The undercard of the Kelly Pavlik-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight tonight at Boardwalk Hall is underway, and a couple of early bouts just ended with stunning knockouts.
We'll go for name recognition first. Ronald Hearns (25-1, 19 KOs), the 31-year-old son of Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, scored an early first-round knockdown of Delray Raines (17-8-1, 12 KOs) in what was called a super welterweight bout even though both were over the 154-pound limit. Raines' mistake was in getting up. Hearns threw a few jabs and then shot out a straight right to the jaw that landed with a thud that echoed from one end of the Hall to the other. Raines was counted out at 1:47 of the first. Obviously, Ronald doesn't fight the kind of competition daddy did, but he definitely packs a similar wallop.
Now for the more controversial outcome. In the bout just before Hearns, Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs) of New York entered the eighth round of his bout against Jeremy Bryan (13-1, 6 KOs) having lost the first seven rounds on two cards and six of seven on the third card. But in the eighth and final round. Arroyo caught Bryan with a two-punch combo that that left him in a squatting position against the bottom rope. Arroyo then delivered another combo that sent Bryan onto his back to be counted out at 1:43 of the round. Should the ref have stepped in with Bryan sitting on the rope? Probably, but it all happened pretty fast, and the rope was the only thing holding him up anyway. Quick action might have saved Bryan from more punishment, but it wouldn't have altered the outcome. It wasn't a situation that called for a disqualification.
Chris Hazimihalis (2-0, 2 KOs) of Campbell, Ohio, who is trained by Pavlik trainer Jack Loew, made short work of Philadelphia's Ramon Ellis (0-5, 0 KOs), forcing a stoppage in the first round after a knockdown and then a series of punches that drew no response.
I'd say Philadelphia fighters aren't what they used to be except we're about to see a pretty good one in Mike Jones in a NABA welterweight title bout against Albuquerque's Hector Munoz. Full disclosure: I'm from Albquerque, but there's no cheering at ringside, so, Munoz is on his own.
It's over at 2:03 of the fifth as referee Benji Estevez steps in to spare Munoz a worse beating by Jones (21-0, 17 KOs). Frankly, it's almost a miracle Munoz (18-3-1, 11 KOs). made it out of a first round in which Jones landed 112 power punches without dropping Munoz. Jones throws a mean right uppercut and knows how to double up with a right hook over the top. He mixes it up, dipping down to dig to the body and then working the jab and left hook. Very impressive.
Middleweight Matt Korubov (11-0, 8 KOs), a former Russian Olympian, scored a unanimous decision over Josh Snyder (8-5-1, 3 KOs) of Berlin, Md. Korubov's southpaw style created some problems for Snyder, who fought gamely but was a clear loser in a rather uninspiring fight.
The HBO telecast is about to get going with Lucien Bute (25-0, 20 KOs) defending his IBF super middleweight title against Edison Miranda (33-4, 29 KOs). This will wrap up the blog until late tonight or early Sunday morning. Please check GregLogan1 at twitter.com for live updates during the Pavlik-Martinez bout, and then go to Newsday.com/sports for a running fight story and a later update with postfight quotes. Enjoy what promises to be an exciting evening of boxing.