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Mayer Decisions Hamadouche In Unification

Mayer Decisions Hamadouche In Unification

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Mayer Decisions Hamadouche In Unification

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Mayer Decisions Hamadouche In Unification

WBO junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer (16-0, 5 KOs) defeated IBF champion Maiva Hamadouche (22-2, 18 KOs) by unanimous decision to unify titles Friday evening at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

The scorecards — 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92 — did not do Hamadouche’s effort justice. Hamadouche, who had been champion for five years and six title defenses, landed 233 of 872 punches. Mayer was more accurate, landing 239 of 594 blows.

“{I showed} I could bang it out on the inside. That wasn’t really the entire game plan,” Mayer said. “The game plan was to use my jab, but in the back of my head, I knew she was going to keep it close, keep me on the inside. Even though we trained for that, just being able to do that for 10 straight rounds taught me a lot.

“This is everything I trained for. It really hasn’t even sunk in, but I’m proud of what I did. I’m proud of my team. We’re going to celebrate this one, for sure.”

Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “This was a sensational fight, one of the best fights of the year, male or female. These two ladies are a credit to the sport, and they left it all in the ring. It was a close fight, but I felt Mikaela did more than enough to have her hand raised.”

With the victory, Mayer now sets her sights on the undisputed crown.

Mayer said, “I really wanted to show everyone in the division and the naysayers that I didn’t have the power and the grit to stay in there for 10 rounds with Hamadouche that I am the best in the division. I am coming to be undisputed, and I want the big fights. I’m definitely a threat.”

In other action that aired on the card:

Puerto Rican upstart Luis Melendez (17-1, 13 KOs) notched the biggest win of his career, edging Cleveland native Thomas Mattice (17-3-1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision in an eight-round junior lightweight tilt. All three judges scored the fight 77-75 for Melendez, who built an early lead and held off Mattice’s late rally. Mattice landed 37 more punches over the second half of the fight (81-44). Watching this, I felt assure you that this fight looked to be in favor of Mattice.

Abdullah Mason (1-0, 1 KO), the 17-year-old southpaw lightweight prodigy from Cleveland, had an eye-opening professional debut, knocking out Jaylan Phillips (1-1, 1 KO) in the second round. Mason had Phillips pinned against the ropes and unloaded with a series of crosses. Phillips’ knees buckled, and that was enough for referee Robert Hoyle to step in and prevent further carnage.

Las Vegas native Andres “Savage” Cortes (16-0, 9 KOs) had a fitting homecoming, knocking out Filipino veteran Mark Bernaldez (23-5, 17 KOs) in the third round of a junior lightweight bout. Cortes snapped Bernaldez’s head back with a few crisp right hands, prompting referee Allen Huggins to step in. Bernaldez protested the stoppage, his first knockout defeat in more than three years.

Middleweight Ian Green (15-2, 11 KOs) upset the previously undefeated Tyler Howard (19-1, 11 KOs) by a near-shutout eight-round unanimous decision (79-72 2x and 80-71). Howard had a point deducted in the fourth round for a shot after the bell, and it didn’t get much better for him in the second half of the fight.

Rowdy Legend Montgomery (7-3-1, 5 KOs) lived up to his middle name. The Southern California super middleweight opened the card with a one-punch knockout over Martez McGregor (8-6, 6 KOs) in the third round.

Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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