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This one was a little deeper. The words were a little more cutting. The faux arrogance was a little more annoying.

Mike Lee is a glorified club fighter who for months proclaimed he deserved to be in the same ring as IFB super middleweight champion Caleb Plant.

In the build-up for the fight, it was Lee, the challenger, who blew off Plant in a pre-fight Fox TV face-to-face showdown. It was Lee who was living the delusional idea that he was the A-side of the Fox undercard main event leading up to Saturday’s Keith Thurman-Manny Pacquiao main event on FOX PBC Fight Night/FOX Deportes from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

It was Plant who bluntly brought Lee back to reality, knocking him down four times before referee Robert Byrd stopped it at 1:29 of the third round.

Plant (19-0, 11 knockouts) made his first successful title defense look rather easy. His victory sets up a later unification fight with the winner of WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez on Sept. 28, which is the co-feature on the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter welterweight title fight.

But first, Plant had to do a quick clean-up of the overmatched Lee (21-1, 11 KOs).

“I did exactly what I said I would do, like I always do,” Plant said. “I want to beat the hell out of everybody I face. This was just another fight to me. But this was a dude, I didn’t like him. We had a few more words than some of my other opponents.

“He was in my way and I had to do something about it.”

During the Fox post-fight telecast, Benavidez took a shot at Plant, saying “Sweet Hands” needs “a little help selling some tickets. There’s about 100, 200 people in here.”

Plant didn’t take too kindly to that.

“Of course (Benavidez) has something to say,” Plant said. “It’s early in the night. Everybody is coming for the pay-per-view portion. But I crushed the numbers of FS1, and we’re going to check the numbers tonight. My views are high and my check is big, and, I got the belt.

“I’m a world champion. Something (Benavidez) is not.”

As for Lee, it was nothing more a breathing punching bag.

He never bothered to look up at Plant during Byrd’s pre-fight instructions. It almost seemed as if Lee wasn’t even looking when Plant landed a left hook flush on Lee’s face that dropped the Notre Dame grad on his seat with :37 left in the first round. After the bell ended the round, Plant confidently walked back to his corner, feeling firmly in control.

He should have. Plant outlanded Lee 18-3 in the first round.

In the second round, Plant cracked Lee with a right to the body with less than a minute left. Lee still couldn’t do anything. He swung horribly and missed often.

After two rounds, Plant had outlanded Lee, 41-7.

With 2:30 left in the third, Plant poked Lee with a jab, then followed over the top with a straight right to the head, sending Lee down a second time.

Then it got a little comical. Lee, trying to show he recuperated from the second knockdown, came at Plant, who was leaning against the ropes. Plant unleashed a short left hook that dropped Lee a third time with 2:09 left.

A little over 30 seconds later, Lee was down a fourth time, with 1:34 remaining in the third. This time, it almost seemed as if Plant flicked a right with nothing on it.

By then, referee Robert Byrd saw enough and ended it, the official time coming at 1:29 of the third.

When Byrd waved it over, Lee, after getting up the fourth time, demanded to continue and that Byrd count to 10. Byrd, wearing a smirk as if to say, ‘Are you kidding me?’

“I’ve been telling you all week it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds and I stuck to my word and I tried to do that,” Plant said. “I tip my hat to Mike (Lee) because it takes a true champion to step between these ropes. But it’s ‘And Still’ just like I predicted.

“I think I have a high boxing IQ and I do this at a really high level. So, it was just about making adjustments. He’s a big, strong guy and he just came in here to give it his all.

“Oh yeah, we can definitely unify (against Anthony Dirrell vs. David Benavidez winner). I ain’t hard to get a hold of. I ain’t hard to make a fight with. Come see me. You know my advisor.”

Lee, possibly still in a stupor, explained “The speed was the difference, he’s fast and very accurate. I had some success with my right hands but wasn’t able to be consistent with it.

“No issue with the stoppage, that’s the referee’s job and I respect it.”

Nigerian heavyweight Efe Ajagba keeps climbing

In the co-feature of the undercard, Efe Ajagba went 10 rounds for the first time in his pro career, beating previously undefeated Ali Eren Demirezen (11-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision.

Ajagba, 25, landed 191 of 877 (22%) total punches thrown to Demirezen’s 149-564 (26%).

“This was the first fighter to take me the distance,” Ajagba said about Demirezen. “He was strong and could take my punches. My trainer just told me to keep using my jab and stay in the middle of the ring.

“I hurt my elbow early on, so I couldn’t shoot my right hand like I wanted. But I won’t use that as an excuse. As a tall man I had to use the jab and if it went the distance, that was my best way to win.

