DAZN results: Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme battle to a draw
In the main event of the first major network card hosted in Chicago in several years, welterweights Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme battled to a majority draw.
Despite having a capacity for 10,387 patrons, the Wintrust Arena, formerly known as DePaul Arena, boasted a crowd of 6.235, as the uppermost section of a very comfortable arena was closed off. As a result, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house and a Jumbotron was in full use for those seated in the highest rows.
Vargas, 28-2-2 (10), a former two-division titlist, was trying to gain his first significant win in two-and-a-half years against Dulorme, 24-3-1 (16), and score a vacant “silver” title in the process. Dulorme started aggressively and threw a big right hand upstairs to make his initial statement. He followed it by jabbing to the body, which became his go-to jab throughout the fight. Dulorme would dictate the initial pace of the fight thusly, as Vargas would try to find openings in Dulorme’s defense. Vargas would then start pumping his own jab before swinging a heavy one-two, which would make Dulorme swing and miss in return. However Dulorme then connected with a left upstairs that momentarily wobbled Vargas.
In the second round, Vargas seemed more awake, as Dulorme continued to work the jab. Dulorme then fired a right to the body, then a left upstairs. Vargas would pump the occasional jab but both fighters would begin to flurry when in close quarters. At that point, during an exchange, a strafing left by Dulorme would cut Vargas’ right eyelid. Afterward Dulorme started concentrating on trying to exacerbate the cut with his jab and occasional hooks in the third. In return Vargas worked the jab and comboed upstairs while Dulorme did what he could to elude the assault. Dulorme would lunge in with a right hand, then shoot straight left hands to Vargas’ body before missing with huge right and left attempts. Dulorme would then return to the jab and straight left hand to the body but Vargas wold counter with a left hand of his own. At that point, Vargas would make several attempts to connect with left hands of his own.
Both men would kick off the fourth round with wild yet brief attempts to connect. They continued to try and connect with the occasional left but a right hand from Dulorme scored big time. They would both start firing at each other in a clinch and Vargas would try to set Dulorme up for a big left but they continue trading, ultimately lading in the neutral corner, where Dulorme unleashes some serious fury, throwing several punches after the bell ending the round sounded.
In the fifth, a wild right hand from Dulorme misses and Vargas counters with a poking jab. Vargas keeps trying to work the jab upstairs, while Dulorme returns his jab in kind to the body. Dulorme missed a one-two, then ate a left for his troubles. A Vargas right hand lands hard but Dulorme’s counter left landed just as hard.
In the sixth, Dulorme returned to the jab but both fighters wound up throwing in the midst of a clinch. By then, anyone could tell their disdain for one another was palpable. Vargas tries to walk down Dulorme and connects with a right hand. Dulorme, however, tries to make the most of every opportunity to counter. In the seventh, Dulorme opens with the jab, only to get countered with multiple lefts to the body. Dulorme then fires a left, then a two-punch combo and referee Stephen Blea issues a warning for straying low, although Dulorme’s efforts didn’t really match the concern.
In the eighth, Dulorme dug to the body with lefts that seemingly hurt Vargas. Dulorme connected with a left to the body off the ropes, as Vargas tried to connect upstairs with a right hand prior to another clinch. Interestingly enough, Dulorme, 28, doesn’t look fatigued at all, at this point, but Vargas lands a straight one-two, despite his cut starting to bleed once more. Suffice to say, his cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran did an exemplary job of preventing the laceration from becoming a bigger problem.
In the ninth, Dulorme, once again, came out firing the jab but Vargas, 29, touched him to the body with a left. Dulorme continued trying to find an opening to land that one big shot he felt was necessary to gain the upper hand but they wound up trading on the ropes, ultimately falling into another clinch. Dulorme lands a sharp left upstairs and Vargas lands a right hand to the head in return, provoking Dulorme into an agitated flurry.
