Wednesday, May 31, 2023  |



Hatton-Pacquiao undercard: Soto wins by KO

Fighters Network

Junior lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto (48-7-2, 31 knockouts) stopped game-but-outgunned Benoit Gaudet (20-2, 7 Kos) in the ninth round of their WBC title bout.

Soto, THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior lightweight, stalked Gaudet behind his powerful left, dropping the Quebec native with a hook in the first round, and gradually punishing him as the fight progressed.

However, Gaudet wasn’t easy to corner or finish. The Canadian popped a nice jab, had smooth legwork and good upper-body movement. He also landed a few flush right hands during the bout, but lacked the power to hurt Soto.

Once fatigue slowed Gaudet down, Soto was able to zero in with a right uppercut that dropped him hard in the ninth round. The bout should have been stopped as Gauder was discombobulated and exhausted, but referee Jay Nady let the gutsy Canadian continue and he was brutally pounded into the ropes before the bout was finally stopped at 2:25 of the round.

Former amateur star Daniel Jacobs began his bout with Mike Walker looking like a super prospect, he ended the bout looking like a suspect.

Jacobs, a ballyhooed middleweight prospect, won the eight rounder by scores of 80-72 (twice) and 79-73, but the fight was more competitive than the judges scorecards indicate.

Walker, a short, well-conditioned tough guy, wasn’t quick or powerful enough to seriously hurt Jacobs but he was able to expose some of the New York prospect’s flaws such as leaning back from punches and backing straight up with his hands down.

Jacobs (16-0, 14 KOs) began the fight as he usually does, confidently attacking his opponent with a varied attack. He ended the first round with flashy combinations that reminded some ringside observers of a prime Roy Jones Jr.

In the second round, Jacobs used lateral movement and landed a mix of power punches at will, however, in the middle of the third round he was caught with a hook while backing up and then hip-tossed to the canvas by Walker (19-2-2, 12 KOs).

The roughhouse tactic seemed to change the complexion of the bout, as Jacobs punched less and attacked with less vigor over the second half of the bout.

Walker landed hooks and looping right hands as he stalked Jacobs in the fourth and fifth rounds. He mauled Jacobs in second half of the seventh round. Jacobs let his hands go in the final two rounds, but his punches didn’t have much of an effect on his game opponent.

However, Jacobs greater activity — he averaged 95 punches per round according to CompuBox stats — obviously impressed judges Adalaide Byrd, Herb Santos and Dave Moretti.

Middleweight prospect Matt Korobov (5-0, 5 KOs) pummeled Anthony Bartenelli (20-13-2, 13 KOs) to a brutal second-round stoppage in their four rounder.

The 2008 Olympian from Russia methodically attacked the body and head of the Arizona journeyman with thudding accuracy. A right hook knocked Bartenelli’s mouthpiece clear out of the ring before the end of the first.

Korobov’s, whose hands are deceptively quick and obviously powerful, put his punches together at the start of the second round, knocking Bartenelli to the floor by his own corner. Bartenelli beat the count but Korobov knocked him around the ring with brutal body-head combinations, backing him into his corner where referee Robert Byrd waved the fight off at 2:15 of the round.

Junior middleweight prospect Erislandy Lara (5-0, 4 KOs) looked sharp and accurate out-pointing Chris Gray, but the former Cuban amateur star didn’t thrill fans with his outclassing of Louisiana journeyman Chris Gray (11-8, 1 KO) over four rounds.

Lara, a poised and athletic southpaw, didn’t vary much in his offense and doesn’t accelerate his attack en route to scoring a unanimous decision by unanimous scores of 40-36.

Matthew Hatton (36-4-1, 13 KOs) scored an eight-round decision over former lightweight standout Ernesto Zepeda (39-12-4, 34 KOs) in a competitive welterweight bout. Hatton won by scores of 79-73 and 78-74 (twice).

Junior welterweight standout Mike Alvarado (26-0, 18 KOs) dropped Juan Gallardo (18-8-1, 5 KOs) in the second round of their competitive eight rounder that he won by unanimous decision. However, Alvarado, who won by scores of 80-71 (twice) and 79-72, faded over the second half as Gallardo employed a stick-and-move strategy to moderate success.

Bantamweight contender Abner Mares (18-0, 11 KOs) stopped Jonathan Perez (14-6, 11 KOs) at the end of the sixth round of their eight-round bout.

Junior lightweight prospect Bernabe Concepcion (29-1-1, 17 KOs) out-pointed Yogli Herrera (21-9, 15 KOs) over six rounds, winning a unanimous decision by unanimous scores of 60-54.

Omar Chavez (15-0-1, 11 KOs) knocked out Tyler Ziolowski (11-7, 6 KOs) with a left hook to the liver in the second round of their four-round junior lightweight bout.