Heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale stops Carlos Negron, calls out Deontay Wilder; Rances Barthelemy and Terrell Gausha bounce back with wins; and heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba scores another quick stoppage.
Brooklyn, N.Y. — It was up to big brother to right the earlier wrong. Not that he needed the incentive, but just before defending his WBC interim middleweight title Saturday night, Jermall Charlo had just watched his younger twin brother, Jermell, lose his junior middleweight championship by a controversial unanimous decision to Tony Harrison.
So, Jermall did what he’s done his whole life—went out and defended the family name, beating late substitute Matt Korobov via unanimous decision to retain his 160-pound belt in the main event of a PBC on FOX card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Cards read 116-112 on the scorecards of both Max DeLuca and Steve Weisfeld, and 119-108 on Larry Hazzard Jr.’s tally.
Through six, it was a competitive fight between Korobov and Charlo. In the seventh, Korobov (27-2, 13 KOs) landed a few lefts on Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) that grabbed his attention. Jermall responded, tagging Korobov with some stinging rights before the round ended.
In the eighth, Korobov’s right eye started swelling. It didn’t stop him from bouncing a right hook off Jermall’s head. The eye began to close—and Jermall obliged by pecking at it through the ninth.
A Korobov left to Charlo’s jaw in the 11th stirred the crowd. A minute later, Korobov connected on another straight left, this time on Charlo’s chin.
In the final round, a Charlo left hook almost ended the fight. Korobov was teetering on spaghetti legs and in serious trouble. However, the Russian used veteran savvy to remain upright, gamely fighting back over the last 10 seconds.
“I used everything that happened tonight as motivation in the 12th round,” Jermall Charlo said. “I haven't been that far in a fight in a couple of years. It felt good to be in there, get hit and bang with someone. He was an experienced guy who will make me better.
“I had fun in there with an opponent like that. I got the win and that's the main thing. I still feel I'm the best in the world. I just need to prove it to the rest of the world. I felt like Jermell
made his fight harder than it was. I had a really tough opponent, but he wasn't better than me. There was a lot on my mind in the ring.”
Dominic Breazeale stops Carlos Negron, calls out WBC champion Deontay Wilder
Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale ended a thrilling back and forth with a single overhand right to Carlos Negron’s jaw in round nine. Negron fell face-first—and nearly out of the ring as he slumped to the canvas. Official time was 1:37.
Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs) controlled the opening two rounds with his jab, just missing with his right hand. Negron landed his best combination at the outset of the third. Midway through the round, Breazeale began finding his rhythm, landing a right that caused an evident red abrasion on Negron’s upper left cheek.
The round ended with Negron punching just as the bell sounded. That seemed to irritate Breazeale, who retaliated by throwing a shot after the bell. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. immediately stepped in and gave Breazeale a warning.
The final 15 seconds of the fourth stirred more fireworks. Negron (20-2, 16 KOs) connected with a right, and Breazeale countered with his own upstairs, right on Negron’s nose as the bell sounded to finish the fourth. Mercante Jr. knew better this time, jumping between the fighters before more chaos ensued.
Negron stepped out of his corner for the fifth with a bloody nose and his left ear developing a reddish hue. In the sixth, Breazeale worked those features over, pumping the jab and occasionally mixing in a right.
By the seventh, it seemed academic—and a matter of time. Two rounds later, Breazeale connected with that awkward, wild overhand right that caught Negron in the back of his left ear and left him down in a heap in the corner. He was still on the canvas when Mercante reached the count of 10.
Afterward, Breazeale, who is mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder’s WBC world heavyweight title, called out the champion, seated ringside.
“I was setting up that right hand all night,” Breazeale said. “Since the third round I noticed he dropped his left hand when he took a step to the left, and that's what I got him with. I landed the big shot. I knew the big shot was coming it was just a matter of time. Sure enough, when that right hand landed, I knew it was over.
“I’m next in line for Deontay Wilder, I'm coming for him. I've been waiting for him and I did what I had to do. I'm ready for him now. It’s been way too long—13 months. I definitely worked off some ring rust, worked some great combinations and body shots, and finally got the KO.
“Yes, I know Wilder is here in the crowd. He came to watch. He knows I’m next. He better be holding on to that baby really tightly, because I’m coming. Trouble is already here.”
Rances Barthelemy and Terrell Gausha bounce back with wins, while heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba scores another quick stoppage
On the undercard, super lightweight Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) stopped Robert Frankel (36-20-1, 8 KOs) at 2:38 of the third round. After losing to Kiryl Relikh in March, Barthelemy worked with former two-time world champion Joel Casamayor for the first time as his trainer, replacing previous trainer Ismael Salas.
Middleweight Brandon Quarles (21-4-1, 10 KOs) won a 10-round decision over Todd Manuel (17-17-1, 5 KOs), while Mark Duncan (2-0, 2 KO) stopped Ray Cevera (0-4) at 1:52 in the first round of a scheduled four-round middleweight bout.
Middleweight Terrell Gausha (26-3, 11 KOs) knocked out Joey Hernandez (27-5-1, 17 KOs) at 2:51 of the first round.
Heavyweight Efe Ajagba (8-0, 7 KOs) scored another quick victory—stopping Santino Turnbow (4-4, 3 KOs) at 2:22 of the first round.
Cruiserweight Efetobor Apochi (6-0, 6 KOs) started the night by stopping Eric Abraham (5-4, 2 KOs) at 2:20 of the first round.
For a closer look at Charlo vs Korobov, check out our fight page.