Dulorme opens the 10th jabbing, then throwing a combo to the body, prior to a clinch. Dulorme pops the jab and Vargas feints but Dulorme throws a left to the head, which gets blocked. Both trade jabs right before a huge right hand from Vargas collapses Dulorme. At that point, Dulorme’s reserve is shaken; his energy is sapped and he looks like he’s in doubt for the first time in this fight. Vargas then pursues with the jab but Dulorme clinches. Another right hand connects for Vargas but Dulorme corners him and Vargas fights his way out.
In the 11th round, Dulorme pursues Vargas with his own jab and hooks low – almost too low. Vargas returns the jab yet with authority. Vargas flurries again in close quarters before absorbing a low blow that went unnoticed by all parties involved, including Vargas himself. Vargas fires off a salvo of rights and lefts but Dulorme easily eludes them. Dulorme lunges in to land a right and connects with a left off the corner. Vargas, wide-eyed, then pursues Dulorme toward the corner with no consequence from either fighter.
Dulorme opened the 12th and final round jabbing yet both were intently watching one another. Vargas started firing hard jabs while attempting to walk down Dulorme. Dulorme throws a wild left haymaker that doesn’t land flush but his subsequent right hand certainly does. Both men, looking incredibly tense throw their jabs and miss but into the remaining 30 seconds, a left hand out of the blue from Dulorme drops Vargas. However he beats the count and both men make it to the final bell.
In the end, judge Rey Danseco scored the bout an odd 115-111 for Vargas while Mike Fitzgerald and Mike Ross saw the bout a more feasible 113-113, resulting in the majority draw, much to the mild disappointment of the crowd.
In a bout that could have reasonably be billed as the evening’s co-main event, Danny Roman successfully defended his WBA junior featherweight title a third time against Gavin McDonnell via 10th round TKO.
In the first round, both fighters emerged with precise throwing and countering, not so much doing harm with their shots but intending to score. Roman connects with a right hand but McDonnell is unfazed. McDonnell kicks off round two firing his jab but Roman counters with a right to the jaw. Roman backs his opponent to the ropes but McDonnell proves to be slippery. They trade without serious impact but Roman then backs McDonnell into a corner and punctuates the round with a right hand upstairs. Both pump the jab to start the third and Roman attacks McDonnell’s body on the ropes. McDonnell returns the favor in the center of the ring, ending a very surgical round for both men.
McDonnell starts to gauge range in the fourth with his jab but both men begin to trade jabs. They trade in tight quarters, giving each other little room to breathe. In the fifth, it seems like Roman’s timing starts improving and he begins to score a little more although McDonnell finds the occasional opening. McDonnell then loses his mouthpiece, giving him a few seconds to breathe but Roman resumes his attack right before the bell. Roman lands a sharp one-two in the sixth and McDonnell would fire off a combo but eat a right hand upstairs in return. This would become a solid round for Roman as his shot began landing harder and more frequently.
In the seventh, McDonnell seemed a little less confident, trying to find an opening prior to Roman backing him into the ropes to rip him to the body before connecting upstairs with a hard left hand. Roman would remain surgical in his approach, while McDonnell would show more wear, tear and frustration. The eight round saw less commitment from McDonnell as he was reduced to jabbing while throwing the occasional left hand. At this point, Roman isn’t so much connecting as he is deterring McDonnell from throwing while eluding. In the ninth, lost of jabs were thrown but few connected. For a brief moment, time was halted so McDonnell’s corner could trim some errant tape from his right glove. Roman would the land a lunging left jab before firing off a three-punch combo. Both mix it up a little before the round comes to an end.
In the 10th round, both throw their jabs very lightly, then throw to the body at the same time. They trade until a Roman flurry suddenly separates McDonnell from his senses. Roman smells blood and lands one hard punch after another. McDonnell drops from the neutral corner down near the ropes and referee Mark Nelson stops the fight at 2:36 of the round after McDonnell makes it back to his feet.
With the win – and one hell of a show for the Chicago crowd – Roman advances his record to 26-2-1 (10), while McDonnell falls to 20-2-2 (5).
