The second week of Top Rank fights at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday kicked off with a close welterweight contest that saw Giovani Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) retain his undefeated record by a slim margin as he won a majority decision over veteran Antonio DeMarco (33-9-1, 24 KOs).
After ten rounds, one judge had it even at 95-95, and the other two had it 96-94 for Santillan in a decision that will be debated.
As Santillan, 28, tried to push the pace on DeMarco, he was often struck with accurate uppercuts and hard right hooks to the body. Santillan and DeMarco landed a similar amount of total punches (129 for DeMarco and 117 fro Santillan), but the most effective and clean shots came from DeMarco, a 34-year-old from Mexico.
"He was definitely throwing a lot of body shots, I don't think any of them got in there clean enough," Santillan said after the fight. "He caught me with a few uppercuts in there. Thing is, I've got to listen to my corner a little bit more. They were telling me if I'm going to stay on the inside, I've got to stay active and not just stand there I've got to move my head, as well."
There were many close rounds between the two southpaws, but what seemingly gave DeMarco the edge was his ability to control the pace, and land with more precision. By the end of Round 6, Santillan was bleeding from the nose.
"I hadn't been pushed at this point, [I was] 25-0 before this fight," said Santillan. "But I haven't fought anybody at this level, ex-world champion who's been in there with high-level contenders before. So I know this is something he's been through before, and it was the first time for me."
Sekhniashvili dominates Jones
Nikoloz Sekhniashvili (6-0, 4 KOs) pounded out a six-round decision over the durable Isiah Jones (8-2, 3 KOs), who withstood an early barrage of overhand rights to last the distance. At the end of the bout, the scores read: 59-55, 60-54 and 60-54 for Sekhniashvili.
The heavy hitter Sekhniashvili is still very raw technically and still in the developmental process, but he showed power to dominate his opponent. However, after a good early start, his attack became one-dimensional and he was never really able to mount a consistent two-handed attack that came close to stopping Jones, who didn't provide much in terms of counter-punching.
Perez wins wide decision
It wasn't exactly the most aesthetically pleasing bout between heavyweights Hector Perez and Juan Torres, who slogged their way through six rounds, but it was Perez who did enough to win a wide unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 (twice).
While Perez (7-2, 3 KOs) was outweighed by nearly 30 pounds against the 250-pound Torres, he had more ability and superior skills, which carried him to victory in a fight that didn't have much sustained action.
Mominov outpunches Krael for win
Junior middleweight hopeful Bobirzhan Mominov scored a solid victory against Cameron Krael behind a steady two-fisted attack. After six rounds, Mominov outpointed Krael by the scores of 57-56, 58-55 and 58-55.
Mominov (11-0, 8 KOs), of Kazakhstan, jumped out quickly in the fight, setting a fast pace as he marched toward Krael (17-16-3, 4 KOs), going to the body often. Krael was stunned by right hands in both the second and third rounds from the strong-punching Mominov. But Krael, who had only been stopped once in his 15 previous loses, steadied himself, and started to have his moments in the second half of this bout, as he started to battle more on even terms in rounds four, five and six. Mominov was docked a point in the six for an illegal punch behind the head of Krael. Yet, it was Mominov who had done more than enough in the first half of the fight to earn the unanimous decision.