ESPN+ Early Results: David Kaminsky Blasts Out Jerig
Jamel Herring (20-2, 10KOs) makes the first defense of his junior lightweight title, taking on Washington D.C.-based Lamont Roach Jr. (19-0-1, 7KOs) in Saturday’s main event, which streams live on ESPN+ Saturday evening from Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California.
Also on the show, aspiring heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev bides his time while awaiting a second shot at a title as he faces Detroit’s Rydell Booker.
David Kaminsky enjoyed his earliest night to date as a pro.
The 19-year old Isreali welterweight made quick work of Ohio’s Travis Jerig, scoring a stoppage win 0:26 into the 2nd round of their welterweight contest.
In a consistent theme throughout the undercard, Jerig (3-4-1, 0KOs) was a miserably overmatched B-side opponent who barely put up a fight. Kaminsky (6-0, 3KOs)—who now lives out of the Tarzana section of Los Angeles, California—took advantage, letting his hands go throughout the opening round and into the early portion of round two. Referee Gerard White sensed a blatant mismatch in front of him, pulling the hook on a defenseless Jerig.
The first fight of the night to go the distance didn’t provide any more drama than its preceding undercard bout, as Gabriel Flores Jr. remained perfect following an eight-round decision over Aelio Mesquita.
Scores were 80-72 across the board for Flores Jr., a 19-year old junior lightweight and huge ticket seller from Stockton, California.
Flores Jr. picked up his fifth win of 2019, but fought early like a boxer in search of his second knockout. The baby-faced prospect fought purposeful against an inviting target in Mesquita (19-5, 7KOs), a serviceable journeyman from Brazil who has frequented past Top Rank cards, including a knockout loss to current featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson.
As the rounds wore on, it became apparent that Flores Jr. was on his way to a third straight distance win. A surge of energy overcame the unbeaten teenager in the 8th and final round, but Mesquita’s chin held up well enough to hear the final bell.
Flores Jr.—whose manager and local promoter Rick Mirigian has also masterfully guided the career of unbeaten and unified 140-pound titlist Jose Carlos Ramirez—improves to 16-0 (7KOs).
Janibek Alimkhanuly picked up his fourth win of 2019, stopping Canada’s Albert Onolunose in the 6th round of their middleweight contest.
The unbeaten southpaw from Kazakhstan—who now lives and trains in Oxnard, California—outboxed Onolunose (24-3-1, 8KOs) every step of the way, remaining patient in the early going while always regularly targeting the body in slowing breaking down his determined but overmatched foe. Alimkhanuly went from boxing to banging once he realized he had Onolunose hurt, scoring to the body and repeatedly upstairs before a sweeping right hook forced his retreating opponent to the canvas.
Onolunose beat the count but was already in surrender mode. Alimkhanuly (8-0, 4KOs) went on the attack, scoring with power shots until referee Edward Hernandez Sr. stopped the contest at 2:30 of round six.
Alimkhanuly’s dream team includes Hall of Fame former two-division champ and head trainer James ‘Buddy’ McGirt, renowned cutman Russ Anbar and multi-time Manager of the Year recipient Egis Klimas.
Esquiva Falcao continues to build towards middleweight contention.
The unbeaten 29-year old southpaw from Vitoria, Brazil maintained his perfect record following a 3rd round stoppage of Tampa’s Manny Woods. What was hoped to serve as a durable test instead became a one-sided showcase for Falcao (25-0, 17KOs), who has been far more assertive in recent bouts with Saturday’s affair being no exception. Woods (16-9-1, 6KOs) put up a fight for as long as he could but wasn’t any match for the quicker and stronger Falcao, who pummeled the Florida native along the ropes until forcing a stoppage at 2:16 of round three.
Falcao picks up his third win of 2019, with the hope of 2020 serving as the year where he finally lands on the title stage. In his sights since his pro debut has been a revenge-themed clash with Japan’s Ryota Murata, whom bested Falcao to win Olympic Gold in the 2012 London Olympics. Murata has since enjoyed a pair of secondary middleweight title reigns, the second of which came about after regaining his old title in a 2nd round knockout of Robert Brant this past July.
Meanwhile, Falcao still seeks his first title fight with one expected in the year ahead.
It’s been a far fall from grace for Amir Imam, who went from a title fight in an ESPN headliner to the opening bout of an ESPN+ livestream. Still, it’s the fresh start he will gladly take as the former top-rated contender returned to the ring and the win column with a 4th round stoppage of Marcos Mojica.
Imam hasn’t fought since a 12-round points loss to Jose Ramirez in their 140-pound title fight last March in New York City. The 21-month forced hiatus was largely spent in a lengthy legal battle with promoter Don King to get out of contract. The Albany. New York native—now managed by Peter Kahn—made his Top Rank debut on Saturday’s show, shaking off ring rust to eventually overwhelm Nicaragua’s Mojica (16-5-2, 12KOs), who has now lost three straight. Imam scored the first of two knockdowns early in round four, as Mojica fell to the canvas after absorbing a wicked body shot. The Nicaraguan welterweight beat the count but was dropped seconds later courtesy of a right hand upstairs. The bout was waved off at 0:56 of round four.
Imam is now 22-2 (19KOs), winning for the first time in two years—almost to the date and also in Fresno.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @Jake Donovan