In a fight intended to be a showcase, WBA super flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (24-0, 15 KOs) defeated former world title challenger David Carmona (21-6-5, 9 KOs) by a 7th round stoppage. Carmona didn’t come out for the 8th round.
Yafai did what he was supposed to do in stopping a fighter who’d never been halted inside the distance before in 27-year-old Carmona, but he did it by knocking him down with low blows twice and shoving him to the canvas on another occasion.
It was a good fight with lots of action from start to finish. Unfortunately, there were a lot of questionable calls by the referee Raul Caiz Sr. that marred the results. Yafai was given credit for a knockdown in round in round 4 after hitting Carmona low with a left hand.
Despite Carmona repeatedly motioning to the referee that he’d been hit low, he still counted it as a knockdown. In round 5, Yafai pushed Carmona to the canvas with a left hand. The referee counted it as a knockdown. It was actually a push. A short time later, Yafai knocked Carmona down with another left-hand that strayed low.
While Carmona was down, Yafai hit him with a head shot. The referee counted the knockdown as legit and then took a point away from Yafai. As such, the referee blew the call. All total, the referee blew both calls in the 5th in scoring knockdowns that weren’t knockdowns, and he also blew the call in round 4 in giving Yafai credit for knocking Carmona down after hitting him low with a left hand.
In round 1, Yafai knocked Carmona down with a left to the head. That was the only clean knockdown of the fight.
Yafai picked up the victory, but it wasn’t the type of performance he needed to impress the American boxing fans to get them excited about seeing him and IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas face each other later this year in a unification fight. There were too many low blows and other fouls from Ancajas to be impressed with his performance. You can give Yafai an A-grade for fouling, but a C-grade for his performance.
Yafai is probably not going to do well against Ancajas, but we’ll have to wait and see. Maybe Yafai might be able to raise his game and clean it up a little to defeat Ancajas. With a better referee working, Yafai likely would have lost a lot of points tonight for his many low blows. This was meant to be a showcase fight for Yafai, but it didn’t turn out that way. There was too many low blows, and bogus knockdowns. The referee obviously could have put Yafai on blast early in the fight when he first started throwing low blows, but unfortunately he didn’t do that. With Yafai not being penalized for his low blows, he was able to get away with them for the entire fight.
Last Friday, Carmona weighed in 3.6 pounds over the super flyweight limit at 118.6 lbs. He was penalized 20 percent of his $10,000 purse in losing $2000.