Junior middleweight prospect Demetrius Andrade remained undefeated with an uneventful but dominant unanimous decision in the 10-round main event of the season finale of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights from Hammond, Ind., on Friday.
Andrade (14-0, 9 knockouts), a 2008 U.S. Olympian from Providence, R.I., kept his pre-fight promise to “jab, jab, jab, jab, jab” his way to victory, thoroughly outclassing Brewer to lopsided scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 98-92 by using the basic punch and lateral movement.
Brewer (28-13, 16 KOs), a 40-year-old veteran from Oklahoma who was coming off an upset knockout of middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero, lacked the reach, speed and reflexes to contend with the tall and rangy 23-year-old southpaw from a distance.
And Andrade made sure to keep the fight on the outside, which made for rather dull main event.
That wasn’t the story for the opening bout the broadcast, which featured former lightweight beltholder David Diaz against once-beaten fringe contender Henry Lundy.
Lundy (21-1-1, 10 KOs) got up from a fourth-round knockdown and survived a follow-up onslaught from Diaz to score a chilling one-punch stoppage of the Chicago native early in the sixth round.
Lundy, 27-year-old southpaw from Philadelphia, utilized his considerable speed and punch-accuracy to build up a points lead against the hard-charging veteran after three rounds.
However, Diaz (36-4-1, 17 KOs), 35-year-old southpaw known for his guts and durability, stayed close to the pot-shotting speedster and his persistence paid off when he landed right hook as Lundy was loading up with a left uppercut a minute into the fourth round. The hook dropped Lundy, who got up on unsteady legs and then had to weather a furious attack from Diaz, who had suffered a bad cut on his right eyelid.
Lundy survived the round and resumed command of the fight with two- and three-punch combinations that snapped Diaz’s head and worsened the cut. The gash, which spewed blood down the entire right side of Diaz’s body, was examined by a ringside physician with 50 seconds left in the fifth round.
The doctor allowed the fight to continue and Diaz took the fight to Lundy with everything he had for the duration of the round.
However, the game veteran was essentially blind in his right eye as he got up from his stool for the sixth round and Lundy took full advantage of it by clocking him with a short, well-timed left cross that deposited Diaz flat on his back where referee Gerald Scott waved the fight off 37 seconds into the round.
The action and drama of Lundy-Diaz was indicative of the excellent 2011 season of Friday Night Fights, which many fans and boxing writers believe was the best since the series moved to ESPN2 13 years ago.
The series has featured at least a dozen evenly matched main events and co-features this year that have produced action, inspirational comebacks and numerous upsets.
Five previously unbeaten prospects — Ruslan Provodnikov, Mike Dallas Jr., Yordanis Despaigne, David Lemieux and Guerrero — lost for the first time on Friday Night Fights this year. Junior middleweight prospect Erislandy Lara, who many believed defeated Paul Williams in July, almost lost his “0” to Carlos Molina on Friday Night Fights in March. Molina, who held Lara to a draw, went on to upset Kermit Cintron the same night the Cuban southpaw was robbed against Williams.
Molina isn’t the only veteran to jump start his career on Friday Nights Fights this year. Former junior welterweight titleholder Kendal Holt earned a Oct. 15 title-elimination bout against Danny Garcia with a third-round stoppage of former lightweight titleholder Julio Diaz in May.
Even Cintron was able to rebound from his loss to Molina with a 10-round decision over Antwone Smith earlier this month on Friday Night Fights.
Perhaps the best comeback story of this year's season belonged to former welterweight contender Delvin Rodriguez, who had lost three of his last four bouts going into his 10-round main event against RING-ranked junior middleweight Pawel Wolak in July.
Rodriguez held Wolak to a thrilling draw in what many fans and members of the media are calling a fight of the year candidate.
Doug Fischer can be emailed at [email protected]