Sunday June 23rd on Fox an edition of PBC co-promoted by TGB and Mayweather promotions broadcast featuring former world champions Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jermell Charlo in separate contest. On the undercard nine undefeated prospects were given an opportunity to showcase their skillset for a nationally televised audience.
The main event was originally a scheduled rematch between Charlo and WBC 154lb title holder Tony Harrison, that bout was postponed due to an injury sparring early June which required corrective surgery to Harrison’s ankle. As a late substitute game but over-matched, Jorge Cota coming off a loss this past April filled in to keep the date active for Charlo.
Their contest started with two slow paced feel out rounds, which was no surprise considering both Cota and Charlo entered the ring bone dry hinting at dehydration to make weight.
In the third a solid right hand from Charlo landed clean dropping Cota, once up Cota still on unbalanced legs was allowed to continue by the reliably incompetent Jay Nady. A motionless groggy Jorge Cota who for all intense purposes was out on his feet, absorbed two clean unnecessary blows to the chin from Charlo and was sent crashing to the canvas.
With the win Jermell Charlo improved to 32-1 (16) while Cota now stands at 28-4 (25).
The Co-Feature between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Julio Ceja was an appealing bout on paper, if for no other reason than contrasting styles. Once the bout began rather than an elusive Rigondeaux versus an all pressure styled Ceja we watched both men stand inside and trade blows.
The age and ring wear was apparent on Rigondeaux throughout, in the second round Ceja landed more punches in a single round than any previous Rigondeaux opponent including Vasyl Lomachenko.
As rounds passed the fight became an ugly brawl on occasions, both fighters deducted points for low blows and head-butts, Rigondeaux it became apparent was fighting inside not by design but necessity and an easy target for Ceja. A counter right from Rigondeaux in the eighth dropped Ceja, who despite beating the count and appearing stable was halted by referee Russell Mora saving Rigondeaux from certain loss.
With the win Guillermo Rigondeaux improved to 19-1 (13) while Julio Ceja drops to 32-4 (28). The near four hundred combined bouts of his professional and amateur career have without mistake taken their toll on a 38yr old Rigondeaux.
While Rigondeaux was unfairly denied, that one career defining fight in his prime should he continue seeking that fight even at a weight class he feels comfortable I don’t see very much success at this stage based off Saturdays performance.
In Undercard action
Lightweight- Chris Colbert 12-0 (4) def. Alberto Mercado 16-3-1 (3) via UD 10.
Lightweight-Leduan Barthelemy 15-0-1(7) def. Jose Cayetano 21-7 (10) via UD 8.
Lightweight- Julian Rodarte 17-0-1(7) def. Miguel Angel Perez Aispuro 11-8-2 (7) via UD 8.
Welterweight- Marquis Taylor 10-1-1 Maj drw Lucas Santamaria 9-1-1 (7) Maj drw 6.
Middleweight- Joey Spencer 8-0 (6) def. Akeem Black 5-3 (2) via UD 6.
Welterweight- Jesus Alejandro Ramos 10-0 (9) def. Kevin Shacks 3-4-3 (3) via UD 4.
Lightweight- Jose Valenzuela 4-0(1) def. Eric Manriquez 7-7-1 (3) via UD 4.
Junior Middleweight-Quinton Randall 4-0 (1) def. Kewone Hill 2-1 (2) via UD 4.