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  Charlo vs. Hogan: The Lion Roars
To Victory At The Barclay’s Center

By Iberedem Ekure
Photos: "Sugar" Ray Bailey


In what ended up being overshadowed by the Joshua vs Ruiz mega fight in Saudi Arabia, the undefeated Charlo brother, WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall, defended his title against Dennis Hogan on December 7. It was an exciting night of five bouts with three ending via stoppage. The main event saw Charlo look to close his 2019 campaign by hitting 30 victories while Dennis Hogan in his second title fight looked to write his name in gold.

The first round began with Hogan circling the ring while Charlo looked to establish the jab. Hogan worked his way in and landed a left hook and a few body shots during the ensuing clinch. Hogan landed another left hook as Charlo struggled to land the jab. Charlo landed a right hand a few seconds before the bell.

Charlo had more luck with his range in round 2, catching Hogan with a 1-2 combo and finding Hogan with his jab. Hogan sensed trouble and began going to the body and throwing haymakers without success. Charlo landed another combination that excited the crowd. He looked dominant in the center of the ring and looked the more composed fighter.

Hogan came out for round 3 moving around effectively and making Charlo miss. Charlo landed a jab that seemed to unsteady Hogan. A double jab followed from Charlo and then a 3-punch combo. It was all Charlo until a couple of strong jabs landed for Hogan at the end of the round.

The excitement level went up a notch in round 4 when Charlo landed a left uppercut and Hogan tumbled over acrobatically on the canvass. He made the count but Charlo stalked him the rest of the round, landing a few right hands. Hogan’s footwork served him well and he survived the round

Charlo looked to end the fight quickly in round 5. He came out throwing sweeping left hooks, one of which landed to the crowd's approval. Charlo landed 3 right hands in quick succession, but Hogan didn’t succumb to pressure and sees out the round.

Both men went back to trying to establish the jab in round 6 and Hogan landed a left hook counter on Charlo that staggered the champion. Charlo went on the offensive looking for a big punch and found Hogan with a right hand. Charlo continued to put in a dominant performance.

Charlo caught Hogan early in round 7 with a left hook on the chin as Hogan backed away. The punch put the challenger on the canvas again. Hogan got up at 10 but couldn't walk steadily towards the referee and the fight was over. Charlo defended his title, getting the 30-0 record via knockout.

In the undercard, Chris Eubank Jr. made his US debut against Russian Matt Korobov for the WBA interim middleweight title. He entered the ring to Dr Dre's "Still Dre" as his father Chris Eubank senior sat at ringside.

Round 1 began with Eubank on the attack and Korobov counterpunching effectively landing a right hand. Korobov landed a double left hook before the end of the round and looked to have the advantage early.

In the second round, Korobov landed a left hook early but 30seconds into the round, he complained about pain in his left shoulder and the referee halted time for medical attention. Korobov could not continue and Eubank Jr. won via TKO. Not the outcome anyone was hoping for and Eubank will have to wait till 2020 to show the American fans what he can do in the ring.

The second undercard saw Marlon Tapales take on Kiyosuke Iwasa for the interim IBF Super Bantamweight title.

It was a very tentative first round with both men feeling each other out. Tapales tried to get inside and land power punches but Iwasa used his jab and reach advantage to maintain his distance. Both men landed a few jabs through the round.

Tapales opened round 2 with overhand lefts and rights with some success and continued to close the gap with looping right and left hands through the round. Iwasa stuck to his game plan of working behind the jab.

In round 3, both men exchanged in close quarters and Iwasa scored a knockdown as Tapales' knee momentarily touched the canvas after what seemed like a collision of heads. Classic southpaw vs orthodox collision Iwasa looked to return to establishing the jab in round 4 and maintaining distance, knowing he would be ahead on the scorecards with the knockdown while Tapales worked his way in with hooks to moderate success.

Tapales opened the fifth strong, landing a few power punches. He displayed great defense ducking and weaving Iwasa's attacks while landing counters. Great round for Tapales.

Both men came out swinging for the 7th but landing little. Iwasa landed a couple of combinations but some in the auditorium start to boo the continued misses. Both men needed to pick up the pace.

Iwasa took the fight to Tapales in the 8th, landing jabs, hooks and body shots. Tapales backed away most of the round and Iwasa continued to press.

In the 9th round, Tapales landed two sweeping left hooks and Iwasa responded with combinations to the head and body, backing Tapales against the ropes a couple of times. Good action by both men.

