Top Rank on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Turns Out 3 Title Bouts
By Lu Quezada
Photo credit; @artie0510
September 22, 2017
Tucson, AZ – Top Rank mixed it up tonight with two WBO title defense bouts, a North American Boxing Federation “NABF” Title that was up for grabs, and a female boxing match up between Mikaela Mayer who returned for her second time in the ring and Allison Martinez. Mikaela Mayer won her bout by TKO victory in round 3 giving her a 2-0 record so far in her professional boxing career. I really believe Mikaela Mayer will be a force to reckon with in women’s boxing and look forward to seeing more of her in the ring during her career.
In the Vacant NABF title championship, Egis Kavaliauskaus (17-0) and Mahonri Montes (32-6-1) came together in their welterweight bout for this title. Montes stirred the crowd up during his introduction by dedicating his fight to all his countrymen who lost their lives in the recent Mexico earthquake. Egis threw very technical and precise punches and in the middle of the second round things started to get a bit more exciting when Egis let his left hand go and became much more aggressive.
Later on the round, Egis again landed hard rights and lefts stirring up the crowd and causing Montes to clinch. Coming into round 4, Montes began to pick up the pace and showed a bit more aggression, making Egis miss more. Into round 5, Egis continued to control the pace of the fight and Montes continued to walk into many of Egis’ perfectly timed shots. Montes followed Egis around the ring and did not have the best defense. In the 6th round, the referee agreed and stopped the fight. Egis earned the TKO victory and the NABF title.
In the Super Featherweight division, Carlos Osorio (13-7-1) and former Olympian, Robson Conceicao (4-0) came together for a scheduled 8 round scrap. Conceicao came out the aggressor throwing and landing wide body shots. Conceicao continued to control the pace of the fight with the jab constantly landing on Osorio who, for the most part, utilized defense. In the 4th round, the referee was advised that the blue corner, Osorio, was unable to return to the ring due to an injury, hence declaring Conceicao the winner by TKO.
In the televised portion of the event, Michael “Mickey” Conlan (3-0) fought against Kenny Guzman (3-0) in a 6 round Super Middleweight bout. Both fighters were fast and out the gate the perfect dance partners. Guzman came forward landing on Conlan and moving him back. Conlan was the taller of the two and therefore had the reach advantage but only landed more effectively towards the end of round 1. When Guzman was not landing, Conlan effectively stayed on the outside. All was going pretty well for Guzman until just moments before the end of round 2, 2:59 to be exact, when Conlan landed a beautiful right to the jaw of Guzman, knocking him back to the canvas. The fight was declared a victory by TKO in favor in Mickey Conlan who advances his record to 4-0.
In the co-main feature of the evening, challenger, Philadelphian, Jesse Hart fought Gilberto “El Zurdo” Ramirez for the Super Middleweight WBO title. In round 2, Zurdo hit Hart with a right to the body that landed him onto the mat. Hart was able to stagger to his feet and survive the count and the rest of the round. In round 3, Hart came back with a few hits upstairs, and then he suffered a low blow. Zurdo spent the next rounds doing a good job cutting off the ring and controlling the pace of the fight. Zurdo applied pressure on Hart and used his jab effectively throughout the fight. Each time Hart tried to get out from the ropes, Zurdo would use his jab to push him back and then his left to go to the body. Hart retaliated a few times with uppercuts and his right hand. Zurdo showed some signs of fatigue in round 11 and also got a warning for low blows. It was a close fight. The judges scored it in favor of Zurdo by unanimous decision 115-112 (x2) and 114-113 who retains his WBO title and undefeated record.
In the Main event of the evening, the challenger, Genesis Servania (29-0) fought Oscar Valdez (22-0) for the Featherweight WBO title. Valdez was very relaxed and confident as he landed body shots and uppercuts. Servania stayed on Valdez going toe to toe with the champion and not wavering in the first 2 rounds. In round 4, the fireworks continued with Valdez taking what I thought was initially a slip, but upon seeing the replay, I note it was actually a legitimate knockdown and Valdez got up immediately, although he did the count from the referee. This was the first time Valdez has been knocked down. At the end of the round, Servania had Valdez on the ropes, knocking him back until the bell closed the round.
In round 5, the sparks were flying as both fighters were toe to toe and Valdez hit Servania with hard right that put him on the canvas and it was Servania who got the count this time. Going into round 6, the bell just barely rang and these two were back in the center of the ring going toe to toe once again. The Tucson crowd was chanting a booming “MEXICO” in support of Valdez. Round 10, Servania put Valdez in a headlock which drew jeers from the fans. At this point, I saw this fight as a close one with Valdez being slightly ahead; it was that good. I didn’t see Valdez throwing as much in this round but was utilizing very good defense. In the final round, it was no holds barred with these two warriors and the fans yelled “OSCAR” as they both took turns slugging each other and then the crowd chants turned to “GO VALDEZ” as these two went to the final bell throwing bombs. It was truly great battle between these two warriors. The judges scored it 116-110, 119-111 and 117-109 all in favor for Valdez by unanimous decision. Valdez retains his unblemished record, and retained the WBO Featherweight title.