Edner Cherry used every veteran trick in his book against Omar Douglas as he turned the page toward another potential title shot.
Edner Cherry won a 10-round unanimous decision over Omar Douglas in a 130-pound bout that headlined a Premier Boxing Champions Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on FS1 card at Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The scores were 96-94 (twice) and 98-92 in favor of Cherry, whose aggressive pace was more impressionable on the three judges than was Douglas’ poise and counterpunching. The crowd on hand disagreed with the final call, as did the boxer whose hand was not raised in victory.
“I didn’t lose that fight, period,” a dejected Douglas (17-2, 12 KOs) said after his second straight defeat. “The fight went how I expected it would in the ring.”
The 34-year old Cherry—fighting out of Wauchula, Florida, by way of the Bahamas—sought to take the fight to his younger opponent from the opening bell.
The two-time title challenger knew he’d have to make an early impression on the judges as well as on Douglas, working on the inside and scoring with right hands while looking for opportunities to land his patented “Cherry Bomb” left hook.
Douglas, 26, effectively neutralized his opponent’s money punch. The native of nearby Wilmington, Delaware, was most successful when he worked behind his jab, which was key in controlling the middle rounds and slowing down Cherry’s attack.
Cherry (36-7-2, 19 KOs) made the adjustments and forced Douglas back into old habits of winging his punches while the veteran scored with body shots and combinations upstairs. His surge in the seventh and eighth rounds created many uncomfortable moments for Douglas, who unknowingly dug himself into a deep hole on the judges’ scorecards.
“Super O” seized momentum in the final two rounds, allowing Cherry to come to him before catching him with counter left hooks while slipping out of harm’s way. His poise and ring spacing weren’t enough to avoid a second consecutive defeat, however, as his fate was sealed on the scorecards by that point.
There were moments in the fight where Douglas showed learning lessons from his previous defeat, having fallen just short versus former 130-pound world champion Javier Fortuna last November. It didn’t seem to take with the judges, but his presence was felt by his opponent.
“I take my hat off to Douglas,” Cherry said after posting his second consecutive win in Bethlehem, nine months after earning a 10-round unanimous decision over Lydell Rhodes. “I thought I pulled out the victory. I tried to press for it, but it was a back-and-forth fight.”
It was a grueling enough affair to where Douglas was drained by the time the final scores were read. Draped over the top rope in disbelief over the verdict, he gathered his composure long enough to offer his admiration for Cherry.
“I’ve always been a fan of his,” Douglas said. “I feel like I fight great competition and I was able to outbox him with my jab. He tried to bait me in and I showed I was the better boxer.”
Fulton, De Alba victorious in eight-round bouts
In undercard action, Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton (11-0, 5 KOs) earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Puerto Rican southpaw Luis Rosario (8-1-1, 7 KOs) in a high-contact battle of unbeaten 122-pound prospects.
Also, Reading, Pennsylvania, resident Frank De Alba (22-2-2, 9 KOs) overcame a rough start to claim an eight-round unanimous decision over Quincy, Massachusetts, native Ryan Kielczweski (26-3, 8 KOs) in a 130-pound bout.
For a complete look at Cherry vs Douglas, visit our fight page.