The undercard of the ESPN+ card from the Tahoe Blue Events Center in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, saw some interesting prospects improve their chances of becoming contenders on a card promoted by Top Rank Inc.
Super featherweight Henry Lebron held off a valiant effort by William Foster III in a grueling ten-round fight that should have world title implications. The pair traded rounds to start the fight as it seemed very even after four rounds. In the mid-round the two began landing big power shots with Foster rocking Lebron in the sixth with a looping right hand he continued to throw and Lebron targeted the body well.
Not unlike most evenly matched fights, the bout showcased the skill of each fighter as well as their will to be a world champion at some point in their career. Five people could have watched the fight from press row and given out five different scores. It was a purist delight and drinking fan's fright. You could enjoy the forward pressure of Foster, or Lebron’s brilliant counterpunching - one thing was for sure when it seemed like one fighter had the edge the other flipped the script.
Lebron nearly dropped Foster with an overhand left in round seven, but nothing would stop the pressure of Foster, who is traditionally thought of as a mover but came to pack on lunch on this evening. The word grueling sums up the fight as the crowd might have been restless, but they missed out on the crowning of a future world champion, and might just have seen two future world champions lay it on the line for legacy. They fought on the inside, they fought on the outside, but in the end - they fought. At the end of ten rounds, Lebron had started to press forward, but it was the classic case in which both fighters felt they had done enough to win the fight.
Lebron answered some major questions tonight about where he stands on the world stage.
The judges saw the bout 95-95, 96-94, and 99-91 for Henry Lebron.
Local ticket seller lightweight Chris Avalos got the first win of his boxing career in thrilling fashion as the fourth time was the charm for the man who sold a good bunch of tickets to the card and handed Estevan Partida of nearby Merced, California his second loss of his career. The scores were 39-37, 40-36, and 38-38 for Avalos.
Junior welterweight Angel Rebollar, who at 19 years old has already had formidable professional career-testing prospects, got the biggest win of his young career as he got an eight-round unanimous decision win over Omar Rosario in a mild upset. The fight played out similar to a prior Rebollar win over undefeated-at-the-time Justin Cardona when he fought well off the back foot. Despite a lot of pressure from Rosario, Rebollar landed the cleaner shots in the judges’ eyes. After the fight Rebollar’s corner was very excited with the performance and the scores reflected that. All three judges scored the bout 78-74 for Rebollar, who upset the undefeated Top Rank prospect, Rosario. Important to note, that Rebollar could probably fight at super featherweight, but moved up to junior welterweight for this opportunity.
2016 Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado stopped Luis Hernandez in a junior welterweight bout that was scheduled for eight rounds but only went four thanks to the power-punching of Delgado. The bout saw the fundamentally sound Delgado tested by a reckless aggressor in Hernandez early who embodied the warrior spirit of Chihuahua, Mexico. Delgado boxed masterfully landing clean and concussive blows throughout the early rounds though Hernandez’s will was undeterred until get caught with a lot of right hands that led to the highlight-reel knockout.
With the win, Delgado fought for the third time in 2023, and with an undefeated record that will see him in his twentieth bout the next time he enters the ring, one might assume a big fight looms.
Recent Top Rank heavyweight signee Brandon Moore went all eight rounds with Robert Simms in a fight Moore dropped Simms in. Simms looked out of shape but needed to be more tricky to cause a lot of problems for Moore, who won the fight on youth and athleticism as he did on skill. This was Moore’s debut with Top Rank, and seemed his debut with Top Rank might have caused some nerves. The scores were 80-71 on all three cards.
After the fight, Moore spoke to ProBox TV and welcomed fights with Efe Ajagba and Guido Vianello, while remarking ‘he might be a genius’ in boxing as he started boxing only five years ago.
A heavyweight bout occurred in which Antonio Mireles and Skylar Lacy was a battle of two counterpunchers fought at a very slow and measured pace that seemed to belittle the fact that it was a competitive bout amongst two prospects. The theme of the fight was a lack of volume - to be fair, the power of each probably was a major factor (as both looked to counter with power often), though Mireles got stronger as the fight went on. The fight got fun at the end of the fifth round when a right hand of Lacy buzzed Mireles who rocked Lacy seconds later, yet that was the lone notable highlight. In the end, the bout was ruled a draw with the scores being 58-56 for Lacy, 57-57, and 57-57. The fight adds further concerns about Top Rank heavyweight Mireles and his defense at the world-class level.
Lightweight Charlie Sheehy, the fighting pride of San Francisco, who resides in Brisbane, California, defeated Jesus Vasquez Jr. in a six-round bout, in which Sheehy outboxed Vasquez while fighting on the front foot. For Sheehy, this was his third scheduled six-round fight and the second time he had gone six rounds as a professional. This fight also showed some of the teachings of Javiel Centeno who is now working as Sheehy’s main coach and is working in tandem with Miguel Rios, the long-time coach of Sheehy. The scores were 60-54 across the board.
In a junior lightweight catchweight bout contest at 128 lbs, local favorite Gabriel Garcia outworked a very game and tough Joshua Montoya throughout six rounds. The offensive-minded Garcia won with the scores of 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54. The fight was closer than the cards made it feel, but that score reflected a fair scoring system. The will and aggression of Garcia seemed to overwhelm Montoya who boxed well off the back foot, but Garcia won most of the rounds, if not all.
2019 Olympic Trails winner at the middleweight division, who fights in the same division as a pro, Javier Martinez made a statement by dropping Isaiah Wise three times in the opening round to get a TKO victory at 2:02. The final time Wise hit the deck referee Robert Hoyle called a stop to the fight. Two of the knockdowns came in the first minute of the fight.