In the second major title fight of the evening – easily another main event quality bout – IBF light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev maintained his perfect record, 13-0 (13), with a fourth round knockout over the extremely gutsy Brit Callum Johnson, 17-1 (12).
As the opening bell rang, both fighters were reluctant to throw punches. Beterbiev circled Johnson but Johnson would corner Beterbiev before the defending titlist would sharply punch his way out. Beterbiev would fire off wildly and wobble Johnson before slowing down to examine the Englishman, intently searching for another opening. A sharp right hand from Beterbiev dropped Johnson as Beterbiev escaped the corner in which he was previously herded. Johnson would escape another attack from Beterbiev, as the bell rang, ending the round. In round two, Beterbiev threw his jab before firing off a hook and a right cross. Beterbiev then fired his jab multiple times, looking to soften up Johnson. Suddenly Johnson lands a left hand, dropping Johnson after Johnson threw a combo of his own. Johnson, sensing an opportunity, smothered Beterbiev on the ropes. For what it as worth, Beterbiev was a little more alert, more measured.
The third round saw both men throwing the jab and Johnson would connect off the ropes.A straight left connected for Beterbiev and both landed to the body but ultimately Beterbiev got the better of the exchange. Beterbiev then threw combos upstairs, then jabbed and returned to the combinations. A lunging left hook landed for Beterbiev before both men traded thunderous shots prior to the bell.
In the fourth round, Johnson came out jabbing, cornering Beterbiev. The defending titlist almost counters his way out but Johnson lands a left upstairs. Beterbiev would respond with jabbing before landing a hard right hand but Johnson simply could not be deterred. However during a close, tight exchange, a right hand crashed hard onto the crown of Johnson’s head, dropping him for the count, at 2:36 of round four. That said, even in loss, Johnson was lauded by the British faithful for a cast-iron brave effort.
The main heavyweight bout of the evening had to be buffered by question marks in its run-up but decisions were made; matchmaking happened. Former two-division champion Tomasz Adamek, 227, faced Jarrell Miller, 317 – yes, 90 pounds heavier, in a bout scheduled for – but not expected to go – 12 rounds.
Not trying to be funny but this writer has never experienced such a positive response for a fighter en route to the gallows like Adamek, 53-6 (31). Professional wrestling fans, not unlike me, would call his reception a “Road Warrior pop,” also interesting because this bout took place in Chicago, not just home of the legendary “Legion of Doom” but home to a vibrant and prominent Polish community, that came out strong for its surrogate hero.
However it should be noted that Miller, 22-0-1 (19), tried his best to either play the psychology card or ingratiate himself to the Windy City crowd by wearing a red and silver robe, evoking the Polish flag, his trunks bearing the embroidered moniker “Black Polska.”
Nonplussed, Adamek jabbed to the body, as his crowd loudly chanted, “Polska!” Miller then ripped Adamek to the body. Both fighters traded left hands and Miller tried to corner Adamek but the Pole fired off his own lefts and rights. Miller lands a right to the body but Adamek, game and brave, attacked the Brooklyn native’s body. Not for nothing, Adamek was absolutely un-intimidated by Miller’s hulking presence and pressure.
In round two, Adamek would fire his jab, the follow up with rights and lefts. Miller responded with combos, herding Adamek into a corner, then shaking his foundation. A frantic flurry ensued which included a left to Adamek’s body, which set up a right uppercut that dropped Adamek. With reason, the brave Pole couldn’t recover but as he dejectedly sat on his stool after the knockout verdict was rendered, at 51 seconds of the round, a gracious Miller knelt in front of him to offer a hug and words of comfort. The gesture was kind, considerate and most certainly warranted, as Adamek offered nothing short of pure moxie in his loss.
In the end, Miller would playfully mug for the cameras at ringside, motioning as if he were munching on a cheeseburger, then sticking out his tongue in the silliest of displays. Fearsome, yes. Whimsically human, unquestionably.
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