Some of the best fighters the Queen City has to offer were on display last Saturday at the U.S. Bank Arena shining on the undercard of the Adrien Broner vs. Vicente Escobedo "Battle on the Banks" undercard. Topping the list was undefeated lightweight prospect Brandon Bennett. Also, with perhaps the most scintillating knockout of the evening was promising heavyweight Danny Calhoun in what was his professional debut.
Maintaining his perfect record, Cincinnati's Brandon Bennett fought his way to a majority decision victory over a game John Nater of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. In the first round, Nater was able to put down Bennett but Bennett bounced back to control the fight for the most part the rest of the way. Bennett was able to use his right hook to catch Nater coming in and used his better speed to his advantage. Bennett improved to 14-0 (7 KOs) and Nater dropped to 9-2 (8 KOs).
"I haven't fought in two years so I felt a little rusty, but when I got back into my groove it was cool then," Bennett said after the fight. "Make him miss, make him pay (was the plan).He was a tough opponent though. I want to thank everybody that came out to support the fights, all of my fans, and I put on for my city. "
In a thrilling, quick fight heavyweight Danny Calhoun destroyed Quincey Palmer in the first round of his pro debut. Calhoun, of Cincinnati, was patient early moving and jabbing, but as soon as he caught Palmer with a right hand that hurt him, he trapped him in the corner of the ring and continued to land bombs until the referee stopped the fight. Calhoun is now 1-0, and Palmer, of Arkansas, is 3-2 (2 KOs).
Calhoun, a local entrepreneur who owns his own gym called The Punch House, spoke after the fight saying, "The guy was way bigger than me but I never back down from anybody. They called me short notice but I stay in the gym so I was ready for that.That was probably the most exciting knockout of the night; I heard that from pretty much everybody I talked to.For that to be my first pro fight, two minutes in to knock the guy out like that, in that type of exciting fashion, you just can't beat that. I'm with R&R, I'm the newest Bad Boy, so they just got to be on the lookout for "Dangerous" Danny Calhoun and were going to take it to the top."
In the opening bout of the evening, Cincinnati's DeVonte Allen suffered the first defeat of his career against Michigan's Ra'eese Aleem. Aleem was able to hurt Allen near the end of the first round and the fight became an all-action after with Allen in deep waters. Allen fell to 4-1-1 (3 KOs) and Aleem improved to 4-0 (2 KOs).
Promoter Andrew Williams summed up the night saying, "It was a tremendous fight tonight. I'm just really happy that Adrien was able to display a great show for his hometown fans."
In the co-main event Keith Thurman and Orlando Lora battled for six hard-fought rounds. The fight started fast. Thurman landed a couple shots on Lora and the Mexican fighter responded by sticking his neck out and inviting Thurman to exchange punches. The two continued to battle back and forth throughout the fight. In the sixth round Thurman hurt Lora with a left hook, and then put him down with a right. Lora's corner stopped the fight at the 1:37 mark. Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla., improved to 18-0 (17 KOs) while Lora, of Culiacan, Mexico, dropped to 29-3-2 (19 KOs). After the fight Thurman said, "I told you I was going to bring the knockout. I'm only 23 but I have 16 years in this game. I'm young and hungry and I'm bringing the thunder."
In a 10-round bout Omar Figueroa defeated Dominic Salcido by unanimous decision. Figueroa, of Weslaco, Texas, managed to stun Salcido a few times throughout the fight but was never able to do any serious damage. The judes scored the fight 97-93 twice and 98-92. Figueroa is now 19-0-1 (15 KOs) while Salcido, of Rialto, Calif., is 18-4 (9 KOs).
Promising young middleweight Chris Pearson of Trotwood, Ohio, continued to improve his game and show his talent with a second round knockout of Angel Hernandez of Gary, Ind. Pearson badly hurt Hernandez with a left hand, and then quickly put him down two more time before the ref stopped the fight. Pearson is now 7-0 (4 KOs) while Hernandez is 14-11-1 (11 KOs).
The seven-bout card was presented by R&R Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.