Erik Bazinyan, Steve Claggett emerge victorious in Montreal
Super middleweight contender Erik Bazinyan stayed unbeaten with a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Macias, on Thursday, at Montreal Casino, Montreal.
Bazinyan (30-0, 21 knockouts), The Ring’s No. 6 super middleweight, won by scores of 98-92 (twice) and 97-93. Bazinyan dominated early before Macias (28-12-4, 14 KOs) come on in the second half to produce some action-packed rounds.
Bazinyan, a 28-year-old boxer-puncher, originally from Armenia but now lives in Canada, controlled the early going with his better skills, largely because of his jab and occasional right hand. However the upset-minded Mexican owns wins over Canadian’s Francis LaFreniere (MD 8) and Steven Butler (TKO 5) and was looking for another scalp.
Both exchanged shots late in Round 4 and the crowd responded with cheers of appreciation. While that was good for the fight, it wasn’t good for Bazinyan. The Mexican grew in confidence and started the fifth well. Bazinyan had to let Macias blow himself out before closing the fifth round strong.
By the seventh, Macias was the busier fighter, though Bazinyan was doing the cleaner work. Bazinyan was forced to respond with a long, stinging right. However Macias was determined and came back with his best moment of the fight, rocking Bazinyan, hurting him with a combination.
Macias looked to continue any shift in the plot in the eighth, only for Bazinyan land his own shots. In the final two rounds, Macias gave his all and backed up Bazinyan, who had to gather himself and fight off the ropes.
Bazinyan is a well-rounded fighter, not spectacular but very workmanlike. He was clearly the better boxer but had a few problems late in the fight which won’t bode well for him in the upper echelons. However he did fire back after difficult periods in the fight.
In chief support, Steve Claggett scored arguably the best win of his career stopping, former junior lightweight titlist Alberto Machado in three rounds to claim the vacant NABF junior welterweight title.
There was no feeling-out process and both men went straight to it, which suited Claggett, who landed several clean left hooks and straight right hands that snapped the visitor’s head back. The 33-year-old ended the opening round with an exclamation point when he landed a big uppercut on the bell.
The second round continued in a similar vein. Claggett’s cleaner work started to wilt Machado, who eventually touched down after receiving a clubbing right hand late in the round. He was able to carry on and was saved by the bell.
However it was a mere stay of execution. The beatdown continued in Round 3. Claggett (35-7-2, 25 KOs) swarmed all over Machado (23-4, 19 KOs), dropping him with a combination and finishing him off with a left to the body. Machado gathered himself and got to his feet but it was the beginning of the end. He was dropped again and his corner threw in the towel at 2:29 of Round 3.
Claggett, a 15-year veteran, looked very fresh and, despite his time in the sport, looks to have improved. If anyone deserves a big fight, it’s Claggett.
Up and coming junior lightweight Avery Martin Duval impressively stopped Andres Sanchez Ramirez at 1:52 of the third round. The first two rounds were nip and tuck before Duval (10-0-1, 6 KOs) separated himself from Sanchez (6-7-3, 2 KOs), initially landing a left hand and, as he spun away, he landed a big right hand that dropped Sanchez to the floor. Although the Mexican rose, the referee called off the fight.
Exciting junior lightweight Thomas Chabot edged Luis Bolanos Lopez over eight exciting rounds by split decision. Both men looked to engage throughout and had the fans cheering. Chabot looked to back up Bolanos, who then tried to fight back throughout. Chabot was cut in Round 7 but it didn’t threaten the fight. When the scorecards came in, Bolanos took the first scorecard 77-75 but that was outvoted 78-74 and 77-75 in favor of Chabot. Chabot moves to 9-0, 7 KOs, while Bolanos dips to 4-3-1.
Middleweight Alexandre Gaumont (8-0, 6 KOs) hurt Piotr Bis (6-3-1, 2 KOs) in the second round and wouldn’t let his man off the hook. Bis tried to tie up Gaumont but the local fighter landed a right uppercut that dropped Bis late in the round. The Polish fighter scrambled on the canvas and, though he made it to his feet, the action was stopped by the referee.
Three-time Canadian national amateur champion, Christopher Guerrero (7-0, 3 KOs) scored his third consecutive inside-the-distance win against Heriberto Santillan Montano (3-1, 2 KO). Guerrero worked over Montano and ended matters at 2:37 of Round 5. Guerrero is a welterweight but this fight took place at 157 due to a late change of opponent.
Touted local super middleweight Wilkens Mathieu (3-0, 2 KOs) dominated the opening exchanges against Jesus Frias Rodriguez (4-2, 2 KOs) behind a strong jab. A big right hand dropped his Mexican opponent, who was counted out at 0:39 of the second round. It is still early but Mathieu, the younger brother of Lexson, a talented super middleweight before retiring undefeated and going into the finance business, looks to have considerable upside.
Rising junior lightweight Jhon Orobio (3-0, 3 KOs) easily beat Reymundo Gutierrez (1-1, 1 KOs) in one round. The Colombian-born fighter was too quick and skilled for the Mexican and after he landed several hard shots, Gutierrez wobbled on unsteady feet and the referee jumped in at 1:33 of the round. The 19-year-old Cali native has moved to Montreal and looks like one for the future.
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