Round 10 saw Tapales moving actively and lunging in with hooks. He had some success in close proximity once he closed the distance and is did a good job of weaving Iwasa's punches. Both men fought in close range; Tapales landed a powerful right hand and Iwasa connected with a 4-punch combo but got countered with a hard, right hand. Tapales landed a couple more right hands through the round.

In round 11, both men exchanged in the center of the ring and Iwasa used his jab to push Tapales towards the ropes. He then landed a huge left hook that sent Tapales to the canvas. Tapales got up for the 10 count but was unstable on his feet and the referee called the fight 1:09 into round 11. Iwasa became the IBF Super Bantamweight champion.

There were two other fights earlier in the night, the second of which saw middleweights Immanuwel Aleem and Ronald Ellis square up.

In round 1 Aleem was active on the outside jabbing to the head and body. Ellis had his guard up, content with blocking and looking for a clear opening. Aleem landed a few jabs and flurries to the body. In the last 20secs Ellis picked up the pace and landed a couple of punches. Good round for Aleem.

2nd round started much like the first but Aleem was less mobile. Aleem landed a good counter left hook when Ellis came in with the right hand. Ellis landed a right-left combo to the body near the end of the round and also landed a right hand upstairs.

Ellis was growing in confidence in the third, throwing combinations and landing. Aleem was not offering much in the way of offense. With a minute to go, Ellis caught Aleem with a good right hand and followed up with combinations to the body. Ellis backed Aleem up against the ropes and landed a 5-punch combo.

Aleem came out swinging for the fourth, unloading a flashy 12-punch combo that got the crowd excited. Ellis soon regained the momentum and stalked Aleem around the ring landing jabs. Aleem found some success throwing leaping left hooks toward the end of the round. It is a close fight.

A Quadruple jab combo from Ellis landed to open round 5. Ellis landed a few combinations to the head and body and Aleem missed with his counters. Aleem caught Ellis with a couple of hooks when in close but Ellis was moving well and out-landing him.

Aleem comes out as the aggressor in round 6 and backed Ellis against the ropes but Ellis turned him and resumed his dominating performance. In the last 30seconds Aleem landed a few counterpunches but he looked fatigued and Ellis closed strong.

Round 7 was fought in close quarters with Ellis landing to the body. Both fighters exchanged punishing blows but Ellis was getting the better of Aleem, even finding some time for showboating.

Round 8, Aleem needed something special in the next few rounds to win and he went on the offense. Ellis looked comfortable blocking and counterpunching. Both men exchange hooks in the center of the ring before the bell.

In round 9, Aleem again went looking for Ellis. He looked sharper and landed body shots. Aleem missed with a wild left swing and got caught with a 3-punch counter. Ellis seized the momentum and landed a few combinations. A frustrated Aleem missed with a haymaker counter.

The 10th and final round saw Aleem try to salvage the fight but Ellis counterpunched brilliantly. Aleem got Ellis against the ropes and worked the body mid-round. Both men exchanged blows into the end of the fight.

We went to the scorecards and the judges had it 95-95, 97-93 and 98-92 for Ronald Ellis via majority decision.

The first fight of the night saw Louisa Hawton defend her WBO world junior flyweight title against Lorraine Villalobos.

The early rounds of the fight saw Hawton using her reach and chasing Villalobos around the ring with the jab while Villalobos backed away most of the time, successfully landing the left hook on multiple occasions when Hawton was in range. Momentum shifted back and forth between the fighters in the first 4 rounds.

By round 5, Hawton had found her range and was starting to look dominant. Villalobos found joy with the left hand to the head and body but started to fade towards the end of the round. Hawton trapped Villalobos in a corner and unloaded a series of left hooks and body shots.

Hawton continued to stalk Villalobos from corner to corner in round 6 but walked into a perfectly timed left hook and Villalobos scored a knockdown.

In round 7, Hawton was unfazed and continued to back Villalobos up. Villalobos seemed fatigued and went looking for the big left hook again but was getting punished with jabs and body shots.

Hawton again took control in round 8, pressuring Villalobos who began throwing that left hook with reckless abandon. Good exchange against the ropes at the end of the round.

Both fighters exchanged more evenly in round 9 with Villalobos using the jab more with success. It was a close fight and both fighters were going for it.

Villalobos landed a left and right hook combo in round 10 but soon, Hawton resumed stalking and jabbing Villalobos who clinched effectively. Hawton caught Villalobos in a corner and landed a few body shots. Villalobos got Hawton against the ropes in the last 10 seconds but it may have been too little, too late.

The fight went to the scorecards and all 3 judges scored it 95-94 for Hawton as she retained her title.


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