Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Shawn Porter (26-1-1) W PTS 12 Adrien Broner (30-2). Welter: Errol Spence (17-0) W TKO 3 Phil Lo Greco (26-2). Light: Robert Easter (14-0) W KO 2 Miguel A Mendoza (21-6-2). Middle: Terrell Gausha (15-0) W PTS 8 Luis Grajeda (18-5-2). Heavy: Mike Hunter (8-0) W TKO 4 Deon Elam (14-3).
Porter vs. Broner
Porter gets unanimous decision over Broner. Both fighters started cautiously with hardly a punch thrown in the first half of the round. Porter had been retreating but he suddenly launched himself forward driving Broner back to the ropes and landing a few punches. Porter returned to his back foot boxing and apart from another couple of rushes from Porter there was little action with Broner not landing a single punch in the round. Porter was the one coming forward in the second. There was too much wrestling and clinching but what scoring there was came from Porter with Broner still not letting his punches go. In the third Porter was again busier working inside with Broner holding and getting a stern warning from the referee. Porter scored with hard left hook which again had Broner holding on. In the fourth Broner was caught off balance by a Porter attack and his gloves briefly brushed the canvas. The referee stopped the action to clean Broner’s gloves but there was no knockdown. Broner was throwing the fight away not scoring on the outside and just holding and wrestling on the inside whilst Porter was getting through with hooks to the body. Broner was finally throwing punches in the sixth his best round of the fight to that point. Broner was also more active in the seventh trying to counter Porter’s rushes with a left hook but Porter was much the stronger off the two and was just walking through Broner’s punches. Broner had a better eighth round even managing to put Porter on the back foot and was countering Porter’s rushes with left hooks and straight rights in the ninth. Porter was relentless in the early stages of the tenth pursuing Broner around the ring with Broner under pressure and again not being able to keep Porter out. Porter was trying to walk Broner down in the eleventh in fact sometimes increasing from a walk to a jog as Broner showed plenty of fancy footwork as he avoided Porter’s attempts to trap him. When Porter did get inside Broner was again holding and holding and finally the referee deducted a point from Broner which was long overdue. By the last Broner knew he needed a knockout. Ten seconds into the round a short left hook from Broner put Porter down. He was up at the count of four and did not look too shaken. Even now Broner was not letting his pinches flow and the fight dribbled away with too much holding and wrestling until the final bell. Scores 118-108, 115-111 and 114-112. The first score seemed too wide and the third too close with even the middle one being generous to Broner. Former IBF welter champion Porter, 27, was having his second fight since losing his title to Kell Brook in August last year. He was just too strong and aggressive for Broner even at catchweight and this win will set him up for more big money fights. Broner was never able to keep Porter out and was lucky not to have been thrown out for the clinching and wrestling he did. He showed no more than brief glimpses of the talent that had won titles in two divisions. He is still only 25 and perhaps a move down to super light is called for.
Spence vs. Lo Greco
Spence continues to look the best of the bunch from the unsuccessful US Olympic team of 2012 and from what he has shown is not flattered by the WBC No 8 rating. He found Lo Greco a tough unorthodox opponent but adjusted and got the job done. The first round was untidy with Lo Greco rushing in head first and throwing short quick punches. Spence was blocking most of them but Lo Greco was roughing the young southpaw up and Spence did little scoring. In the second Spence was targeting the body of Lo Greco with great success every time Lo Greco came forward he was being punished with left and right hooks to the body and Spence also landed a crunching left to the head. The Canadian was taking his lumps and trying to force Spence back but was more dangerous with his head than with any punch. Lo Greco came in as a very late sub when Roberto Garcia pulled out and he was already looking tired after two rounds. Lo Greco started the third with two long rights to the body and then Spence thumped in three body punches and a right to the side of the head which sent Lo Greco slumping side wards down to his knees. Lo Greco was up at four and at the end of the eight count he tried to force Spence back only to be caught with some more body punches and a straight shot to the head that had him stumbling back. Again Lo Greco rumbled forward trying to put Spence on the back foot but for every step back Spence took he was hammering home thudding punches to Lo Greco’s head and body. Finally Spence forced Lo Greco to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until the referee ended the fight. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Texan. He has good wins over Ronald Cruz and Samuel Vargas (20-1-1) and in order to get to London had to beat now unbeaten pros Samuel Vasquez, Bryant Perrella and Amir Imam. Canadian/Italian Lo Greco, 30, won his first 25 fights before losing to Shawn Porter in May 2013 and was then inactive until returning to the ring with a win last March. Spence would probably still have been too good for him but coming in at such short notice gave him no chance.
Easter vs. Mendoza
Toledo’s Easter remains unbeaten as he floors Mexican Mendoza twice on the way to his 11th win by KO/TKO. The tall 24-year-old was an Alternate for the US Olympic Team. Now 4 losses in a row for Mendoza
Gausha vs. Grajeda
Gausha continues to progress with points win over useful Grajeda. Gausha took the early rounds thanks to some great work with his jab but with Grajeda also showing good skills and not being out of the fight. Gausha had a big round in the third when he put Grajeda on the floor with a left/right combination. Grajeda got up and despite the knockdown and a blood smeared visage he fought his way to the bell as Gausha was wild in his attempts to end the fight. From then on it was a close, competitive fight with Gausha’s jab again prominent and he showed good defence when Grajeda tried hard to claw back the lost points from the knockdown. Scores 79-72 twice and 78-73. The 27-year-old 2012 Olympian from Cleveland has good wins over experienced fighters in Charles Whittaker and Norberto Gonzalez and tackling a tough battler like Grajeda just adds to his experience. Grajeda, 28, is 1-4-1 in a sequence of tough fights with the loss to Austin Trout in December the only time he has been beaten inside the distance.
Hunter vs. Elam
Hunter brushes aside Elam in four rounds. The unbeaten heavy hope just hit too hard for the fragile Elam. Hunter had Elam down for the first time in the second round and then proceeded to floor Elam twice more in each of the following two rounds before the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old, twice US National Champion and a NGG Champion fought Artur Beterbiev at the 2012 Olympics and they finished all square at 10-10 but the five judges all went for Beterbiev in the tie-breaker. Elam has moved up from cruiser. He nearly made a big breakthrough in that division when he floored former champion Victor Ramirez twice in the first round only to be knocked out in the second.