PBC on FS1 results: Jean Pascal stops Ahmed Elbiali; Luis Ortiz sets up Deontay Wilder rehash
In what he said would be his final fight, Jean Pascal forced a sixth round stoppage of Ahmed Elbiali, Friday night, in what will be remembered as a memorable clash between veteran and prospect. The light heavyweight contest was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card televised on FS1 and held at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida.
With neither fighter looking to establish a jab, it was bombs away from the sound of the opening bell but Elbiali landed the first meaningful punch. A right hand rocked Pascal into a stumble early on and forced him to hang on in the clinch. Pascal, 35, was successful in achieving that, however, and that was just one of the veteran tactics that ultimately made the difference in the fight.
An Egyptian immigrant now fighting out of Miami, Florida, Elbiali could’ve used a jab to keep Pascal from getting on the inside but, after being bated into a slugfest by Pascal, most of the fundamentals went out the window. This made for a slugfest throughout but Pascal started to really take shape in the second round, once timing Elbiali with counters and exploiting a head that seemingly never bobbed or weaved. Pascal, on the other hand, had the wherewithal to show some defense and be economical with his shots as Elbiali unloaded with big hooks that were all thrown with the same intensity.
All things considered, Elbiali, 16-1 (13), took the crisp shots well but couldn’t hide the fact that he was dead tired in the final moments of the fifth. Pascal motioned Elbiali to come toward his corner in the waning seconds of the round, just to use another veteran trick of making him walk across the ring once the bell sounded. On the stool before the sixth, Elbiali could be seen whispering into his trainer’s ear and, with the ringside doctor on the apron, there was even some confusion in his corner just before the fateful round began.
The Haitian-Canadian went for the kill and Pascal’s lead right hands to the body forced Elbiali to tuck his elbows in, leaving the head shots open for the taking. Pascal went back to peppering Elbiali with lefts and rights upstairs and with his back stuck on the ropes, the latter’s corner threw in the towel, forcing referee Telis Assimenios to wave it off at the 2:06 mark.
Pascal, 32-5-1 (19), was a slight underdog (+120) going into this fight and, after a solid career that featured a two-year stint as the WBC light heavyweight titleholder, the win injected some life into a career that had its first retirement announcement.
In the co-feature, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz quickly knocked out Daniel Martz in the second round and, with Deontay Wilder calling the fight ringside on the broadcast, walked away with the WBC heavyweight titleholder promising him another shot.
Ortiz, 28-0 (24), leaned through the ropes at Wilder, once the fight was waved off, after a straight left hand belly-flopped Martz to the canvas. Martz, 16-6-1 (13), who was dropped in the first, after a body shot, as well, didn’t show much of a threat and made the 38-year-old Cuban look phenomenal, quite frankly. All this, of course, after failing a VADA drug test mandated by the WBC less than two months ago, which canceled his original November 4 date with WIlder. Obviously with him fighting Friday night, there was no real punishment for Ortiz and, once the WBC ruled that he wouldn’t lose his No.3 rating, the post-fight promo of the two trash talking aimlessly over dead air was allowed to happen.
“I’m a man of my word,” said Wilder post-fight. “I will bless you with a second chance.”
Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella got the unanimous decision (79-72 twice, 77-74) over Alex Martin in an eight-round welterweight affair.
Coming off a 15-month layoff, Perrella, 15-1 (13), got off to a hot start after landing a beautiful lead right hook that dropped Mart in final minute of the first round. Martin, Chicago, Illinois, never panicked after sustaining the knockdown, however, and quietly turned the fight around with his boxing. Martin, a southpaw, was the better fighter on the inside and Perrella couldn’t make the right adjustment, once Martin used his feet to get away. Perrella, Fort Myers, Florida, did switch from his own southpaw stance, from time to time, but it never really made a difference. Although he wasn’t coming close to his opening round success, Perrella was landing enough to be in every round. Though, in the seventh, Martin, 13-3 (5), backed Perrella up, after a slew of punches down the middle, and it made for an inspiring final round for both, as it seemed like the fight was hanging in the balance.
In the opening bout of the FS1 telecast, Stephen Fulton got a majority decision (78-74, 77-75, 76-76) nod over Adam Lopez after eight competitive rounds of featherweight action.
Fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fulton, 12-0 (5), overcame a rough second round that had him hurt and reeling in its final minute but he managed to swing the momentum with great footwork and even better counterpunching. In the fourth, Fulton, 23, stunned Lopez for a moment with a left hand to the face and, after having already sustained a bloody nose in the prior round, Lopez showed early signs of fading. Compared to how he started the fight, Lopez’s punch volume decreased drastically in the middle rounds but, fighting in his first eight-rounder, the 21-year-old seemed to have saved his energy for a final round outburst that ended up producing the close result. Although it was the first defeat for Lopez, 8-1 (3), it was certainly not a bad outing, as he takes part in his third successful opening bout of a televised card, in terms of entertainment.