Highlights: Batyrzhan Jukembayev wins split decision over Hugo Roldan on ProBox


A split personality main event ended up a split decision on ProBox TV tonight, as Batyrzhan Jukembayev and Hugo Roldan gave us a frustrating hybrid of a wild action fight and a tedious Greco-Roman wrestling match.

Jukembayev (21-1, 16 KO) had to climb out of a hole after taking either a flash or balance knockdown midway through the 1st round. Roldan (22-2-1, 7 KO) frustrated him with unusual attack angles, and more than a little bit of leading with the crown of his head. Jukembayev found his counter timing in the 3rd, sniping Roldan on his attempted bull-rushes and wobbling his legs. Roldan did a lot more holding after that, and the fight degenerated into brief bursts of action between extended holds and tangles.

No warnings on the holds from the referee, who also had a very generous interpretation of slips vs. knockdowns. Roldan was down on ruled slips in the 2nd, 7th, and 10th rounds, all of which were some degree of debatable, though the rulings were at least consistent. The headbutts from Roldan also opened a cut over the eye of Jukembayev in the 8th round, but no warnings were issued.

Roldan’s shoes fell apart midway through the fight, and had to be taped together between the 4th and 5th round because the soles were separating from the tops of the boots. It didn’t compromise Roldan’s movement, but that free and easy movement may have cost him the fight. Official scores were 97-92 for Roldan, overruled by 96-93 and 95-94 for Jukembayev. Roldan’s decision to fight the 10th as though he already had the fight in pocket probably cost him the decisive point, and the 95-94 scorecard might have swung the other way if Roldan hadn’t fled from engagement throughout the closing round.

For what it’s worth, BLH had it unofficially 97-92 for Jukembayev, who did more and better work throughout. Here’s the knockdown, the best and cleanest highlight from this one.

Kareem Hackett UD-10 Clay Waterman

Unanimous victory for Kareem Hackett in the chief support, who mixed slick hands with what could generously be described as lumbering footwork to win all but one round from a single judge. But that functional, if not graceful, movement from Hackett (12-0, 6 KO), combined with good boxing at range, was enough to control this fight from start to finish.

Clay Waterman didn’t create many inside opportunities, and didn’t manufacture much with what he got. Even sequences that looked good for Waterman (11-1, 8 KO) in real time showed Hackett slipping and dodging when replayed between rounds. Hackett never really pushed for the early finish, even after a nice series in the 7th where he bent Waterman’s head backwards with a pair of big shots.

We did get a little dance-off near the end of the 6th round. Enjoy it!

Ismael Villarreal TKO-2 John David Martinez

The opener was a feeling out 1st round, then a three-knockdown triumph for Ismael Villarreal in the 2nd and final. Not a lot of resistance from John David Martinez here, as he went to the canvas repeatedly without taking anything that looked like a disorienting power punch. Villarreal improves to 13-1 (9 KO), while Martinez falls to 19-3 (16 KO) with the TKO stoppage after knockdown number three.

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