Super middleweight standout Christian Mbilli stops Demond Nicholson in four rounds
Rising super middleweight force Christian Mbilli threw down the gauntlet to the 168-pound division with an emphatic fourth-round knockout of Demond Nicholson at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Canada on Friday.
Mbilli, The Ring’s No. 3-rated super middleweight, was in no mood to wait around and started fast dropping the American gatekeeper in the first minute of the contest. Nicholson, who had previously taken Edgar Berlanga and Demetrius Andrade the distance in losing efforts, regrouped and Mbilli patiently stalked him.
In the second round, Mbilli scored another knockdown with a big right hand in the center of the ring. Mbilli continued to bring suffocating pressure as he chopped away.
The end came when Mbilli (25-0, 21 knockouts) pinned Nicholson (25-6-1, 22 KOs) in the corner and landed a combination that put him on the canvas for the third time. He was counted out by referee Michael Griffin at 1:56 of the fourth round.
“Now it’s time to take on a big name, I want everybody,” Mbilli told The Ring.
Nicholson announced his retirement on social media after the fight.
In chief support, Steve Claggett (36-7-2, 25 KOs) successfully defended his NABF junior welterweight title for the first time dropping gutsy Carlos Sanchez (24-2, 19 KOs) three times on his way to picking up a wide 10-round unanimous decision.
From the opening bell the action was fought at a fast pace and at close quarters. Claggett broke through with a vicious body shot in the fourth round that dropped the once-beaten Mexican, who showed heart to fight on.
The next big moment came in the sixth round when the 34-year-old veteran landed a left hook that dropped Sanchez. Again, he gamely fought on. A third knockdown followed from a body shot in the seventh round. It looked like Claggett may get the knockout, but Sanchez dug in and went the distance.
When the scores were read out it was no surprise that Claggett, who entered the fight on a six-bout win streak (all by knockout), won by 99-88 (twice) and 98-89 tallies.
“It was a great matchup, and he was a tough guy,” said Claggett. “I knew he was a big puncher, he brought everything. I never expect them to stay down, I always anticipate they’ll get back up and keep fighting. That guy had a lot of heart.
“I think with Mike [Moffa] in my corner I can beat anybody and this was a great test. I’m happy with my performance.
“Now with Eye of the Tiger behind me, I just keep going, keep improving, ready for the next steps. For sure [you’ll see me again this year.] I’m gunning for anybody in the top 10.”
Popular local middleweight fighter Alexandre Gaumont (9-0, 6 KOs) scored an action packed eight-round unanimous decision over game Mexican Ulices Tovar (8-1, 5 KOs).
Gaumont had the better of the action but just as he seemed primed to take over Tovar would have his own success. Notably in the second round, Gaumont got caught with a big shot on the ropes but took it well and came firing back with his own shots. The pattern continued throughout the fight. At the end Gaumont’s jab and one-two combinations saw him a worthy winner. The judges were all in agreement and scored the contest 79-73 for the home fighter.
Vanessa Lepage-Joanisse (6-1, 2 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Timea Nagy (3-2, 3 KOs). Much to the joy of her home support Lepage-Joannise put it on her Hungarian rival dropping her in round four but was unable to keep her down. It didn’t matter Lepage-Joannise won 60-53 on all three scorecards.
Local light heavyweight fan favorite Harley David O’Reilly thrilled his home fans with a shutout four-round unanimous decision over Israel Nava. O’Reilly ups his record to (2-0, 1 KO), while Nava drops to (3-3, 2 KOs).
Seek-and-destroy light heavyweight Mehmet Nadir Unal won a six-round unanimous decision over Hernan Perez. Unal, who is rather crude but has an exciting aggressive style, threatened to end matters early but Perez hung tough and found his way through some uncomfortable moments. Unal saw his 100 percent knockout ratio come to an end and looked tired in Round 6 but had done enough to win 60-54 twice and 59-55.
Heavy-handed Colombian Jhon Orobio blitzed Luis Godinez scoring a first round stoppage of their lightweight bout. The touted Orobio (4-0, 4 KOs) found his rhythm quickly and landed combinations that forced Godinez (4-3-2, 1 KO) back and ultimately to the canvas. Although the Mexican made it to his feet referee Albert Padulo Jr. had seen enough and waved the contest over at 3:00 of the opening round.
Montreal stylist Luis Santana looked very impressive scoring a third-round stoppage over Sergio Palafox. Santana mixed to head and body and visibly hurt and dropped Palafox with a well placed body shot. The Mexican gamely carried on but rescued by referee Yvon Goulet at 2:29. Santana moves to (10-0, 4 KOs), scoring his second consecutive stoppage, while Parafox dips to (9-4, 3 KOs).
Rising welterweight Christopher Guerrero (8-0, 4 KOs) scored a career best win, stopping previously unbeaten Veselin Markov (7-1-1, 5 KOs) in the third-round. The 22-year-old’s speed gave the Bulgarian import trouble as he dominated the action. The end came in the closing seconds of the third round when Guerrero pinned Markov in the corner and landed a combination finished off with a left hook to the body that landed clean and dropped Markov who was counted out at the 3:00 mark.
2021 World Championship middleweight bronze medalist Moreno Fendero (1-0) successful turned professional with a workmanlike performance against teak-tough Mexican Uziel Bueno (3-3, 2 KOs). Fendero backed up and did the better work throughout. He landed two big head shots late in the third round that convinced Bueno to take a knee. Fendero was awarded the unanimous decision 40-35 on all three scorecards.
In light heavyweight action Devin Tomko (9-2, 4 KOs) broke down Juan Santiago (6-8-1, 5 KOs) with steady pressure forcing his Mexican opponent to wilt and take a knee in a neutral corner, where he was counted out at 3:00 of Round 2. Santiago visited the hospital afterwards but is thankfully OK.
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