Batyrzhan Jukembayev picked up another victory on ProBox TV, keeping Mohamed Mimoune in cover up mode most of the night through the threat of his power and short, crisp punches.
Jukembayev (22-1, 16 KO) never came close to an early finish, though he did stun Mimoune a bit in the 4th and again a few rounds later. But Mimoune (23-6, 4 KO) was reluctant to throw combinations, keeping his hands at home to protect from Jukembayev’s power. Mimoune had bruises on his shoulder from blocked punches before he finally started firing off combinations in the later rounds, but by then he’d given away too many for it to matter. Official scores were 98-92, 98-92, and 99-91 in favor of Jukembayev.
Kelvin Davis UD-8 Clarence Booth
Refereeing a fight is a difficult, thankless task. I understand that. I’m sympathetic to that. But, perhaps the Florida Athletic Commission could use their Fiscal Year 2024 budget on some sort of Bat-Signal device to summon referee Alicia Collins for ProBox events. Because when she’s not managing the action, things often get out of hand.
Tonight, it was referee Gene Del Bianco who largely stood by and let a boxing match turn into MMA grappling. The only time Del Bianco really injected himself was in the 5th round, when he took a point from both fighters for a grappling mess that sent all three men sprawling to the canvas.
Del Bianco would alternate between idly watching Kelvin Davis hug and grab at Clarence Booth and then, for some reason, breaking up half-clinches where Booth still had an arm free and was landing legal punches. Booth even had an entire conversation with Del Bianco in the 8th round while Davis was squeezing him like a set of bagpipes, and Del Bianco didn’t even break up the clinch. Davis did get a useless warning with 90 seconds to go, but it could and should have come six rounds sooner.
Oh, but how was the fight? Not great! Booth (21-9, 13 KO) had a significant height and reach disadvantage, and while he did a pretty solid job of forcing his way in range, he didn’t have the footwork or speed to cut off the ring. As for Davis? This may just be his level, as he did little to distinguish himself. Davis (11-0, 6 KO) was a bit lazy in many of his tie-ups, despite getting ample practice through the night. His body language also wasn’t great, seldom engaging the action and often looking bored while constantly circling and retreating.
Scores were a little unusual because of the double deduction and accompanying 9-8 round. I had it a 75-75 draw, with Booth winning several rounds due to a near total lack of output from Davis. But, the judges saw a totally different fight, delivering the unanimous decision to Davis on scores of 78-72, 79-71, and 79-71.
The crowd didn’t care for the action or the scores, booing lustily for much of the fight and with particular gusto when the decision was read. The official results also had color analyst Paulie Malignaggi asking if marijuana gummies were legal in Florida, and whether the judges might have indulged in some before scoring this fight.
Najee Lopez TKO-3 Yildo Depestre
Dominant performance from Lopez (9-0, 8 KO), who got a knockdown in the final seconds of the 1st on a left hand that hit half temple, half gloves. That one was a footwork or balance knockdown, but a violent combination early in the 3rd put Depestre (7-1, 5 KO) down hard and left him disoriented and tangled up in the ropes.
Dominic Valle KO-2 Jenel Lausa
Dominic Valle (8-0, 6 KO) only needed a little over four and a half minutes to finish the opening fight, putting Jenel Lausa (11-2, 7 KO) down and out on a left hook to the body midway through the 2nd.
There was some discussion after the finish about whether it would be classified as a No Contest because of a claim the punch was low. But, replay was very clear the punch was legal, and it’s officially another knockout for Valle.