LAS VEGAS — Deep bloody cuts are par the course for Pablo Cesar Cano, who battled through another one Thursday night to take a hard-earned technical decision win over previously undefeated Ruslan Madiev.
Cano was the aggressor from the opening bell, finding immense success by getting inside and punching in combination to the body. In contrast, Madiev seemed to be looking for the perfect counter to put down his foe and relied on well-timed, single right hands. Madiev’s strategy failed to deter Cano, who out-punched and out-landed him in every round.
The bout abruptly ended after a bad accidental head butt opened a deep, blood-gushing wound on Cano’s left forehead. With five rounds completed, the judges scorecards were tallied with Cano being the clear winner with unanimous scores of 49-46.
“I felt comfortable in there before the cut,” said Cano. “We worked hard. It was a good thing that he came out and threw a lot of punches because I took advantage of it. If he wants the rematch, he can get it any time.”
“I feel very well,” Madiev said. “I wanted to take it slow in the first few rounds and then start to apply more pressure. It was an unfortunate head-butt.”
Cano showed no rust coming off his second round knockout loss to Marcelino Nicolas Lopez last October. He improved his record to 31-7 while Madiev falls to 12-1.
The TV opener saw Franchon Crews Dezurn capture the WBC super-middleweight title in just her fifth pro bout with a dominant victory over Maricela Cornejo.
Crews was the stronger woman and used her physicality to shake Cornejo’s confidence. Crews would fire overhand right counters to Cornejo’s left jab, which made the latter hesitant to throw with any authority. When the fight went inside, Crews would regularly throw Cornejo to the ground or club her with body shots — sometimes both.
Two judges got it right in scoring Crews the winner 99-91. But one judge, Patricia Morse Jarman, had an atrocious tally of 95-95. With Cornejo being the house fighter on a Golden Boy card, we can only hope this isn’t a harbinger to what we’ll see on Saturday in the Canelo-GGG rematch.
Crews, who lost her mother last year around the time of her debut against Claressa Shields, dedicated the fight to her mom’s memory
“This is for my mom,” said Crew. “This is the first time, but I know her will and determination wasn’t stronger than mine. There were some rough areas in there, but it’s a learning curve and we did everything we could. It seems so much more real. If you believe in yourself, go for it.”
As for Cornejo, the lopsided nature of this defeat has her second-guessing her future as a super-middleweight.
“Truly, from I don’t know what round, I found that I’m too light for this division now,” Cornejo stated.“The push downs made my back completely cramp up. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t release my jabs because my back was cramped. It was like I was frozen. And if I did jab they were weak. It’s an excuse, but I tried to get something out and I couldn’t get anything out. She’s known for pushing down opponents, so I expected it, but I didn’t think she was going to be as heavy as she was.”
Crews improves to 4-1 while Cornejo sees her eight-fight win streak snapped and falls to 12-3.