A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
ESPN Friday Night Fight
Tim Witherspoon, Jr. came in this fight with pedigree of being the son of former Tim Witherspoon but he was the underdog against the undefeated Dusty Hernandez-Harrison in the first bout of the ESPN Friday night fights. Over the last minute of the first round, Hernandez-Harrison landed sharp combinations against Witherspoon. Hernandez-Harrison started to pound the body throughout the first six rounds as he attempted to wear the less experienced Witherspoon down.
Witherspoon managed to land some solid shots including a left hook that connected at the end of the second round while Hernandez-Harrison continued his assault on the body. Hernandez-Harrison showed defensive skills as he rolled with many punches aimed for the head and even blocked a few of Witherspoon’s body shots.
ESPN Teddy Atlas noticed that Hernandez-Harrison was trying for a knockout with every punch as he try to bullied Witherspoon who played defensive throughout the fifth and sixth round. Going into the final and eighth round, Hernandez-Harrison continued to pound Witherspoon, who attempted to turn momentum back in his favor by being aggressive but this usually lasted seconds as Harrison-Hernandez simply took control and won an easy decision.
In the second bout, undefeated Luis Rosa faced Jorge Diaz, who that morning became a father. Diaz started fast as he pushed the action for the first six minutes even though Rosa managed to land some solid shots over the last half of the second round. Rosa decided to attack in the third round and he forced Diaz on the defensive. At the end of the round, Rosa landed a solid left that hurt Diaz, who tried to grab Rosa but eventually hit the canvas. Rosa took control of the bout and he continued to be dominant force in the fifth round with solid combinations that forced Diaz to retreat.
Rosa was warned for a low blow in the sixth round and the referee made it clear that he was not going to tolerate another low blow. (In the first round, Rosa nailed Diaz with a low blow, forcing Diaz to take a few moments to rest.) Rosa did one thing brilliant; he would take a half of step back and countered the aggressive moves by Diaz. Diaz went into the seventh round with both eyes swollen. Near the end of the seventh round, Rosa nailed Diaz with solid combinations that nearly stopped Diaz. Rosa continued to punish Diaz throughout the eighth and final round whereas Diaz showed heart but he had no answer for Rosa. As Ted Atlas noted at the end of the fight, a look at Diaz swollen face reflected the easy decision win for Rosa.
Elvir Muriqi faced the undefeated Blake Caparello, who was making his first appearance in America from Australia. Muriqi started the first two rounds by pressuring Caparello. Caparello jab started to show some effect upon Muriqi’s face as redness developed and he started to show efficacy with combinations. He landed accurate land counter punches on the on rushing Muriqi.
At the halfway mark, this was Caparello fight as Muriqi rarely jabbed his way into Caparello and this allowed Caparello to pot shot him and to avoid Muriqi bull rushes. The last fifteen seconds of the eighth round put the fight in a capsule. Muriqi trapped Caparello with three solid body shots but Caparello turned Muriqi around and ended the round with a right jab and straight left combination to end the round. Caparello simply continued to outbox Muriqi over the last two rounds and took an easy unanimous decision.