The fights are underway in Brooklyn, and we’ve already seen three prelim bouts featuring two former Olympians scoring wins and a third former Olympian going to a dull draw.
Robert Alfonso D-8 Iago Kiladze
Scores were 77-75 Alfonso, 77-75 Kiladze, and 76-76, so a split draw in this heavyweight fight, which wasn’t much to see. Alfonso, 32, was an Olympian for Cuba in 2008, losing in the first round to Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Glazkov. He also won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games, beating Oscar Rivas in the final. Alfonso turned pro in 2012 after defecting. He’s now a BombZquad fighter and Deontay Wilder sparring partner. Kiladze, 33, snaps a three-fight losing streak with the draw, and keeps himself around as a gatekeeper sort.
Gary Antuanne Russell KO-4 Marcos Mojica
Russell (9-0, 9 KO) had never been into the fourth round before. Now he has. He didn’t seem to like the fourth round much, as he put Mojica (16-4-2, 12 KO) down early in the round, and then went for the finish. Mojica fought hard trying to land something to turn the tide, which got him dropped a second time.
Russell, 22, was a 2016 Olympian, made it to the quarterfinals before he lost to eventual gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. He’s a legitimate prospect, not just a guy who has a talented brother.
Richardson Hitchins RTD-3 Alejandro Munera
Hitchins, a 21-year-old junior welterweight prospect, couldn’t make Team USA in 2016 for the Rio Olympics, so he qualified for Haiti instead. He lost to Team USA’s Gary Antuanne Russell in the first round, but even in those three rounds, you could see then that the young Hitchins was someone with pro potential.
In this one, he hurt Munera (4-2-3, 3 KO) in the opening round, beat up on him a bit in the second, and dropped him with a body shot in the third. After three, Munera decided he wanted no more. Hitchins’ stated goal coming into this fight was to prove he was ready for tougher opposition, but he’s still really young and there remains a bit of a rawness to him, and you can see why his team have taken it slow so far. People might question and question and question his potential, but if you guide him right I think it’s there, and someday he could show that if he doesn’t get thrown into the fire too soon. I think he’s ready for it, but the smart thing is probably what they’re doing. That said, a good little next step would be nice to see.