Before Vasiliy Lomachenko defends his unified lightweight titles and Gilberto Ramirez makes his light heavyweight debut, a number of rising contenders and prospects made their mark with big wins on the ESPN+ undercard from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Alexander Besputin opened the broadcast with a near-shutout win on the scorecards against Alfredo Rodolfo Blanco to retain the USBA welterweight title and keep his pro record a perfect one now at 13-0. Besputin, ranked No. 1 by the WBA and No. 5 by the IBF, won with scores of 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91.
Italian heavyweight prospect Guido Vianello needed just 49 seconds to get his third career win when he knocked out Lawrence Gabriel. Janibek Alimkhanuly, another fighter fairly new to the paid ranks in boxing, is now 6-0 after a dominant 10-round victory over Cristian Olivas to win the WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global middleweight titles.
Closing off the ESPN+ undercard was a junior welterweight bout between Arnold Barboza Jr. and former world champion Mike Alvarado. Barboza got the biggest win of his career in impressive fashion when he knocked out Alvarado with a straight right hand in the third round and is now one step closer to challenging for a junior welterweight world title.
The main card will feature Lomachenko making his first defense as the unified WBA and WBO lightweight champion when he takes on Anthony Crolla in the main event. The co-main event will see Ramirez, the WBO super middleweight champion, face Tommy Karpency in a 175-pound bout.
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