The opening bout of the evening featured super flyweights, Dylan Price (3-0, 3 KOs) and Manuel Guerra (1-3-1). Price, the Philadelphia native, made quick work of his Mexican opponent with a right hand to the head in the first round of a scheduled four round contest. Price won his third straight fight by knockout at the 1:09 mark of the first round.
37-year-old rookie, Rick Pyle (1-0) fought Devin McMaster (1-2) in a four round, junior middleweight bout. Pyle demonstrated solid defense throughout the contest, and McMaster’s punches appeared to the have no effect on his opponent. McMaster came out swinging in the fourth round, but was unable to secure the knockout. All three judges scored the contest 40-36 in favor of Pyle.
The third bout of the evening featured a battle between two Allentown, Pennsylvania fighters, Jesus Perez (3-0, 1 KO) and Christian Molina (4-3, 3 KOs). Molina was the aggressor early in the first round, but was knocked down in the first round with a big right hand to the head. Perez landed several hard shots on Molina, who left himself open on several occasions after throwing several wild hooks. Molina survived the first round, and came out far more cautious in the second round. Molina fought valiantly throughout the final two rounds but was defeated by unanimous decision, losing on all three judges’ scorecards by a score of 49-37.
Philadelphia fan-favorite, Avery Sparrow (7-1, 3 KOs) fought the previously undefeated Isaelin Florian (6-1, 3 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a six round, featherweight contest. Sparrow, who is promoted by Hall of Fame promoter J. Russell Peltz, went for a big hook to the head when Florian tried to touch gloves after the opening bell. Sparrow missed, and the featherweight battle began. Florian was knocked down in the first round by a Sparrow multi-punch combination. Florian recovered to knock Sparrow down later in the round with a right hook, which caught the Philadelphian off-balance and sent him crashing into the ropes. In the second round, Sparrow connected on a right hook to Florian’s head that sent him to the canvas. The final knockdown of the contest came in the fourth round when Sparrow was knocked down by a left hook to the jaw. All three judges scored the bout 58-54 in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Avery Sparrow.
Local fighter, Ismael Serrano (4-2, 1 KO) stepped into the ring against veteran fighter, Jesus Lule (11-22-1, 2 KOs) in a four round, lightweight bout. Lule fought the bout of his career against the younger man. In the second round, he landed a vicious combo that pinned Serrano up against the ropes. The referee stopped the abuse at the 2:10 mark of the round. Lule stunned the Bethlehem crowd with the upset victory.
The sixth bout featured Nicholas Hernandez (7-2, 1 KO) and Grayson Blake (6-5-1, 2 KOs) in a six round, junior middleweight bout. The two fighters fought a competitive bout filled with late-round fireworks. The fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds all ended with intense exchanges between the two fighters. Both fighters’ efforts were recognized by the judge’s scorecards. One judge scored the bout a draw, 57-57, while the other two judges scored the bout in favor of Hernandez (59-55 and 58-56).
Anthony Mercado (10-3, 9 KOs) and Clarence Booth (15-3, 8 KOs) opened up the televised portion of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1. Mercado, an awkward Puerto Rican fighter, effectively used his right hand throughout the first three rounds of action. In the fourth round, Mercado was knocked down by a Booth right hand to the face. Mercado rose to his feet only to fall victim to an onslaught of punches, which left him defenseless against the ropes. The referee called an end to the action at the 1:30 mark of the fourth round.
The main event featured a rematch between welterweights, Miguel Cruz (16-0, 11 KOs) of San Juan and Alex Martin (13-2, 5 KOs) of Chicago. Both men had previously met in Florida on January 13th of this year. Cruz walked away the winner of the previous match by a close, split decision. Cruz knocked down Martin with a short left to the jaw as the end of the first round neared. The third round was highlighted with a brutal exchange of punches between the fighters at the center of the ring. Martin was knocked down again in the fourth round by a right hook to the head. A low blow sent Cruz to the canvas in the fifth round. Cruz took his time to recover from the punch below the belt, but it appeared to take its toll on the fighter throughout the second half of the contest. The judges scored the ten round contest 96-92, all in favor of the winner by unanimous decision, Miguel Cruz.
Following the conclusion of PBC's broadcast of Miguel Cruz vs. Alex Martin (6/27/2017), Marcus Browne, who was providing commentary for PBC, spoke briefly with me about the evening's main event and his July 15th bout with Sean Monaghan at Nassau Coliseum in New York.
Bonus Round - Boxer Marcus Browne Discusses the 6/27 PBC main event and his Bout with Sean Monaghan on iTunes