Sadam Ali (26-2, 14 KO’s) did not hold the WBO World Super Welterweight title for very long.
He lifted it off of Miguel Cotto last December by way of unanimous decision, in Cotto’s final fight before retiring.
Ali was originally scheduled to face Liam “Beefy” Smith on Friday, in New York. But Liam came down with a skin infection (tainted beef) and withdrew.
Undefeated Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KO’s) stepped in.
Bigger and stronger, Munguia put Ali on the floor twice in Round 1 and had him bad trouble.
Munguia sent him down again in the 2nd, on repeated head blows. But Ali is too brave and tough for his own good. He fought on.
Ali stayed off the canvas during Round 3, but when Munguia laid him low with a left hook early in the 4th, the referee stepped in and called an end to the competition.
Good call, ref.
Jaime Munguia remains undefeated and collected his first world title.
The fight card from Madison Square Garden last Friday did not disappoint.
Michael (Mick) Conlan helped fill the arena by putting his undefeated record on the line against Ibon Larrinaga.
Conlan (7-0, 5 KO’s) has become a huge, fan-favorite because his previous opponents have averaged only three rounds in the perpendicular.
Larrinaga managed to go the distance by avoiding a fight. He turned it into a track meet. They might as well have used a starter’s gun instead of a bell, because Larrinaga took off running at the start of each round.
Conlan showcased his superior hand-speed and technical skill…there wasn’t much opportunity to display his defensive prowess.
Michael Conlan pitched a shutout (80-72, three times) winning every round on all three scorecards.
Undefeated Teofimo Lopez’s lightweight bout with Vitor Freitas didn’t even last one minute.
Freitas stepped into an overhand right; and it was over. People at ringside had to catch him from rolling off the apron.
Teofimo Lopez remains undefeated and advances his record to 9-wins against no defeats, with 7-victories coming by way of knockout.
In the main event from MSG, two-division champion Vasyl Lomanchenko (11-1, 9 KO’s) went up another weight class to challenge veteran champ Jorge Linares (44-4, 27 KO’s) for his WBA World Lightweight title.
Both men invested in working the body, and threw complex combinations from belt to brow.
Lefty Lomanchenko had some success splitting the guard with jabs, straight lefts, and uppercuts from both mitts.
He did a masterful job of neutralizing Linares’ reach advantage by closing the distance behind his jab, and then mixing his targets before leaving at angles.
Wading into the middle rounds Vasyl had a slight edge because he was pressing the action and dictating a blistering pace.
Linares was cautioned about low blows, and then given a warning after another infraction.
Vasyl made a big mistake at the end of Round 6. He stepped directly forward…like he was ordering fries.
Linares tagged him with a straight right that put Lomanchenko on the seat of his satins.
Vasyl popped up, took the mandatory 8-count, and went back at it with renewed vigor.
Linares suffered a cut to his right eyelid early in Round 8 and Vasyl continued to chip away at it into the next.
Linares came out strong in the 10th and tried to keep Vasyl away with his jab; but they wound up fighting within a 2-foot square.
Lomanchenko picked up the pace, threw two-dozen consecutive punches to the head, and then landed a body-shot to the liver that dropped Linares like a bad habit.
He beat the count but the referee looked into Linares’ eyes and immediately called a halt to the contest.
Another good call, by another good ref.
With the TKO victory Vasyl Lomanchenko took the belt and made history by becoming a three-division champ in only twelve fights.
God Bless and stay
Mark Felicetti has spent a great deal of time horizontal. Reach him at email@example.com.