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  Rob Brant Defends Middleweight Title

Rob "Bravo" Brant crashed the world boxing scene last October with a dominant decision over Ryota Murata to win the WBA middleweight title. For title defense number one, he returned to his home state and sent the partisan crowd home happy.

Brant (25-1, 16 KOs) cruised to an 11th-round TKO over Khasan Baysangurov (17-1, 7 KOs) Friday evening at the Grand Casino Hinckley, a short drive from Brant's hometown of St. Paul.

A sold-out crowd of 2,225 watched as Brant overwhelmed Baysangurov with consistent, effective pressure. In the 11th, Baysangurov, who was knocked down in the second round, could not keep Brant at bay. A knockdown and a follow-up attack, punctuated by a right hand, forced referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight.

This is what Brant had to say in the ring after he retained the title.

"Today, I feel like a true champion. I was happy with my performance. I had some cramps later in the fight, but this shows I can carry my power later in fights."

"Middleweight is one of the deepest divisions in boxing. There are fights to be made. We just have to keep pushing forward. Canelo Alvarez is recognized by many as the champion at middleweight, and I'd love a fight with him down the road."

"{Baysangurov} had a good jab. I started a little sloppy, and my trainer (Eddie Mustafa Muhammad) told me in the corner to relax. I waited for the opportunity to come, and it came in the 11th round."

Greer Jr. KOs Escaner

Joshua "Don't Blink" Greer Jr. (20-1-1, 12 KOs) extended his knockout streak to seven and defended his WBC Continental Americas bantamweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Giovanni Escaner (19-4, 12 KOs).

Greer landed a right uppercut to the stomach that put Escaner down for the count. Escaner had the momentum early, dropping Greer with a looping right hand as the bell sounded to end the third round.

Greer took charge in the middle rounds and ended things with one blow.

"I had to wait for him to soften up, but I did what I had to do," Greer said. "It's all a learning experience for me. But I'm from Chicago. I had to go take it."

At the time of the stoppage, Greer was ahead 67-66 and 67-65 (2X).

Mayer Wears Down Larios

Mikaela Mayer (10-0, 4 KOs) won an old-fashioned, toe-to-toe battle, grinding down Yareli Larios (13-2-1, 3 KOs) to prevail via eight-round unanimous decision and defend her NABF super featherweight belt.

The scores were as followed: 80-72, 79-73, and 78-74.

"It's more about strategy in the pros. I was relaxed and took my time in there" Mayer said. "We knew she was going to be tough. She has that Hispanic blood in her.

"I think I'm ready for more belts. I want those belts this year."

In other action:

Young middleweight knockout artist Tyler Howard (17-0, 11 KOs) passed the biggest test of his career, notching an eight-round split decision over Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13 KOs) in a neck-and-neck fight. The judges scored the fight 79-73 Howard, 77-75 Olivas, and 77-75 Howard.


"This was my first time going eight rounds," Howard said. "I felt like I prepared well for this fight. Olivas came to fight. All I can do is go back to camp and continue to work harder and be ready for my next fight. This experience is going to help me moving forward."

Steve "So Cold" Nelson (13-0, 10 KOs) recovered from a flash knockdown in the first round to score a six-round unanimous decision over Felipe Romero (20-17-1, 14 KOs) in a light heavyweight bout. Nelson knocked down Romero in the third round and won by scores of 59-54 (2X) and 58-54.

"He's a tough guy who can take a good punch. That's why we picked him," Nelson said. "I had him hurt a few times, but we got the job done."

Lennox Allen (22-0-1, 14 KOs) picked up the vacant WBA gold super middleweight belt with a 10-round unanimous decision over Derrick Webster (28-2, 14 KOs).

In a six-round lightweight contest, Ismail "Sharp Shooter' Muwendo (21-1, 12 KOs) won via shutout six-round unanimous decision (60-54 3X) over Hevinson Herrera (24-16-1, 18 KOs).

Super lightweight Joe James moved his record to 4-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over Demetrius Wilson (2-11) by identical scores of 40-35.



 

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