his own attack now that Brant isn’t as relentless as he was. Baysangurov gets in a jab. Brant throws three punches that push Baysangurov back to the ropes. Baysangurov picks off Brant in the middle of his combination before the round ends. I like how Baysangurov regained some control in this round. Baysangurov 10-9.
Round 4: Brant pumps several jabs to start the round but Brant is sporting a mark under his right eye. Brant lands a long jab at the end of a combination. Double jab comes from Brant. Brant slips a couple of jabs from Baysangurov and then pops a few of his own although they don’t land so clean. Left hook clips Baysangurov. Brant continues to box on the move and throw punches before Baysangurov can’t figure out what he wants to do. Brant 10-9, 39-36.
Round 5: Brant rushes out to center ring and trades jabs with Baysangurov. Baysangurov misses on a one-one-two. Lead right hand partially lands for Brant. Double jab finds the mark for Brant. Hard right to the body lands for Baysangurov. Left hook lands to the body this time for Baysangurov. Brant responds by getting in an overhand right. Two clean shots land for Brant on the inside. Another combination comes from Brant just before the bell rings. Brant 10-9.
Round 6: Brant comes out with a double jab, then throws a three punch combination that falls just short. Right to the body lands for Brant. More jabs come from Brant who continues to throw a lot of punches while still moving around the ring a lot. Baysangurov lands a right hand lead, but then misses on the next right hand counter. Brant throws and lands a sharp left hook on Baysangurov. Another sharp jab lands for Brant as Baysangurov’s nose continues o bleed down his face. Brant 10-9, 59-54.
Round 7: Baysangurov’s corner tells him that he has to pick up his pace so that Brant can’t just overwhelm him on points. Brant comes out and continues to fight at a pace that Baysangurov can’t match. Baysangurov tries four hard shots but Brant defends them pretty well. Overhand right lands for Baysangurov. Now Brant gets in a left hook at the end of a combination. Three more punches come from Brant and Baysangurov has to keep his hands at home. Check hook lands for Brant who now has Baysangurov on the ropes. Another combination from Brant scores before the bell. Brant 10-9.
Round 8: Three jabs come from Brant to start the round. Baysangurov throws a couple of his own but Brant returns fire with even more jabs. Hard right hand lands for Baysangurov. Brant continues to move laterally when he’s not punching, and even some times while he is punching. Baysangurov just isn’t finding enough opportunities to mount his offense. Brant backs Baysangurov to the ropes and strafes him with a few shots. Brant 10-9, 79-72.
Round 9: Brant has been keeping up his momentum, beating Baysangurov to the punch early and often. Brant lands several straight shots that bust up Baysangurov’s nose once again. This fight is mostly one-way traffic. Brant 10-9.
Round 10: More jabs come from Brant which is keeping Baysangurov off balance. Now Baysangurov lands a straight right hand and Brant responds by throwing a punch right back. Now Brant’s swollen eye is getting a little worse. Three punches come from Brant and Baysangurov gets in a body shot. Brant 10-9, 99-90.
Round 11: Brant jumps in behind a punch to start the round. Baysangurov tries to counter a Brant punch but can’t only partially land. Now Baysangurov lands a left hook to the body. Brant comes back with a body shot of his own but Baysangurov lands a hard straight right that snaps Brant’s head back. Leaping left hook lands for Brant who continues to assault Baysangurov until he collapses to the canvas. Baysangurov beats the count and wants to continue. Brant jumps in and hits Baysangurov clean and Baysangurov is unsteady. The referee jumps in to stop it! Brant TKO-11.
MIKAELA MAYER vs YARELI LARIOS
Round 1: Mayer takes center ring and tries to establish her jab, doubling it up. Larios tries to mix it up but Mayer gets in a left hook upstairs. Mayer steps in with a combination. Now Larios gets in a body shot. The taller Mayer picks off Larios at range but then sits down and trades with Larios. Clean left hook lands upstairs for Larios at the bell. Mayer 10-9.
Round 2: Mayer feint and then tries a straight right hand that falls short. Larios lands a left hand. One-one-two from Mayer makes pretty good contact. Left hook lands upstairs for Larios. Larios throws wide counter hooks and takes a right hand to the body. Larios steps in and tries to trade with Mayer. Overhand right hands for Larios. Another right hand lands for Larios to the body. I like Larios in this round. Larios 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Larios throws a straight shot to pick off Mayer’s attack. Mayster bits down and lands a right hand. One-two lands for Mayer. Two more jabs come from Mayer. Right hand lead lands for Mayer. Mayer steps in again behind some punches and Larios tries to counter. Mayer 10-9.
Round 4: Larios falls short on a jab, then tries some more wide hooks that don’t land well. Mayer steps in with several punches but she can’t keep her range. Mayer has a habit of fall way too far in on a much shorter opponent. Two body shots land for Mayer. Right hand to the body lands for Mayer, followed by a solid left hook upstairs. Mayer 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Larios throws a quick jab but runs into a Mayer left hook. Both fighters mix it up and land a few shots on one another. Larios lands two body shots. Mayer jumps back in but smothers her attack. Clean right hand lands for Mayer. Now Mayer throws four punches to the body and head. Two body shots land for Larios now. Mayer returns the favor. Clean left hook lands for Mayer. Mayer 10-9.
