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Jacobs looking like contender

26
Jun

TUCSON – It’s a long way from prospect to contender, but middleweight Daniel Jacobs continued to close that gap Friday night.

Jacobs displayed all the reasons he is considered a leading prospect with an eighth-round TKO of fellow New Yorker George Walton on a Golden Boy Promotions card at Desert Diamond Casino.

“I definitely see myself as a threat in this division,” Jacobs (17-0, 15 knockouts) said after becoming the first to stop Walton (20-4, 12 KOs) at 1:59 of the eighth in an ESPN2 televised bout.

There wasn’t much argument about that from anybody, including Jacobs' promoter, Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya, who watched a young middleweight nicknamed “The Golden Child” from ringside.

“He’s ready to go,” said De La Hoya, who says he wants to put Jacobs into an HBO After Dark-televised bout in August against a contender.

De La Hoya wouldn’t say exactly who that contender might be. Jacobs said he has heard rumors about Peter Manfredo, Jr.

“But right now that’s just talk,” Jacobs said.

All the talk – and there was plenty — after Jacobs' victory was about his composure and ability to adapt, both to a slight hand injury before the opening bell and a cut — the first of Jacobs' career — near his right eye from a head butt early in a bout scheduled for 10 rounds. Jacobs had to adjust.

“I think,” said Jacobs, who injured the big knuckle on his left hand in training. “I like to think of myself as a smart boxer.”

Jacobs was in control early. He knocked down Walton with a left counter in the second round. In the third, he was cut. Walton said he thought the blood might swing the fight in his favor.

“Getting cut for the first time can do strange things to you,” said Walton, who was rocked by a succession of combinations before referee Bobby Ferrara stopped it at 1:59 of the eighth. “But he impressed me, mostly with his composure.”

Jacobs’ poise was especially evident in the fourth. Walton, who is a couple of inches shorter than Jacobs, began to put on a lot pressure. Walton was winning about 45 seconds into the round. But Jacobs quickly ended Walton’s attempt to steal a victory with uppercuts to the body. Walton began to back up and away.

“The uppercuts were just a consequence of me leaning, leaning in,” said Walton, who said he might retire. “But he knew that’s what he had to. His composure surprised me. Judging by his performance in this fight, I think he can do a lot in this division.”

That’s the plan.

The card’s other featured prospect, junior middleweight prospect Erislandy Lara of Cuba, was not able to fight because he did not acquire an Arizona-mandated work visa in time to be licensed by the state for a bout against Willie Lee of Biloxi, Miss. Arizona is the only state that requires the visa, which the state legislature voted into law about 18 month ago during the middle of the controversial debate about immigration.

“We understand that the Arizona Commission has certain rules that it has to go by,” said De La Hoya, who sat near Lara (6-0, 4 KOs), a former world amateur champion. “But as promoters, we need continuity in rules from state to state. This is a reason for a national commission. ”

Arizona Senator John McCain has proposed a federal commission.

“We intend to reach out to Senator McCain in an attempt to finally get it done,” De La Hoya said.

With Lara off the EPN2 portion of the card, Houston junior-welterweight prospect Jernell Charlo got some television time. Charlo actually wound up with more of that time than he might have wanted against a game Federico Flores of Hart, Mich.

Flores’ quick jab and body shots surprised Charlo (8-0, 4 KOs) in the first few rounds. But Charlo got stronger and Flores (6-3, 2 KOs) began to tire after the sixth. In the seventh, Charlo began to connect almost as if it were target practice. A big Charlo uppercut was followed by a left hook and a right hand.

Forty-two seconds into the eighth and final round, it was over after a left-right combination staggered Flores and knocked out his mouthpiece. Referee Nico Perez stepped in with a stoppage that was booed by about 2,000 fans who thought it was premature. On one of three scorecards, Flores was leading by one point. But it was a moot point because Charlo scored the only combo that mattered.

In the biggest knockout of the night, heavyweight Deontay Wilder (6-0, 6 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Ala., threw a crushing right hand for a first-round KO of Kelsey Arnold (1-3-2) of Lexington, Tenn. Wilder, another Golden Boy fighter, won a bronze in Beijing last August for America’s only medal at the 2008 Olympics. He calls himself The Bronze Bomber. So far, the Bomber part is devastatingly accurate.

The rest of the card:

Houston junior lightweight Hylon Williams (10-0, 3 KOs) won a six-round, unanimous decision over Khadaphi Proctor (4-4-1) of Hesperia, Calif.

Maryland heavyweight Seth Mitchell (12-01, 7 KOs), a former Michigan State linebacker, won a six-round, unanimous decision over Alvaro Morales (3-6-6) of Las Vegas.

Welterweight Keith Thurman (9-0, 9 KOs) scored a third-round TKO of Marteze Logan (26=37-2, 6 KOs) of Covington, Tenn.

Phoenix junior featherweight Robert Guillen (4-2-3) and Isaac Hidalgo of Tucson fought to a six-round, majority draw.

Tucson junior featherweight Annette Agredano (4-0) won a four=round, unanimous decision over Jessica Sanchez (0-1-1) of Albuquerque.

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