By David Robinett at ringside
In a largely tactical affair, Antonio Hernandez (10-1, 2 KOs) pulled off the mild upset, scoring a final round knockdown and defeating the previously unbeaten Kevin Newman (7-1-1, 3 KOs) by scores of 57-56, 59-54, 59-54, in a six-round super middleweight contest. Newman seemed to be controlling the bout early with his speed, popping quick jabs and circling away before Hernandez could counter. However as the fight progressed Hernandez was able to occasionally close the distance or trap Newman along the ropes, allowing him to land a few punches before Newman moved out of danger. Although Hernandez was moving up in weight against a natural super middleweight, Newman also started short-arming many of his punches in the latter half of the fight, seemingly getting too conservative with an opponent who he probably should have had an easier time with. A flash knockdown by Hernandez in the final round helped cement the victory, but Newman’s lack of urgency was as responsible for his first defeat as anything Hernandez did in the ring.
Female super middleweights Sydney LeBlanc and Savannah Marshall kicked off the undercard of the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with the debuting Marshall cruising to a four-round unanimous decision by identical scores of 40-36. Marshall, England’s first women’s amateur boxing world champion, utilized her height and reach advantage to keep LeBlanc at bay, relying heavily on her left jab and long right-hands. Marshall mixed in some body shots as the fight progressed and clearly established herself to be the superior fighter. LeBlanc (4-4-1, 0 KOs), who unsuccessfully challenged American Olympian Claressa Shields earlier this year, came on a little in the final round, but it was too little too late to make any difference in the final outcome.