Round 6: Mayer comes forward and lands another right hand upstairs. Jab lands lean for Mayer. Larios’ defense had faded quick now that she’s tiring. Double left hook to the body lands for Mayer. Another jab lands clean for Mayer. Two more clean shots land for Mayer as Larios can’t seem to defend herself much at this point. Mayer 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: Left hook lands right away from Mayer, followed by a right as she starts to tee-off on Larios. Mayer looking for the kill as she senses that Larios is wilting. Right hand to the body lands for Mayer. Mayer lets go of a few shots on the ropes and then backs Larios to the ropes and strafes her with several shots. Larios is taking a beating now. Uppercut lands for Mayer. Two clean hooks land for Mayer! Mayer 10-9.
Round 8: Last round. Larios starts with three hooks to the body. Mayer lands a jab to the head. Mayer stalking Larios around the ring and unloads a combination once she gets Larios to the corner. Right hand lands for Mayer! Then another! Larios is getting whacked around more than necessary. Overhand right hand grazes Larios’ chin. Both fighters trade to the bell. Mayer 10-9. BLH scores it for Mayer, 79-73.
JOSHUA GREER JR. vs GIOVANNI ESCANER
Round 1: Escaner comes out applying pressure and feints Greer to the ropes. Greer tries to counter with a left hook that misses. Now Greer lands a couple of jabs and a solid left hook to the chin. Escaner steps in an partially lands an overhand right. Now Escaner misses on a right hand to the body and Greer responds with a few shots at center ring. Escaner presses Greer back to the ropes and both fighters trade shots, but Greer gets in the more solid punches. Right hook followed by two hard body shots land for Greer. Escaner continues to march forward but Greer is able to time him early. Three punch combination comes from Greer who then taunts Escaner by holding his arms out. Greer smiles at Escaner at the bell. Greer 10-9.
Round 2: Jab lands for Greer as he picks off Escaner. Escaner wings a left hook and a right hand but can’t find the target. Check hook gets Greer off the ropes but Escaner traps him and attacks with both hands, landing a few shots. Now the fighters trade shots at center ring and Escaner lands a few which draws a smile from Greer. Left hook lands upstairs for Escaner, then a right hand shortly after. One-two lands for Escaner at center ring now. Greer starts snapping his jab out now as he’s lost some momentum in the fight. Right hook to the body lands for Escaner. Greer throws a couple quick combinations that mostly glance off Escaner’s gloves. I like Escaner in this round. Escaner 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Hard right hand to the body lands for Escaner. Greer moves and snaps a jab. Escaner misses on a wide right hook to the head. Now both fighters trade jabs as Escaner continues to pressure Greer. Lead left hook from Greer gets caught on Escaner’s glove. Right hand from Escaner just misses, then picks off Escaner with a jab. Greer literally starts dancing around the ring but then he catches some clean shots from Escaner. Greer jabs and then steps in and lands two hooks to the body. Both fighters exchange at the bell and Escaner drops Greer! Greer complains to the ref that the punch came after the bell. Escaner 10-8.
Round 4: Left hook to the body lands for Greer. Greer tries a one-two that misses the mark. Now Greer lets go on several hard shots as Escaner tries to roll the shots on the ropes. Now Escaner decides to throw back and once again he’s marching forward on Greer. Left hand to the body strays low from Greer. Hard right hand lands in an exchange for Escaner. Double left hook comes from Greer. Three clubbing punches come from Escaner but Greer digs down and fires off three body punches. Sharp jab lands for Greer just before the bell. Greer 10-9, 37-38.
Round 5: Both fighters trade hooks to the head. Greer misses on a one-two. Escaner continues to come forward behind his guard and ambush Greer with power shots. Sharp right uppercut lands for Greer, who follows it up with a flashy combination to the head and body. Greer gets back on the moveand takes another right hand from Escaner. Greer continues to get caught by that same punch from Escaner. Escaner misses on a huge overhand right. Greer throws a couple of punches and then tries to circle out of range. Greer 10-9.
Round 6: Escaner presses Greer right away and Greer meets him with a couple punches. Jab lands for Greer, followed by a right hook. Now Greer lands a left hook upstairs. Escaner throws four punches as Greer covers up. Three more punches come from Greer who then escapes the ropes. lands two good body shots as he presses Greer to the other ropes. Greer lands a lead left hook to the body. Escaner hasn’t been letting his hands go as of late and it’s allowing Greer to dictate the fight. Greer 10-9, 57-56.
Round 7: Greer tries to catch Escaner with a check hook that just misses. Escaner steps forward and tries to line up a big right hand. Two little body shots land for Greer on the inside. Escaner throes a few ineffective hooks and Greer’s body work might’ve taken the steam out of Escaner. Right hook to the body lands for Greer. Now both fighters trade and Escaner lands a right hand. Counter right hand lands for Greer as he sits in the pocket. Greer is standing his ground now and fighting with Escaner who appears to be fading. Greer 10-9.
Round 8: Both fighters trade body shots at center ring to start the round. Greer mixes in some chopping right hands. The fighters are standing in the phone booth and Greer lands two good body shots on Escaner. Escaner lands a short right hand to the body. UPpercut on the inside lands for Greer. Another uppercut lands for Greer as he stands in and rattles off a combination. Escaner tries to respond but can’t land too many effective shots. Body shot lands for Greer that Escaner didn’t see coming! Escaner goes down from the blow and can’t beat the count! Greer KO-8.