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Probellum highlights and results: Estelle Mossely wins split decision, O’Shaquie Foster beats Yaqubov in eliminator, Jono Carroll, Jalolov

Estelle Mossely remained unbeaten in the main event, with wins for Jono Carroll, O’Shaquie Foster, Shabaz Masoud, and Bakhodir Jalolov.

Estelle Mossely is still unbeaten after a win in Dubai
Estelle Mossely is still unbeaten after a win in Dubai
Probellum

Estelle Mossely kept her undefeated record with a win over Yanina del Carmen Lescano today in Dubai, earning a split decision over 10 rounds.

Mossely (10-0, 1 KO) took two cards on scores of 96-94 and 97-93, with Lescano (10-2, 2 KO) getting the third on a 96-94 score. I had it 99-91 for Mossely, I just kept shading the two-minute rounds her way as she worked more and seemed to land more clean shots, but I could have been a little wide with my score if I watched it back, which I won’t because the fight wasn’t that great. It wasn’t bad, but I already saw it once. If I need to, I will simply accept that my score was wrong. It won’t bother me much.

Paul Smith, calling the fight for Probellum, said he felt the 97-93 Mossely card was about right, and that Lescano didn’t do enough, for what that’s worth.

Mossely, who has said she’d like to fight the Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano winner down the line, still didn’t look like she’d be any major threat to either of them. She did beat Taylor in the amateurs back in 2016, but Mossely still fights like an amateur and Taylor has adjusted more to the pro style over the years, and Serrano is a pure pro fighter and an actual puncher to boot.

“It was a tough fight, but I wanted a tough fight for my comeback after not fighting for a year,” Mossely said. “It was a tough fight. She’s tall. But it’s good experience for me.”

Mossely said she might like to do another fight or two before “unifying with” the Taylor-Serrano winner (Mossely holds the IBO belt, which nobody takes seriously other than promoters who need to use it as a way to sell someone). Lescano said she did think she won the fight.

O’Shaquie Foster UD-12 Muhammad Yaqubov

Foster (19-2, 11 KO) is now one more win away from a mandatory WBC title shot at 130 lbs, as this win puts him in position for a final eliminator against Robson Conceicao. The belt is currently held by Oscar Valdez, who of course faces WBO titleholder Shakur Stevenson in a unification on April 30.

Foster and Yaqubov (18-1, 10 KO) were pretty nip-and-tuck for most of this fight, which will lead some to feel the scores (117-110, 117-110, and 118-109) were too wide. I don’t think they were; I had it 115-112, but so many of the rounds were similar that if you were nicking one to Foster, why not the next one, and the next one, and so on? Same could have been said if you nicked the rounds to Yaqubov. I kept seeing it back-and-forth with one or two shots convincing me during a round one way or the other, but “convincing” might even be a strong word for most of the rounds.

But it was Foster who closed well and without question earned the win. He had good rounds in the 10th and 11th, and then dropped Yaqubov in the 12th to really put a stamp on things. But credit to Yaqubov there, too; he got dropped because he was taking chances and trying to win. He could have cruised that round out and not been put on the canvas. This being WBC-sanctioned in Dubai, it had open scoring, though only for the corners to hear, so Yaqubov knew where the fight was after eight rounds.

Foster said that he did have some trouble finding his rhythm for a few rounds, calling Yaqubov “awkward” and “a warrior,” but felt he found that timing in about the fourth or fifth and was comfortable from there. For a guy who’s never had a big time power promoter and took a couple of losses on ShoBox cards in 2015 and 2016, he’s fought on and made his way to the cusp.

“It’s been a long journey for me, man, a lot of ups and downs,” he said after the fight. “It feels great. I feel like crying but I can’t do it until I get the belt.”

Undercard highlights and results

  • Jono Carroll TKO-4 Patrick Aryee: This was actually the co-feature, but I don’t have all that much to say about it so it can go down here. A total mismatch, as Carroll (22-2-1, 7 KO) had way too much for the unproven Aryee (21-1-1, 13 KO), who is proven now, and not how he wanted to be. Carroll is hoping to get another title shot this year, with this his fourth straight win after his 2020 loss to Maxi Hughes. He’s a nice guy and a hard worker who always comes to fight, and there are plenty of good fights you can put him in at 130. Aryee was never in this, and the stoppage came when the referee saw Aryee’s corner finally hitting the apron and decided he’d probably better step in.
  • Shabaz Masoud RTD-2 Yoan Boyeux: Describing boxing results can be tricky if you’re trying to really tell people what happened. For instance, in this fight, Masoud (10-0, 3 KO) looked terrific, absolutely picking Boyeux (43-7, 26 KO) apart. Masoud deserves credit for what he did here, but it can’t be ignored that the 34-year-old Boyeux looked awful, either. You may remember Boyeux from his 2017 loss to Naoya Inoue in Japan, and he followed that up with a loss in Glasgow to Paul Butler. His record is paper-thin, as he racked up a bunch of nothing wins between a 10-4 start to his career and the Inoue fight, but it got him a world title shot. Still, as much as you have to think about that when assessing this, Masoud really did look good. He was sharp, he wasn’t there to waste time, but he wasn’t ridiculously over-aggressive or reckless about his approach. The body work is what really did Boyeux in, and the stoppage after two rounds may have been a busted rib or two.
  • Bakhodir Jalolov KO-5 Kamil Sokolowski: Ignore Sokolowski’s record of 11-26-2 (4 KO); if you’ve seen him fight prospects and other decent fighters over his career, you know the man is a good deal better than his W-L numbers. Jalolov (10-0, 10 KO) put him away in five, though, as the big Uzbek southpaw — who won gold at Tokyo 2020 at super heavyweight — marches forward with his budding pro career. If you want a heavyweight on the rise to look out for, here’s another. The 27-year-old has a great amateur pedigree, real power, the size and the skills. His pro career’s ceiling may depend almost entirely on his chin and desire once fights actually get tougher, because the goods are there otherwise.