Nicholas Sullivan shines in Big Fighters, Big Cause main event
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Although he won by unanimous decision, lightweight prospect Nicholas Sullivan believes he can improve on all facets of his game.
Sullivan defeated Tyrome Jones by unanimous decision Wednesday night. Scores were 40-35 twice and 39-36 for Sullivan, who improves to 6-0 (1 knockout).
The fight headlined a four-bout 11th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” card, which was co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and B. Riley FBR.
Proceeds from Wednesday’s card, which included a silent auction on signed sports memorabilia and a live auction, go to support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and its mission to fund research, care and awareness for pediatric type-1 and 2 diabetes, along with helping children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.
Both Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, and Sugar Ray Leonard were seated ringside. The card took place at the Beverly Hilton.
Toward the end of the opening round, Sullivan scored a knockdown, landing a counter right hand to the chin. Jones was on his way to the canvas but the bottom ropes broke his fall, propping him back to his feet. However referee Thomas Taylor correctly administered a standing eight-count.
The southpaw Jones found openings in the second round, working behind a jab and connecting with straight left hands to the head. Undaunted, Sullivan varied his offense, landing lead and counter straight right hands upstairs. Sullivan also mixed his attack to Jones’ body, finding success by initiating exchanges.
Jones attempted to counter Sullivan, finding some success, but Sullivan again was the busier and more accurate puncher during the final round.
Wednesday night was a solid win for Sullivan, who resides in Norfolk, Virginia, the same hometown of multiple-time world champion Pernell Whitaker, who trained him as an amateur, and 2020 Olympic silver medalist and prospect Keyshawn Davis. Sullivan claims he learned a great deal in the Jones fight and will become a better overall fighter.
“My coach always taught me about adjustments,” said Sullivan after the fight. “Left-handed fighters are awkward. It was my first time fighting a left-handed fighter since I turned pro. I felt as though I overcame adversity. We’re definitely going to get better. We’ll be back next month in a six-round fight.
“We’re going back to the drawing board. My coach and I will work to get better. It’s motivating to see what Keyshawn has done. We came up together in the same gym. It’s definitely motivating to see his recent success.”
Jones, who resides in South Bend, Indiana, drops to 6-9-1 (2 KOs).
Junior welterweight Dalis Kaleiopu, of Waianae, Hawaii, battered Cezly Collard before the fight was stopped in the second round.
Kaleiopu (3-0, 3 KOs) broke Collard down with each passing minute. Collard’s face was bruised from the repeated punches Kaleiopu landed throughout the bout.
The 23-year-old Kaleiopu continued to land at will. Collard was game but he continued to absorb punishment. With about 45 seconds left in the second round, Kaleiopu landed a right uppercut that sent Collard back against the ropes. Kaleiopu followed up with another barrage of punches, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to stop the fight at 2:22.
Collard, who resides in Rock Springs, Wyoming, drops to 0-2.
In a clash of junior welterweights making their pro debuts, Ioannis Manouilidis, of Greece, defeated Osmar Olmos, of nearby Lancaster, by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Manouilidis.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, welterweights Jorge Estrada (2-0, 2 KOs), of Mexicali, Mexico, and Hector Perez (0-1-1), of West Los Angeles, California, fought a four-round exhibition. Judges did not score the fight.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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