On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, “Magic” Mike Plania (24-1) made his introduction to the masses with a near picturesque performance against top Bantamweight contender, Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. (22-1-1) in a 10-round main event bout live on ESPN.
Heading into the bout, Greer was the blue-chip A-side fighter with Top Rank‘s backing. Plania was the relatively unheralded opponent, however, he was expected to be a legitimate challenge. The late shift by the oddsmakers in Las Vegas represented a growing belief that he could pull off the upset.
In Round 1, Plania displayed that he belonged in the ring with Greer, dropping him with a lightning fast left hook that landed as Greer threw a jab and dropped his right hand guard.
From then on, Plania was able to effectively keep Greer at range. Greer was unable to find much success offensively, with the majority of his punches coming up short. Plania’s ranging shots and consistent output limited his chances and built him a lead on most scorecards.
Once again, Plania’s blazing left hook found a home in the last seconds of the sixth round. Greer was crumbled by the shot, but to his credit, recovered extremely well from both knockdowns. He never appeared excessively hurt and certainly didn’t pack it in early.
Greer clearly needed to get inside to have any success, as was demonstrated in the eighth round, which was likely his best round of the night. However, it was likely too little too late in most viewers’ eyes, with Plania having had complete control of the fight up until that eighth round.
To Greer’s credit, he never rolled over to accept his defeat. He came out firing in the final three rounds but following his success in the eighth, Plania adjusted enough to make it more difficult for him to get on the inside.
It was a valiant comeback effort, but the story of the fight and the entire night belonged to the Filipino fighter, who impressed the masses in his spectacular display of skill in what was a well deserved victory over a top contender in Greer. If the Bantamweight division hadn’t noticed Plania before, he certainly has their attention now.
The victory didn’t come without some drama, however. As the judges’ scorecards were being read, the collective boxing community held their breath when it was revealed that Dave Moretti had scored the contest a 94-94 draw.
Thankfully, the other two judges saw the fight for what it really was; a comfortable victory for Plania.