Matt Christie sees Welborn give it everything he’s got against Hurd
Brits in action supporting spectacular Wilder-fury show in Los Angeles
IN the end, the fairytale was in the taking part for Jason Welborn, one of the unlikeliest world title challengers in recent years. The likeable Tividale man gave his all against WBA and IBF super-welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd before an exquisite and effortless right hand sank into his stomach in the fourth round and ended matters.
The British champion started at pace and threw punches with gusto. A case could be made for him winning the opening round such was his superior output. But as early as the second, the warning signs were shining red – just like the Midlander’s ribcage. When in close, Hurd was content to let his challenger hurl at full pelt, seemingly safe in the knowledge that when he returned the favour, the game would be up.
Into the fourth and Welborn went for broke. Hurd covered on the ropes, most of his punches hit his gloves but, suddenly, some got through. Proving something of a nuisance to the Accokeek, Maryland man, he upped his output. Welborn roared his rival on. Hurd granted the request and delivered the searing finisher. Referee Dr Lou Moret finished his count at 1-55.
Arguably the most impressive performance on the undercard came from Londoner, Joe Joyce. The heavyweight prospect – now trained by Abel Sanchez – exhibited all his extensive education in style against former starlet,
The end came at just 2-25 of the first round. Joyce connected with a huge right hand and watched as Hanks totterered drunkenly in his own corner. Joyce, somewhat sportingly, waited for Hanks to regain his balance. With the standing eight-count the Englishman was waiting for not coming, he walked in and walloped Hanks with a left hook.
“The Future” toppled backwards, referee Jerry Cantu dispensed with the count, and it took several minutes before he was able to stand up.
Also at heavyweight was Cuba’s Luis Ortiz slowly battering the pluck out of
Travis Kauffman. The underdog had criticised Ortiz, or more specifically boxing commissioners, for failing multiple drug tests in the past and being allowed to return. But it was southpaw Ortiz dishing out the punishment in Los Angeles.
Ortiz dropped Kauffman in a heap in the sixth from an unsighted left hand and scaled a corner post to celebrate, only to be greeted by his rival standing when he turned.
A right decked Reading, PA’S Kauffman again in the eighth and any time after that it should have been stopped, such was the impossibility of an upset. Another knockdown followed in the 10th and final session, this time from a left hook, before yet more punishment eventually persuaded referee Thomas Taylor to end things at 1-58.
Philadelphia’s Julian Williams tested the resolve of Francisco Javier Castro in the opening round of their super-welterweight bout and found the Mexican wanting. A left hook rocked him back and Williams, multiple levels above his opponent, picked holes in his rival’s defence with ease.
A series of left hands, sprayed high and low, hit the target midway through the second round. Castro fell to the canvas only to courageously regain his footing.
The inevitable followed within 30 seconds when a left hook again smashed into Castro. He stayed upright but his senses had gone. Referee Ray Corona
stepped in to end the mismatch at 2-40 of round two.
Opening proceedings in front of a smattering of fans was Morecambe’s
Isaac Lowe, Tyson Fury’s cousin, who impressively stopped Argentina’s Lucas
Rafael Baez at 1-59 of the fifth round. With more than a hint of the family swag, Lowe bossed the action early on. A Lowe right hand landed flush with little effect in the fourth and suggested Baez might last the full 10-round course. When a left decked the South American in the next session such conjecture was exposed. Baez made it to his feet, but another left sent him down again.
Referee Taylor rescued Baez to hand Lowe the WBC International featherweight strap.
There was also a victory for the Wilder family when Deontay’s little brother, cruiserweight Marsellos Wilder, defeated Bakersfield, California’s David
Damore via four-round points decision. Wilder displayed all the reckless abandon of his big bro, and plenty of his effectiveness, when a huge right sent Damore down and almost out at the end of the second. But he beat referee Corona’s count.
Damore had some success of his own. A right scuffed Wilder’s temple to briefly wobble the favourite and at the final bell Damore raised his arms.
It fooled no one of course. Wilder deserved the 40-35 scores handed in by all three judges.
Former IBF feather and superfeatherweight titlist Robert Guerrero returned at the age of 35, and 18 months out of action, with a two-round blitzing of the overmatched Adam Mate.
The Hungarian went down from a left to the body at the end of the first, before two separate left hooks to the head caused another two knockdowns in the next session to curtail the dreadfully matched affair. Referee Mr Corona halted the contest at 2-25. Light-flyweight prospect Jessie
Rodriguez (San Antonio) bossed his six-rounder against fellow Texan Josue
Morales (Houston) from the start. A sweeping right hand to the body momentarily halted Morales from coming forward in round two, before a left hook – delivered after sneaking inside perfectly – had him in brief trouble in the fourth. After six rounds of the Gerard White-officiated bout, all three judges notched 60-54 for the unbeaten Rodriguez.
Two unseen bouts occurred after the main event, and during the Wilderfury press conference. Mexico’s Carlos
Licona won the vacant IBF strawweight title via 12-round split decision (115113 twice and 113-115) over Filipino
Mark Anthony Barriga, before L.A heavyweight gatekeeper Chris Arreola closed the show with victory over Houston’s Maurenzo Smith. The Texan retired on his stool after six.
THE VERDICT Hurd beats brave Welborn to set up showdown with Jermell Charlo in 2019.
JUST TOO GOOD: Hurd bides his time before going on the attack
HEAVY HANDS: The bearded Kauffman takes a hefty whack as he tries to land one of his own
DEMOLITION MAN: Joyce distorts the features of Hanks