“He was trying to throw big overhand right hands, but I tried to keep myself cover when I had to. It was enough to get the job done, but I’ll keep getting better.”

Judges Adalaide Byrd and John McKaie both saw it 99-91 for the 2016 Nigerian Olympian, while Steve Weisfeld had it 97-93 for Ajagba (11-0, 9 KOs).

Ajagba used his jab effectively throughout the fight, mixing in an uppercut to break up Demirezen’s high guard. It was a clean, efficient victory.

“I don’t agree with the scores, 99-91 is not correct,” said Demirezen, who was making his U.S. debut. “It was much closer. I feel at that minimum; it was a draw. I knew I had to knock him out and that a knockout might be easier than winning by points.

“I thought it was a good performance but I can do better. I’d like to fight in the U.S. again.”

Joseph Santoliquito is the President of the Boxing Writers Association of America and has written for The Ring/RingTV.com since 1997. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.

 

 

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The post Caleb Plant makes easy work of Mike Lee in three appeared first on The Ring.

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Dillian Whyte is finally the WBC’s mandatory challenger.

After more than 600 days as their No. 1 contender, a win over Oscar Rivas means he must fight full champion Deontay Wilder by May 2020.

Whyte, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at heavyweight, said he will fight again this year, in November or December, and having placed himself in the unofficial role of the underdog, he won a hard contest against the game and determined Rivas.

“I keep showing up,” said Whyte, who had to climb off the deck after eating a flush uppercut in Round 9.

“There was a lot of pressure. Camp hasn’t been great, lots of things have been happening but I’m a professional. He’s a great fighter, he’s a tough man. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Asked if he will now get his shot at Wilder, the Brixton man sounded skeptical.

“A lot of things get said, not a lot happens,” he stated.

“Mandatory means I could be waiting another 600 days, but let’s see.”

 

Rivas opened the 12-rounder at the O2 Arena in London with intent, looking menacing with an overhand right, but Whyte landed some shots downstairs.

Rivas was sharp but Whyte rattled him with a right hand and the two traded in a wildly-exciting second round. Rivas found his legs by the end of the session and finished well.

Both tried to dictate behind jabs in Round 3 but it was a physical and competitive bout with neither willingly submitting distance. Whyte invested to the body and Rivas seemed to slow a little in the fifth but he was still a threat and he had moments of success with big hooks near the end of the sixth.

Still, it wasn’t enough to please his trainer, Marc Ramsay. “Are you fucking serious?” Ramsay screamed at him when he returned to the corner.

He was a little one-paced and predictable but remained a danger searching for overhand rights and left hooks.

Whyte fought on the back foot in the eighth, shaking Rivas with an uppercut and then forcing the Canada-based Colombian to soak in a horrible left into his side.

But Rivas wasn’t done.

Whyte shipped a vicious uppercut in the ninth and took a count and he had to get on his bike to get his legs back to keep Rivas at bay. Even then, Dillian returned fire with some of his own big shots before Rivas landed a right near the round’s end.

The 10th was gritty and hard. It was an exciting fight and there was not a great deal in it.

They embraced at the bell. Rivas’ left eye was closing, he was cut by the right. Whyte was exhausted but won on all three cards, 115-112 (twice) and 116-111.

Whyte improves to 26-1 (18 knockouts), while Rivas suffers the first defeat of his career and drops to 26-1 (18 KOs).

Price (right) picked off Allen at will. Photo by Dave Thompson.

Liverpool’s David Price scored what has to be considered the win of his career, defeating countryman Dave Allen. Referee Marcus McDonnell accepting the Doncaster man’s corner retirement before the start of the 11th.

Price looked comfortable from the start, controlling the distance and the pace. Yes, he worked behind the left using his height and reach advantages, but his variety was good. He found a home for occasional right hands and selected a nice right uppercut in the third.

Allen was untroubled, however. He had his own success in Round 4 as he closed the gap.

It was intriguing without ever catching fire.

Price, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, was still happy with the pace but the question was whether he would run out of gas.

Allen was becoming frustrated as the fight progressed. Price was claiming him when he came in close and landed some attractive jabs and uppercuts in Round 7.

Allen kept grinding away but he was struggling to get a foothold, even as Price was supposed to tire.

He didn’t. In fact, through Round 10 Price started to box with a swagger and when that round ended former IBF middleweight titleholder Darren Barker, Allen’s coach, withdrew his man from battle.

It was a huge win for Price, who is now 25-6 (19 KOs).

Allen, who left on a stretcher and was taken to hospital as a precaution, dips to 17-5-2 (14 KOs).

