Former four-division world champion Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) won a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KOs) at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA.
The 12-round Welterweight fight was the main event of a card presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime Sports.
Guerrero, a 31-year-old southpaw from Gilroy, California, engaged in a slugfest in his first fight after losing to Floyd Mayweather in May of 2013.
The fight began auspiciously for Guerrero, who controlled the fight with a lazy jab and right hook that easily kept Kamegai away.
Kamegai may have been touted as a power puncher, but he was clearly lacking in technique as he attempted to close the distance without a jab and with hardly any head movement.
In the second and third rounds, Guerrero demonstrated his comfort as he leaned on the ropes to engage with Kamegai, deflecting Kamegai’s punches with his chin—suggesting that Kamegai’s power was not bothering him at all.
Guerrero then landed left uppercuts and right hooks around Kamegai’s peek-a-boo stance, standing toe-to-toe with him for most of the fight.
In the sixth round, however, his stationary boxing stance would backfire as Kamegai landed right hooks that cut Guerrero above his left eye.
Guerrero was stunned but not hurt, as he came back to end the round with power shots of his own.
By this point, it had seemed as if Guerrero wasn’t counting on Kamegai’s chin and heart. It was clear that allowing himself to be dragged into a slugfest was a bad idea.
By the seventh and eighth rounds, the damaged had been done to Guerrero’s left eye as it was closed shut.
Despite his impaired vision, Guerrero nevertheless managed to land powerful counterpunches, including a thudding left hand that surprisingly did not drop the iron-chinned Kamegai.
In the twelfth round, both fighters engaged in an explosive toe-to-toe exchange as Guerrero snapped Kamegai’s head back with powerful left hands, each of which drew shouts of “finish him!” from several pro-Guerrero fans in Carson.
The judges scored the bout 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 for Guerrero, who will now seek higher-level opponents in the Welterweight division.
Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO) vs. Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs)
Lomachenko lands #GuerreroKamegai #Boxing pic.twitter.com/qcK7gyAEuj
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) June 22, 2014
In the co-main event, Vasyl Lomachenko scored a hard-earned majority decision win over Gary Russell Jr. to earn the vacant WBO Featherweight title.
The 26-year-old Gold Medalist previously vied for the WBO title against Orlando Salido and lost, but was given a second chance in what proved to be a very close fight.
In the first round, it became clear that we were witnessing a battle between two well-skilled boxers, as Russell controlled the pace of the fight with a lighting-speed jab.
Lomachenko, on the other hand, wasn’t dissuaded, as he cornered Russell briefly to land powerful body shots and a few to Russell’s chin.
In the second and third rounds, Russell continued to control the fight with his jab, using his footwork to evade Lomachenko’s aggression.
In the fifth round, Lomachenko made an adjustment: instead of stalking his smaller opponent, he began waiting and timing Russell on the outside.
This way, Lomachenko would use his height and reach advantages to land power shots, which included a right hook followed by a powerful flurry of shots to the body.
At this point, the fight seemed to be almost over for Russell, as he had no answers for Lomachenko’s aggression.
In the following round, Russell became the aggressor and landed body shots of his own, making it clear that whoever took the risk to land power shots was usually rewarded with the round.
In yet another turn of events, although Russell was the aggressor, Lomachenko landed uppercuts and hooks around Russell’s stationary peek-a-boo stance.
The fight once again seemed to be over for Russell, who was clearly hurt by Lomachenko’s body punches. He was not moving around the ring as he did earlier.
The following rounds continued in the same manner, with Russell doing better in one and Lomachenko doing better in the other in a fight that grew closer down the stretch.
In the final round, Lomachenko worked the body fiercely, and nearly ended the fight with a flurry of punches that was forced to end with the concluding bell.
Had there been a 13th round, Russell would have been stopped.
Lomachenko simply had more will throughout the fight, committing to the body and finishing the fight with more aggression than he had in the previous 11 rounds.
The judges scored the bout 114-114, 116-112, and 116-112.
Lomachenko is now the second fighter to win a world title with only three fights, while Russell’s heart and skill were clearly on display despite the loss, making the 24-year-old from Washington D.C. an exciting fighter with a bright future.
