FS1 results: Santiago bests Ruiz in an action fight
On Tuesday night, Alexis “Beaver” Santiago earned a unanimous decision win (100-90, 99-91, 98-92) over Erik Ruiz but the wide scorecards didn’t tell the full story of what was a good, competitive action bout. It was the main event of a Mayweather Promotions card at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada, and televised live on Premier Boxing Champions’ “Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays” series on FS1.
Both junior featherweights wasted no time producing action in the opening round. True to the program’s name, standing toe-to-toe, Santiago and Ruiz traded shots and really set the precedent for the entire contest. Hooks and uppercuts were exchanged constantly throughout the fight and, even though either would get hit flush, they made sure to come back and repay the damage received.
Santiago, Phoenix, Arizona, established the more effective jab when necessary and, in the instances in which the two took a break from exchanging pleasantries, he began controlling the distance in the early rounds. Ruiz, Oxnard, California, didn’t let Santiago’s effective jab thwart his offensive output. The 24-year-old bit down and his headhunting rights and lefts caught Santiago often.
Other than his jab, the “Beaver” also gave tremendous work to the body and he chopped Ruiz’s midsection as if it were a piece of wood. On the contrary, Ruiz’s work to the body was nonexistent and the final punch stats that overwhelmingly favored Santiago (330-186), told much of that tale. Still, the contest was highly entertaining and referee Russell Mora had an easy night of being the mediator without having to constantly untangle the two. The combination punching from both men was fluid and, as they threw combos at the same time, rarely did they ever get in the way of one another.
Santiago, 21-3-1 (8), separated himself from his foe with more facets to his offensive output and the scores weren’t all that surprising, despite the ambitious performances. Ruiz, 15-5 (6), has now lost four of his past six fights but he showed the will of a game opponent and as yet to be stopped.
Paul Parker received a split decision victory over Lionell Thompson in a close, light heavyweight contest in which one knockdown was the difference. Two judges ringside scored the bout 76-75 for Parker and the third gave the same score in favor of Thompson.
The fight started out in a lull, with Parker, the taller man, controlling the fight with his reach. The lack of action changed momentarily in the third, when Thompson pulled back from a Parker right hand and countered with a right of his own. The punch caught Thompson perfectly on the chin and buckled his knees. With Lionell’s glove touching the canvas as he kept himself from crashing down, referee Jay Nady rightfully ruled it a knockdown. Parker, 8-1 (4), Toledo, Ohio, fought with confidence in the first half of the eight-rounder and looked like he would carry that momentum in its second half.
Thompson, 16-4 (10), used the rest of the third and fourth rounds to regain his senses and utilized every inch of the big ring to do so. He started gaining steam in the fifth and poked through Parker’s defense with the jab. For whatever reason, Parker just couldn’t recreate the same counter shot that dropped Thompson earlier and the fight ended in the manner it started: in a lull. Yet Thompson controlled the bout toward the end, contrary to its beginning. Thompson ended the night with more punches landed than Parker (81-52) but the knockdown in the third was ultimately the catalyst to Parker’s victory.
In the opening bout of the FS1 telecast, Lanell Bellows knocked Antowyan Aikens out in the fifth round to ruin his once undefeated record.
Hindered by a height and reach disadvantage, Bellows, 15-1-1 (8), lunged at Aikens with his jab in order to get himself within range. Lucky for the 30-year-old Las Vegas native, Aikens, 10-1-1 (1), basically welcomed Bellows inside by not electing to throw out a jab. Bellows started landing his right hand consistently by the second and all Aikens did offensively was throw a counter left hook on occasion, hoping for a lucky punch.
In the fifth, Bellows landed a nice overhand right to Aikens’ temple and it dropped him to the floor. Now while on his knees while referee Tony Weeks counted to 10, the 26-year-old from Atlantic City, New Jersey, patiently waited before Weeks finally waved his arms. Aikens then shrugged his shoulders after taking his first loss.