Robert Guerrero beat Yoshihiro Kamegai In the main event of Golden Boy Promotions Showtime Championship Boxing card from Carson, California. It was Guerrero’s first fight since losing to Floyd Mayweather a year ago. Two amateur standouts competed in the night’s co-feature as Vasyl Lomachenko won the vacant WBO featherweight title by outslugging Gary Russell Jr. In the shows opener, Devon Alexander beat Jesus Soto Karass.
Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs) Def. Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KOs) via unanimous decision.
In round one, Alexander landed punches in bunches and controlled it with his superior boxing skill but Sotto Karass landed one big overhand right that gave Alexander something to think about. In the second, Alexander showcased his speed and landed some solid jabs, while Soto Karass looked slow enough to make Frankenstein blush, and didn’t score anything of substance. It was much of the same at the start of the third, but by mid-round, the two began to mix it up with Alexander getting the better of the exchanges. The fourth looked as if it would be Soto-Karass’s best round when he landed a straight left that caused Alexander to stumble backwards, then followed it up with a series of uppercuts. But Alexander responded with an offensive onslaught that he hasn’t put forth in years and stopped his foe in his tracks. In the fifth, it was apparent that for every punch thrown and missed by Soto Karass, Alexander landed two. The shutout continued in round six as Soto Karass started the frame throwing wildly but got countered often enough to think better of it. The Mexican had more success in rounds seven and eight when he was able to use his jab to set up his straight right, then dug to the body when the two came together. After an uneventful ninth, Soto Karass came out throwing bombs in round 10, while Alexander looked to counter his looping shots. The bout ended with the two involved in a furious exchange that brought the crowd to its feet. The judges scored the bout 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93 all for Devon Alexander.
Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) Def. Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs) via majority decision.
This was an “I’ll believe it when I see it” type of fight that didn’t disappoint. Gary Russell Jr. started the first throwing a lightning quick jab that seemed to have Lomachenko stifled a bit, but halfway through the Ukrainian began to counter and push Russell Jr. back. In the second, Russell Jr.’s punches were quick but Lomachenko’s were stiff and his body shots were heavy. In a change of strategy, Russell Jr. began the third backing Lomachenko up and used his jab to control the center of the ring. But the tables were turned midway through, with Lomachenko showing his strength advantage by tossing the American to the mat in what looked like a professional wrestling maneuver. In the fourth Russell Jr. stalked and Lomachenko showed off his lateral movement. Lomachenko landed a series of one two’s down the middle in round five and threw in some hooks to the head and body for good measure. By the end of the fifth Russell Jr. was covering up as the Olympic gold medalist fired away at his head and body. Russell Jr. brought out his best Monica Seles impression in round six as he grunted with every punch thrown, if it was meant to intimidate his foe it didn’t work, because Lomachenko looked very comfortable as Russell Jr. pitty patted his way through the frame. The grunting continued in the seventh and so did the volume, Russell Jr.’s tactic of throwing enough punches to keep Lomachenko off balance worked early in the round, but in the final minute Lomachenko had him hurt and unsteady on his feet. In the ninth, Lomachenko continued his habit of coasting through the first half of the round and may have given it away by not throwing enough punches. Lomachenko’s hooks were moving Russell Jr. around the ring throughout the second half of the tenth, snapping his opponents head back and swelling up the left side of his face. By the eleventh, Russell Jr. looked nothing like the superior athlete he did against his first 24 opponents and was relegated to pawing with his jab to keep Lomachenko off of him. With the fight possibly on the line, Russell Jr. landed a couple of noticeable low blows which got him warned by the referee. Lomachenko on the other hand landed legal power shots that had Russell Jr. reeling to close the show. The judges were split, scoring it 114-114 and two scores of 116-112 for Lomachenko.
Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) Def. Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KOs) via unanimous decision.
From round one, Yoshihiro Kamegai made for a good target for even a rusty Robert Guerrero, who couldn’t miss with his straight left. Kamegai continued to be a leaning heavy bag to start the second but began to mix it up with Guerrero and landed some solid uppercuts to close the round. Guerrero got the best of Kamegai in the heated exchanges that dominated the third. The two fought in a phone booth in the fourth, with both fighters having their moments but Kamegai sporting a bloodied nose to show for it. Round five, showed that Kamegai didn’t come into the bout with a plan B, he came to fight and although his hardest shots in the fifth connected and stunned Guerrero, they weren’t enough to keep him honest. Kamegai cut Guerrero in the sixth and although his punches didn’t seem to hurt him, they were flush enough to bother Guerrero, whose eye began to swell shut. Kamegai had Guerrero trapped in a corner for the majority of the seventh and landed some crowd pleasers, but Guerrero looked too strong and largely unfazed. Guerrero seemed comfortable fighting out of the corner in the eighth and only left when his father screamed his name. As he walked forward he landed a left hand counter that caused Kamegai to retreat. Kamegai began to slow down in the tenth, after being hit with head turning power punches for the majority of the ninth and tenth rounds. Guerrero threw everything at Kamegai in the twelfth, but Kamegai kept coming and throwing his own blows. The crowd showed its appreciation for the fighter’s efforts as the bell sounded. All three judges had Guerrero winning 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111.