In his stateside debut, Montreal-based wrecking ball Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) retained his NABF heavyweight crown with a second-round TKO against the previously unbeaten Nigerian, Raphael Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KOs) on the Jared Anderson vs Charles Martin undercard in Toledo Saturday night.
The two entered the contest with a combined record of 31-0, but Makhmudov’s amateur experience paid dividends.
The 34-year-old dropped Akpejiori with a flurry that was initiated by a right uppercut, a punch he landed frequently.
He dropped Akpejiori again in the final seconds of the opening stanza, but the Nigerian survived despite wobbling to his feet.
After another knockdown in the second round, referee Wes Melton deemed Akpejiori unable to continue.
Cleveland-born southpaw Abdullah Mason (9-0, 8 KOs) defeated Brazil’sAlex de Oliveira (20-5, 14 KOs) via second-round TKO.
In the opening round, the 19-year-old phenom peppered Oliveira with quick jabs before tagging him to the body. In the following round, he ended the bout with a series of consecutive left hands.
Mason said, “It was amazing. I felt amazing. I felt great in this camp. Right now, there is no cap on my ceiling. I’m just focused, and I’m going hard.”
2020 U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (9-0, 5 KOs) turned away another stiff challenge tonight by outpointing Jonathan Montrel (15-2, 10 KOs) via eight-round decision.
Johnson fought a disciplined fight and buzzed Montrel with stiff right hands in the later rounds.
Scores: 80-72 3x.
Cleveland-born puncherDante Benjamin Jr. (7-0, 5 KOs) scored an emphatic first-round TKO over Mirady Zola (4-3, 1 KOs).
Benjamin landed a left hook followed by a right that floored Zola, who was soon stopped after a flurry of unanswered shots.
Time of stoppage: 1:56.
Toledo native DeAndre Ware (16-4-2, 9 KOs) delivered an action-packed performance for his hometown fans as he beat Decarlo Perez(19-9-1, 6 KOs) via six-round unanimous decision.
Ware dominated the action on the inside, punching around Perez’s guard to land hooks and uppercuts.
Scores: 58-56 and 59-55 2x.
Rance Ward (8-5-1, 2 KOs) handed Husam Al Mashhadi (6-1, 5 KOs) his first professional loss with a six-round majority decision victory.
Al Mashhadi started the fight well with a sharp southpaw jab, but he tired in the middle rounds as Ward controlled the action with crisp combos.
Scores: 57-57, 58-56 and 59-55.
Toledo native Tyler McCreary (18-2-1, 8 KOs) defeated veteran Colombian Deivi Julio (26-14, 16 KOs) by six-round unanimous decision.
McCreary worked from a low guard and landed stinging combinations on the durable southpaw.
Scores: 59-54 and 57-56 2x.
Puerto Rico’s Nicklaus Flaz(11-2, 7 KOs) notched an upset eight-round majority decision win against Jahi Tucker (10-1, 5 KOs).
Flaz pressed the action from the start, forcing Tucker to fight off his back foot and often while on the ropes.
Scores: 76-76, 78-74 and 77-75.
Credit: Top Rank