It was a fight between a touted prospect who was meant to be a world beater and someone who very little was expected of but who found himself on the verge of a match with Alexander Povetkin, the carat that had been dangled before Allen ahead of this showdown.

Chisora impressive in brutal KO of Szpilka. Photo by Dave Thompson

London’s Derek Chisora, 31-9 (22 KOs), pole-axed Poland’s Artur Szpilka in the first heavyweight fight of the night.

Chisora, who said he’d had nightmares sparring left-handers in training camp to get ready for the visitor, until the final few days of preparation when everything clicked, has now put himself in line for another big fight.

Chisora had been linked to a match with Joseph Parker if successful but new heavyweight contender Aleksander Usyk was shown on the big screens applauding Chisora, and what a welcome to the heavyweight division that would be after this performance from “Del Boy”.

Chisora, though, admitted New Zealander Parker was in his sights.

“You know what, age is nothing but a number. I’m 35, I still feel like I’m 16. I still want the big fights,” said Chisora.

“I love it, I can’t get enough of it. We want to try and get Joseph Parker as long as he doesn’t run like an Australian chicken.”

It looked like it was warming into a war. Then, as Szpilka guarded his body, Chisora whipped over a right hand. Two further rights then landed flush – with referee Mark Lyson trying to intervene although too slow to make it in time – and they destroyed the Pole who dramatically crumpled, sagging against the ropes before pitching face first. It was over after 1:01 of the second round.

There were worrying scenes as the visitor lay prone on the canvas but he was eventually helped to his feet and then onto his stool where he gathered his senses and was observed by the ringside physician.

Asked of the clinical finish, one of the knockouts of the year, Chisora said: “It’s one of my favorites. I know him well. I enjoyed it.”

Szpilka is now 22-4 (15 KOs), and had previously been stopped in four by Adam Kownacki, in nine by Deontay Wilder and in 10 by Bryant Jennings.

 

 

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The post Dillian Whyte gets off the floor to outpoint Oscar Rivas, David Price and Derek Chisora score stoppages appeared first on The Ring.

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Vasiliy Lomachenko will defend Ring Magazine, WBA, WBO and WBA lightweight titles against Luke Campbell on August 31 at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the U.K. and ESPN+ in the U.S. The vacant WBC title will also be at stake.

In his most recent outing, Lomachenko, rated No. 1 by The Ring pound-for-pound, took out mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla at the Staples Center in LA. The Ukrainian’s punching power, as well as his supreme boxing ability, was evident when he knocked out the Englishman with one punch in Round 4.

Lomachenko (13-1, 10 knockouts) now looks forward to making his U.K. professional debut in the very city where he claimed the second of two Olympic gold medals in 2012.

“It is very special for me to fight in London,” said the 31-year-old champion. “I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.

“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division. Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.

Campbell, who is rated No. 2 by The Ring at 135 pounds, became the WBC mandatory challenger when he exacted revenge over Frenchman Yvan Mendy in September of last year. A former Olympic champion from London 2012 himself, Campbell’s only other setback came one year earlier when he got off the floor to push then-champion Jorge Linares to the limit in a razor-thin majority decision loss.

“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” said Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs). “I am in this sport to be the best, to become a world champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a world champion and fulfil my potential.

“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing, but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.

“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year; it’s my time.”

Tickets for Lomachenko vs. Campbell are priced £40, £60, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 (Inner Ring VIP).

Tickets are available to purchase NOW for O2 Priority customers via The O2 www.theo2.co.uk and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Sunday July 21 at midday via StubHub www.stubhub.co.uk.

General Sale tickets are available to purchase from midday on Monday July 22 from StubHub, The O2 and Matchroom Boxing www.matchroomboxing.com)

 

Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

 

 

 

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The post Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell official for August 31 in London appeared first on The Ring.

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Fistianados with Evan Rutkowski takes a look at the boxing world from the network executive point of view. Rutkowski, a former HBO Sports marketing executive, gives his take on the business side of the sport and an insider’s perspective on what you’re watching (or streaming) on TV.

This week, Evan examines changes in boxing’s pay-per-view market.

The post Podcast: Fistianados with Evan Rutkowski, Ep 40: Pacquiao-Thurman and changes in the PPV market appeared first on The Ring.

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Seconds after just having his hand raised and performing his signature backflip, Teofimo Lopez didn’t hesitate when assessing his performance Friday night against the towering Masayoshi Nakatani.

“Horrible, horrible, but you know, it is what it is, the guy is 6-feet tall, and from this point on, we’re fighting guys my height,” said Lopez, who beat the 5’11½” Nakatani by wide unanimous scores on the Top Rank ESPN+ show before a crowd of 2,100 at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Lopez (14-0, 11 knockouts) won the IBF lightweight title eliminator, which now sets up a title shot against IBF 135-pound beltholder Richard Commey.

