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Keyshawn Davis Impressive On Valdez-Stevenson Undercard

Keyshawn Davis Impressive On Valdez-Stevenson Undercard

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Keyshawn Davis Impressive On Valdez-Stevenson Undercard

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Keyshawn Davis Impressive On Valdez-Stevenson Undercard

LAS VEGAS – Lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis, who claimed a silver medal at this past summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympics, dominated Esteban Sanchez en route to a sixth-round knockout on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

In the co-feature of the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson junior lightweight title unification fight, Davis did as he pleased.He boxed and moved but also was fast with his jab and left uppercuts. Sanchez tried to get rough with Davis but had minimal success.

Davis pounded Sanchez into a corner in the fifth round and had him in big trouble, but he survived the onslaught. Moments later, Davis landed another series of vicious shots, including a flush left hook, but Sanchez (18-2, 8 KOs), 23, made it out of round.

Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), 23, of Norfolk, Virginia, hurt him again early in the sixth round with a series of hooks and later forced him to the ropes. When he landed a dynamite right uppercut referee Robert Hoyle stopped the fight at 2 minutes, 44 seconds.

“I just kept staying steady, staying with my rhythm,” Davis said. “My coach (Brian McIntyre) kept telling me to go the body. I was trying to stab him a lot in the rounds, and honestly, I was just picking up round after round. I loved this fight because it challenged me. I felt challenged in the ring. I was happy I got a great performance and the stoppage.”

–Ali Walsh erases Ibarra

In the opener of the ESPN-televised main card, Las Vegas middleweight Nico Ali Walsh (5-0, 4 KOs), 21, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, scored a titanic first-round knockout of Alejandro Ibarra (7-2, 2 KOs), 28, of Denver.

“This is just a testament to all the work I put in. Stuff like this happens when you put the work in,” Ali Walsh said. “I’m bringing my grandpa back to life, and that’s why mom gets so emotional because she’s seeing her dad again and hearing her dad’s name to me.”

The fight was Ali Walsh’s first professional bout in his hometown and he delivered impressively. Ali Walsh took control from the outset, moved Ibarra around the ring and then as the round wound down, stuck a jab in his face and came over the top with a right hand that landed flush and dropped Ibarra hard. Referee Russell Mora knelt by the fallen fighter and then vigorously waved it off at 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

“I was setting him up with the right hand,” Ali Walsh said. “I noticed his left hand was going down when he threw the jab. I was trying to counter it, and that’s what I did. I wish the best for him and his team. He’s a true warrior. But I just waited for that setup, and I saw it and I took advantage.”

–Also on the undercard:

Robert Garcia-trained lightweight up-and-comer Raymond Muratalla (14-0, 12 KOs), 25, of Fontana, California, pounded Jeremy Hill (16-3, 11 KOs), 29, of New Orleans, in a one-sided third-round knockout win.
Muratalla dropped him in the first round and punished him and nearly stopped him in the second round. In the third round, he finished Hill off with a left uppercut followed by a flush right on the nose that knocked him down hard and forced referee Tony Weeks to wave it off at 2:27.

In an action-packed but mostly one-sided fight, Las Vegas junior lightweight Andres Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs), 24, knocked out Alexis del Bosque (18-6-1, 9 KOs ), 27, of Dallas in the sixth round. They traded with abandon for most of the fight but with Cortes usually getting the better of it.

In the toe-to-toe fourth round, Cortes pounded del Bosque, including knocking him down with a body shot. He barely beat the count but was able to come back and land some punishing shots.
But in the sixth round, Cortes landed a savage three-punch combination punctuated by a right hand that dropped del Bosque, who had a bad cut over his right eye. He beat the count but was very wobbly and referee Celestino Ruiz waved it off at 43 seconds.

Middleweight Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs), 23, a 2020 U.S. Olympian from Alexandria, Virginia, dropped Anthony Hannah (3-3, 2 KOs), 30, of Augusta, Georgia, twice in the second round for a knockout victory. After Isley floored Hannah for the second time with a right hand, Hannah’s corner threw in the towel and referee Robert Hoyle called it off before finishing the count at 2:33. Isley won his third fight since returning to the pros following last summer’s delayed Tokyo Games.

Cleveland lightweight prospect Abdullah Mason (2-0, 1 KO), an 18-year-old southpaw, who turned pro at age 17 in November, overpowered Luciano Ramos (1-3, 0 KOs), 27, of Argentina, in the first round of their four-rounder. Mason took it to him from the outset, hurt him repeatedly and when he forced him to the ropes and was blasting away, referee Tony Weeks stopped it at 2:32.

Junior welterweight Antoine Cobb (1-0-1, 1 KO), 26, of Chicago, who is a friend and training partner of Stevenson’s, and Jaylan Phillips (1-2-1, 1 KO), 22, of Ebro, Florida, fought to a spirited majority draw. Two judges had the fight 38-38 and one had it 39-37 for Phillips.

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Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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