ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The undercard before the HBO-televised doubleheader.
The opening bout of the night saw undefeated (22-0) Canadian junior middleweight Phil Lo Greco overcome a knockdown in round 1 and defeat unheralded Hector Orozco (5-10) out of Minneapolis.
A competitive fight, Orozco landed flush shots though out, but fell behind in punch output and lacked the power to keep Lo Greco from crowding him.
A vocal Toronto following were on hand in Boardwalk Hall to hear the judges award the decision to Lo Greco by scores of 59-54 and 58-55 twice.
The second bout featured (8-0) Julian Williams of Philadelphia in against Puerto Rican Hector Rosario (7-1-2) in a middleweight matchup. Williams showed good ring awareness and fast hands en route to a tepid decision.
Rosario, the aggressor, tried to turn it on late, but Williams remained sharp and managed to land eye catching shots in enough spots to take the decision by scores of 78-74 and 79-73 twice
Light heavyweight prospect Lavarn Harvell made an early impression by dropping Tony Pietrantonio hard in round 1. Moving behind a very crisp jab, the undefeated (8-0) Atlantic City fighter looked impressive in dismantling Pietrantonio.
The explosive ending came in round 3 by vicious head-snapping knockout. Harvell seemed determined to end it in the stanza, and after driving his man to the ropes unleashed a hellacious combination that had Pietrantonio splayed against the ropes, before crumpling to the floor, out cold, his head bouncing off the mat.
Tense moments followed as doctors tried to keep Pietrantonio from attempting to rise too soon. The luckless Pennsylvania native rose to his feet after several minutes and received universal cheers from the crowd.
Harvell moved to 10-0 with the impressive knockout and looks like a prospect that we’ll be seeing more of soon.
Mike Faragon (17-0) opened his bout, showing off his speed advantage over Sergio Rivera of Mexico, with quick two punch combinations. The Junior welterweights traded vicious body shots throughout with Faragon’s making the real impact, folding over Rivera at times.
Faragon’s dedication to body work set up other opportunities, as he turned Rivera’s head with hooks and landing snapping straight right hands against the southpaw over the middle rounds.
Despite a strong round 7 from Rivera which saw him land a few clean shots that seemed to rattle Faragon, the final round returned to form with each man digging to the body, and closing out the bout with grit.
Faragon kept his record clean with a unanimous decision by scores of 79-73 and 78-74 twice.
In the final bout before the live HBO telecast, Patrick Thompson (18-17-1) showed that he didn’t come to lay down for the prospect, Shawn Porter, with the glossy record (18-0). He put in an honest nights’ work. Both men came in with 18 wins, and both came to fight.
Cutting a figure reminiscent of Sugar Shane Mosley, Porter seemed earnest to work his speed advantage and banked rounds off of flashy combinations. Like Mosley he tended to load up on big, wide shots at times and may have been better served to tighten up on some of his shots.
But when the end came it came in dramatic fashion, off of a leaping flush left hook that sent Thompson to his heels and teetering backwards. The savvy vet kept his feet, stumbling into a few more shots, before referee David Fields jumped in to stop it at 1:39 in round 6 of the junior middleweight bout.
There was some mild grumbling by those at ringside as to the earliness of the stoppage, many feeling that Thompson’s fine effort had at least earned him a little benefit of the doubt.
In any case, Porter turned in a solid performance and a good effort in staying unbeaten.