Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Despaigne outpoints Hall on FNF


Light heavyweight prospect Yordanis Despaigne shut-out three-time title challenger Richard Hall over 10 rounds in the main event of an ESPN2-televised card from Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.

Despaigne, a 30-year-old former Cuban amateur star who entered the fight with only five pro bouts, won by unanimous scores of 100-90.

Despaigne (6-0, 4 knockouts), who represented Cuba at the 2004 Olympic Games, had never fought past four rounds in a professional bout but his vast amateur experience (over 300 bouts) enabled him to confidently and comfortably outmaneuver, out-jab and out-hustle the game but painfully slow 38-year-old veteran.

Hall (29-8, 27 KOs) was coming off two consecutive KO victories, over former 168-pound beltholder Byron Mitchell and title challenger Jaffa Ballogou, but the stalking southpaw’s vaunted power was never a factor in the fight.

Despaigne’s superior speed, reflexes and technique were enough to control the faded puncher and consistently beat him to the punch all night.

Hall unsuccessfully challenged Roy Jones Jr. and Dariusz Michalczewski (twice) for the 175-pound title in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In the co-featured bout of the Friday Night Fights broadcast, former Michigan State starting linebacker Seth Mitchell (17-0-1, 11 KOs) stopped Louisiana club fighter Johnny White (22-2, 18 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled eight-round heavyweight bout.

Mitchell, the better athlete with sharper technique, dropped White with a jab in the first round before forcing referee Lorenzo Saiz to stop the bout in the second round after repeatedly rocking his lesser-talented foe with hard jabs and overhand rights that were set up by a two-fisted body attack.

White’s only loss prior to the Mitchell fight was a first-round KO to one-time hot prospect Dominic Guinn last April.