Bombs away at the Dallas Bomb Factory
DALLAS – Jermall “Hit Man” Charlo retained his IBF World Super Welterweight Championship for the first time with a fourth round TKO of Haiti’s Wilky Campfort.
After an uneventful first round, Charlo, who hails from Houston, Texas, knocked Campfort down at the beginning of the second. A short right uppercut dropped an outclassed Campfort again in the third, but instead of going in for the kill, as the original “Hit Man” Tommy Hearns would have done, the champion maintained his poise and continued his methodical display of boxing skills. Campfort took a knee after a flurry of punches in the fourth round, and by then the referee had seen enough and mercifully stopped it at the 1:16 mark. With the victory, Charlo’s record improved to 23-0 with 18 knockouts, while Campfort dropped to 21-2 (12).
After the fight, Charlo told The Ring Magazine, “It felt good to get the victory after all the hard work I put in the gym.” He said he was not particularly concerned about who his next opponent will be, saying, “Whoever the IBF puts in front of me, I’m gonna take care of my business.”
Undefeated welterweight contender Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. improved his record to 19-0 (16) with an impressive 5th round TKO over Mexican Alejandro Barrera (now 26-3, with 17 KOs). Although the fight was televised nationwide by NBC, a sold-out crowd of about 4,300 showed up to support their hometown hero at The Bomb Factory, a nightclub and concert venue in Dallas that had actually been the site of bomb and ammunition production for the U.S. armed forces during World War II.
Spence began the IBF welterweight eliminator bout cautiously in the opening frame, feeling out Barrera in his southpaw stance before connecting with a few solid right hand leads in the second that sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy. By the third stanza, Spence was firing on all cylinders, rocking Barrera’s head back with some solid left crosses.
It was clear that the game Barrera didn’t travel from Monterrey, Mexico just to lose the fight – he took some solid blows that might have put down some lesser determined opponents, and he landed a few of his own, giving Spence a little bit of pause in the fourth round. Nevertheless, a steaming right hook to the body sent Barrera down in the fifth. Sensing the end was near, Spence continued to dig to the body, pushing Barrera back along the ropes, before landing rapid combinations upstairs. Barrera was seemingly shaking his head as if to say “no mas” before going down for good, as referee Laurence Cole waved it off at 1 minute 46 seconds.
Immediately after the fight, Spence, a 2012 US Olympian who hails from DeSoto, Texas, just outside of Dallas, recognized his fans in an exclusive interview with The Ring Magazine after the fight saying, “It feels great to be home and fight in front of family and friends and new fansÔÇªpeople are getting to know who I am. I hope I can [fight in Dallas] again next year.” Spence recognized the nerves of fighting in front of his hometown: “The crowd influenced me a little bit, especially in the first and second round it took me a little while to settle down.”
Spence said his win might set up a title challenge: “Now I’m in the IBF hunt. With the win, I’m in the top three of the IBF rankings. Hopefully, I can fight [IBF world champion] Kell Brook after he’s done with his mandatory defense.”
John Molina, Jr. snapped a three fight losing streak with an impressive TKO win over Mexican journeyman Jorge Romero. The fight was stopped at the 47th second of the third round, as Molina pummeled Romero with a barrage of crisp shots. With the victory, Molina’s record stands at 28-6 (23).
In a wildly entertaining bout featuring several knockdowns, Ryan “Cowboy” Karl of Bonham, Texas, stopped Ken Alvarez of the Dominican Republic in the fifth round. Karl is now 11-0 with 8 KO’s.
In the first televised bout of the afternoon, undefeated super welterweight prospect Erickson Lubin dropped Alexis Camacho in the first round with a short right hook before knocking him out with the same punch in the second. Camacho was counted out at the 42nd second mark. Lublin’s record is now a pristine 13-0 with 10 knockouts.
Undefeated 140-pound prospect Eddie Ramirez of Chicago notched his 12th consecutive victory with a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over Bilal Mahasin.