By Tracy Morin at ringside
Returning to cruiserweight, Lateef “Power” Kayode (20-1, 16 KOs) scored a one-sided ten round unanimous decision over “Slick” Nick Kisner (14-2-1, 5 KOs) on Friday night at the WC Handy Pavilion on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. After a TKO1 loss to Luis Ortiz was overturned when Ortiz failed a drug test, Kayode was too strong for Kisner who didn’t have the firepower to do much damage. Scores were 100-90, 100-90, 99-91.
WBO #10 lightweight Josh King of Australia made his US television debut with a one-sided ten round unanimous decision against Rogelio Casarez (9-4, 4 KOs). Scores were 99-91, 100-90, 98-92.
Female star Amanda “The Real Deal” Serrano (24-1-1, 18 KOs) won a six-round super featherweight showcase fight against Fatuma Zarika (24-11-2, 14 KOs). Serrano scored a first round knockdown and went on to win 60-53, 60-53, 59-54.
Cruiserweight Lateef Kayode (21-0, 16 KO) faced Nick Kisner (14-2-1, 5 KO) in the main event. Kayode, while clearly the harder puncher, was pressured by Kisner in the opening rounds before offering up an equalizer of a straight right in the second, then took over in the third. Kayode, on attack in the fourth, started strong, but Kisner showed persistence and tried to trap Kayode on the ropes to tee off in spots. Kisner received a brief break after sustaining a low blow in the fifth and tried to counter Kayode’s aggression, but Kisner’s shots were landing one at a time while Kayode kept up combinations and power shots with consistency. The sixth found Kisner moving around the ring more, but nothing he landed was enough to keep Kayode at bay. Kisner enjoyed a solid seventh and eighth round as he moved and boxed, though Kayode remained on the attack and continued to land the more damaging shots–while unfortunately failing to cut off the ring. Kisner continued to prove elusive for Kayode in the final two rounds, but he wasn’t landing an impressive enough offense while circling his opponent. In the end, though Kisner proved smart and durable enough to avoid absorbing a barrage of punches, the scorecards reflected a near-shutout for Kayode: 100-90 (twice) and 99-91.
In the co-main event, lightweight Josh King (20-3, 9 KO) took on Rogelio Casarez (9-4, 4 KO). Casarez, typically a pressure fighter, showed his opponent respect in the first and second feeling-out rounds, when both boxers seemed to work off nervous energy. Action heated up in the third and fourth, culminating in a knockdown for southpaw Casarez early in the fourth (after which King stepped up his own pace). King, while often the come-forward fighter, struggled to land clean shots in the middle rounds, while the uncommonly reserved Casarez pressured in spots. The seesaw fight found the fighters exchanging liberally in the latter half of the fight, with each fighter playing the aggressor at times. King picked up his pace in the last couple of rounds, but Casarez would come back with body shots and punches in bunches. While King finished the tenth and final round with a slew of power rights, Casarez’s scrappy spirit carried him through the final onslaught. Ultimately, the judges’ cards would decide the outcome, with astoundingly one-sided scores of 99-91, 100-90 and 98-92.
Despite a solid effort from Fatuma Zarika (24-11-2, 14 KO), who often flashed body shots, super featherweight southpaw Amanda Serrano (24-1-1, 18 KO) boxed tactically throughout a six-round female bout and knocked down her opponent in the first with a right hook-left hand combo. Zarika rose and survived, but Serrano continued to show off her boxing know-how, especially in an action-packed fourth that favored Serrano, then closed the show with well-placed punches to the head and body. Serrano’s come-forward style and technical savvy earned her the win on all three judges’ scorecards, with tallies of 60-53 (twice) and 60-54.
Super middleweight Derrick Webster (19-0, 10 KO) put his undefeated record on the line against veteran William “Pete” Johnson (10-41-2, 3 KO) in a bout scheduled for six. Webster teed off power shots to the head and body from the first round; Johnson continued to languish on the ropes without much offensive effort throughout, though he blocked many clean head shots with his shell-like defense. Though Johnson is an expert at surviving, he did little to try to win, and after Webster staggered Johnson with a right in the fifth, then went on attack for the bulk of the round, the ringside physician advised a stoppage at 2:14 of round 5, giving Webster the TKO win.
Quincy Palmer (8-6, 8 KO) and Marvin Hunt (14-34-1, 6 KO) engaged in an action-packed, if brief, heavyweight bout scheduled for six. Palmer enjoyed a 40-plus-pound weight advantage and landed the heavier punches from the opening bell, but the underdog Hunt landed a surprise right in the first round that put Palmer down. Though he beat the count, the ref decided he was not able to continue and stopped the bout at 1:57 of round 1.
Tracy Morin covers fights around the United States for FightNews.com and is founder of BoxingGems.com.