Masayoshi Nakatani landed a healthy amount of rights on Teofimo Lopez. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

But there was much to be gained against Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs). Commey has a big right, and Nakatani landed his fair share of them.

“They wanted to see me go the distance, I went 12 rounds and a backflip, I’m still in shape,” Lopez said. “I feel great. We’re going to make the fight happen with Richard Commey. I have little tune-ups, I get lazy here and there, I slack off.

“It’s 12 rounds. Am I proud of it, no. But I showed everybody I can go 12 rounds. This guy was no push-over. I showed I can take a punch. I showed I can go 12 rounds.”

In the opening round, it appeared Nakatani had the better of Lopez. He used his jab to the body in keeping the powerful Lopez away. In the second, Lopez closed the distance, but Nakatani still did well. Early in the second, the fighter’s heads clashed with around 2:09 left in the round. Nakatani came away blinking his left eye.

With 1:45 left in the fourth, it looked as if Lopez’s power finally surfaced. He knocked down Nakatani with a right, but referee Harvey Dock called it a slip.

In the fifth, Lopez started going more to the body. It was probably Lopez’s best round, to that point. In the sixth and seventh, Lopez began getting closer and landing more consistently. Lopez went more to the body, though at times, his attack came one punch at a time.

Through seven, it appeared Lopez held a slight edge.

For the first time in his career, Lopez entered the eighth round. He landed a solid right on the taller Japanese foe, who responded by landing a short right to the temple.

In the ninth, Lopez landed a short right, and just when it appeared Nakatani was slowing down, he connected with a right of his own. Lopez closed the last 15 seconds strong.

With 1:06 left in the 10th, Nakatani landed a big right on Lopez’s temple, which seemed to rattle him for a moment. Seconds later, Nakatani slammed Lopez with another right. Nakatani’s solid shots appeared to give him the round.

In the 11th, a trickle of blood began dripping from Nakatani’s nose.

Lopez opened the 12th with a left to Nakatani’s head. Lopez was the aggressor in the last round, landing a left-right in the last 30 seconds.

Judges Dave Braslow and Larry Hazzard Jr. both had it 118-110, while judge Bernard Bruni scored it 119-109 all for Lopez.

“He has a lot to learn,” Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said. “It’s the tallest guy he ever fought. It was tough adjusting to it. The guy was a dangerous puncher. It was a good performance. I wanted him, when he had the guy going, to put the pedal down. The good thing that comes from this is that we know he can go 12 rounds. That’s always a question in my mind. Could he go 12 rounds, and the answer is yes.”

The co-feature involved Subriel Matias (14-0, 14 KOs) stopping Maxim Dadashev (13-1, 11 KOs) in an IBF junior welterweight title eliminator.

Subriel Matias victory after beating Maxim Dadashev. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.

In the early rounds, it was Matias putting pressure on the Russian who fights out of Oxnard, California. Neither fighter landed anything significant, though it was Matias carrying an edge based on his aggression.

Those early rounds were an indication of what was to follow. Finally, in the 11th, Hall of Famer Buddy McGirt, Dadashev’s trainer, saw enough and waved it over. Matias, the underdog, had Dadashev in trouble in the 11th. A body shot, followed by a right uppercut rattled Dadashev, who had to be helped from the ring after the fight.

That’s when McGirt called it.

In the end, Matias outlanded Dadashev, 319 to 157.

Subriel Matias lands a crushing right on Maxim-Dadashev. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

“I wanted to prove that I have more than just punching power,” the Puerto Rican fighter said. “I may be ugly and I may be puffy in my face, but nonetheless, when it came down to it, I am the pride of my town.

“I knew I was dominating the fight, and I knew one thing, if I kept working to the body consistently, he wasn’t going to take it. You saw him, he couldn’t continue. I was dominating the fight. I focused my offense on going to the body, and that’s how I stopped him from running.

“Now that I won, I am focused on becoming a world champion. I will show I have the ability to become a world champion when I get the opportunity. I hope that Maxim is alright. He is a great fighter and a warrior.”

A tranquil McGirt admitted he couldn’t convince Dadashev it was time to stop. McGirt said Matias was strong. He called him a “miniature Jarrett Hurd.” He feels Matias is a future world champion.

“At the same, I saw [Dadashev] was getting hit with more clean shots as the fight went on,” McGirt said. “I’m saying to myself, ‘Is this worth it, God forbid.’ One punch, as you know, can change a whole guy’s life and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

“I’d rather have them be mad at me for a day or two, than be mad at me for the rest of their life.”

