'Super' Nova dominates Sparrow; Gonzalez-Ruiz wins but fails to shine

Abraham Nova, right, dominated Avery Sparrow down the stretch to earn a unanimous decision victory. Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Abraham "El Super" Nova remained undefeated as he outpointed the elusive Avery Sparrow over 10 rounds (99-91, 97-93 and 96-94) in a very tactical boxing match on the Jason Moloney-Leonardo Baez undercard at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Sparrow (10-2, 3 KOs) boxed effectively during the first half of the fight, and his slick movements -- both with his feet and upper body -- kept Nova at bay, and at times seemed to befuddle him. Sparrow isn't much of a puncher, but he possesses a high boxing IQ. His quick, flicking jab controlled things early on.

But in the second half of the bout, it was the stronger Nova (19-0, 14 KOs) who imposed his will a bit more, landing his right hand and using a body attack to slow down the movement of Sparrow. In the eighth round, Nova landed the best punch of the night, a right hand to the chin, that left Sparrow grabbing and trying to survive the round. It was at that point that Nova finally started to fully turn the tide to his favor.

"Sparrow was slippery in there and tough to hit," Nova said after the fight. "I had to be patient and search for my openings. In the last few rounds, I began to time him, and that won me the fight."

While Sparrow proved to be very difficult to decipher, Nova used his superior offensive firepower to earn the victory.

"This was a learning experience," Nova said. "I'll be ready for the top guys in the 130-pound division very, very soon."


Gonzalez-Ruiz edges Porozo for unanimous decision win

play
1:18

Gonzalez knocks down Porozo twice to stay undefeated

Orlando Gonzalez-Ruiz puts Luis Porozo down twice as he wins by decision.

Blue-chip prospect Orlando Gonzalez-Ruiz remained undefeated as he scored an eight-round unanimous decision over the tricky and awkward Luis Porozo. Gonzalez won by the scores of 76-74 and 77-73 (twice).

The highly regarded Gonzalez-Ruiz (15-0, 10 KOs) had issues tracking Porozo (15-3, 8 KOs) for long stretches of the fight, but he was able to knock him down in both the second and seventh rounds. The first trip to the canvas came from a short left at the end of the second round. But after that, what looked to be a relatively easy night for the southpaw from Puerto Rico, instead became a bit of a struggle as Porozo proved to be an elusive target boxing off his back foot and in a crouch.

Gonzalez-Ruiz looked over-anxious and was caught lunging and reaching at Porozo, who at times was able to slow the pace down. In the seventh frame, a left hand to the body had Porozo back on the canvas.

It wasn't his most sterling performance, but Gonzalez-Ruiz did more than enough to secure the victory.


Panin outpoints Whitaker

play
0:25

Tim Bradley Jr. amazed after witnessing double uppercut

Tim Bradley Jr. is left in awe after witnessing Benjamin Whitaker and Vlad Panin throw uppercuts at the same time.

Welterweight Vlad Panin (8-1, 4 KOs) did just enough to earn a six-round majority decision over Benjamin Whitaker (13-4, 3 KOs). Two judges scored the fight for Panin 58-56; the third had it 57-57.

Panin, a graduate of UCLA, used his height advantage to peck away at Whitaker, whose offensive output was limited for much of the night. There weren't many prolonged exchanges in this fight, and most of the clean and noticeable punches were landed by Panin.


Yanong earns split decision over Burns

Reymond Yanong defeated Clay Burns via split decision in a hard-fought welterweight bout. After six rounds, Yanong came out ahead on two cards by the scores of 59-55 and 58-56, while the third judge had Burns up 58-57.

Burns (9-8-2, 4 KOs) came out strong in the early rounds, showing good movement and throwing sharp combinations from a crouched stance against the taller Yanong (11-5-1, 9 KOs). But Yanong settled in and began to land hard right hands from the outside that snapped back Burns' head repeatedly.

The action was steady throughout, with neither man truly dominating the action, but it was Yanong who was stronger down the stretch. He outlanded Burns 102-94 in total punches.


Ibeh stops Cortes Acosta in rematch

play
0:59

Ibeh TKOs Cortes with series of upper cuts

Kingsley Ibeh knocks out Waldo Cortes-Acosta with multiple punches to the head in the fourth round.

Heavyweight Kingsley Ibeh gained revenge on Waldo Cortes Acosta, stopping him in the fourth round with a series of left uppercuts that first hurt Cortes Acosta and eventually put him on the floor.

Last October, it was Cortes Acosta who defeated Ibeh via split decision. The rematch was closely contested for the first few rounds. Ibeh (4-1, 4 KOs) boxed from both the orthodox and southpaw stance, while Cortes Acosta carefully picked his spot to connect his punches. Neither fighter really landed all that much until that closing sequence from Ibeh. Cortes Acosta was able to rise to his feet before the 10-count, but referee Vic Drakulich made the decision to wave off the fight at 1:41 of the round.