Middleweight prospect Joey Spencer and junior featherweight contender Ra’eese Aleem picked up wins on the prelims for tonight’s Ruiz vs Ortiz card, getting the action going in Los Angeles.
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The 22-year-old Spencer (16-0, 10 KO) took a decision over Kevin Salgado (14-1-1, 9 KO) in a fight that never really got going much from where it started, staying at the same middling pace from the first round on.
Scores were . Bad Left Hook had it 98-92 for Spencer.
Spencer, who has looked like an OK prospect but with a fairly heavy PBC and FOX push, did look like he had added some nice wrinkles to his game, particularly defensively, but there will still be non-promotional group questions about his upside and how he’ll fare when the competition really gets tougher.
But it is a nice win. Salgado (14-1-1, 9 KO) really could and perhaps should have tried to push the pace a bit more, as Spencer seemed comfortable throughout, which along with a solid jab was probably the most positive thing about the Michigan native’s performance.
With Salgado not pushing the pace or making Spencer uncomfortable, it became a ho-hum bout that took up some time on FOX and allowed them to try and sell last-minute PPVs.
Joey Spencer and Kevin Salgado are trading off shots! Tune in on Fox now for the 5th round!— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 5, 2022
And for more action after this fight, order the #RuizOrtiz Pay-Per-View on the Fox Sports app or at https://t.co/3Zu1Q7c92G pic.twitter.com/UrTngbt2WV
Ra’eese Aleem UD-10 Mike Plania
Aleem, who is a legitimate contender at 122 lbs and, beat Plania on scores of 100-89 across the board, with an iffy second round knockdown call accounting for the extra point off of Plania’s totals.
Bad Left Hook also had it 100-89, and it’s really the only score you could have. Plania (26-2, 13 KO) was never close to winning a round, let alone this fight, as Aleem (20-0, 12 KO) was just way too good for him. The FOX commentary kept trying desperately to say that this was “competitive,” but it wasn’t; Plania was out-classed by Aleem, through and through.
The loss snaps an 11-fight win streak for the 25-year-old Plania, with the peak of that run coming early in the Top Rank “Bubble” era on ESPN, when he beat Joshua Greer Jr. It was a solid win, but “Magic” Mike never really got a chance to build on it, either; in over two years, his only other fights were wins over Emmanuel Mogawa and Ricardo Nunez, a club fighter and a veteran B-side.
This was his chance to legitimize himself as a contender, and it didn’t happen, but he’s still young enough to bounce back, and he is a tough dude who can fight. Aleem, though, is a real contender in a division that badly needs them at the moment. At 32, Aleem is as polished a product as he’s going to be, and if he can get a fight with titleholders Stephen Fulton Jr or Murodjon Akhmadaliev, it’s time for him to take it, and I’m sure he agrees with that.
It's been all Ra'eese Aleem in this @premierboxing bout on FS1. The last round is coming next!— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 4, 2022
Order the #RuizOrtiz Pay-Per-View on the Fox Sports app or at https://t.co/3Zu1Q7c92G pic.twitter.com/wFfXx7vyjv
Ra'eese Aleem finishes the 10th round strong #RuizOrtiz | @premierboxing pic.twitter.com/hskeguppH5— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 4, 2022