MIAMI--Demetrius Andrade (28-0, 17KOs) attempts the third defense of his middleweight title as he faces Ireland's Luke Keeler (17-2-1, 5KOs), a first time challenger who also makes his stateside debut.
The bout serves as one of three major title fights on the main portion of the DAZN stream beginning 9:00pm live from Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, Florida. Tevin Farmer makes the fifth defense of his 130-pound title versus 2012 U.S. Olympian and second-time title hopeful Joseph Diaz (30-4-1, 6KOs).
Opening the main card, streaking unified junior featherweight titlist Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10KOs) puts his pair of 122-pound belts and a 19-fight win streak on the line as he faces precocious contender Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6KOs), a 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist from Uzbekistan who aims to match former World heavyweight champion Leon Spinks in becoming a unified titlist in the fewest amount of pro fights.
Alexis Espino wrapped up his first full year as a pro with a performance worth making fans check out year two. The 20-year old Las Vegas native dropped and stopped Oklahoma’s Vincent Baccus in the third round of their super middleweight scrap, which streamed live on DAZN’s preliminary show.
The action was one-sided but entertaining every step of the way as Espino came to put on a show. The baby-faced prospect—who is guided by former champ and current top class trainer Robert Garcia—picked apart Baccus (4-2-1, 3KOs) with power shots through the first two rounds, though not at all interested in hearing the final bell.
A check left hook sent Baccus to the canvas, though valiantly making his way to his feet in beating the count issued by referee Samuel Burgos. Espino (5-0, 4KOs) closed the show seconds later, with a flurry of punches rendering Baccus defenseless and forcing the stoppage at 1:49 of round three.
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams lived up to his ring moniker, bringing plenty of fire power into his latest performance.
The Houston-based southpaw scored three knockdowns en route to a fourth round stoppage of Albuquerque’s Donald Sanchez (5-3, 3KOs). Williams floored Sanchez in round two and twice in round four, the latter prompting the stoppage at 2:53 of round four.
Williams matched his longest gap between fights, returning to the ring three months after being extended the distance for the first time in his young career in a four-round win last October in London, England. There was no threat of this one going to the judges, with the first-year pro throwing every combination with knockout intentions. Sanchez struggled to keep up and eventually stay up, as he was floored by a left hand with roughly a minute to go in round two.
Two more knockdowns came in round four, the first once again courtesy of a left hand. Sanchez beat the count, only to find himself under siege and on the deck late in the frame, this time prompting referee Telis Assemenios to bring a halt to the contest.
The message sent to Otha Jones III following his last performance was that he was capable of so much more.
It was advice well taken for the unbeaten junior lightweight prospect who made quick work of Denver's Juan Santiago. Jones III scored a knockdown, applying pressure until forcing the referee to stop the contest at 1:29 of round two.
The past several months were spent by Toledo's Jones III (5-0, 2KOs) perfecting his craft and revisiting what made him so special to the team at Matchroom Boxing USA, whom signed the prodigious talent straight out of the amateurs. Three months after looking flat in a four-round majority decision win over Eric Manriquez, the unbeaten lightweight prospect looked sharp from the opening bell against an inviting target in Santiago. Jones floored the upside journeyman in round, keeping his cool and evaluating his next step as he watched Santiago (16-18-2, 9KOs) take the mandatory eight count.
Jones let his hands go from there, peppering Santiago with a bushel of unanswered punches before forcing the stoppage much to Santiago's chagrin.
The win comes amidst a celebratory stretch for Jones, who turns 20 in a week and who also saw his sister Oshae Jones take her next steps on the road to competing in 2002 Tokyo.
Movladdin Biyarslanov kicked off his second full year as a pro in style, stopping Argentina's Nicolas Velasquez in three rounds. The Canada-based Russian southpaw, who represented his adopted home country in the 2016 Rio Olympics, floored Velasquez (11-8, 3KOs) in round two courtesy of a body shot, but made sure to pace himself and allow the knockout to come. That moment arrived in the early portion of round three, as Velasquez did his best to make a fight out of it before suddenly taking a knee. Referee Telis Assemenios reached the count of ten at 0:30 of round three.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @Jake Donovan