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  Peterson KO’s Cayo With Just Seconds To Go; Miranda DQ’d In Exciting Fight While It Lasted

Report & Photos by Robert Jones & Jessica Jones

The ESPN 2 Friday Night Fight at the Chelsea Ballroom at the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas card featured a main event between Lamont Peterson and Victor Cayo, fighting for the chance to take on IBF Junior Lightweight kingpin Amir Khan. Peterson and Cayo fought fairly evenly for 11 rounds, leaving many to believe the winner of the 12th round would earn the right to fight Khan. Peterson closed the show with a bang, hurting Cayo multiple times in the final round before sending him to the canvas. Cayo was unable to rise, and with just 14 seconds left in the match Peterson won the exciting fight in dramatic fashion.

Almost immediately after the opening bell, fireworks erupted. For the first minute or so the fighters felt each other out, but then Peterson appeared to land a straight right that dropped Cayo, only to have referee Kenny Bayless call it a slip. While Cayo was on his knee he also complained that he had been hit behind the head. Whatever the case, Peterson didn’t get credit for a knockdown, but he did win the opening round.

The next four rounds were very close, and it’s a fair guess to say that the scorecards could have gone all different ways on the three judge’s cards. The fight defined itself during these rounds. Peterson’s best work can in the form of ripping shots to the body, particularly left hands to Cayo’s ribs, while Cayo did his best work in staying active by throwing a lot of punches. If you preferred clean shots mixed with bouts of inactivity you favored Peterson. However, if you were favoring Cayo you felt confident he could be picking up rounds just by being busier.

In round six Peterson’s general ring awareness began to change the bout strongly in his favor, especially coupled with his early body work. There were a few exchanges in this round where Cayo would swing in the air and miss entire combos by seemingly a few feet, and end with a counter from Cayo. Because of the damage being done to his body, and the draining effect it had on missing punch after punch, Cayo was clearly getting tired.

However, just as soon as Cayo was getting tired it seemed it was now Peterson’s turn to follow suit. Still, if the fighters were starting to get tired they were still fighting a quick paced fight. Cayo’s style caused him to rely on quick reflexes because often times he would keep his hands down by his side, but this would work against his favor, as Peterson routinely found a home for his straight right hand. Peterson seemed to be well on his way to either stopping Cayo or winning a decision, going away winning the 7th and 8th rounds with relative ease.

Cayo had other plans though, and rebounded well in the 9th and 10th rounds. Peterson, with his mouth now wide open in an attempt to draw in breath, either took these rounds off, or simply couldn’t keep up with the activity level of Cayo. This didn’t mean Peterson wasn’t landing punches, because when he threw them he usually landed, but they were few and far between to give him either of these rounds on the Pound4Pound scorecard.

In the 11th round a moment of foreshadowing perhaps took place. Cayo took what appeared to be a clean body shot, but attempted to get a moments rest while complaining to the referee. The referee also felt the shot was legal, but the moments rest may have just been what Cayo needed to get through the round.

In the 12th and final round many believed on press row that the fight was still up for grabs going into the final round. Peterson and Cayo both went to the center of the ring swinging, and in a matter of seconds Peterson had taken full control of the round. A straight right sent Cayo staggering against the ropes and brought the crowd to its feet in anticipation. After a furious flurry of punches, Cayo dropped to the canvas, almost promising Peterson the win. But when Cayo got back up Peterson wasn’t happy yet, and again went after his opponent. Peterson landed a bunch of punches, but it may have been exhaustion that set Cayo back to the canvas. This time Cayo wasn’t able to regain his feet by the count of ten, giving Peterson the victory, and the title shot, with just 14 seconds left in the match.

With the victory Peterson not only earns a title fight with Amir Khan, but solidifies himself as a main player in the Jr. Lightweight division. Peterson’s record improved to 29-0-1 (15 KO’s). Cayo, who shouldn’t drop too far in the rankings after a solid performance, drops to 26-2 (18 KO’s).

In the Co-Main Event, Edison Miranda found himself on the wrong end of a disqualification, much to the chagrin of the crowd, in his light heavyweight fight with Yordanis Despaigne.

The first round started off somewhat slow, but as with just about any Miranda fight it soon became interesting. Near the end of the round Despaigne, who held a clear speed advantage, landed a right hand that rocked Miranda. Miranda’s chin was able to hold up, and he heard the bell to end the round giving him a much needed minute rest.

The rest did Miranda well, as he came out fighting in the second round, landing a number of punches. Unfortunately for Miranda, many of those punches in the eyes of the referee Vic Drakulich were low. At least two times in the round Miranda was warned, but to the eyes of many at ringside the shots were at least borderline, and not overly low. It seemed Miranda’s reputation preceded him in this match. At the end of the round Miranda was deducted a point, rightfully so, for hitting Despaigne a full two seconds after the bell rang. The shot didn’t appear to land too hard, but Despaigne fell to the canvas just to ensure he was getting the point across that he was hit late.

Miranda also had a good accounting for himself in the third round, winning the round, at least in the traditional way. However, after losing another point, this time for another quasi-low blow call, the best he could do was hope for a tie on the scorecard that round. Already the odds were stacked against him on the scorecard, and he would need a knockout.

He tried to do just that in the fourth round, coming out throwing hard shots to the body and the head, but it was the body shots that caused Drakulich to warn Miranda a couple more times in the round. Many believed that Miranda would have to land plenty of body shots to earn a victory, but the inability to throw the punches without facing a warning from the ref was yet another drawback. In a moment that was pretty odd for those familiar with Miranda’s career, and the number of times he has been knocked out, he dropped his hands and took six unanswered head shots, a la Ricardo Mayorga. The crowd loved this moment, and you could feel excitement in the air as the bell rang to end the round.

The excitement would turn to a choir of boos shortly after the 5th round started. While in an exchange against the ropes, Drakulich stepped in and called a halt to the fight, awarding the victory to Despaigne. When the fighters made their post-fights walk around the ring, the crowd booed Despaigne passionately while cheering on Miranda, showing their disapproval of his DQ loss. Still, with the victory Despaigne improved to 9-1 (4 KO’s), and Miranda fell to 34-6 (29 KO’s) losing his third fight in five outings.

In the televised swing-bout, super middleweight Badou Jack made short work of Timothy Hall Jr., stopping him in the second round. Jack improved to 7-0 (6 KO’s), while Hall fell to 6-12 (4 KO’s). With the victory, Jack remains the number one ranked Super Middle weight in Sweden. Of course there is only one licensed super middleweight fighting that was born in Sweden.

In the opening bout of the evening, highly regarded light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev picked up an alphabet title when he defeated Douglas Otieno in just two rounds. Kovalev improved to 16-0 (14 KO’s) and appears very close to joining the upper-echelon of the division. Otieno goes back to the drawing board with a 27-7 (12 KO’s) record.

Super Featherweight Rances Barthlemy remained undefeated with a closer than expected unanimous decision over Gerado Robles. The biggest action of this fight came when an unidentified fan of Robles came in the ring during the middle of the fight to confront Jay Nady about low blows. Security quickly took care of the situation, sending the man off in orderly fashion.

Finally, Razvan Cojanu and Kourtney Boden fought to a four round draw.


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