Before Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs face off in their middleweight title unification, a number of fighters made major strides in their careers on the undercard.
Perhaps no fighter turned more heads on the undercard than Anthony Young, who scored a major upset win over Sadam Ali. Young stopped Ali late in the third round to become the new USNBC Silver welterweight champion.
Young made his presence known from the start of the fight when he landed a series of punches upstairs that hurt Ali. Ali was able to recover in the second round, but was easily overwhelmed in the third round. In the third round, Young worked the body and punished Ali, who spent most of the round hunched over and favoring his ribs. Young then unloaded on Ali in the corner, causing a stoppage of the fight and giving Young the biggest win of his career.
The second to last fight on the prelim card saw John Ryder move one step closer to get major fights at 168 pounds when he decimated Bilal Akkawy to win the interim WBA title. Ryder dropped Akkawy twice in the third round, severely hurting Akkawy in the process. Late in the round, Ryder pressured Akkawy to the ropes and landed a series of punches that forced the referee to step in and stop the contest.
With the win, Ryder could potentially get a big title fight in the future, possibly against Alvarez, who also holds the WBA's "Regular" title at 168 pounds, or Callum Smith, the WBA's "Super" champion who has not fought since winning the title when he defeated George Groves last year.
As for the early prelim card, Aram Avagyan recovered from a second-round knockdown after getting hit by a left hook from Francisco Esparza followed by a right cross. Avagyan would outbox Esparza for most of the remainder of the fight and won the bout by unanimous decision (97-92, 96-93, 96-93) to retain the WBC International Silver featherweight title.
In the first fight of the entire card, Alexis Espino dominated Billy Wagner, winning a four-round unanimous decision (39-35, 39-35, 39-34) to improve his pro record to 2-0. Fightful's live coverage of the card can be seen at this link. Fightful will also have a live post-fight show taking place right after the main event concludes.