At an outdoor venue which looked like the ring was perched on the side of a highway in Corona, California, Petr Petrov (36-4-2, 17 KOs) slugged his way to a unanimous decision victory over journeyman Gamaliel Diaz (38-12-3, 17 KOs).
The judges at ringside scored the fight 98-89, 97-90 and 97-90.
Petrov won ESPN‘s lightweight Boxino tournament last May and has been inactive for nearly a year as he watched a fight with Hank Lundy disappear in January due to Lundy’s failing to make weight.
Petrov shook off an off-balance knockdown in the opening round to rebound and punish Diaz with left hooks to the body. Petro had Diaz hurt at the end of the opening round but was unable to return the favor and score a knockdown.
In the second round, Petrov started landing a hard right hand which launched out towards Diaz like a missile. Diaz had nowhere to go in the ring as Petrov was on the attack looking to hurt the former world champion.
The referee Jack Reiss had to start warning Diaz for roughhousing in the third round. Diaz landed no fewer than 10 low blows over the course of the fight, ignoring all of Reiss’ warnings.
Petrov abandoned the jab and was looking to hurt Diaz by throwing his often used bolo uppercut.
Petrov landed a big left uppercut in Round 7 to score a knockdown. Diaz got up wobbly and refused to be put away, so he blatantly landed a left hook to the groin. Reiss pulled both fighters apart and took a point away from Diaz for that low blow.
Diaz tried his hardest turn it into a street fight until Reiss called Diaz over to his corner and embarrassed him. Reiss told Diaz’s corner men that the world was watching and Diaz was not fighting.
“This is a televised fight,” Reiss yelled at Diaz and his corner.
Diaz decided to continue the fight only to continue trying to rough Petrov up. Petrov remained patient and landed his hard right hand to beat Diaz up and take the fight out of him.
In the co-feature of the evening, Taras Shelestyuk (12-0, 8 KOs) left behind plenty of blood in the ring from a nasty clash of heads en route to a unanimous decision victory over Juan Rodriguez (12-2, 5 KOS). The judges scorecards were 78-74,79-73 and 79-73.
If the slow setting sun didn’t blind Rodriguez, then Shelestyuk’s lime green sneaker surely did. The Ukrainian bronze medal winner in the 2012 London Games remains undefeated as he fought through the nasty cut to outwork Rodriguez.
Shelestyuk, who is normally trained by Freddie Roach, had Marvin Somodio in his corner and it was Somodio who was tasked with managing the cut after the clash of heads in round 4.
Perhaps feeling a sense of urgency, Shelestyuk came out aggressive in Round 5, trying to land power shots in an effort to hurt Rodriguez and win rounds in the event that the fight needed to be stopped due to the cut.
While pawing at the cut and using his right glove to wipe away the blood from dripping into his eye, Shelestyuk dominated the last 3 rounds by forcing the action and even stalked Rodriguez into the ropes.
With over 300 amateur fights under his belt, Shelestyuk showed his experience to overcome a small dose of adversity.
In the opening bout of the telecast lightweight prospect Emmanuel Robles improved to (13-0-1, 3 KOs) by outpointing Wilberth Lopez (5-5, 1 KOs) winning a unanimous decision. The judges scored it 58-56, 59-55, and 59-55.
Robles had to battle through a nasty cut over his left eye, a 3-inch height disadvantage and a blinding sunset to tag the 20-year-old Lopez with his left hand throughout the six-round bout.
Lopez, who now has 10 fights in his young career, was never able to use his height advantage against the much shorter southpaw.