Edner Cherry has a history of doing just enough to lose a controversial decision in tough, close fights. Tuesday evening's PBC on FS1 main event turned out to be just the opposite, as the veteran contender upset regional favorite Omar Douglas via unanimous decision at Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Scoring was an issue all evening - and quite frankly a subject that warrants deeper discussion among the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission. As such, final tallies of 96-94 (twice) and 98-92 in favor of Cherry in the 10-round super featherweight battle raised a few eyebrows and drew boos from the sparse but vocal crowd on hand.
Cherry forced an aggressive pace early, taking full advantage of the moments where Douglas (17-2, 12KOs) - the regional favorite from (relatively nearby) Wilmington, Del. - neglected to work behind his jab. A tit-for-tat affair transitioned to a more tactical battle down the stretch, a tempo that favored Douglas who was able to score with counter left hooks and also create the necessary space to ensure he didn't get clipped by his visiting opponent's patent "Cherry Bomb".
In the end, Cherry's rate of activity was enough to sway the judges as he improves to 36-7-2 (19KOs). The win was the second straight for the Tampa-based contender, having easily outpointed Lydell Haskell Rhodes last June.
Douglas has now suffered back-to-back-defeats, having dropped a hard-fought 10-round loss to former two-division titlist Javier Fortuna last November.
Stephen Fulton outworked Luis Rosario over eight rounds in a battle of unbeaten featherweight prospects. Scores were 78-74, 79-73 and 80-72 in favor of Fulton, who appeared to have deserved the nod but was forced to work harder than the scores will have you believe.
Opening the telecast, Frank De Alba continues to show there is no place like home. The Reading (Pa.)-based Puerto Rican southpaw was considered fortunate to have escaped with a win in his eight-round heat with Ryan Kielczweski. Scores were 77-75 (twice) and a way off 80-72 in favor of De Alba (22-2-2, 9KOs), who rode out a strong early start from Kielczweski (26-3, 8KOs), who has now lost two of his last three starts.