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Fast Results from Atlanta: Davis TKOs Gamboa; Jack and Uzcategui Upset

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  • Fast Results from Atlanta: Davis TKOs Gamboa; Jack and Uzcategui Upset

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    By Arne K. Lang

    Tonight, Mayweather Promotions, in tandem with SHOWTIME, brought the first world title fight to Atlanta in 21 years (since Atlanta resident Evander Holyfield opposed Vaughn Bean at the old Georgia Dome). Headlining the show was lightweight Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a Baltimore native who reportedly owns a home in Atlanta. Davis, who has a big following on social media, was matched against Yuriorkis Gamboa, the Miami-based Cuban defector who formerly held titles at 126, 130, and 135 pounds. At stake was the vacant WBA world lightweight title.

    The undefeated Davis, 25, was a huge favorite over the 38-year-old Gamboa whose best years were thought to be behind him. And, as expected, youth was served. Davis scored knockdowns in the second, eighth, and 12th rounds, the final knockdown prompting Gamboa’s corner to toss in the towel. The official time was 1:17.

    Davis was far ahead on the scorecards, but yet there were chinks in his game. His output slowed down considerably in the late rounds although he did get a second wind in the 12th when Gamboa was even more tired than he.

    There was a strange incident at the start of round three when Gamboa had difficulty planting his right leg which apparently had something to do with his shoe. He gave a look to referee Jack Reiss which suggested he couldn’t compete anymore, but Reiss, imported from LA, insisted on the fight continuing and Gamboa made new friends with his brave effort.

    Davis, who hadn’t previously answered the bell for more than nine rounds, improved to 23-0 (22 KOs). Gamboa suffered his third loss in 33 fights.

    Co-Feature

    In a great action fight, Badou Jack once again came on strong at the end without the satisfaction of having his hand raised. It was the continuation of a pattern. In previous fights with Lucien Bute, James DeGale, and Adonis Stevenson, Jack had a big 12th round but managed only a draw. Tonight against Jean Pascal it was worse for Jack as he was on the wrong side of a split decision.

    The battle between the veteran campaigners with a secondary WBA 175-pound title at stake saw Pascal, 37, build a sizable lead. Late in the fourth round, the Canadian by way of Haiti knocked Jack, 36, to the canvas with a pair of clubbing rights, but Jack would return the favor in the final stanza.

    With the win, however unpopular, Pascal (35-6-1) continued his late career resurgence. Badou Jack, a former two-division champion, declined to 23-3-3.

    Other Bouts of Note

    In an upset, Lionell Thompson, a Mayweather Gym product by way of Buffalo, NY, dropped down in weight and won a 10-round unanimous decision over former IBF 168-pound world champion Jose Uzcategui. Thompson (22-5) started strong, decking Thompson in the opening round, and finished strong to prevail by scores of 95-94 and 96-92 twice. Heading into the fight, Uzcategui’s comments suggested that he was looking past Thompson to a rematch with Caleb Plant. Thompson, 34, rejuvenated a flagging career. Uzacategui, a Venezuelan who fights out of Tijuana, declined to 29-4.

    In a fight billed as an IBF super bantamweight eliminator, Albuquerque’s Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) turned in a career-best performance, dropping Cesar Juarez three times en route to an 11th round stoppage. Leo had Juarez down twice in the 7th and again in the 11th before the ref called a halt, cognizant that Juarez was far behind on the cards. A former two-time world title challenger, Juarez lost for the eighth time in 33 starts.

    In a rare match of rising contenders, both unbeaten, Gervonta’s Baltimore stablemate, super lightweight Malik Hawkins, improved to 18-0 (11) with a fifth-round stoppage of Houston’s Darwin Price (16-1) who injured his leg while moving backward and was forced to withdraw from what had been a competitive fight.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel
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