Weekend-in-Review: Abril Retains Title, Gradovich Wins One
Corey Erdman / March 4, 2013 - 2:40pm
There's been a lot of groaning about the offerings on Showtime and HBO so far this year, and rightfully so. But somehow, this one escaped the criticism leading up to it that others have been buried under. On paper, this was a horrific style matchup, and it played out the very same way.
Abril retained his title (he was granted "full" WBA champion status right before the bout) in an extremely ugly affair that looked more like an MMA fight at times.
In the early going, Bogere's sporadic ambushes kept Abril out of rhythm and likely put three rounds in the bank. Slowly though, Abril began timing him, and likely sensed that Bogere wasn't able to hurt him even when he did sneak through.
The majority of the damage Bogere did inflict was with his head, which opened up a pair of nasty gashes above both of Abril's eyes.
Though he looked worse for wear, Abril won the bout comfortably, and positions himself for bigger fights and title defenses at 135. Adrien Broner was sitting ringside, dead center with the hard camera (must have been a coincidence!), cheering wildly and behaving in animated fashion. There is the possibility that Broner could look to unify by beating Abril, which would obviously be the biggest payday of the Cuban's career.
Over the course of 10 rounds, we got to see the many reasons why Russell Jr. could be a future star in the sport for a long time, and the one reason why he may not be.
Russell put on a classic CompuBox performance (I don't believe Gusev landed a jab over ten rounds), displaying his blistering hand speed and clever offensive variety. Unfortunately, he also broke his left hand, and had to do all of that using only his right.
In the past, Russell has had hand issues, as many speedsters do. Apparently, he was trying out a new line of Everlast gloves for this fight, and that didn't work out too well. On top of that, the glove ripped in the eighth round, and he then had to switch to a backup pair of Reyes gloves, which are notoriously uneasy on the hands.
Afterward, the Washington, DC product called out Juan Manuel Lopez. Of course, Juanma is effectively a Top Rank fighter, and that fight probably won't ever happen.
For years, Dib was tabbed as the weakest titleholder in all of boxing, and on Friday night the critics were proven to be correct.
Gradovich, a late substitute with no previous world class experience, stepped in and overwhelmed Dib over the course of the fight. The champion had success early on with his jab and his movement, but both slowly started to disappear as the challenger's pressure began to mount.
The focus of the night was on Dib's promoter 50 Cent, who had his lead promotional debut spoiled. Luckily, he was wise enough to nab a rematch clause for his fighter, who can now get a second crack at Gradovich.
Nelson is a 6'3" freak for the junior middleweight weight class who seems to be putting it all together at the right time. The 25-year old destroyed Medina in the first round, flooring him with a counter right while he was backed up on the ropes.
Medina was on shaky legs, and got dropped again with the next punch Nelson threw. Afterward, it was revealed that he had broken his ankle during one of his falls.
Nonetheless, Nelson gets an impressive victory on ESPN, and could theoretically turn around and fight tomorrow.