Dadashev was rushed to a hospital after the fight. It was reported that Dadashev was “violently vomiting.” Dadashev was responsive, according to his manager, Egis Klimas, then lost consciousness. He was then taken to a Level 1 trauma unit at UM Prince George’s Hospital. It was later reported that Dadashev had to undergo surgery to relieve with swelling on the brain.

On the undercard, Esquiva Falcao (24-0, 16 KOs) stopped Sergio Batarelli (25-4-2, 12 KOs) at 1:35 of the eighth round of a scheduled 10-round middleweight bout.

Esquiva Falcao lands a left on Jesus Gutierrez. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.

“He was a very tough fighter. I was prepared because of that,” Falcao said. “I saw that I hurt him, and I went for the knockout. I told myself that if I want to be a world champion, I needed to knock out this guy. Bob Arum, I’m ready for my title shot! I’ll go anywhere. Japan, Brazil, it doesn’t matter.”

Tyler McCreary (16-0-1, 7 KOs) won an eight-round lightweight split-decision over Jessie Cris Rosales (22-3-1, 10 KOs). Tyler Howard (18-0, 11 KOs) won an eight-round middleweight decision over Jamaal Davis (18-15-1, 7 KOs).

Heavyweight Cassius Chaney (16-0, 10 KOs) stopped Joel Caudle (8-3-2, 5 KOs) at 1:52 of the first round in a scheduled eight-rounder. A series of punches landed on Caudle, who lost his balance and stumbled out of the ring. Lightweight Rolando Vargas (3-0, 3 KOs) stopped Nathaniel Davis (1-1, 1 KOs) at 1:50 in the second round of a scheduled four-round lightweight bout.

Rolando Vargas. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

After a three-year sabbatical from the ring for various reasons, Dusty Harrison (33-0-1, 19 KOs) won for the third time this year, stopping Juan De Angel (21-12-1, 19 KOs) at 2:30 of the seventh round in a scheduled eight-round middleweight fight.

Joseph Santoliquito is the President of the Boxing Writers Association of America and has written for The Ring/RingTV.com since 1997. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.

 

 

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Nonito Donaire gives his prediction on who he thinks will win Pacquiao vs Thurman - YouTube

Shawn Porter predicts Manny Pacquiao will beat Keith Thurman By decision - YouTube

 

 

 

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Maxim Dadashev was rushed to an area hospital after being stopped following the eleventh round of his fight against Subriel Matias on Friday night.

The fight, which took place at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. as the co-feature to the Teofimo Lopez-Masayoshi Nakatani main event, had become more one-sided as the rounds progressed. Dadashev’s trainer James “Buddy” McGirt pleaded with his fighter in the corner to allow him to stop the fight.

“I’m gonna stop the fight…Max, you’re getting hit too much…Please Max, let me do this…If I don’t, they’re gonna do it,” were the exhortations from McGirt in the corner.

Dadashev, who entered the fight unbeaten at 13-0 (11 knockouts), protested his trainer’s request, before McGirt took things into his own hands and informed the referee that they wouldn’t answer the bell for the twelfth.

ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna reported afterwards that Dadashev was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital, which is about 17 miles away from the venue. An attending physician told Osuna that Dadashev was “severely concussed” and “severely dehydrated”, and that a neurologist was waiting to treat him once they arrived.

A few minutes later at a second update, Osuna reported that Dadashev, who had been initially responsive in the ambulance, had lost consciousness, prompting the ambulance to re-route to the closer UM Prince George’s Hospital, which is about 12 miles away.

Dadashev, 28, of Saint Petersburg, Russia remained on his stool for several minutes, speaking with the commission doctor, before being allowed to leave the ring on his own power. Things turned grim when Dadashev’s legs began to buckle on the ring steps, but a stretcher wasn’t brought out until Dadashev had walked through the crowd, assisted by his cornermen. Once the stretcher was set up, Dadashev began to vomit, a common sign of brain injury, bringing greater urgency to the matter.

The scene “bothered” former world champion and ESPN commentator Timothy Bradley, who asked “Where was the medical attention when he was walking out? He should have never left the ring walking.”

The fight was an IBF junior welterweight eliminator, with Matias (14-0, 14 knockouts) of Fajardo, Puerto Rico using his body punching early on to wear down Dadashev, leaving him vulnerable to the head punches upstairs.

“I hope that Maxim is alright,” said Matias. “He is a great fighter and a warrior.”

The post Maxim Dadashev rushed to the hospital after TKO loss to Subriel Matias appeared first on The Ring.

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