As HBO celebrated their 45-year history of boxing telecasts, ‘The First Lady’ Cecilia Braekhus improved to 35-0 with nine knockouts with a ten-round unanimous decision over Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes, (18-5-3, 1 KO), in the main event of HBO Boxing After Dark at StubHub Center in Carson, CA presented by Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions.
Dominating from the opening bell with a full array of heavy-handed combinations and a displaying her full skill set, Braekhus continued to validate her position as the Consensus #1 Women’s Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World as she defended her UNDISPUTED titles in the welterweight division (WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and Ring Magazine). Scores were 100-90 twice and 99-91.
Said Braekhus, “I was trying hard for the knockout but Lopes was tough and took a lot of punches. I’m confident I won every round.”
“It was an honor to fight for the second time this year on HBO and to be chosen for the main event on their final boxing telecast. I thank them very much for their support of my career. This was a great night for women’s boxing to have three world title bouts on the card.”
“It seems like there are a lot of options for me to fight different women but the fight I want the most in 2019 is against Cris Cyborg who is here tonight.”
Stated Magdziak-Lopes, “Cecilia was terrific tonight, it’s clear why she’s the best. Defensively she kept me from doing what I wanted and offensively she brought her full arsenal to the ring tonight.”
In the co-featured bout on the telecast, #1 world ranked super-flyweight Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada, (38-3-0, 26 KO’s), of Sonora, Mexico stopped cross-town rival Victor ‘Spock’ Mendez, (28-4-2, 20 KOs) after seven rounds of their spirited scheduled ten-rounder. Mendez’s corner advised the referee after the seventh round that the fight was to be stopped.
Overcoming a somewhat slow start, Estrada would find the mark for his trademark heavy-handed combinations in the third round and picked up steam with each stanza causing the stoppage.
“I felt good and was looking for a knockout, said Estrada. “Mendez is a tough guy and took some good shots but I was beginning to wear him down with my body work.”
“I’m very happy to get the win and looking forward to getting the rematch against Sor Rungvasi next.”
Said Mendez, “Estrada is as good as advertised, he does everything very well. I’m glad we finally got to fight but I’m not very happy with my performance.”
Opening the telecast, two-time United States Olympic Gold Medalist and WBC/IBF/WBA Women’s Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields, improved to 8-0 with two knockouts with a ten-round middleweight decision over WBO Women’s Super-Middleweight World Champion Femke Hermans, (9-2, 3 KOs). Scores were 100-90 on all three judges’ scorecards.
The more skilled Shields stayed in control from the start of the fight, keeping consistent pressure on against the game but outgunned Hermans.
Said Shields, “I used my jab, I set up the shots. I landed a lot of hard right hands to her body and I knew I hurt her during the fight. I give myself a B, there’s still things I need to work on but I’m happy with my performance.”
Stated Hermans, “I feel fine but I just couldn’t do what I wanted to do in the ring, Claressa is very fast. I only want to fight the best and I don’t want to be a paper champion.
Highlight the undercard, popular women’s star Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton, (9-2-0, 5 KO’), was dominant against Lorraine Villalobos, (2-2) earning the stoppage after five rounds of their scheduled ten rounder. With the victory, Hawton was awarded the WBC Atomweight Title.
Also featured on the undercard top middleweight prospect Serhii Bohachuk, (12-0-0, 12 KO’s), stayed perfect with a six-round knockout of Carlos Garcia Hernandez, (15-20-1, 12 KOs).