Carlos Takam came in on short notice and it showed as tonight’s fight with Jerry Forrest unfolded, but the 39-year-old veteran and former title challenger built up too big an early lead for fatigue to take a win away, gutting out a 10-round decision victory.
Takam (39-5-1, 28 KO) won on scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92. BLH had the fight 96-94 and 99-91 on two separate cards, both for Takam.
Takam, fighting in the United States for just the third time, doesn’t have any big, bright future in the division, if we’re being entirely honest. He’s had his shots against higher level guys and come up short repeatedly, but he’s still a solid second-tier heavyweight, and Forrest (26-4, 20 KO) just didn’t have a lot of answers for him.
For at least the first six rounds, Forrest was caught waiting too much, and while Takam did gas out some, it wasn’t quite enough to get Forrest the W.
Takam was originally supposed to fight Oscar Rivas in June, but Rivas was pulled out due to injury, and then Takam instead stepped in on this date in place of Jarrell Miller, who was Forrest’s original opponent.
Takam admitted that preparation for the fight was a bit tough, but says he still wants to face Rivas, and then if he wins, take a crack at Tyson Fury. No reason not to dream big, of course, even if some dopes on the internet think that’s way beyond you.
Carlos Castro RTD-4 Cesar Juarez
The 28-year-old Juarez (25-9, 19 KO) has been in some real scraps over the years, given some tough nights to some good fighters, but last time out in December against Angelo Leo, he was starting to look a little shopworn and got stopped in the 11th round.
Here, he was just totally outgunned by the younger, fresher, taller Castro (26-0, 11 KO), who had to deal with a little pressure from Juarez in the first two rounds, but just absolutely punished the young veteran in the third and fourth. It really started when Castro landed a hard body shot in the third that visibly hurt Juarez, and Castro zeroed in on the body for the rest of the round.
In the fourth, Castro stuck with the body attack but also landed a lot of clean right hands up top. It was just too much. Juarez was being beaten up. After the fourth round, referee Celestino Ruiz told Juarez he’d stop it in the next round if not shown anything from the Mexican fighter, but Juarez and his corner called it off moments later before the fifth could even start. It was the right call, a tough pill to swallow but the right call. Juarez had nothing and couldn’t do anything with Castro.
It’s a young age to be thinking about stepping out of the sport, but Juarez doesn’t have much future as anything but a prospect gatekeeper, and it probably wouldn’t even be higher-level prospects at this point. He’s a lawyer outside of the sport, so he has something else going for him in life, too.
“We know he was a tough fighter. We’d seen his fights,” Castro said after the bout. “I told him in the ring, ‘It was an honor to fight you, you gave me the opportunity.’ He was, like, ‘I don’t know what happened to me.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, man, you’re a tough warrior, the fights you’ve done left a mark on the sport.’ But we saw some stuff other fighters did that worked on him, and we capitalized on that.”
The 26-year-old Castro, noting that Emanuel Navarrete is set to vacate the WBO 122-pound title, has thrown his hat in there, and with any other belt in the division.
“I’m right here, I’m ready to take his spot and bring that WBO title right back to Top Rank. If I have to do a mandatory, whatever I have to do, I’m ready. I want (WBC titleholder) Rey Vargas, I want every champion in my division.”
Joshafat Ortiz MD-6 Joshua Orta
Ortiz (8-0, 4 KO) is a 24-year-old junior lightweight, a Lou DiBella fighter, and the Puerto Rican (now based in Reading, PA) looked good in the early rounds here, but definitely faded down the stretch and gave Orta (6-1, 2 KO) half an argument in the end, at least for a draw, though an Orta win would’ve been tough to see.
Orta picked up the pace nicely in the final two rounds for sure, definitely winning those two, but Ortiz did enough in the front part of the fight to eke this one out after the six-round distance. Orta, also 24, was brought in here as The Opponent, and at 5’3” he’s quite short for the weight, but he made it a fight. The jury is still at least a little out on Ortiz after this, but he does have some skills and some good speed. Gas tank might be the biggest question based on this fight.
Donte Stubbs UD-6 Fred Wilson Jr
26-year-old middleweight Stubbs, who has switched from MMA to boxing as a fighting career, had lost a fight on the June 30 ESPN show against Isiah Jones, who had lost a fight on the June 16 ESPN show. And now Stubbs, like Jones, has bounced right back with a win.
Stubbs (7-1, 2 KO) pretty easily handled this fight against the 25-year-old Wilson (6-1-2, 2 KO), who was a half-decent amateur and at 6’3” is a tall, should-be-rangy middleweight, but his pro career has just not gone anywhere. He’s now 0-1-2 in his last three fights, and was dropped in the third and fifth rounds here, both on winging right hands that he somehow basically didn’t see coming. He also lost a point in the fourth for a foul, I don’t remember exactly what it was and it doesn’t matter that much, really, let’s be honest. Scores were 58-54, 58-53, and 58-53, meaning one of the judges forgot to even score the deduction, and nobody much cared about that, so see what I mean?