(Saensak Muangsurin was the first to win a title with three fights when he defeated Perico Hernande on July 15, 1975).
Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-3, 18 KOs) vs. Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs)
Devon lands a counter in Round 9 #GuerreroKamegai #Boxing pic.twitter.com/GH7EFM6Ojc
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) June 22, 2014
In the first televised bout, Devon Alexander won a ten-round unanimous decision victory over Jesus Soto Karass.
Alexander, a 27-year-old southpaw from St. Louis, Missouri, began the fight explosively, moving swiftly around the ring and counterpunching the much slower Soto Karass.
The gameplan for Soto was clearly to walk down Alexander, but Alexander’s speed and reach disadvantage allowed him to counterpunch at close range before stepping around Soto Karass.
In the third round, both fighters stood toe-to-toe in an exchange that drew loud cheers from the crowd, but Alexander would not spend his time at close range for long.
In the fourth round. Alexander continued moving around the ring, landing a powerful flurry on the ever-willing Mexican fighter.
In the fifth and sixth rounds, however, Soto Karass began to gain a bit of momentum, landing hard body shots to Alexander’s ribcage.
Alexander was slowing down at this point and his counterpunches became fewer and farther apart.
However, despite the fewer number of punches thrown in the later rounds, Alexander was still more accurate in his offense.
Furthermore, you’d be hard-pressed to find him in one position in the ring for more than a few seconds.
It was a photographer’s worst nightmare.
By the tenth round, however, that all changed as a tired Alexander was met with an enlivened Soto Karass who, realizing he needed a knockout, threw a fusillade of body punches as both fighters stood toe-to-toe.
Each second he spent relentlessly digging to the body was matched by the ever-increasing cheers from the crowd, who also knew Soto Karass needed a knockout to win.
The effort, unfortunately, proved to be unfruitful as one judge scored the bout 97-93, while two scored the bout 99-91 and 99-91.
Soto Karass, a 31-year-old warrior from Sinaloa, Mexico who now has 10 losses in his career, once again faces another tough loss, while Alexander will seek to once again regain his previous championship glory.
Chad Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs) vs. George Blades (23-5, 16 KOs)
Photo by Esther Lin
In the featured bout of Showtime Extreme’s presentation of the Guerreo-Kamegai undercard, Chad Dawson knocked out George Blades in the first round of a scheduled 10-round Cruiserweight fight.
After a two-minute feel out process in which Dawson was allowed to figure out Blades’ offensive mannerisms, Dawson knocked down the 39-year-old with a flurry that began with a short right hook.
Blades, who was clearly hurt, took his time to recover, but only to be knocked down again by another flurry that began with a short right hook.
Blades was unable to make the ten-count.
Dawson, who is 31 years old, was clearly overweight when he entered the fight. He had taken a year’s rest to recover from his first-round knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson in June of 2013.
The New Haven, Connecticut native who was once the undisputed Light Heavyweight champion, is eager to fight better opposition, but understands that it was his first fight in a long time against an inferior fighter.
When asked when he would be prepared to once again fight a top-ten Light Heavyweight, Dawson told Round by Round Boxing that he’d be ready “by the top of the year in January.”
Furthermore, despite weighing over the Light Heavyweight limit of 175 pounds, Dawson emphatically stated that he is still a Light Heavyweight and will continue to fight in that weight division as he seeks to reclaim his former glory.
Dominic Breazeale (11-0, 10 KOs) vs. Devin Vargas (18-4, 7 KOs)
Photo by Hogan Photos
In the co-feature of Showtime Extreme’s presentation of the Guerrero-Kamegai undercard, Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra, California knocked out Devin Vargas in the third round of a scheduled 10-round Heavyweight fight.
In the first round, Brezeale landed body punches and right hooks around the peek-a-boo stance of the shorter Vargas.
Instead of using his distance to work behind the jab, Brezeale stayed in the pocket and delivered powerful short punches.
In the second round, Vargas was dropped by a powerful shots on the inside including a few that Vargas claimed to have landed behind his head.
Vargas complained to the referee but was forced to immediately continue a round he was losing badly.
In the third round, the fight was finally stopped as Vargas turned his back to his opponent, ostensibly overwhelmed by yet another Flurry by the 28-year-old Olympian.