Earlier tonight before a near capacity crowd at New York City's famed Roseland Ballroom, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) presented the latest installment of its Broadway Boxing series, with an action-packed eight bout card. Headlining the card was DBE's red-hot super middleweight contender Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen, of South Africa, as he looked to defend his IBO Super Middleweight Championship for the fifth time taking on Florida's Rowland Bryant. The card was broadcast live on the FIGHT NOW TV network, and sponsored by Manfredi Auto Group, Newlio.com and Everlast.
On paper, the matchup between the two world-rated super middleweight contenders (Oosthuizen IBF #4, WBC #8, WBA #13 and Bryant IBF #12) was one of the strongest main event matchups in the history of Broadway Boxing.
Oosthuizen came out measuring his shorter opponent and working behind a stiff jab. Bryant, who was coming off a third round TKO over iron-chinned Librado Andrade, looked to set up his big right hand from the outside.
In the second round, Oosthuizen began landing hard shots to the body, but Bryant was able to land a few big looping shots.
As the rounds progressed, Oosthuizen continued to be the much busier of the two, mixing it up and landing hard shots to both the body and head. Bryant was able to land a few hard shots of his own, but Oosthuizen showed a granite chin, taking the shots in stride.
Oosthuizen's jab began to take over in the later rounds, as he was able to score at will. In the 12th and final round, Oosthuizen opened a nasty cut over Bryant's right eye.
In the end, Oosthuizen defended his IBO belt for a fifth time, scoring a well-deserved 12-round unanimous decision, winning by scores of 118-110, 117-112, 117-112.
After the bout Oosthuizen commented on his victory.
"He was a tough guy, who took some really big shots," said the 24-year-old South African. "I know there are still things that I need to improve on and I will go back to the drawing board with my team after this. I am happy that I had the opportunity to perform here in New York, and whatever my team decides is next for me, I will be ready."
IRISH SEANIE MONAGHAN BLOWS AWAY ARMENTA
Long Island's, "Irish" Seanie Monaghan continued to show that he is becoming a serious prospect in the light heavyweight division, with a devastating third-round TKO over George Armenta.
Monaghan came out in the first, showing a new dimension to his arsenal, working behind his jab and showing very good head movement.
The action picked up in the 2nd round and just as the bell was sounding to end the round Monaghan landed a short right hand that sent Armenta to the canvas.
Monaghan came out much more aggressive in the third, stalking his opponent and landing hard shots. A picture perfect right hand from Monaghan sent Armenta to the canvas again, this time though it was evident that Armenta was in very bad shape. Armenta was able to beat the count, but was clearly in no condition to continue, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest at 2:25 of the third round.
Monaghan, who improved to 15-0, 10KO's, had this to say about his performance.
"My trainer Joe (Higgins) was telling me to throw the right hand straight as he could see he was open for that," said Monaghan. "I followed the instructions and was able to end the show in impressive fashion. I get my confidence from my conditioning. I put everything I have into my training. I am very happy with my performance tonight and looking forward to whatever Lou (DiBella) has in store for me next."
HARDY WINS PRO-DEBUT
In the opening televised bout of the night on FIGHT NOW TV, female junior featherweights Heather Hardy and Mikayla Nebel wasted little time in getting things going, as the two combatants came out firing.
Midway through the round Nebel landed a short right hand that seemed to catch Hardy off balance, sending her to the canvas. Hardy stormed back though and the two fighters ended the round exchanging heavy leather.
The action continued throughout with Hardy as the aggressor, but Nebel countering effectively from the outside.
The fourth and final round saw both fighters leave it all on the line, exchanging heavy blows and bringing the packed house to a standing ovation.
In the end all three judges scored the bout 38-37 for the pro-debuting Hardy. Good start to her professional career for the Brooklyn-native Hardy.
MELSON GETS BACK INTO THE WIN COLUMN
In a battle of junior middleweights, Boyd "The Rainmaker" Nelson got back to his winning ways with a workmanlike six-round unanimous decision over Khalik Memminger.
Nelson, who was coming off his first professional defeat in an absolute war against fellow undefeated prospect Delen Parsley back in March of this year, was the more aggressive of the two, stalking his opponent throughout and picking his shots wisely.
In the 6th and final round sensing he was way behind, Memminger picked up the intensity and landed a looping right hand that caught Melson flush, staggering him. Memminger jumped all over Melson looking to close the show, but Melson showed good ring generalship and was able to survive the round. In the end, Melson was awarded a unanimous decision, winning by scores of 59-55 across the board. With the win, Melson improves his record to 8-1, 3KO's.
Jonathan Cepeda TKO 1 Orphius White
Floriano Pagliara D6 Willie Villanueva
Zach Ochoa KO1 Cody Osbourne
Allan Benitez W6 Osnel Charles