On Saturday, August 15th, Premier Boxing Champions broadcasted a card consisting of three fights on Showtime. Otto Wallin (20-1, 13KOs) vs. Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23KOs), Rolando Romero (11-0, 10KOs) vs Jackson Mariñez (19-0, 7KOs), and headliners David Benavidez (22-0, 19KOs) vs Alexis Angulo (26-1, 22KOs).
The Main Event between orthodox fighters David Benavidez and Alexis Angulo, was meant to be a title defense for Benavidez but he could not drop the last three pounds to make the 168lb weight limit for super middleweight and was stripped of his WBC belt. Angulo would still be able to win the title should he win this fight.
The bout began with both fighters feeling each other out more or less, though the few shots thrown were heavy by both fighters. David seemed to be showing Alexis some degree of respect as, like Benavidez himself, Alexis is known as a heavy-handed fighter. Sometime in the second round Benavidez’s jab was being thrown and landing with his typical conviction, which opened up a world of combinations. These combinations would begin to flow more freely during rounds two and three, but with more body shots included. Angulo tended to back up slowly while this was going on, but as soon as his back would touch the ropes, he would rush forward with gusto, throwing many wild punches, and landing a few of them, forcing Benavidez backward momentarily.
In rounds four and five, these bursts from Angulo began to happen to his own detriment. Seemingly sensing Benavidez was pulling away, Alexis would start to swing wildly and missing, opening himself up to David’s power jab and counterpunches that came in every variety. When Alexis managed to force Benavidez backwards, Angulo would smother his own punches, rendering Alexis ineffective on the inside.
By rounds six through eight, Angulo was eating every kind of punch that could be thrown by David. Benavidez landed at will and showed his improved head movement and defense, something he’s been working on throughout his last few fights. It seemed as if the fight could be stopped at this point without many complaints.
Rounds nine and ten were more of the same with the former champion throwing every kind of punch in the book and landing what appeared to be all of them. Though David Benavidez’s devastating offense was peppered with a battered and tired Angulo finding some small amounts of success between the punches landed on him, it was not enough to dissuade Benavidez, or even slow him down.
Between rounds ten and eleven, Alexis Angulo’s corner saw the bleak situation, and the dazed look in Angulo’s eyes. They asked the referee to stop the fight. The ref complied and the fight was over. Another TKO victory for David Benavidez, though he would not go home with his belt.
Preceding the main event was Rolando “Rollie” Romero, against fellow undefeated prospect and orthodox fighter, Jackson Marinez. Romero, Mayweather Promotions’ newest signee, has been on a hot streak of knockouts and trash talk, and was expecting to get Marinez out of there in one round – at least that’s what he told the press before the fight.
The fight started with Romero charging in and going for broke immediately. Marinez felt the pressure, but maintained composure, using his head movement, and jabbing when Rolando would back up. It was obvious Romero wanted Jackson’s back against the ropes in rounds one through three. Jackson did not comply and kept the fight in the center of the ring for the most part, continuing with head movement and counter-jabs.
Round four through seven consisted of “Rollie” being visibly frustrated, but throwing and landing more. Most of the landed blows were grazing shots, though all were thrown with bad intentions. Marinez was also ramping up, following his constant jabs with the occasional combination.
Some time in round eight a cut had opened on Romero which emboldened Marinez to begin opening up even more through round nine and keeping his hands nearer his waist than his face.
Round ten was visibly more daunting for both of the fighters. Exhaustion had settled in for both, though Romero seemed to be slightly worse off. Rolando began throwing more combos in desperation with limited success. Jackson maintained his composure and distance using the jab and began completely ducking under the return shots of Romero. This continued through round eleven.
The final round started off with a bang. Rolando had new life and an air of urgency. There were many exchanges in the middle of the ring, after which Marinez began taunting more and showing off. It would appear to him that he had won the fight at this point with a smart game plan, an educated and well-timed jab, and solid ring generalship.
The judges did not agree with Marinez, or most spectators for that matter. The cards read, 116-112, 115-113, and 118-110, all for Rolando Romero.
The evening began with a look at Otto Wallin against Travis Kaufmann. Wallin is a southpaw and Kauffman is typically orthodox, but switches stances often throughout a fight.
The first round had just slightly more action than a typical feeling out round, with Kauffmann using a “herky-jerky” approach, coming in low with twitching feints and general movement, and going for the body. Wallin wanted to establish his pumping jab early. They would continue with this type of fighting, with Kauffman coming in low and Wallin using the jab to stay outside throughout the first two rounds.
In round three, Wallin caught his rhythm and began working behind his jab with “arm-punch” combinations. Neither Wallin, nor Kaufmann are vary fast fighters, but Wallin is indeed a bit faster. This was apparent through round four, with Otto landing more uppercuts and straights, with occasional bursts of quick combinations. At this point in the fight, Kaufmann was winded and only going for single shots. Though Kauffman was short of breath, he never backed up an inch. Shot after shot was landing from Wallin but Travis moved forward all along.
The rest after round four seemed to rejuvenate Kauffman. After the fifth starting bell he came in with a rush of energy throwing with a vigor not seen before by him. Throughout the great effort by Kauffman, it was obvious that he could not figure out how to get out of the way of Wallin’s non-stop pumping jab. The success of this jab was, of course, followed by more straights and combination punches, but these were being thrown with more intention than before by Wallin.
In an exchange in the fifth round, a winging left hook of Kauffman landed awkwardly on Otto’s shoulder. Travis grimaced and immediately dropped his left arm. With his left hand hanging lifelessly at his side, Kauffman did not stop fighting. He attempted, with little success, to continue the fight with only one arm. With nothing to get in the way, Wallin began landing his right hand with ease. It soon became obvious that Kauffman would not physically be able to continue, though mentally he never appeared to have given up. The referee had seen enough and waved the fight off with 30 seconds left in the fifth round. It was learned that Travis had surgery on his left shoulder before the fight. Though it was not the TKO victory Otto Wallin was looking for, he still had the chance to show that he has an excellent outside game and a solid skill set.
Author: Dallas Owens