- 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism
- ESPN.com boxing writer since 2005
- Five years at USA Today
LAS VEGAS — WBC heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder takes on lineal champion Tyson Fury in the main event of Saturday’s ESPN+ PPV/Fox PPV card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Wilder and Fury fought to a controversial split draw back in 2018 and both fighters have promised to go for the KO in the rematch.
But before that main event, other fighters will take an opportunity on the undercard of one of the most anticipated title fights in recent history to showcase their skills. In the co-main event, former heavyweight world titlist Charles Martin faces former title contender Gerald Washington in an IBF heavyweight eliminator.
Also on the undercard, junior featherweight world titleholder Emanuel Navarrete puts his WBO belt on the line against Jeo Tupas Santisima in a 12-round battle.
Follow along here for live undercard results and analysis.
Amir Imam vs. Javier Molina, 8 or 10 rounds, welterweights
Fight is next …
Flores cruises past Conway
Junior lightweight Gabriel Flores Jr., one of Top Rank’s most promising prospects, scored a knockdown en route to a one-sided decision victory. Two judges scored the fight 80-71, with the third scoring it 79-72.
Flores (17-0, 6 KOs), 19, of Stockton, California, dropped five-year professional Conway (17-2, 7 KOs), 24, of Pittsburgh, with a right hand in the first round and had no problems whatsoever as he cruised the rest of the way.
Mielnicki routs Champion
Welterweight prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr., a 17-year-old high school senior, dropped Corey Champion and won a shutout decision, 40-34, 40-35, 40-35.
Mielnicki (5-0, 3 KOs), of Roseland, New Jersey, closed the first round by forcing Champion (1-3, 1 KO), 21, of Charlottesville, Virginia, to a corner and landing a four-punch combination to knock Champion down just as the round was ending. Mielnicki couldn’t get another knockdown, but otherwise laid a beating on Champion.
Lowe tops Guevara in foul-filled fight
Featherweight Isaac Lowe won a unanimous decision over Alberto Guevara in a foul-filled fight that included six points being deducted by referee Vic Drakulich. Lowe won 96-87, 96-87 and 95-88 to retain his regional belt.
In the third round, Drakulich docked one point from Guevara for excessive holding. In the fifth round, Drakulich took two points from Lowe, first for shoving Guevara to the mat, and then for hitting him behind the head.
In the sixth there was more fouling that caused Drakulich to take two points from Guevara for a low blow, and then a point from Lowe for shoving him to the mat.
Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs), 26, of England, a good friend of Fury’s, broke through in the eighth round, driving two-time bantamweight world title challenger Guevara (27-6, 12 KOs), of Mexico, to the mat for a knockdown.
Romero easily knocks out Ahmetovs
Lightweight Rolando Romero stopped Arturs Ahmetovs in the second round of their scheduled eight-round bout that opened the card.
Romero (11-0, 10 KOs), 24, of Las Vegas, a Mayweather Promotions prospect, extended his knockout streak to five fights in a row against Latvia native Ahmetovs (5-1, 2 KOs), 30, who fights out of Delray Beach, Florida.
Romero predicted a first-round knockout at the undercard news conference on Thursday and was not far off. In the second round Romero scored two knockdowns, and when he was teeing off on Ahmetovs during the follow-up attack, referee Robert Hoyle stepped in at 1 minute, 22 seconds.
Still to come …
Charles Martin vs. Gerald Washington, 12 rounds, IBF heavyweight eliminator
Title fight: Emanuel Navarrete vs. Jeo Tupas Santisima, 12 rounds, for Navarrete’s WBO junior featherweight title
Sebastian Fundora vs. Daniel Lewis, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
Subriel Matias vs. Petros Ananyan, 8 or 10 rounds, junior welterweights
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