Super lightweights Sharif Bogere and Juan Heraldez each score UD victories on a PBC on Bounce card from Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.
Ladarius Miller and Dennis Galarza entered Friday night’s PBC on Bounce main event at a crossroads, two lightweights trying to make a name for themselves. After the end of 10 closely competitive rounds at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, it was Miller who walked away with the victory.
Miller (17-1, 5 knockouts) earned a unanimous decision, by way too wide scores of 99-91, 97-93, and a fair 96-94 margin. There wasn’t much to separate the two, but perhaps the judges favored the stiff left hook that Miller landed regularly.
“I fought a tough opponent but I felt like I went in there and did what I was supposed to do,” Miller said. “I thought I controlled the fight the way I wanted to, but it wasn’t my best performance. I know that I can come back even better.”
The two 135 pounders fought at a frigid pace mostly off their back foot. Miller took the lead more often than Galarza (16-4, 9 KOs), who seemed content to try and fight on the outside for much of the bout.
Miller dug some good left hooks to the body of Galarza and seemed to build an early lead, but Galarza came on in the middle rounds once he began to time his opponent's offense. Still, Galarza rarely strung together combinations, trying to win rounds by landing one big punch here and there.
Galarza popped a good jab, but was still out-jabbed by Miller, who had an edge in handspeed. Miller also hid behind his shoulder and flashed good head movement that made him a difficult target to hit.
“Galarza’s height was definitely difficult to deal with and I had to really work to get on the inside,” Miller said. “He tried to use his range and I had to make adjustments. I tried to keep him off balance and fight my fight.”
Miller was tripped to the canvas in the ninth round but it was correctly ruled a slip. There was quite a bit of holding throughout, making for an ugly fight at times.
Galarza’s level of activity made it hard to find rounds to score in his favor, but Miller wasn’t that much more effective. Still, it’s Miller who steps closer towards serious contention whereas Galarza has now dropped two straight fights.
One of the proteges of his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miller has now won eight straight fights dating back to a six-round decision loss to Rolando Chinea in February 2016 in the same location as Friday night's fight—Sam’s Town.
The win puts Miller in the mix for a bigger fight in a crowded 135-pound division. Time is on Miller’s side as he just celebrated his 25th birthday a few weeks ago.
Before the fight, Miller was clamoring that he was going to put the lightweight division on notice. Instead, he may realize he’s still a couple fights away from being ready to fight for a world title.
“I’m ready to keep testing myself and move forward,” said Miller. “I’m ready for any opportunity that comes my way against the best of the division.”
Super lightweights Sharif Bogere and Juan Heraldez each score UD victories
Additional televised action saw former title challenger Sharif Bogere (32-1, 20 KOs) win a hard fought unanimous decision over Chile's Oscar Bravo (23-8, 11 KOs) in their 10-round super lightweight showdown.
Bogere showed off an impressive arsenal, stinging Bravo early with a check left hook and combination punching that left his opponent bleeding from his left eye from the early rounds. Bravo pushed forward and tried to trap Bogere against the ropes while throwing power punches, despite the impairment.
Even with the 10-round onslaught from Bravo, Bogere was able to consistently counter and hurt Bravo, never allowing the Chilean fighter to put him in any real danger. The judges all saw the fight for Bogere with scores of 99-91 and 100-90 twice.
In the opening bout of the telecast, unbeaten Juan Heraldez (14-0, 8 KOs) rode a first-round knockdown and impressive combination punching on his way to a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Watts (11-3, 4 KOs) in their 10-round super lightweight matchup.
Heraldez delivered a thundering counter left uppercut that sent Watts to the canvas in the opening frame of the fight. Watts was able to survive the round but it set the tone for what was to come, as Heraldez was consistently landed the cleaner and more powerful punches.
Watts attempted to get back in the fight leading with a power left hook but Heraldez was able to keep him at bay and deliver his own offense to earn the victory by scores of 100-89 and 98-91 twice.
For a complete look at Miller vs Galarza, check out our fight page.