Steve Claggett outpoints Emmanuel Robles
Steve Claggett was not about to let a controversial decision loss in his previous fight get the better of him. Instead, it motivated him more.
Claggett won a hard-fought 10 round split decision over Emmanuel Robles at the Downtown Las Vegas (Nev.) Events Center on Friday night.
Claggett improves to 24-4-1, 12 knockouts, while Robles (15-1-1, 5 KOs) suffers his first defeat as a pro.
Both fighters had to deal with 90-degree weather at the outdoor venue.
Claggett, who lost a close split decision to Chris Van Heerden on Apr. 16, dropped down to 140 pounds after competing for most of his career as a welterweight.
Robles, who recently signed a promotional deal with Roy Jones Jr., was the more effective fighter early on in the fight.
The momentum of the fight shifted in Claggett’s favor when he began walking Robles down, forcing the Mexican-American to fight off his back foot. Claggett’s punch output increased as well, beating Robles to the punch as the bout progressed.
Claggett mostly controlled the second half of the fight, punctuating his performance in the final 20 seconds of the fight, when he hurt Robles with a left hook to the body. Robles was able to make it to the final bell.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Robles, but the other two judge scored the bout 98-92 in favor of Claggett.
With the win, Claggett captured a regional title belt.
“This is a long time coming,” said Claggett after the fight. “I took the loss (to Chris Van Heerden) in stride, vowing to go back to the gym and make changes. I went down to 140 (pounds) and it was the right decision. I’m stronger. I really worked hard.”
“‘I landed a couple of shots that hurt him noticeably. He’s tough. Robles is a champion in the making. I have a lot of respect for him. This is my life. (The loss to Van Heerden) fueled me. The fire’s back in me.”
Macias stops Garza
In a battle of unbeaten junior middleweight prospects, Neeco Macias stopped Rolando Garza in the fifth round.
Macias improves to 13-0, 7 KOs, while Garza falls to 9-1, 6 KOs.
Both fighters came out firing punches at one another from the opening bell. By the third round, Macias’ high punch output began to take slow Garza down.
Garza’s punch output dropped significantly by the fourth round and the heat seemed to complicate matters for him as well.
A right hand from the southpaw Macias early in round five seemed to shake Garza. Later in the round, a short right hook dropped Garza to the canvas. Garza beat the count, but referee Jay Nady deemed him unable to continue, waving the fight off at 2:31.
In the opening bout of the CBS Sports Network broadcast, welterweight Jeremy Nichols (6-0, 2 KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over Steve Belmontes (2-1). All three judges scored the bout in favor of Nichols, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing