By Michael Collins: Zab Judah (42-7, 29 KO’s) fought really well in beating Vernon Paris (26-1, 15 KO’s) by a 9th round TKO defeat on Saturday night in a non-competitive fight in an IBF light welterweight title eliminator at the Aviator Sports Complex, Brooklyn, New York, United States. Judah, 34, hurt Paris with a left hand in the 9th and then snowed him under with shots until the referee Steve Willis stepped in and halted the fight at 2:07 of the 9th to keep Judah from really hurting the overmatched Paris.
Paris couldn’t match Judah’s hand speed or power and quickly fell behind in the fight. Paris would do well significant portions of the rounds, but then Judah would come alive and flurry on Paris. During these flurries, Paris would bend forward and cover inviting uppercuts and chopping shots from Judah. It was like the exact wrong way to fight Judah and it’s surprising that Paris hadn’t prepared for what he was going to deal with.
After the 6th, it become a full route with Judah gleefully teeing off on Paris with a smile on his face while the pro-Judah Brooklyn crowd egged him on.
In the 9th, a deflated looking Paris came out and looked like he was ready to be finished off. That’s exactly what Judah did, landing a solid left hand that hurt Paris. Judah then flurried on him until the referee jumped in between them and stopped the fight.
On paper, this was supposed to have been a competitive fight but it sure didn’t turn out that way.
Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (45-2, 28 KO’s) rebounded from his loss to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko by beating Nagy Aguilera (17-7, 12 KO’s) by a 10 round unanimous decision. There wasn’t much to this fight, because Adamek, once again, was matched against a weaker opponent than him and he was able to do pretty much whatever he wanted to against the 2nd tier fodder opponent. The judges scored it 99-91, 100-90 and 100-90. There really wasn’t much to get excited about. Adamek did what always does, circle the ring, land shots, circle the ring more, land more shots and look to keep from getting hit. It was pretty dull going. Aguilera didn’t have the jab to spear Adamek from the outside like Vitali was able to do or any decent heavyweight would have done had they been in with Adamek. In the 3rd, Adamek hurt Aguilera with a left that almost knocked him down.
Aguilera showed good power but a terrible work rate and lousy accuracy. His lack of a jab sealed his fate, because that’s how you beat Adamek. He runs around the ring, you jab him and he’s a lot more manageable. Aguilera didn’t do any of that and instead depended on landing big shots every now and then, but only one at a time because Adamek was always on his bike.
In the last four rounds of the fight, Aguilera tired out and only rarely threw a punch. It was a pretty sickening mismatch but kind of standard. I’m not holding my breath waiting for Adamek to fight anyone good anytime soon. He has a bout coming up in June and I expect someone along the same lines as Aguilera to be in there with Adamek.
Former WBO heavyweight champion Sergiy Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KO’s) put in a poor performance against unbeaten Bryant Jennings (13-0, 6 KO’s) in an 9th round stoppage win for Jennings. Liakhovich had problems catching up to Jennings, who fought almost the same way as Adamek did by constantly circling the ring. However, Jennings looked a lot better than Adamek because he showed an excellent jab and would stop and throw combinations, powerful ones for his size. He really impressed me for a medium sized heavyweight. I don’t know what the 6’2″ 224 pound Jennings can do in the division with that kind of size. Probably not much other than being a contender. It’s too bad he’s not closer to 200 because he could make an impact at cruiserweight but at heavyweight, Jennings will likely get squashed by the bigger heavyweights.
Liakovich’s left eye was swollen up in the 8th and he had his nose bloodied from eating too many shots. It was pretty one-sided and the fight was finally stopped after the 9th. Liakhovich didn’t fight well at all and he made Jennings look like a champion.
This card was littered with mismatches from top to bottom. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be mismatches but that’s how it turned out.
In other fights on the card:
Curtis Stevens TKO 1 Romaro Johnson
Angel Garcia TKO 2 Alan Beeman