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.
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