This was one of the best cards that Top Rank have put on since the pandemic hit in my opinion. It was good on paper and it mostly delivered in the ring as well.
The first fight was a low level heavyweight fight between Kingsley Ibeh and Waldo Cortes Acosta. Neither looked like world beaters but Ibeh seems to have decent power and could perhaps be in a few good fights if he learns to keeps his chin down. Ibeh won and should stay on the small hall shows learning his craft before taking a shot as a B-side versus a rising contender. Cortes should also go back to the small hall’s but if he gets call’s to be an opponent for prospects I would take it.
I enjoyed Reymond Yanong versus Clay Burns and felt Yanong took a deserved decision. Both of these fighters can continue to be good tests for prospects and if they win a few in a row could perhaps face a guy in the top 20 though I doubt that happens.
Vlad Panin versus Benjamin Whitaker was an average fight but I didn’t see anything from either fighter to suggest they can go all the way to the top. Whitaker should continue to take opportunities as a B-side as he’s very capable of pulling off the upset especially if he let his hands go more. Panin should continue trying to develop as a prospect or if offered be a step up opponent for an elite welterweight prospect as he’ll make good money doing so.
Orlando Gonzalez-Ruiz versus Luis Porozo was a competitive fight which should’ve been a good learning experience for Gonzalez. Porozo should continue competing at this level if he can as outside of the knockdowns I though he was very competitive. Gonzalez has a lot to work on and I think Top Rank should continue to match him around this level.
Abraham Nova versus Avery Sparrow was a very cagey fight where neither fighter looked their best. I think Sparrow should continue to fight at a high level like this however he really needs to be more active. He’s a good fighter but he’s only had 13 fights and hadn’t fought for over a year. Nova looks like a very good prospect though he wasn’t as aggressive as I thought he would be in this fight. I was very impressed with his defense and I thought he clearly won in the end. I heard that it’s likely he’ll be fighting Masayuki Ito next and I think thats the perfect next fight for him.
Jason Moloney versus Leonardo Baez was very entertaining as both went to absolute war on the inside. Baez tried his best but was to wide with his punches in the end and wisely stayed on his stool at the end of the 7th round. I think he should take an easier fight next before getting right back into the mix at either 118 or 122. Jason Moloney was very impressive in how he handled Baez both on the inside and the outside. I’d like too see him in a rematch versus Emmanuel Rodriguez or in fights versus Jose Velasquez or Juan Carlos Payano.