Undercard results Saturday: Soto and Takayama deliver Texas sized thrills
SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 8, 2021 – Elwin Soto of Mexicali (19-1, 13 KOs) and Katsunari Takayama of Japan (32-9, 12 KOs) gave the Texas fans a thrilling co-main content, making every second count in the fight for Soto’s WBO World Light Flyweight, with Soto prevailing by ninth-round TKO after referee Laurence Cole waived off the fight at 2:44 of the round.
Soto set the tone from the opening bell, and Takayama was willing to engage. The former minimumweight champion has been in tough plenty of times in an 18-year career, including a 12-round fight with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. The 37-year-old veteran showed a lot of bravery standing in with Soto, and he made Soto work. He invoked some veteran tactics by dancing and shuffling in front of Soto.
Nevertheless, Takayama ate a lot of power punches from Soto. Still, he was in the fight even as Soto wobbled him several times at the end of the rounds. The Texas crowd rallied to the Japanese challenger’s side. But Soto was dominating the rounds, and Cole saw fit to save the veteran from any more damage when Soto moved in and wobbled Takayama near the end of the ninth round.
Takayama and his corner were irate at the stopped, and Takayama made his point by going to the center of the ring and throwing flurries to the delight of the fans. If this is Takayama’s final fight, he went out in style.
Soto continues to impress since he won the title as an underdog from Angel Acosta in 2019, He outlanded Takayama in seven of the nine rounds, and tied in the other two, landed 281 of 741 punches versus 169 of 966 for Takayama.
Souleymane Cissokho takes title from Kieron Conway
Souleymane Cissokho of France via Senegal (13-0, 8 KOs) pulled off a narrow victory despite a knockdown in a split decision win against Kieron Conway of England (16-2-1, 3 KOs) to become the new WBA Intercontinental Super Welterweight title. Scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Cissokho, and 97-92 for Conway.
Conway let an opportunity slip through his gloves at the start of the ninth round when he hit Cissokho with a double uppercut he never saw coming and scored a knockdown. Cissokho got to his feet, having trouble seeing. Conway’s trainer and father shouted at his son to try and stop Cissokho, but he wasn’t able to do any more damage.
Frank Sanchez wins after messy finish
Cuban heavyweight and Canelo stablemate Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13 KOs) won in a messy technical decision over veteran journeyman Nagy Aguilera of New York via the Dominican Republic (21-11, 14 KOs). Sanchez started quickly, but when he didn’t get a quick knockout, he settled in and got to work. With the fight well in hand in the sixth round, Aguilera took a punch around the back of the head from Sanchez. It didn’t appear to land flush, but Aguilera fell to the canvas, failing in his first attempt to get up. He complained to every official who would listen, and the referee stopped the fight when Aguilera could not continue. Scores were all 60-54.
Fans at AT&T Stadium and watching at home expressed skepticism about Aguilera really being hurt, but after serious injuries to fighters such as Pritchard Colon, far better to err on the side of cautious, disappointment aside.
Streaming undercard winners: Castro and the Davis brothers
Promising Mexican American featherweight prospect Marc Castro of Fresno (3-0, 3 KOs) didn’t give the Texas fans much time to enjoy his effort. Castro went straight at Irving Castillo of Mexico (9-2, 6 KOs) with snapping straight rights and hooks from both sides to head and body. Castillo had little defense but tried to counterattack. After nonstop punishment to Castillo with blood pouring from his nose, the referee waved off the beating at 2:04 of round four.
Lightweight Keyshawn Davis of Norfolk, Virginia (3-0, 2 KOs) put in six solid rounds of work against Jose Antonio Meza of Mexico (6-5, 1 KO) in his second six-round pro bout. The scores were a 60-52 shutout. Davis wobbled Meza early and scored a knockdown in the third round, but he showed patience in getting in the kind of work which will pay off for him as he transitions from a successful amateur career to the pro ranks.
“Coming into the pros, I thought I was going to knock everybody out,” said Davis. “That was my goal. It was a learning experience. I went the whole six rounds. I feel like I could have gone ten, so that’s all that matters, honestly,” said Davis.
Older brother Kelvin Davis (2-0, 1 KO) continues his transition to boxing from mixed martial arts with a decision win over opponent Jan Marsalek of the Czech Republic (8-3, 7 KOs) in the opening bout. Scorecards all read 38-37. Davis’s long reach at super bantamweight gave him an edge, but he dropped his guard in overconfidence, taking a hard right hook from Marsalek with 30 seconds left in the final round, and wobbled his way to the bell on his feet.
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