LAS VEGAS — The last preliminary bout beteen Jorge Arce (60-6-2, 46 KOs) and Jesus Rojas (18-1-1, 13 KOs) ended on a foul in the second round and was declared a no-contest.
Randall Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) won the vacant IBF welterweight championship with a vicious 11th-round knockout of Philadelphia’s Mike Jones (26-1, 19 KOs), who suffered the first loss of his career in grotesque fashion after a sluggish, methodical opening that prompted boos from the MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd. Bailey, a 4-to-1 underdog, floored Jones in the 10th then connected with a deadly right uppercut in the 11th that knocked him senseless.
Guillermo Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) successfully defended his WBA super bantamweight title with an impressive fifth-round TKO of Philadelphia’s Teon Kennedy (17-2-2, 7 KOs). The 31-year-old Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Cuba who defected and now trains in Miami, floored Kennedy in the first, second (twice), fourth and fifth rounds before referee Russell Mora put a stop to it at the 1:11 mark.
“All my punches are good, I have no bad punches,” said Rigondeaux, who connected with 58 of 183 punches (32 percent) compared to just 13 of 179 for Kennedy (7 percent). “I think that was my best performance.”
Said Kennedy: ”He’s not the hardest puncher, he just hits you with punches that you can’t see.”
Ernie Sanchez (13-3, 5 KOs) of the Philippines slugged his way to a unanimous-decision victory over Wilton Hilario (12-3-1, 9 KOs) of St. Louis Park, Minn., in an entertaining eight-round featherweight contest. Judge Robert Hoyle scored it 79-73, while Burt Clements and Herb Santos both had it 78-74.
Welterweight up-and-comer Mikael Zewski (15-0, 11 KOs) scored an impressive third-round knockout of John Ryan Grimaldo (8-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder. The end came at 0:59 of the third round, when the Fort Collins, Colo., product was unable to make the 10-count.
Andrew Ruiz (2-0, 1 KO) of Oxnard, Calif., a Robert Garcia trainee, stayed unbeaten with a four-round unanimous-decision win over Taylor Larson of Las Vegas in a junior welterweight bout fought at a catchweight of 143 pounds. Ruiz scored a knockdown in the first round that set the tone. The judges’ scores were 39-36, 40-35 and 39-36.
In the night’s first bout, fancied 168-pound prospect Jesse Hart of Philadelphia made his pro debut a quick one, blasting Manuel Eastman (0-2, 0 KOs) with a barrage of punches in the corner on his way to a TKO victory just 33 seconds into the first round.
– Bryan Armen Graham