Friday, June 02, 2023  |



Kareem Hackett stops Christian Thomas in five rounds to remain unbeaten

Kareem Hackett - Photo by Francisco Salazar
Fighters Network

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Light heavyweight Kareem Hackett broke down Christian Thomas before ending matters in the fifth round at the Beverly Hilton.

Hackett, who is originally from Toronto, Canada and now resides in Los Angeles, improved to 11-0, 6 knockouts.

The southpaw Hackett utilized his more-superior skill-set to outbox Thomas, who was game the first two rounds, but looked like he was in survival mode by the third round.

Thomas never sat in his stool in between each round, drank water, took out his mouthpiece or acknowledged his trainer. Thomas would attempt to wander around the ring in between rounds as well, but was forced to stay in his corner by an inspector with the California commission.

As the bout continued, Thomas was relegated to attempting to throw and land one punch at a time. Thomas looked so disinterested at times that referee Jack Reiss would on occasion ask him if he wanted to continue. Hackett remained poised, never letting up and staying committed to walking Thomas down and connecting with an array of lead crosses or uppercuts or two-punch combinations.

Hackett finally ended matters in the fifth round. After landing a left cross, Hackett followed up and connected with another left cross to the head, sending Thomas back against the ropes. Reiss stepped in to end matters at 1:18.

The 32-year-old Hackett was fighting for the first time since a decision win over journeyman Josue Obando on May 14 of last year. The win over Obando was his debut under the Golden Boy Promotions banner.

Thomas, who resides in Chicago, Illinois, falls to 11-3, 9 KOs. The 38-year-old lost his previous fight to Derrick Webster on April 29 and has now lost his last three fights.

Lightweight Daniel Luna scored a vicious knockout win over Jonathan Teofilo (0-1-1) of Santa Ana, California.

Luna (2-0, 2 KOs), who resides in Victorville, California, was the more-effective fighter early on, outboxing Teofilo and landing the more-effective punches. Teofilo went on the attack early in the second round. As he charged in after throwing a combination, he left himself open to be countered by a left hook to the head that dropped face-first to the canvas. Referee Ray Corona immediately stopped the bout at 33 seconds.

In junior middleweight action, Fabian Guzman knocked out Raheim Cooke (1-5) of Philadelphia in the second round.

Cooke was game, but the larger Guzman (2-0, 2 KOs), who resides in nearby Orange, broke down Cooke. Towards the end of two, Guzman landed a sweeping right cross to the head, dropping Cooke flat onto his back under the ring ropes. Referee Thomas Taylor immediately stopped the bout at 2:45.

In the opening bout of the Golden Boy card, junior bantamweight Juan Gonzales of Los Angeles defeated Mexico’s Jonathan Tejeda (0-5) by decision over four one-sided rounds. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 for Gonzales, who improved to 2-0, 1 KO.

Wednesday’s card was part of the ‘Big Fighters, Big Cause’ Charity Boxing Night. Iconic memorabilia and one-of-a-kind items (including game-worn jerseys by athletes, travel packages, etc.) were part of a live and silent auction.

Proceeds from the event went to the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which put on the 12th annual event along with B. Riley FBR. The goal of the foundation is “to fund research, care and awareness for pediatric type-1 and 2 diabetes, along with helping children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.”


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 at [email protected]