Juan Heraldez vs. Argenis Mendez
Result: Majority Draw (97-93) (95-95) (95-95)
Grades: Juan Heraldez – B | Argenis Mendez – B+
Overview: Juan Heraldez’s performance against Argenis Mendez was a lot like DJ Khaled’s latest album. It was good. It did what it needed to do, but somehow it was underwhelming. As the scores indicate Heraldez was competitive throughout tonight’s fight. However, he was looking to do more than just win tonight’s fight. He was hoping to win over new fans, take a step up in competition and impress his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Later in the fight, it appeared that Heraldez was going to pull through and win a unanimous decision. Unfortunately, he got hit way too much in the last two rounds. In fact, Mendez needed those last two rounds to even pull out a draw. Mendez needed a decent performance tonight to prove that he was still an elite fighter. While he didn’t get that, he did indeed show that he can keep up with the division’s up and coming stars. On the other hand, Heraldez now knows what it’s going to take at the next level.
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Kiko Martinez
Result: Gary Russell Jr. Wins By TKO
Grades: Gary Russell Jr. – A | Kiko Martinez – C
Overview: The biggest knock on Gary Russell Jr. has always been the strength of his opposition. Despite winning thirty of his first thirty-one bouts, many have called his best opponents “journeymen.” However, his one major test did come against Vasyl Lomachenko who beat the featherweight champion by a unanimous decision. While a win against Kiko Martinez didn’t elevate him any further in the pound for pound rankings, it showcased his speed and boxing intelligence. The Maryland native cruised to early stoppage by using his signature speed and ability to counter. Martinez did his best to keep up with the WBC Feather Champion, but ultimately the cut above his eye proved to be too much to overcome. Going forward, Russell Jr. will look to unify the featherweight titles with Leo Santo Cruz. If he’s unable to unify the titles at featherweight, the Maryland native said he’d be willing to take on fellow Maryland native, Gervonta Davis.
Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale
Result: Deontay Wilder Wins By KO
Grades: Deontay Wilder – A | Dominic Breazeale – D
Overview: You’ve seen it on SportsCenter. You’ve seen it on social media. You may have even seen it on the news. There was a massacre at the Barclays Center over the weekend. Less than a full round into the fight, the WBC Heavyweight Champion hit Dominic Breazeale with a right hand from hell. If Wilder hadn’t landed that shot, he may have thrown out his shoulder. However, it connected perfectly and the challenger was unable to beat the count. While beating Breazeale didn’t propel him up the pound for pound rankings, it did improve his status as a box office attraction. Throughout the week, Wilder made headlines about wanting a body on his record and disliking his opponent. As shown in his comments after the fight, Wilder was selling a fight and we all bought in. Wilder is playing the role of the big, bad man that has been prevalent in the theatrics of heavyweight boxing since the early 20th century. It’s a shame that’s what sells fights, but if it gets people in the door to watch him do what he does best, it is what it is.