Lee McGregor returned home last night to Edinburgh, Scotland, bearing the British, Commonwealth and European 122-pound belts. None of those diadems were at stake, but rather a trinket somewhat more coveted, the vacant IBO world super bantamweight title. In the opposite corner was Mexico’s 23-year-old Erik Robles who was 13-1 with nine KOs heading in.
McGregor, who remained with trainer Ben Davison after his bosom buddy Josh Taylor left the fold, hadn’t fought in Edinburgh since his pro debut in 2017, but Robles spoiled his homecoming, winning a close but unanimous decision in a spirited battle with many ebbs and flows. The judges had it 116-113 and 115-113 twice.
It was McGregor’s first start for Wasserman Boxing, the London-based promotional group that picked up some of the pieces following the dissolution of MTK Global, and McGregor came in undefeated (12-0-1, 9 KOs) for the match televised live in the UK on Channel 5.
Wasserman’s long-term goal for McGregor was to pit him against the winner of Tuesday’s big fight in Tokyo between Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton. The 23-year-old Robles, the latest Mexican invader to sabotage well-laid plans in England, now moves ahead of him in the queue.
There was a big upset on the undercard when Kostiantyn Devbyschenko, a 31-year-old Ukrainian, scored a fifth-round stoppage of Matty Harris. Carrying 259 pounds on his six-foot-eight frame, Harris was 5-0 coming in, winning his last four by knockout in the opening round.
The well-touted Harris was well in control after two frames, but then started to tire. He was plainly exhausted when Devbyschenko, 9-13-1 coming in, unloaded on him with a barrage of unanswered punches, forcing the referee to intervene.
Tyson Fury was in the building. The Gypsy King was there to cheer on his cousin, featherweight Isaac Lowe (23-2-3), who got back on the winning track with a fifth-round stoppage of Jonathan Santana (9-6-1).
San Jose, Costa Rica
Fighting on his home turf, Costa Rica’s David Jimenez (13-1, 10 KOs) TKOed Mexico’s Rosendo Hugo Guarneros (20-6-2) whose corner pulled him out after seven frames. Jimenez was solidly ahead on the scorecards through the completed rounds despite having had a point deducted in round six for a head butt.
Jimenez, 31, had come up short in his previous fight with the double-tough Ukrainian Artem Dalakian who was making the sixth defense of his WBA world flyweight title. They fought at Wembley Stadium in London on the undercard of Beterbiev vs. Yarde. Jimenez lost a close and somewhat controversial decision.
In his match before that, Jimenez forged one of the biggest upsets of 2021 with a 12-round decision over Ricardo Sandoval.
In an undercard bout of note, Costa Rica’s Julianna Rodriguez Acevedo improved to 8-0 (5) with a lopsided decision over Colombia’s Marcela Nieto (6-2-1).
Source : TSS IBP