Montana Love TKO-3 Carlos Diaz
This was the first fight for Love (17-0-1, 9 KO) under his new deal with Matchroom, coming off of a very good win over former titlist Ivan Baranchyk, and he did the job in style here, dropping Diaz (29-2, 14 KO) three times in the second round before forcing a stoppage early in the fourth.
The stoppage was arguably a bit quick — which sounds strange if you’re just reading this, but Diaz was still fighting back and trying, wasn’t down again, but ultimately you have to go with the referee, who is right there and sees and hears things we don’t.
“I definitely agree with the stoppage,” Love said. “He was falling in. He’s wild, aggressive. We were prepared for (that), and it was beautiful, we just had to find the timing. Once we did, it was there. I started hurting him and breaking him down. I didn’t rush it, I was being patient and taking my time to get the victory.”
Asked about the power he’s shown in his last two fights despite not being known as a puncher, Love told Chris Mannix, “I’m just growing into (being) a man now. Coming up, I was still I’d say kind of amateur-ish. Now I’ve found out how to sit down on my shots and pick my shots wisely.”
Love added that he wants to take over the 140 lb division in 2022, and when rightly asked if he should be fighting at that weight — since he missed weight by a pretty big margin for this one — he said that it was “just a little hiccup” and something he’ll learn from, planning to stay at 140.
Jessica McCaskill TKO-7 Kandi Wyatt
A pretty dominant display for McCaskill, who retains her undisputed welterweight championship in one-sided fashion against Canada’s Wyatt, who came in on short notice to replace Victoria Bustos and was tough as hell, but was taking a beating pretty much the entire way, and wasn’t able to do much about it.
Wyatt (10-4, 3 KO) did land shots herself, but far less than McCaskill (11-2, 4 KO), and without nearly the same impact. Wyatt was never down or hurt, but this was never in doubt, either; McCaskill started fast, never really let up, and out-landed Wyatt 185 to 67 in power punches and 198 to 70 overall.
“She kept coming, she kept coming with good punches, too. She was throwing punches with every step foward,” McCaskill said. “She can definitely take some shots. She’s not easy at all. But I think (the stoppage) was the right call. We know what this sport can do and she was taking a lot of head shots.”
McCaskill said she hopes to reschedule against Victoria Bustos for early 2022.
Filip Hrgovic TKO-3 Emir Ahmatovic
Hrgovic goes to 14-0 (12 KO) with a sort of easy win, but credit to Ahmatovic (10-1, 7 KO), a 34-year-old Serbian-German who came here a massive underdog and bless him, the big lad came to fight and he gave it the best he had.
Hrgovic just too good, too sound, too sharp with his right hands especially, and that doomed Ahmatovic, who landed some shots, slipped some here and there, but couldn’t get Hrgovic’s respect with his power, and that was the story in the end. Ahmatovic went down twice in the second and then once early in the third, and referee Allen Huggins made the right call to stop it.
Hrgovic deserves a bigger, better fight. His team have figured they’d have to force an eliminator or mandatory, but they tried with the eliminator and Michael Hunter didn’t take that, either.
Marc Castro TKO-2 Ronaldo Solis
Easy work for Castro, the 22-year-old Matchroom favorite who didn’t make weight for this fight, but ahhh, nobody much cared or anything. Solis (4-3-1, 3 KO) was over-matched, period, had nothing to offer against Castro (5-0, 5 KO), but Castro having a fairly clear size advantage made it a little grosser than the standard low-level mismatch, too.
Castro’s a legit, serious prospect, and this was something of a step back, even, just a way to get him on another card to close 2021. But he did what he should have, so there’s that.