Andrew Tabiti defeats Keith Tapia by unanimous decision
LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t easy, but Mayweather Promotions’ very own Andrew Tabiti collected his 13th straight victory with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Keith Tapia in the headliner of ShoBox The New Generation, which emanated from Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall.
The bad blood from Thursday’s weigh-in spilled over into the fight and it turned out to be a relatively ugly affair. It took a couple of rounds to get going as Tapia pressed forward, smothered and prevented Tabiti from landing anything substantial. They often clashed heads and were warned for everything from low blows and clinching to elbows. But Tabiti kept his poise and managed to score with the cleaner and more effective punches.
In the third, Tabiti ramped up the activity and scored with several power shots to the head and body that got Tapia’s attention. The Las Vegas fighter had his opponent well scouted and began timing his advances in the middle rounds. A short counter hook rattled Tapia in the fourth and it appeared that the TMT fighter had taken control. Tabiti landed several hooks flush in the seventh but Tapia showed off his formidable chin and kept moving forward. He wasn’t completely out of the fight as he managed to land some hard punches of his own but nothing that ever had Tabiti in trouble. A flash knockdown scored by a Tabiti counter hook in the eighth sealed the deal as the judges saw it in favor of “The Beast” with scores of 99-90, 97-92 and 97-92.
With the victory, Tabiti improved to 13-0 while Tapia suffered his first loss and fell to 17-1.
In the co-featured attraction, cruiserweight Michael Hunter deposited some rounds in his boxing account as he cruised to a unanimous decision victory over the seemingly uninspired Isiah Thomas. Hunter (12-0, 8 KOs) had little trouble keeping his unbeaten record intact, as Thomas appeared to be uninterested in engaging. Hunter came out strong and fast to set the tone by establishing the jab and going to the body. Thomas (15-1, 6 KOs) decided to languish on the ropes and look for opportunities to counter but couldn’t find many and just wouldn’t his hands go. From the first round on it was all Hunter and it reflected in the judges’ scorecards with scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91.
In super middleweight action, TMT’s Ronald Gavril secured the 12th stoppage of his career as he scored a fourth-round TKO against Juan Novoa. Gavril (16-1, 12 KOs) was in control for much and got the finish when he rattled a combination that forced Novoa to a knee. Novoa (26-7-1, 24 KOs) would beat the count but was on shaky legs as a left hook from Gavril forced referee Russell Mora to step in and call a halt to the fight at the 2:08 mark.