David Benavidez (16-0, 15 KOs), a power-punching 19-year-old prospect, earned his 16th career victory with a 10th-round stoppage of Denis Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs).
A late starter, Benavidez ceded early frames before increasing his output from Round 4 on, becoming the fourth man to stop “Momma’s Boy” Douglin.
While Benavidez impressed in his first main event billing, bizarre in-ring developments loomed over his TKO win.
At the end of the sixth round, “El Bandera Roja” began to open up with punishing body shots to Douglin.
Just as the end appeared near for Momma’s Boy, Douglin spit out his mouthpiece and was rewarded with a break in action from the referee.
Following the controversial respite, Benavidez clocked Douglin with a right hand well after the round’s conclusion.
As noted by ESPN commentators Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore, Benavidez’s late shot may have warranted a point deduction.
The main event would be thrown off course again in Round 7, as the ring ropes collapsed under the weight of Benavidez and Douglin. Rope repairs at Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena would take 2 1/2 minutes; undoubtedly coming to the benefit of Douglin, who had been rocked throughout the previous two rounds.
After ringside officials finished work on the ring (using a pair of pliers), the referee visibly held up the ropes during all future exchanges; apparently in an effort to prevent a second collapse.
Douglin, who was dropped by a pair of left hands in Round 9, was on his way out of the fight by the time Round 10 began.
Denis’ trainer and mother, Sophia Douglin, warned her son that she would stop the fight if he didn’t protect himself in the final stanza.
Benavidez finished the job just 35 seconds into the 10th round, landing a series of uppercuts to earn the stoppage.
Now boasting an eight-fight knockout streak, the 19-year-old Benavidez improved his stock on a national platform with Friday’s stoppage.
Photos by Ryan Hafey/PBC
Milo Taibi is a freelance journalist from Brooklyn, NY. His work has been featured in SLAM Magazine, Complex, Yahoo! Sports, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MiloTaibi.