Lomachenko-Commey undercard: Jared Anderson blasts Oleksandr Teslenko in two rounds
Jared Anderson, viewed by many as the best American heavyweight prospect, did nothing to dissuade anyone of that notion as he erased Oleksandr Teslenko in the second round on Saturday night.
The fight was the co-feature of the lightweight fight between former world titleholders Vasiliy Lomachenko and Richard Commey on the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at Madison Square Garden in New York and Anderson made the most of the high-profile slot.
“I’m here at 11-0, co-main event, Madison Square Garden , the best team in boxing. I’m thankful,” Anderson said.
Even though Anderson came out fighting in a southpaw stance – he’s right-handed – in the first round, he outlanded Teslenko 30-10, according to CompuBox statistics.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Anderson (11-0, 11 KOs), 22, of Toledo, Ohio, who has gotten tremendous experience as heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s main sparring partner in his recent training camps, switched back to his usual orthodox stance in the second round and finished the 6-4, 213-pound Teslenko (17-2, 13 KOs), 29, a Ukraine native fighting out of Montreal.
He landed massive right hand near the temple and a follow up left that dropped him hard. Teslenko barely beat the count but he was in no condition to go on and referee Danny Schiavone waved it off at 1 minute, 32 seconds.
“We wanted to confuse him, so we went southpaw,” Anderson said. “I think we did just that. By the time we switched back in the next round he didn’t know what was coming and he ended up on the mat.”
Davis blows out Zaragoza
Blue chip lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis dazzled in his return to professional boxing after claiming a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer by knocking out Jose Zaragoza in the second round of their scheduled six-rounder.
With professionals allowed to compete in the past two Olympic Games, Davis (4-0, 3 KOs), 22, of Norfolk , Virginia , accepted a spot on Team USA in May after he had already turned pro without a promoter. But last month he signed with Top Rank and made an impressive debut in his first fight of the deal.
“Today was a great day. We trained hard for this,” Davis said. “I had a great training camp. Every sparring session, every strength and conditioning session, every pool workout – I took it serious just for this one moment. So every time I step in the ring I just have fun.”
After easily winning the first round, Davis blitzed Zaragoza (8-4-1, 2 KOs), 33, of Mexico , in the first round. He dropped him with a flush right uppercut and seconds later landed a thunderous left to the body that crumpled Zaragoza . He barely beat the count but he was in no shape to go on and referee Charlie Fitch stopped it at 2 minutes, 51 seconds.
Zaragoza, who came in having won three fights in a row, had never previously been stopped.
About a month ago Davis officially joined the training camp of Brian “Bomac” McIntyre and his star fighter Terence Crawford, who was ringside.
“I been around Terence Crawford for about three years now. I got plenty of sparring sessions in with him. Also with Jamel Herring,” Davis said. “Hearing (Crawford’s) voice outside the ring definitely means a lot and I appreciate Terence Crawford for everything he’s done leading up to this fight.
“I want to move as smart as possible. If that means moving fast then let’s go. ESPN, Top Rank, I’m ready, man. Push me as fast as you want to, I’m gonna take it to the limit. I’m gonna take it to the highest limit.”
Ali Walsh wins majority decision
In the opener of the four-fight telecast, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, who is the grandson of Muhammad Ali and was fighting at Madison Square Garden , where his grandfather made so much boxing history, edged Reyes Sanchez by majority decision.
Judges James Kinney (40-36) and Robin Taylor (39-37) had it for Ali Walsh and judge Allen Nace had it 38-38. Kinney’s shutout score was surprising considering what a big third round Sanchez had.
“I fought against a very well matched opponent, who was 6-0. I learned a lot tonight,” Ali Walsh said. “He stole my right hand. Luckily, I saw his as well. He was just a very skilled opponent. A lot of guys with three fights don’t fight someone like him but because my career has been fast-tracked due to my name and my grandfather I’m fighting these kind of opponents, but it’s an honor to fight someone like Reyes Sanchez.”
Ali Walsh (3-0, 2 KOs), 21, of Las Vegas, badly hurt Sanchez with a right hand to the side of the head in the second round and spent the final 20 seconds or so bashing him all over the ring. Somehow, Sanchez managed to stay upright but he took a lot of damage as Ali Walsh teed off until the bell rang,
Sanchez (6-1, 2 KOs), 29, of Topeka, Kansas, recovered well and came out throwing with abandon in the third round and they went at it. But Sanchez got the better of the action and some hard right hands in a strong round before they fought a very close fourth round.
The historic nature of fighting at Madison Square Garden was not lost on Ali Walsh, who in the days leading up to the fight toured of the building and saw memorabilia from his grandfather’s eight fights there, including from the famed “Fight of the Century,” Ali’s 15-round loss to Joe Frazier in their first heavyweight championship fight 50 years ago.
