Abdukakhorov dominates Collazo, wants Spence

Boxing

PHILADELPHIA — Welterweight Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, who risked his status as one of the mandatory challengers for unified world titleholder Errol Spence Jr., dominated former world titlist Luis Collazo en route to a 10th-round technical decision victory on Friday night.

Abdukakhorov won by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 when the fight was stopped at 2 minutes, 3 seconds of the 10th round to go to the scorecards for a technical decision because Collazo was unable to continue following an accidental head butt in the final round.

“Collazo is a great champion, and it was a pleasure for me to showcase my talent for the American audience,” Abdukakhorov said through an interpreter. “It was a tough fight, and this experience will serve me well as I continue my journey.”

It was a rough night all around for Collazo, who suffered cuts over both eyes and hurt his left arm.

Abdukakhorov came out fast in the first round, landing combinations before Collazo, a southpaw, got going in the second round, landing a left hand that seemed to buzz Abdukakhorov.

But Abdukakhorov landed something in the second round because Collazo suffered a cut over his left eye. Collazo had his left hand working well, landing two power shots during the third round, one that knocked Abdukakhorov off balance and another later in the round that stopped him in his tracks.

But then Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs), 38, of Brooklyn, New York, injured his left biceps in the fifth round. He was shaking it out and one of his cornermen was rubbing it between rounds. He also stopped throwing it for the most part and when he let a left hand go in the seventh round he immediately began to shake it following the punch. It was the same biceps he previously tore that needed surgery.

Abdukakhorov was steady with his attack, landing solid right hands and mixing in enough combinations to keep Collazo under control. By the eighth round Collazo’s cut had become worse and blood was dripping down his face.

In the 10th round, they got tangled up and fell to the canvas and Collazo, who had taken an accidental head butt, emerged with a terrible cut over his right eye that was bleeding badly. Collazo could barely stand and referee Benjy Esteves stopped the fight on advice of the ringside doctor.

“Hey, it is what it is. This is part of the sport. We’ll see what’s next,” Collazo said before going to the hospital to be checked for the cuts and the arm injury.

Collazo, whose three-fight winning streak ended, was slated to face former title world challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. on Aug. 17, but Benavidez suffered a leg injury and pulled out and was not going to be ready for the bout to be rescheduled for Friday.

Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KOs), 26, an Uzbekistan native fighting out of Malaysia, became Spence’s mandatory challenger when he won an elimination fight on March 30 on Gvozdyk’s last undercard, also in Philadelphia, when he won a unanimous decision over Keita Obara.

But with that fight unlikely to happen any time soon, Abdukakhorov accepted the fight with Collazo.

“I am the IBF No. 1 contender, and I would like to fight for the title fight next,” Abdukakhorov said. “I wanted to fight Errol Spence Jr., but unfortunately he got in a car accident. I wish him a speedy recovery, and if he’s ready to fight soon, I would like to fight him. If he has to vacate the title, then I will fight whoever they put in front of me.”

The bout, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, was the co-feature of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card headlined by the Oleksandr Gvozdyk-Artur Beterbiev light heavyweight world title unification bout.


Conto stops Lyons in Round 1

Philadelphia heavyweight Sonny Conto (5-0, 4 KOs), who has sparred with lineal champion Tyson Fury and top contender Kubrat Pulev, easily stopped Steven Lyons (5-6, 2 KOs), 30, of Larose, Louisiana, in the first round.

Conto, who landed several solid power punches and hard jabs, easily won the round, and when it was over, referee Eric Dali stopped the fight on advice of the ringside doctor with Lyons on his stool.

Fury had walked Conto into the ring.

Conto, 23, said his experience in Fury’s training camps has been important to his development.

“It just gives me so much confidence, and confidence breeds success,” Conto said. “I know I go in there and all the hard work has been put in.

“Other than Tyson Fury, I think I have the best heavyweight jab.”


Adorno blasts Sosa out in two rounds

Lightweight Joseph Adorno (14-0, 12 KOs), 20, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, scored a highlight-reel, second-round knockout of Damian Sosa (9-3, 7 KOs), 29, of Argentina, in their scheduled eight-rounder.

Ten of Adorno’s knockouts have come inside two rounds, and it was the first time Sosa had ever been stopped.

Seconds before the first round ended, Adorno scored a heavy knockdown with a left hook on the chin. Sosa beat the count and the round ended.

Sosa came out with a spirited attack in the second round as the boxers engaged toe-to-toe in a fierce opening minute, until Adorno connected with a right hand on the temple that sent Sosa sprawling face first between the ring ropes and nearly out of the ring. Referee Shawn Clark waved off the fight at 1 minute, 20 seconds.


Rodriguez stops Doronio in final round

Junior welterweight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs), 24, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, dominated Leonardo Doronio (17-17-3, 11 KOs), 30, of the Philippines, for the entire fight before knocking Doronio out at 2 minutes, 29 seconds of the sixth and final round.

Rodriguez landed a bevy of clean shots on a tough Doronio before clipping him with a left hook on the chin in the final round. Doronio beat the count but was unsteady, and referee Benjy Esteves stopped the bout.

Rodriguez was fighting for the second time since a 22-month layoff caused mainly by a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which required surgery. He came notched a first-round knockout on July 13.


Adorno outpoints Reyes

Junior featherweight Jeremy Adorno (3-0, 1 KO), 18, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, dropped Misael Reyes (1-3, 0 KOs), 25, of Kansas City, Kansas, and won a unanimous decision. Two judges had it a 40-35 shutout, but the third judge had it 38-37.

Adorno, the younger brother of lightweight Joseph Adorno, who was scheduled for later on the card, dominated the bout. His biggest moment came in the second round, when Adorno landed a solid left to the body and came upstairs with a right hand on the chin behind to drop Sosa.


Vargas shuts out Rodriguez

Junior welterweight Josue Vargas (15-1, 9 KOs), a 21-year-old Puerto Rican southpaw from Bronx, New York, won his ninth fight in a row with a shutout decision against Johnny Rodriguez (9-5-1, 6 KOs), 38, of Denver.

Vargas, who won 80-72 on all three scorecards, dominated virtually every moment of the fight. He pounded Vargas with a harsh body attack throughout the fight and had a particularly big seventh round.


Seals drills Trosch in first round

Light heavyweight contender Michael Seals (24-2, 18 KOs), 37, of Mobile, Alabama, who goes by the nickname “Cannon Handz,” scored a highlight-reel first-round knockout of Elio Heraldo Trosch (14-9-2, 7 KOs), 30, of Argentina, in a scheduled 10-rounder.

As they got close for an exchange, Seals unleashed a sweeping left hook that caught Trosch square on the chin and knocked him flat on his back. Trosch struggled to his feet but was terribly off balance and fell into the ropes on the other side of the ring, causing referee Eric Dali to stop the bout at 1 minute, 38 seconds.

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