HIALEAH,FL––Locally based unbeaten light heavyweight contender Ahmed Elbiali takes on his toughest challenge to date as he faces former World champion Jean Pascal in a scheduled 10-round battle, which tops a televised quadrupleheader.
The telecast airs Friday evening at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT live from Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida.
Bryant "Goodfella" Perrella overcame the first loss of his career—and a subsequent 14-month ring absence—to take an eight-round unanimous decision win over Alex Martin in a battle of rebounding welterweights.
That the fight lasted the distance was a bit of a surprise after Perrella dropped Martin hard in round one. A clean right hook from the southpaw from Ft. Myers, Florida had Martin on wobbly legs, but a boxing match ultimately broke out as that same level of drama never threatened to resurface.
To his credit, Martin was able to shake off the shot but couldn't do any better than pull within two rounds on one scorecard. Tallies of 77-74 and 79-72 (twice) landed in favor of Perrella (15-1, 13KOs), who picks up his first win since last summer.
The hope is for the next one to come a lot sooner.
"I felt really good," Perrella told FightNights.com after the fight. "The loss (to Yordenis Ugas) sucked, so did getting injured and being out of the ring for so long, so it was a relief to be back in the ring and to get a win like that.
"Whatever Al (Haymon, Perrella's advisor) has in store for me is what I want for 2018. My next fight—three-to-four months from now, and I'll be happy."
As for Martin, it's all the way back to the drawing board.
"I have to get better camps, have to work a lot harder," Martin admitted afterward. "That's all there is to it. It was a fair decision, I got hit with a shot I didn't see coming, and just couldn't get anything going. I have to make a lot of changes to come back stronger in 2018."
In the televised opener, Stephen Fulton rode a second half surge to take an eight-round majority decision win over Adam Lopez in a matchup of unbeaten featherweights.
An even score of 76-76 was overruled by tallies of 77-75 and 78-74 in favor of Fulton, who shook off a brief scare in round two to box his way to victory.
Lopez (8-1, 3KOs)—who served as a main sparring partner for Vasyl Lomachenko ahead of his own fight versus Guillermo Rigondeaux this weekend—dictated the pace early in the contest, although several rounds were razor-thin close. A clean shot upstairs by the California-based boxer drove Fulton (12-0, 5KOs) to the ropes late in round two, but ran out of time to capitalize on the moment.
From there, it became Fulton's fight to lose. The Philadelphia-bred boxer—trained by Naazim Richardson—picked up the pace in the middle rounds. A simple defensive adjustment troubled Lopez, who was too little too late by the time he turned the tide in round eight, as Fulton was already far enough ahead on the scorecards to preserve the win.
In by far the most entertaining—and competitive—bout to grace the undercard, Eduardo Perez Diaz slugged his way to a unanimous decision over Noe Lozano in their four-round super welterweight battle.
The scores of 40-36 across the board were perhaps accurate but did not tell the entire tale as Lozano (2-2, 0KOs) came to fight. The Ft. Pierce-based boxer was a bit too brave for his own good, as he suffered a cut over his left eye in round one although the wound never became a factor. Perez, energized by his rabid local fans along with the presence of stablemate and cruiserweight champion Yunier Dorticos, never backed down as he remained a punch ahead during every exchange in preserving his perfect ring record, even in going the distance for the first time in his career as he advances to 5-0 (4KOs).
Keeping with the evening's theme of early knockouts, Semajay Thomas (8-1, 5KOs) returned to the ring following a 17-month break and the lone loss of his career to drop and stop Uganda's Charles Mulindwa (now based out of Pittsburg, Penn.) in the opening round of their welterweight battle. A right hand did the trick, as Mulindwa (12-6-1, 6KOs) hit the deck hard and staggered upon rising, prompting referee Telis Assemenios to stop the contest at 0:54 of round one.
In yet another matchup of unbeatens, Livan Navarro wasted no time in taking the fight to Willie Jones and racking up a 1st round knockout in their welterweight matchup.
The Miami-based Cuban—a stablemate of Luis Ortiz (who fights later in the evening), trained by Herman Caicedo and managed by Jay Jimenez—came out swinging for the fences from the opening bell. Jones (5-1, 2KOs) was a bit too slow out the gate, getting clipped with countless power shots as he was battered around the ring before getting dropped in a corner. The Tampa=based boxer beat the count, but couldn't convince the referee to allow him to continue.
The official time was 1:54 of round one, as Navarro rolls to 7-0 (5KOs).
Joshua Zuniga pulled off the biggest win of his young career, scoring a 4th round knockout of 2008 US Olympian Raynell Williams in a matchup of unbeaten lightweights.
A fun scrap throughout, Williams (12-1, 6KOs) made the questionable decision to literally let his guard down and engage in give-and-take with Zuniga (9-0, 4KOs), a deceptively strong southpaw based out of southern California. It proved to be his undoing, as a combination upstairs put him on the deck for the bout's lone knockdown. Williams struggled to make it to his feet, beating the eight count but too wobbly to continue as the fight was waved off at 2:00 of round four.
Opening the show, two-time Olympic bronze medalist ran his record to a perfect 3-0 (3KOs) following a 1st round stoppage of Carlos Sandoval, from Arizona by way of Mexico. Dychko—a 6'9" heavyweight from Kazakhstan who now lives and trains in Kissimmee, Florida—used his massive height and reach advantage to slowly pick apart the portly Sandoval (10-15-1, 6KOs), who quit in a corner after succumbing to a body shot. The official time was 2:28 of round one.