On ESPN’s first boxing card of 2019, the main event saw a major upset that ended Bryant Jennings’ current run at another heavyweight title fight.
Oscar Rivas walked away with the NABF, NABO and IBF International heavyweight titles with a 12th round stoppage over Jennings. The fight headlined a Top Rank on ESPN+ card from the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York.
The fight was a back-and-forth contest that had no clear winner in the scorecards and the final round could have swung the result in either boxer’s favor. Rivas opened the final round with a vicious flurry of punches that sent Jennings to the ropes, forcing him to only defend. Rivas eventually dropped Jennings to the canvas and was slow to get back up. Jennings did recover, but Rivas continued the onslaught of punches and the referee had no choice but to stop the action, awarding Rivas the win.
At the time of the stoppage, Rivas was ahead on two of the three scorecards with a 106-103 and 105-104 lead while Jennings was ahead on the third scorecard 106-103. The win snapped Jennings’ five-fight win streak while Rivas’ record improved to 26-0.
In the co-main event, Olympic silver medalist and rising star Shakur Stevenson scored a fourth-round TKO victory over Jessie Cris Rosales. Halfway through the fourth round, Stevenson landed a pair of vicious left hands that immediately dropped Rosales, causing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
With the win, Stevenson not only moves one step closer to becoming a contender at 126 pounds but also walked away with the IBF Intercontinental and WBC Continental Americas title. Stevenson recently debuted in the WBC rankings at No. 15 and is also ranked No. 11 by the IBF, making him eligible to potentially challenge for those two world titles.