“It’s a piece of history just to be in here let alone fighting here,” Ali Walsh said.
Zayas crushes Mastronunzio
Junior middleweight Xander Zayas entered the ring with the words “Prospect of the Year” written along the side of his shoes and he made an impressive closing argument that he should be.
Zayas (12-0, 9 KOs), 19, a Puerto Rican from Plantation, Florida, pummeled Alessio Mastronunzio (9-2, 3 KOs), 26, of Italy, for a first-round knockout in their scheduled six-rounder to complete 6-0 year.
“I came here to make a statement,” Zayas said. “That’s what we did. I’m prospect of the year. I hope I let everybody know who the prospect of 2021 is.”
Zayas landed a powerful right hand seconds into the fight to drop Mastronunzio and from there he laid a beating on him, pasting him with combinations and heavy shots from both hands. Mastronunzio didn’t go down again but Zayas rocked him several times. Zayas forced him to the ropes and as he teed off on him once again, referee Danny Schiavone stepped in and waved if off at 2 minutes, 52 seconds.
“It feels amazing. I’m here accomplishing my dreams fighting at the Garden for the first time,” Zayas said.
Valdez pummels Sanchez to body
Welterweight Pablo “Pretty Boy” Valdez scored four knockdowns, all on body shots, in a fourth-round knockout Julio Cesar Sanchez in their scheduled six-rounder.
New Yorker Sanchez (6-0, 4 KOs), 38, a close friend of rising super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga, applied pressure on Sanchez (11-4, 6 KOs), 28, a New York-based Dominican Republic native, throughout the fight but broke through in the fourth round.
Valdez, who spent several years in prison before being released and beginning his pro career in 2018, scored all four knockdowns in the found with a series of body punches. The final one came when he caught Sanchez on the liver and he dropped in to the mat, causing referee Steve Willis to immediately stop the bout at 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
Bauza drops Williams five times
Junior welterweight John Bauza scored five knockdowns in a one-sided fourth-round knockout of Michael Williams Jr.
Bauza (16-0, 7 KOs), 23, a Puerto Rican southpaw fighting out of North Bergen, New Jersey, scored a knockdown in the first round with a short counter right hand to Williams’ forehead that dropped him to his backside and he sent him to the mat again in the second round with a left that dropped him hard to his backside.
Williams (19-1, 12 KOs), 22, of Fayetteville, North Carolina was on the move seeking to avoid contact after that, but Bauza tracked him down and beat him up in the fourth round with three more knockdowns. He drove Williams to the mat with a series of shots, sent him to his knees with a left and then knocked out with another left hand that caused referee Charlie Fitch to immediately wave it off without a count at 2 minutes, 18 seconds.
Wilkins edges Tapia
Junior lightweight James Wilkins scored a narrow decision win over Juan Tapia in an entertaining back-and-forth fight. In the end the judges all had it for Wilkins, 77-75, 77-74 and 76-75 with the biggest moment of the fight coming during the fourth round when Wilkins landed a stiff jab to Tapia’s chin that dropped him to his rear end.
Wilkins (10-2, 6 KOs), 25, of Staten Island, New York, rebounded from a 10-round decision loss to Bryan Chevalier in July. Tapia (10-4, 3 KOs), 28, of Brownsville, Texas, who has lost decisions to Shakur Stevenson and Vladimir Nikitin, saw a two-fight winning streak come to an end.
Davis gets second-round TKO
Welterweight Kelvin Davis (3-0, 2 KO), 25, of Norfolk , Virginia , dominated and stopped Ryan Schwartzberg (1-4-1, 1 KO), 31, of Dania , Florida , in the second round of their four-rounder.
Davis, who along with older brother and star amateur Keyshawn Davis signed with Top Rank last month, hurt Schwartzberg with a left-right combination in the first round.
In the second round, Davis gave him a bloody nose and knocked him down to a knee with a left hook the chin. Schwartzberg made it out of the round, but his corner stopped it during the rest period.
Ward smokes Norwood
Light heavyweight Joe Ward (6-1, 3 KOs), 28, a 2016 Irish Olympian, destroyed Britton Norwood (10-4-1, 7 KOs), 34, of Jackson , Mississippi , in a first-round knockout victory in their scheduled six-rounder.
Ward badly hurt Norwood with a right to the body and the fight was essentially over. Ward followed up with a combination to the chin that dropped him, but Norwood beat the count. Ward, however, was all over him and as he rained punches on him, referee Charlie Fitch stepped in and waved it off at 1 minute, 35 seconds.