By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Former four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) returned from a 13-month layoff to win a twelve round war with Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KOs) in a welterweight bout on Saturday night at the outdoor StubHub Center in Carson, California. Coming his loss to Floyd Mayweather, Guerrero engaged in a thrilling toe-to-toe slugfest with brawler Kamegai. “The Ghost” usually got the better of it, but a Kamegai uppercut in round six left Guerrero’s left eye closing rapidly. In the end, Guerrero’s better skills and combinations carried him to a 116-112, 117-111, 117-111 verdict.
“It was a rough fight,” Guerrero said. “I didn’t want to get caught into his style, but right out of the gate I did. I’m not a runner, I will fight. He is a tough, great fighter. I want to give the fans what they want.”
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) scored a twelve round majority decision over previously undefeated Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs) to win the vacant WBO featherweight world championship. Lomachenko outworked Russell in rounds one and two, while Russell was busier in rounds three and four. Lomachenko had a big round five. After that Russell was able to keep Lomachenko at bay at times with non-stop punching, but the Ukrainian came on strong down the stretch. Scores were 114-114 (Lisa Giampa), 116-112 (Pat Russell), 116-112 (Max DeLuca). Lomachenko ties the record of Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin in winning a world title in his third pro fight.
“I am very happy and excited to be a world champion,” stated Lomachenko. “The plan built by our team was great, I was trying to land the punches and I did. I landed punches very well. I started from the body and went to the head.”
Russell commented after his first pro defeat. “It was a fair decision. It’s disappointing to lose, but we’re warriors and we will go back to the drawing board. He had real good lateral movement, we tried to close the distance with the jab but he was moving well. I tip my hat to him.”
Russell continued, “My past opponents have no bearing on this fight. I need to execute better going forward. I don’t think he’s better than me, we knew he was going to use the lateral movement. Honestly we didn’t execute the game plan. We wanted to close the distance between the double and triple jabs but I couldn’t get to him as easily as I wanted to. I would definitely fight him again, anytime, any place.”
In a good action fight, former two-division world champion Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs) won an entertaining ten round unanimous decision over Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KOs) in a super welterweight match. Scores were 97-93, 99-91, 99-91 in a bout that featured fierce exchanges.
Former light heavyweight world champion “Bad Chad” Dawson (32-3, 18 KOs) easily won his first start in 12 months with a first round KO over George “Honey Boy” Blades (23-6, 16 KOs). Dawson came in at 202 pounds and dropped Blades twice. Blades was counted out at 2:35.
In a battle of U.S. Olympian heavyweights, 2012 Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (11-0, 10 KOs) scored an entertaining third round TKO against 2004 Olympian Devin Vargas (18-4, 7 KOs). Breazeale punished Vargas in round one, driving him back with thunderous shots. Breazeale dropped Vargas in round two. Vargas had a pretty good round three until turning his back to Breazeale after taking a shot over the ear. Time was 2:26.
In an ugly six round light heavyweight bout, Vyacheslav Shabransky (9-0, 7KO) won a unanimous decision victory over Michael Gbenga (15-15, 15KO). Shabransky forced the action but Gbenga chose to hold a lot including after any punches he threw, providing flashbacks of John “The Quiet Man” Ruiz. Shabransky scored a fknockdown in the first round from an accumulation of punches mostly on Gbenga’s gloves but Gbenga was never in serious trouble. Judges scored the bout 60-52, 59-53 and 69-52 in favor of Shabransky.
Sharif “The Lion” Bogere (25-1, 17KO) easily overpowered Miguel Zamudio (28-5-1, 16KO) to win a TKO victory at 3:00 of the third round when the bout was stopped by the ringside physician following the third round of a scheduled eight round junior welterweight bout. Bogere hurt Zamudio early and often with body shots and then went headhunting in the second and third rounds staggering him at various times.
Michael “The Bounty” Hunter (5-0, 3KO) easily outboxed Jerry Forrest (7-2, 6KO) en route to a shutout unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored it 80-72 in this eight round heavyweight bout although at 207 pounds, Hunter is just barely a heavyweight and looks better suited for the cruiserweight division.
In a four round welterweight bout, debuting Fabian Maidana (1-0), younger brother of Marcos Maidana, won a unanimous decision victory over fellow debutant, Eddie Diaz (0-1). Judges scored it 40-36 (twice) and 39-37 and there were no knockdowns.
Mark Hernandez (2-0) easily outboxed Dante Spinks (0-5) to earn a shutout victory of 40-36 on all three judges scorecards in a four round super welterweight bout.