Boxing review: PBC’s first Spike TV card brings the action Friday

Thanks to the lively action and atmosphere, Premier Boxing Champions’ first Friday outing improved upon its NBC debut.

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Andre Berto (left) celebrates his knockout win over Josesito Lopez as referee Raul Caiz Jr. stops the fight in March. Photo: Courtesy PBC
Andre Berto (left) celebrates his knockout win over Josesito Lopez as referee Raul Caiz Jr. stops the fight in March. Photo: Courtesy PBC

SAN DIEGO, March 13, 2015 – Premier Boxing Champions brought its new boxing series to Friday nights and SpikeTV from Ontario, Calif., with a crowd-pleasing lineup featuring two hometown heroes and plenty of action to satisfy any boxing fan.

In the main event, Andre Berto of Haiti (30-3-0, 23 KOs) scored a sixth-round knockout victory over Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez (33-7-0, 19 KOs) disappointing his boisterous supporters. Lopez got off to a strong start against Berto in their welterweight contest, working the body smartly. The partisan crowd roared its approval of every punch he threw. Berto was off to a slow start, and it didn’t make his corner happy.

By round 3, Berto had finally warmed up, or perhaps woken up. He started controlling Lopez, working on him in corners and against the ropes. In the sixth round, Berto caught Lopez with an accurate straight right, sitting him down hard. Berto gave him no time after beating the count, tagging Lopez again. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. had seen enough and stopped the bout at 1:03 of the round.

The disappointed crowd took their frustration out on Berto, booing him as he celebrated his win and taunted them. It continued until he finally exited the arena.

Erick Bone (left) was game on short notice, but no real match for the rebooted Shawn Porter. Photo: Courtesy PBC
Erick Bone (left) was game on short notice, but no real match for the rebooted Shawn Porter. Photo: Courtesy PBC

After his loss to Britain’s Kell Brook in August, American Shawn “Showtime” Porter said he would “go back to the drawing board… No excuses at this point.”

The reboot did Porter a lot of good, allowing him to win a fifth-round knockout in a dominating performance against Erick Bone of Ecuador (18-2-0, 8 KOs), a late replacement when Porter’s original opponent Roberto Garcia became ill.

Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs) was far more active in this fight. Bone did his best to keep right up with him and under the circumstances he has nothing to be ashamed of. He was gradually overpowered by Porter. Both threw a lot of shots that missed, but when they started connecting, Porter did damage.

Trading in the fifth, Bone went down, but it was ruled a slip on the canvas. Porter went back to work, and this time Bone took a knee in the corner. He got back up, and Porter finished him off with an impressive left hook to the head. Jack Reiss gave Bone the courtesy of a count, but the fight was over at 2:36 of the fifth round. Porter successfully put himself back in the mix in the welterweight division with this show, and he shouldn’t have to fight on a Friday night next time he’s in the ring.

Local favorite Chris Arreola of Riverside and Curtis Harper of Florida put on a barroom brawl of a fight. There was zero finesse involved, and no one in the audience cared. The pair put the “heavy” in heavyweight. Road work was not involved in their fight prep. Arreola came out throwing bombs and put Harper down in the first minute. Was the bout going to be over this fast?

Chris Arreola (left) and Curtis Harper put on a slugfest for fans Friday. Photo: Courtesy PBC
Chris Arreola (left) and Curtis Harper put on a slugfest for fans Friday. Photo: Courtesy PBC

No. Harper got up, and the pair carried on, blasting each other for all eight rounds. Harper won several rounds and kept it close. It appeared Arreola hurt his right hand midway through the bout. Thank goodness it was only eight rounds. And it wasn’t even supposed to be on TV. The judge gave Arreola the unanimous decision with scores of 78-73, 76-75, and Pat Russell, 77-74

It was a crowd pleaser for fans, but this kind of bout takes a toil on the boxers. Chris Arreola has been in the ring with far higher level opposition like Seth Mitchell and Bermane Stiverne. He’s not doing what he needs to stay there. Arreola should have won this bout with ease, but Harper made him pay for the victory. Arreola needs to rethink his future; please, Chris, don’t let anyone feed you to Deontay Wilder.

PBC’s stagecraft inside the arena is modern and good-looking, if a little cold. The solo ring walks using the Hans Zimmer soundtrack aren’t firing up fans like the traditional ring walks with posse in tow accompanied by songs of the fighter’s choice. PBC promised technology innovations, but how did referee Jack Reiss let himself get talked into wearing this POV headband camera?

The Jack Reiss "Referee Cam" used during the Porter-Bone fight Friday. Photo: Courtesy PBC
The Jack Reiss “Referee Cam” used during the Porter-Bone fight Friday. Photo: Courtesy PBC

This is quibbling though. When fighter names are trending on social media and they aren’t Mayweather or Pacquiao, it’s a sign that boxing is healthy and far from dead.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2015 by Falcon Valley Group

 

 

 

 

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