Ward vs. Kovalev 2: Non-Televised Undercard Results

By Caryn A. Tate on June 17, 2017
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: Non-Televised Undercard Results
In the 6th and final round, Enriko Gogokhia began clowning and running around the ring.

Gogokhia began landing his straight left more often and with good effect, and it took its toll on Steele…

Kicking off the non-televised undercard for the Ward vs. Kovalev rematch were welterweights Jonathan Steele (7-0, 5 KOs) vs. Enriko Gogokhia (4-0, 2 KOs). Both fighters had their moments in round 1. Gogokhia, a southpaw, began landing the cleaner and more consistent punches, and took the round. Round 2 looked similar, though Texan Steele had his moments, particularly when he began using his jab more and pressed his opponent. Steele showed some good skill, particularly his upper body movement and defense, and he would occasionally throw Gogokhia off by showing him different looks. But as the fight progressed, Gogokhia began landing his straight left more often and with good effect, and it took its toll on Steele.

Referee Jay Nady had to warn Gogokhia a few times for pushing Steele’s head down. It typically occurred when Steele made more of a fight out of it, which troubled the Russian-schooled Gogokhia. In the 5th round, Steele had a great moment when he hurt Gogokhia but seemed to restrain himself from pressing his advantage. In the 6th and final round, Gogokhia—apparently knowing he was comfortably ahead on the cards—began clowning and running around the ring, to the audience’s displeasure. Gogokhia won a deserved unanimous decision, but I would definitely like to see Steele again.

Next up were middleweights Alex Sandro Duarte (6-0, 4 KOs) vs. Bakhram Murtazaliev (8-0, 6 KOs) in a 6-round bout. In round 1, Murtazaliev dropped Duarte with a clean body shot, and when Duarte rose, he hurt him again with a punch upstairs. Shortly thereafter, Duarte was dropped with another body shot and referee Robert Byrd called a stop to the contest.

Junior welterweights Brando Sanudo (5-4, 2 KOs) and John Bauza (6-0, 3 KOs) entered the ring next for a four rounder. Bauza, a southpaw, pressured and dominated Sanudo from the beginning. When he did throw, Sanudo’s punches were wide and easy to avoid. Bauza knocked Sanudo down near the end of the round to cap off his strong start. In round 2, Bauza landed a clean left hand to the body and knocked Sanudo down. Referee Kenny Bayless called a stop to the fight when he didn’t like how Sanudo looked after arising.

Christopher Martin (30-8-3, 10 KOs) vs. Tramaine Williams (10-0, 3 KOs) were up next in an 8-round junior featherweight bout. Williams, a southpaw, established his jab early and found a home for his left hand. He stunned Martin later in the round and trapped him against the ropes in the corner, with referee Kenny Bayless watching carefully. Unsteady on his feet, Martin was dropped shortly thereafter and given a count, but made it through the round. In round 2, Williams continued to land cleanly and finally the referee stopped the fight. Williams was infuriated and cursed in response, but there’s no denying it was a good stoppage with the clean shots he was taking.

Middleweights Fabiano Pena (16-7-1, 13 KOs) and Vaughn Alexander (9-0, 6 KOs) faced off next in an 8-round bout. There was some good give-and-take from both fighters in the first round, but Alexander was the more effective and landed the cleaner punches—many of Pena’s punches looked good but they landed on the gloves. As round 2 progressed, Alexander seemed to gain more confidence and landed more clean shots, particularly to the body and particularly in combination. In round 3, Alexander even began dropping his lead hand more as his comfort increased. He was able to fairly easily slip most of Pena’s shots and respond with clean punches of his own. Similar to Canelo, Alexander has the feet of a puncher but the upper body movement of a boxer—and he uses both to good effect. Between rounds 4 and 5, referee Jay Nady called a stop to the bout. It was later revealed that Pena sustained a rib injury.

Zoltan Sera (28-12, 19 KOs) faced off against Junior Younan (11-0, 8 KOs) in the final bout of the free-view undercard, in a 6-round super middleweight fight. It was a very short fight—Younan displayed great movement and power shots, and forced the referee to jump in.

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