FUV Combat Sports Report 5/19
It was an intimate feel last night at Lou DiBella's Broadway Boxing at the Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn. There was not a bad seat in the house, and the atmosphere was that of a friendly environment. The People's Promoter DiBella, who is a friend of FUV, seems to have a knack for putting on these type of events, save for the occasional Barclays Center brawl in the lobby. The action in the squared circle was of quality as well. Those who were expected to dominate did just that, and sent their respective supporters home happy.
The first bout of the evening, a late addition between Ukranian heavyweight Iegor Plevako and 313 pounder Lamarco Ellis, resembled an old ECW pro wrestling match between the Sandman and the Zombie, in which the Zombie took a 10 second beating. Ellis is possibly the worst fighter in the world, and he spent his two minutes in the ring throwing wild, weak punches while his more competent opponent pounded him against the ropes. It was hard to watch.
The second bout featured unbeaten Irishman Noel Murphy battling journeyman Brian Jones in a welterweight bout. Murphy pitched a near shutout, defending well and landing the crisp, clean shots all while standing in the pocket. Jones had his moments, but it would hardly be a surprise to see Murphy climb the opponent ladder sooner than later.
The fighter with the best performance of the night was clearly Charles Conwell, a 2016 Olympian from Cleveland, OH. In only his second pro bout, the 19 year old handled his business with ease, landing big power shots and forcing a premature stoppage from the referee early in the first round. Conwell is a major prospect at 154 pounds, and the more active he is, the better he will become.
And then there was the main event of the evening. Heather "The Heat" Hardy, one of the faces of the Brooklyn Boxing brand, put her unbeaten record on the line once again against formidable foe Edina Kiss. Big shots were thrown early on in the bout, but it was Hardy connecting and knocking Kiss back. The skill and power advantage for Hardy was apparent throughout the fight, and she wound up pitching a shutout in the eyes of many.
It was after the fight where the big news was made. Hardy announced that she will be competing in Mixed Martial Arts for the first time at Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden in June. She will continue to box and pursue a world title shot while competing in MMA. This is a big get for Bellator, who lacks the female star power that the UFC possesses. Holly Holm became a star in the UFC based on her boxing ability, and so can Hardy. This also shows that Bellator is serious about its womens 125 pound division, which the UFC currently lacks. Her debut in the cage will be as anticipated of a debut as there has been in womens MMA.
CRAWFORD VS DIAZ
The big fight this weekend pits the top fighter at 140 pounds and possibly in the world in Top Rank's Terrence "Bud" Crawford against DiBella's Felix Diaz at MSG on Saturday night on HBO. Crawford has looked unbeatable in his pro career. He followed up his PPV dismantling of Viktor Postol with a dominant performance over the overmatched John Molina Jr. Diaz will be no pushover. He is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic, and shouldn't be an early round pushover for Bud. The odds are clearly in Crawford's favor though, with the WBC and WBO champ getting -2500 odds, which ironically is the same odds that Roman Gonzalez had when he lost to Srisaket Sor Rungvasi earlier this year at the Garden. It should be another victory for the Omaha, Nebraska native, but anything can happen in the ring.
Also of note on the card is the New York debut of 2016 Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson. The Newark, NJ native is 1-0 in his career so far, and will look to cement himself even further as a blue chip prospect.