Dakota Linger Overwhelms Kurt Scoby, Snatches His Undefeated Status

Boxing Scene

In the junior welterweight main event of a Friday card at Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Dakota Linger (14-7-3, 10 KOs) shocked Kurt Scoby (13-1, 11 KOs) with a sixth-round stoppage, handing the previously undefeated fighter his first loss.

Scoby, a 28-year-old Californian, started brightly and boxed well in spots, but eventually crumbled under Linger’s chaotic barrage of power shots.

The first round saw Scoby quickly walk Linger down, the latter’s back touching the ropes within 10 seconds of the opening bell. It was significant even if just one telling blow landed – a good right hand from Scoby when Linger was on the ropes. 

Linger, 29, from West Virginia, found success in the second, landing inside uppercuts and power shots. Still, Scoby had a clear edge in speed and found opportunities to hurl sharp counters between Linger’s comparatively wild swings.

Linger’s volume punching continued to be a factor in the third round. The crowd roared as Linger staggered Scoby with a hard right-left combination and marched him back.

Apparently channeling Gustavo Lemos’ recent helter-skelter attack against Richardson Hitchins, Linger poured it on in the fourth, landing additional power shots. Scoby showed no fear, not clinching frequently, as Hitchins had – but the punishment appeared to wear him down. By round’s end, his slick boxing had faded and he was a stationary target.

Scoby had a comeback round in the fifth, eating a couple more right hands but landing in return as he boxed and moved.

In the sixth, though, the avalanche that was Linger became too much to resist. He caught Scoby with increasingly clean shots as the round progressed, finally backing him to the ropes and unloading a barrage. Some may feel that the stoppage came early, but with Scoby not throwing back, referee Malik Waleed’s decision to wave it off was justified.

“I could feel that I started to take control after the third round,” Linger said on the DAZN broadcast after the fight. “I could see that he was starting to wear down, and I knew that if I just kept pressuring and pressuring, he was going to get tired.”

Linger praised Scoby’s strength, even admitting to being dazed after a couple of the previously undefeated fighter’s shots. The difference in the end: Linger never let up.

Brandon Adams Finds Beautiful Body Shot to Stop Ismael Villarreal

The co-main saw Brandon Adams (24-3, 16 KOs) stop Ismael Villarreal (13-3, 9 KOs) at 2:59 in the third round with a superb left to the body. The fight was a quarterfinal in the OTX 154-pound tournament. Villarreal, fresh off a close unanimous decision loss to Callum Walsh, was competitive early as the fighters traded hard shots on the inside. Neither fighter seemed hurt by anything the other had thrown. Then Adams’ left hand detonated on Villarreal’s side and it was over.

Villarreal tried to make it to his feet, but as the count reached 10, he was overcome with pain and forced into a crouch again.

Adams was fighting for the first time in three years, but he showed few signs of rust in the spectacular display.

Earlier in the night, in another quarterfinal of the OTX 154-pound tournament, Francisco Veron (14-0-1, 10 KOs) won a wide decision over Angel Ruiz (18-4-1, 13 KOs) by scores of 100-90, 99-91, and 96-94.

Veron’s left eye closed rapidly even as he pushed Ruiz against the ropes and unloaded on him in the opening rounds. Though Ruiz at times rocked Veron with left hands, Veron remained poised and came forward for the majority of the night to take home a deserved decision. The fighters shared a heartwarming embrace afterwards.

Veron will fight Adams in the tournament semifinals next on May 31.

David Lopez (5-0, 4 KOs), a 20-year-old prospect, knocked out Anthony Mora (3-2-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round junior welterweight fight. Lopez worked behind the jab early, before unloading a combination punctuated by a straight left hand that heavily dropped Mora, who looked pained and could not beat the count.

Nathan Lugo (1-0, 1 KO) delivered a first-round knockout of his own, stopping Robert Lartigue (1-2, 1 KO) early in a super middleweight bout scheduled for four. Lugo, 19, was far younger than his 33-year-old opponent, but he had a decorated amateur career. He sent Lartigue to the canvas with a flurry in the first minute, then knocked him through the ropes with a clubbing right hand, leaving Lartigue in no condition to continue.

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