Last night on Showtime Championship Boxing, Gary Russell Jr (27-1, 16 KO’s) defeated Patrick Hyland (31-2, 15 KO’s) via second round KO to retain his WBC featherweight title.  Also,  Jose Pedraza (22-0, 12 KO’s) successfully defended his IBF Super featherweight title by  defeating Steven Smith (23-2, 13 KO’s) via unanimous decision.

Jose Pedraza probably fought the smartest fight of his young career last night when he defeated Steven Smith.  In the past, Pedraza has been known to have somewhat shaky defense in his fights, and has also been known to get dragged into brawls.  Everyone wondered how he would fair against a very strong body puncher like Smith, with his defensive liabilities.  Pedraza answered these questions beautifully, as he kept the fight on the outside, at a range only he was comfortable with.  Smith would get in a few nice punches here and there, but he simply did not do enough in any round to win on the scorecards.  Pedraza would hurt Smith late in the fight, which is when Smith would start to feel the urgency.  Smith would up his work rate, but it was too little too late, as Pedraza outboxed him in almost every round.  The finally tallies were 117-110, 116-111, & 116-111, as Pedraza cruises to a lop sided unanimous decision victory.

There isn’t much to be said about the main event of the evening.  The outmatched and outclassed Patrick Hyland, was totally wiped out by the lightning fast Gary Russell Jr.  Russell is sure giving Amir Khan a run for his money as the fastest hands in the game, as he totally demolished Hyland with his speed.  Russell’s lazer jab was on display in the first round, as he beat Hyland to the punch every time the engaged.  In the second, Russell would start to put combinations together, and before long, he would put Hyland down with a huge right hook.  After the fight, Russell Jr pleaded with Vasyl Lomachenko for a rematch.  Lomachenko seemingly done at 126 pound and wanting to move up, will most likely not grant Russell the rematch, which was his only loss.  Russell went as far as to say, if Lomachenko goes all the way up to 147 pounds, Russell would follow him to any weight class for the opportunity.  For now, it is more likely that he gets a unification fight against Lee Selby, or Leo Santa Cruz.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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