Bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr, not long ago considered an emerging prospect in the division, struggled again tonight in his return to action, going to an eight-round draw with journeyman Edwin Rodriguez in the headline bout of the Crawford-Brook prelims.
The judges had it 77-75 Rodriguez and then two cards of 76-76 for the majority draw. BLH scored it 76-76. The scoring was fair, and there’s no real controversy here. Greer was trying to bounce back from an upset loss, but it just didn’t turn out how he wanted.
Greer (22-2-2, 12 KO) appears to simply have a much lower ceiling than Top Rank thought, and lower than ESPN pushed with Top Rank’s encouragement. He was upset in June by Mike Plania, but honestly neither that fight nor this one are inconsistent with his other recent performances, even though they were victories.
Wins over Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves were both debatable, and he had legitimate struggles before stopping Giovanni Escaner. It appears, in all reality, that Greer just doesn’t have top level ability.
Now to be totally fair here, Rodriguez (11-5-2, 5 KO) is genuinely better than his record, but not really by so much that Greer shouldn’t handle him fairly well if Greer were in fact what he was pushed to be even a year ago, even a few months ago. The Chicagoan is a decent fighter, and it’s clear he really does work hard, he really has tried to get better, but he’s flawed and limited, and it’s not any big mystery at this point. Even if you thought he nicked this fight, he still had a level of trouble a genuine contender would not.
Other Prelim Results
- Tyler Howard UD-8 KeAndrae Leatherwood: The 26-year-old Howard is a middleweight from Tennessee, still unbeaten (19-0, 11 KO) with this win, but it’s a little tough to see world title-type upside with him, in all honesty. Leatherwood (22-8-1, 13 KO) is one of those awkward veterans who can spoil and competently box for a bit, and he was doing OK early on, but gassed out and started a lot of holding and falling. He should have been ruled down in the fourth round, and was officially dropped in the eighth and final round. Howard won on scores of 76-74, 77-74, and 77-73. The second score is a 5-3 with a knockdown, the other two seem to have possibly counted a fourth round knockdown that wasn’t official, it seemed, but either way Howard would have gotten these cards, and he earned them well enough.
- Duke Ragan UD-4 Sebastian Gutierrez: This was the 23-year-old Ragan’s third fight in the bubble, he turned pro on Aug. 22 and fought again on Oct. 3, having signed with Top Rank in the summer. The Cincinnati featherweight is now 3-0 (1 KO) with a pretty easy win here, taking unanimous scores of 40-35 across the board. He got an official knockdown on Gutierrez (1-1, 1 KO) in the second round, but it was a very close call for the referee if Gutierrez’s glove touched the canvas or not; doesn’t really matter because Gutierrez didn’t win a round or come close to winning one. Ragan’s true upside remains to be seen, as with any fighter at this level, but he’s not super young for being three fights in. The good news for sure is he’s out there fighting and learning and adjusting.
- Vegas Larfield TKO-3 Juan Alberto Flores: Absolute brawl here, as the 18-year-old bantamweight Larfield (2-0, 2 KO) came over with the Moloneys, got a fight in the bubble, and made it count. He not only went to war with Flores (2-1-1, 0 KO) and produced a really entertaining fight, but he finished in style, dropping the 27-year-old Mexican fighter twice in the third before finishing him off with a barrage against the ropes. You could see him jittery and ready to rumble in the first round, pretty much right away, but once he slowed down just a bit and let the openings present themselves, he was able to take it over and get Flores out of there.
An Australian named Vegas came to Vegas and did. the. work.— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 15, 2020
Bantamweight Vegas Larfield (2-0, 2 KO) poured it on in Round 3 to stop Juan Alberto Flores. #CrawfordBrook | Undercard LIVE NOW on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/XzM7iZhZFR
- Raymond Muratalla TKO-3 Luis Porozo: Porozo came in on short notice here, he’s a guy you’ve maybe seen fight before in losses to Alberto Machado, Giovanni Mioletti, or maybe in June in the Top Rank bubble against Orlando Gonzalez, which was a good fight. He can be tricky and annoying. He wasn’t here, really, as Muratalla (11-0, 9 KO) dropped him on body work in the third, then finished him off with another attack moments later. The 23-year-old Muratalla was in his second bubble fight, too, after winning a fun fight in August against Cesar Valenzuela where both guys went down. At the very least, he seems like he’s going to be good fun to watch. Porozo drops to 15-5 (8 KO) and has now lost five of six.