It was a great night for boxing in Brooklyn, New York. Main Events, who recently signed a deal with NBC to promote several network boxing events did exactly what they said they would; put on excellent fights. The untelevised undercard featured four exciting fights, including a devastating knockout by the hands of Curtis Stevens, who fought for the first time in two years.
Photo By Ed Mulholland, US Presswire
In the televised portion, fight fans saw Bryant Jennings return to NBC Fight Night. Jennings, a last minute participant in a great main event for the inaugural show returned to face former heavyweight champion, Sergei Liakovich. Many were not sold on Jennings, believing he was too green and did not have the boxing knowledge to take on a former world champ. Jennings, who sported a much more lean and muscular physique then his opponent proved the boxing world wrong. Round 1 was a feel out wrong for both men. In the second round, Jennings started landing the more effective and heavy punches. What was very impressive was Jennings ability to stop the most offensive attacks of Liakovich with a pesky and efficient jab. When Liakovich was able to pass the jab Jennings covered up and blocked the majority of shots. For the remainder of the fight we saw Jennings repeatedly landing clamoring rights, thudding left hooks to the body, and combinations that visibly effected the former champ. Liakovich’s trainer, Eddie Mustafah Muhammad stopped the fight after the 9th, not willing to let his fighter take any more punishment. Jennings has been impressive twice on national television and will very likely return to future NBC Fight Nights. Liakovich, who did not look in top condition may need to reevaluate his stance on boxing. Did he underestimate Jennings? The game world champion will fight another day, hopefully in better shape and with a more effective game plan.
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In another heavyweight fight, Tomasz Adamek returned to the ring to fight Nagy Aguilara. Adamek came to the ring more muscular than his last outing and showed a few new tactics against Aguilara. Although the scores did not reflect it, Aguilara was a very live and aggressive opponent who shocked the arena by giving Adamek a very hard fight. Adamek, who was brought to the end of ten hard rounds and could not put together enough powerful shots to stop Aguilara. It was a good, tough fight back and shows that Adamek still has it and still brings the entertainment factor.
The main event featured Brooklyn’s own Zab Judah and Vernon Paris of Detroit for a title shot against the winner of the Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan rematch. Paris, who is a warrior with an unpredictable style, was unpredictably inactive and inaccurate. Judah, who has had good and bad performances, outclassed Paris with speed, power, and accuracy. Although Paris had not been tested, many were expecting the younger, presumably hungrier, and awkwardly talented fighter to beat the former champion. Zab, who looked far from stellar in his last fight, regained his balance on the tight rope he was been walking. Since he reunion with Main Events, Zab has had 2 incredible knockouts, 1 close split decision win and his loss to Khan. Many saw this as his last opportunity to remain a relevant contender. Zab showed signs of his old aggression and speed as he easily landed combinations throughout the fight. Judah finished the show in the ninth in front of his home crowd. Judah has beaten good fighters, but has fallen short with truly great fighters. Judah fought and earned to fight another day against a great fighter. It will be interesting to see how he will fare with Lamont Peterson or Amir Khan again.
Overall, Main Events has done an incredible job bringing high action, competitive fights to cable television. One thing the world needs to free, exciting boxing, and Main Events is filling that need.