|Photo: John Gichigi - Bongart/Getty Images|
Following a 15-minute delay for the ever-important Legg Mason Tennis Classic, fans were treated to the last few words of what sounded like an interesting studio lead-in from Brian Kenny. But the world will never know.
At least we got to see David Nalbandian preach truth, his tennis racket a bullhorn of mullet-sporting excellence. Right? Gilles Simon didn't stand a chance in those colors.
The broadcast opened with a matchup between junior welterweights Patrick "El Elegante" Lopez and Prenice Brewer. The undefeated Brewer looked to take a step and try his confidence by fighting the tougher and more experienced Lopez.
Former Venezuelan Olympian Lopez attempted to inch close behind a hard jab and land long left hands from the southpaw stance early in round 1, eventually finding Brewer in the corner with a barrage of body shots. The lankier Brewer went back to the center of the ring and began controlling the fight with quick jabs and straight rights, despite taking some hard right hooks and left hands to his ribs.
Brewer went back to his jab quickly in round 2, Lopez following not far behind and really letting his hands go downstairs about a minute in. Lopez swarmed and landed thudding shots through Brewer's guard, visibly rattling him. Lopez couldn't miss in the last minute, gladly teeing off as Brewer stood in front of him with a high guard.
Lopez continued his assault in the 3rd, marching after Brewer as he tried to slide away. Lopez opened up with a sustained flurry as Brewer backed up to the ropes and played defense, which prompted referee John O'Brien to advise Brewer to fight back. Brewer pivoted away and threw a desperate right hand, only to be greeted by another of Lopez' frenzies, clearly giving up about halfway through, and seeming to sigh in disappointment after being stopped and falling to 15-1-1 (6 KO).
The fight was officially ended at 2:38 of the third round.
Patrick Lopez celebrated his move to 20-2 (12 KO) with a sloppy (but entertaining) backflip.
Ring Magazine's #10 rated heavyweight Chris "Nightmare" Arreola, not exactly known for holding back in interviews, had a candid and expletive-free video chat with Brian Kenny in between fights. According to Arreola, his lack of dedication to the sport hurt him in his losses to Vitali Klitschko and Tomasz Adamek, and he hasn't skimped on training for his upcoming fight on next week's Friday Night Fights broadcast against Manuel Quezada.
A 4 round lightweight swing bout between two former Chicago Golden Gloves champions, Russell Fiore and Mexico native Antonio Avila, kept the telecast rolling.
The courting period didn't lest long, with both guys trading right hands in the first minute of the opening round. Fiore forced the action, but wound up catching a big right hand that dropped him hard as he came forward. Looking clear and unhurt, Fiore was up almost immediately and went right back to pressing the fight. Avila seemed conscious of Fiore's punching power and backed up behind a jab, with Fiore never being far out of range.
Avila's jab worked well in the 2nd round, leading him to catch Fiore with another right hand. Fiore inched closer behind his own stiff jab and began landing more consistently, finding Avila on the ropes before being smothered. The first minute of the 3rd round had Avila landing hard left hooks and changing tactics a bit by upping his aggression. The change served him well as he rocked Fiore with another right hand and had him backing up with a mouse developing under his left eye. By round's end, Fiore's punching power had clearly diminished.
Fiore's corner called for a knockout prior to the 4th round, but watched as Fiore threw only a handful of shots in the first minute. Avila backed up and found himself in the middle of a mauling session from Fiore, before retreating and seeming to go defensive once more. Fiore caught Avila with a right hand as he pulled back behind a lazy jab with about 10 seconds left in the final round, but too little, too late for the win.
The crowd booed as scores of 38-36 for Avila and two cards of 37-37 were read. Chicago local Fiore's record went to 4-0-1 (4 KO), while Avila's was 3-1-1 (1 KO) after the bout.
Colombian slugger Breidis "Khanqueror" Prescott showed patience, if not a slightly boring outlook, in outpointing Dominican Harrison Cuello in the main event.
Prescott started banging away early as Cuello looked off-balance and squared up more often than not. A few looping right hands broke through Cuello's guard, but Prescott settled down and jabbed for much of the round. Cuello offered little in terms of offense outside of a pawing jab that didn't land much, and seemed shaken by a right hand near the end of the round to boot.
Cuello used his legs in the 2nd round, again refusing to open up much. Prescott added a left hook that looked to be more of a push than a punch to his arsenal, but found more success with his jab and hooks to the body. Cuello tried to clown and shimmy at Prescott's missed punches at the end of the round, apparently forgetting to throw punches somewhere in there.
Despite picking up his pace in the round 3, Cuello had difficulty landing more than one shot at a time and found himself on the wrong end of some rough body shots. Cuello's southpaw jab temporarily kept Prescott at bay, but his luck seemed to run out intermittently through the round.
Cuello elected to go on the attack in the 4th, having limited success with his jab and straight left, though Prescott would anticipate it and counter from time to time. Again showboating, Cuello shook off two hard rights to the body and caught Prescott off-balance with a left hand about halfway through the round. Prescott slithered away from the follow up and boxed his way to the finish.
Prescott slowed down and tried to turn it into a chess match in the 5th, with Cuello egging him on and goading him into a brawl. Prescott obliged, landing a series of body shots, and went back to outboxing Cuello before complaining of a hard headbutt. Cuello used it to his advantage, again teasing Prescott and closing the round strong.
With blood flowing from his mouth as a result of the headbutt, Prescott kept up his jab, also gave in to Cuello's request for more shots to the body, dodging most counters that came his way throughout round 6. The smirk left Cuello's face as Prescott kept up his body attack, walking to his corner looking discouraged.
Little changed in the 7th, with Prescott keeping his distance and stepping in to land hard combinations when fairly safe. Both fighters stepped on the other's lead foot multiple times in the round, and Prescott added in an uppercut, snapping Cuello's head back twice. Action stayed slow and calculated in the 8th round, Prescott again landing harder and more often.
After more deliberate caution early in the 9th, Prescott seemed to again rock Cuello with a few shots about a minute in, but stopped short of going for the kill when he realized Cuello wasn't very hurt. Just as Teddy Atlas alluded to a possible right hand injury for Prescott, he dropped Cuello with a hard 1-2, partially an issue with the fighters' lead feet. Prescott recognized that Cuello again wasn't all that wobbled and slowed back down, much to the annoyance of fans in attendance.
Prescott disengaged and was content with taking the 10th and final round off, well aware he was far ahead on the cards. Cuello tried in vain to force a fight in which he could land the one hard shot he needed, but had no success. Cuello raised his hands after the bout emphatically regardless.
All three judges scored the bout for Prescott, with scores of 98-91, 99-90 and 99-90. With the win Prescott climbs to 23-2 (19 KO). The trialhorse Cuello fell to 19-13-3 (14 KO).
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