Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Petr Petrov weathers knockdown, decisions Gamaliel Diaz on FNF

Fighters Network

CORONA, Calif. – Petr Petrov earned the right to be called the Boxcino Lightweight Tournament champion in 2014. Now he hopes to one day be called world champion.

Petrov survived a first-round knockdown to win a 10-round unanimous decision over Gamaliel Diaz on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”

Petrov, who successfully defended his NABA and NABO lightweight titles, improves to 36-4-2 (16 knockouts). Diaz falls to 39-12-3 (18 KOs).

Petrov had not fought since May 23, when he stopped Fernando Carcamo to win the 2014 Boxcino title. He was scheduled to fight Hank Lundy on Jan. 16, but the fight fell through when Lundy weighed four pounds over the lightweight limit.

About midway through the first round, Diaz landed a left hook to Petrov’s head that dropped the Russian to the canvas. He was not hurt and was able to fight on.

The knockdown might have awakened Petrov, as he was more on the offensive from the second round on. He pressed the action, walking Diaz down and landing overhand right hands and counter left hooks. A left hook in the third round seemed to stun Diaz, but Petrov was unable to follow up.

“He was a good opponent with experience and he knew how to get out of danger,” said Petrov after the fight.

Diaz tried attacking Petrov’s body in the fourth round, but that allowed Petrov to effectively counter with left hooks or right hands to the head.

Petrov dropped Diaz with a left hook-right hand in the seventh round. As if things could not get worse for Diaz, he was deducted a point from referee Jack Reiss for landing a punch below Petrov’s beltline.

The bout took a bizarre turn in the eighth round when Reiss gave repeated warnings for Diaz to stop complaining. It got to the point by the ninth round that Reiss brought up Diaz’s trainer as a translator to tell his fighter to stop talking and fight. Petrov was content to box the rest of the way until the final bell.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Petrov, 97-90, 97-90, and 98-89.

Petrov hopes to get a world title shot later this year.

“After a 10-month layoff, we’re back. I’m ready for a title shot. That’s my goal.”

Shelestyuk bests Rodriguez

Taras Shelestyuk won an eight-round unanimous decision over Juan Rodriguez.

Shelestyuk, who won a bronze medal for Ukraine in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, improves to 12-0 (8 KOs). Rodriguez drops to 12-2 (5 KOs).

The taller Shelestyuk had his way early on with Rodriguez in a battle between southpaw welterweights. Both threw combinations, but it was Shelestyuk who landed the more effective punches.

Shelestyuk had to deal with a bit of adversity midway through the fight. With less than a minute left in the fourth round, an accidental head-butt opened a cut over his right eye. The ringside physician examined the cut after the round and allowed the bout to continue.

Rodriguez had some success in the fifth and sixth rounds, but a left hand to his body in the seventh halted any momentum he had gained. Shelestyuk finished strong in the final round, landing the more telling blows.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Shelestyuk, 79-73, 79-73, and 78-74.

Robles decisions Lopez

In a battle of southpaw junior welterweights, Emmanuel Robles won a six-round unanimous decision over Wilberth Lopez.

Robles improves to 13-0-1 (3 KOs), while Lopez drops to 5-5 (1 KO).

Robles was able to land consistently with overhand left crosses to Lopez’s head during the first half of the fight. He was effective attacking Lopez’s body as well.

Lopez began to turn the tide in his favor in the fourth round, landing counter left hands to Robles’ head. Robles had to deal with a cut over his left eye in the fifth round but in the final round he was the more effective fighter.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Robles, 59-55, 59-55, and 58-56.

In other bouts:

– Darius Ervin, who was making his professional debut, won a four-round majority decision over Isaac Freeman (1-1, 1 KO). One judge scored the bout 38-38, while the other two judges scored the bout 39-37 and 40-36 for Ervin.

– Michael Norato stopped Sopuan Rin in the second round of a four-round junior lightweight bout. Norato, who was making his professional debut, dropped Rin (1-2-1) once in the first and twice in the second before referee Ray Corona waved the fight over at 2:14.

– In the walkout bout of the evening, bantamweight Humberto Rubalcava stopped Christian Lorenzo (2-3, 1 KO) in the second round. A right hand dropped Lorenzo, prompting referee Jack Reiss to stop the bout at 12 seconds.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing