Gary Russell Jr. Demolishes Patrick Hyland in Two
It’s far too fitting to describe what Gary Russell Jr. did this past Saturday as making quick work of Patrick Hyland.
After all, the 126-pound titleholder not only has two of the fastest hands in the featherweight division, but also perhaps in the entire sport. He used those hands to blaze past and blast through Patrick Hyland. And given Russell’s hand speed, it’s far too fitting to use the cliché that Hyland never knew what hit him.
What hit him was, well, pretty much everything Russell threw. Russell landed 42 of 93 shots over the course of just four and a half minutes. The real damage came from power punches. Russell was 28 of 38 with those — a ridiculous 74 percent, which means that Russell landed three out of every four.
The physical mismatch was evident as early as the first round. The fight itself was over in the second.
About 40 seconds into the second round, Russell led with a southpaw left cross to the body and followed up with a right hook that put Hyland down on all fours. Hyland rose, only to be on the receiving end of another barrage that ended with another right hook and another knockdown. He got up once more and was put down one last time. The referee waved it off.
Russell is now 27-1 with 16 KOs. This was his first time defending a world title he won in March 2015 with a four-round drubbing of Jhonny Gonzalez. An injury sidelined him from a fight originally scheduled for late last year. There didn’t appear to be any rust against Hyland, though. Now Russell wants to face the other titleholders, including Lee Selby, Leo Santa Cruz and the only person to defeat him in the pros, Vasyl Lomachenko, who beat Russell by majority decision back in 2014.
Hyland is now 31-2 with 15 KOs. His other loss came against Javier Fortuna.
Errol Spence Takes Out Chris Algieri, Continues to Impress
Errol Spence is on the fast track toward a welterweight title shot, and he ran over the latest 147-pounder to stand in his way, putting Chris Algieri on the mat three times en route to a fifth-round technical knockout.
Spence made it to the quarterfinals representing the United States in the 2012 Olympics. He’s the cream of that year’s team. In 2015, he began to transition from a prospect into a bona fide contender, stopping Samuel Vargas in four rounds, Phil Lo Greco in three, Chris van Heerden in eight and Alejandro Barrera in five.
Algieri was another step up. He had demonstrated his boxing skills and toughness in 2014 when he got up from two first-round knockdowns and battled on despite a badly swollen eye to pick up a split decision — and a world title at 140 pounds — against the always tough Ruslan Provodnikov. Algieri went on to challenge Manny Pacquiao later that year, tasting the canvas several times and losing a one-sided fight.
Since then, Algieri had worked to add more facets to his game. He showed more aggression in a loss to Amir Khan and a victory over Erick Bone last year. What he had wouldn’t be enough against Spence.
Spence invested in attacking Algieri’s body and put together sharp combinations both upstairs and downstairs. He dropped Algieri with a left hand in the fourth, knocked him down again early in the fifth and then sent him to the mat with another left hand just a little bit later, giving the referee good reason to end the bout.
Spence moved to 20-0 with 17 KOs and is aiming at an even greater challenge: a fight with titleholder Kell Brook, who won a belt from Shawn Porter in 2014 and has made three successful defenses since then.
Algieri, who fell to 21-3 with 8 KOs, had the misfortune of running into an opponent who is being hyped as a future great. Still, he’s lost three of his last four and will need to turn around his fortunes if he’s going to be anything beyond a fall guy to the best in the division.
Four Knockdowns Propel Krzysztof Glowacki to Decision Win
Steve Cunningham put up a competitive fight. The problem for Cunningham was that Krzysztof Glowacki kept putting him down.
Glowacki scored four knockdowns in total and had plenty of success beyond those moments as well, all combining to earn him a unanimous decision win in the first defense of his cruiserweight world title. Two judges had it 115-109 — seven rounds for Glowacki and five rounds for Cunningham, with four additional points docked from Cunningham due to the knockdowns. The other judge had it 116-108, or eight rounds to four.
The first two knockdowns came in the opening minute of the second round, both on left hands. Cunningham steadied himself and went back to work. This was nothing new for the former titleholder. He’d risen from the canvas time and again in the past, in wins and losses at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Cunningham returned to the 200-pound division after four years and eight fights against the big men. He was able to fight more aggressively against Glowacki, although his chin remained a liability. It also didn’t help that a head butt in the sixth round brought prominent swelling around Cunningham’s right eye that he’d have to deal with for the rest of the fight.
Glowacki notched his third knockdown of the night in the 10th round on what started off as a jab but landed more with his forearm. Cunningham was able to score himself later that round, hurting Glowacki momentarily with a hard right hand. He couldn’t finish Glowacki, however, something he needed to do given that he had to assume he was behind on the scorecards. Glowacki punctuated his victory in the 12th with the fourth and final knockdown.
The win brings Glowacki to 26-0 with 16 KOs and gives him another notable performance after his come-from-behind knockout title win last year against Marco Huck. Cunningham is now 28-8-1 with 13 KOs and hasn’t won since 2014, though he believes he deserved the nods instead of a loss to Vyacheslav Glazkov and a draw with Antonio Tarver. He’s nearly 40 now, remains in excellent shape and appeared rejuvenated at cruiserweight. He still went home without the victory.