Joshua Greer sought out to continue his quest towards a bantamweight title shot, but Mike Plania put a stop to those plans, scoring the first major upset since Top Rank Boxing returned.
Thanks to not one, but two big left hooks that sent Greer to the canvas, Plania was able to end Greer’s 19-fight win streak, beating him by majority decision in the main event of the June 16 Top Rank on ESPN card from Las Vegas. While judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 94-94, judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Tim Cheatham scored the fight for Plania 97-91 and 96-92, respectively.
Plania started out fighting aggressively in the fight, pushing Greer around the ring and making him circle around the canvas. Greer didn’t pull the trigger on letting his hands go throughout the first half and Plania made him pay with a left hook upstairs at the end of the first round, knocking him down.
Although Greer got up, Plania stayed on course throughout the first half of the fight. While Greer was mostly passive, Plania was the aggressor, attacking Greer with power shots and opening up another potential knockdown opportunity in the middle rounds. Plania took advantage of that opportunity with another left hook in the sixth round. Once again, Greer recovered and that second knockdown woke him up a bit.
From that point onward, Greer started pushing the pace, pressuring Plania on the inside and landing body shots at close-range. Plania wasn’t able to deliver much in the final four rounds as Greer closed the gap on the scorecards just for a bit. However, Greer’s late surge was not enough to get the win.
Greer was being groomed for a future bantamweight title opportunity. Not only did he enter the fight on a 19-fight win streak, but was also highly-ranked by various governing bodies. Greer was ranked No. 1 by the WBO, No. 2 by the IBF, No. 3 by the WBA and No. 8 by the WBC. He was supposed to face fellow bantamweight contender Jason Moloney back in April, but that fight got scrapped once the coronavirus pandemic stopped Top Rank from holding events in the United States for more than three months.
The rest of the card also saw each fight go the distance like in the main event, but only one managed to draw some controversy. The opening fight on the broadcast, which was the advertised co-feature bout between Antonio DeMarco and Giovani Santillan, saw many scratching their heads upon learning that Santillan won the fight by majority decision. Moretti scored the bout 95-95 while Cheatham and Steve Weisfeld both scored the fight 96-94 in favor of Santillan.
After a slow start from both men in the first round, DeMarco quickly pushed the pace, outboxing and outlanding Santillan. DeMarco landed big uppercuts in the middle rounds while Santillan was mostly relegated to being cornered and up against the ropes. Santillan was nearly hurt a couple of times, but managed to pull through and trade blows with DeMarco in the last few rounds, sometimes winning those exchanges. Santillan winning all of the last three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards was what gave Santillan the majority decision victory.
Below are the full results of the June 16 Top Rank on ESPN card:
* Mike Plania defeated Joshua Greer by majority decision (94-94, 96-92, 97-91)
* Bobirzhan Mominov defeated Cameron Krael by unanimous decision (57-56, 58-55, 58-55)
* Hector Perez defeated Juan Torres by unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55, 59-55)
* Nikoloz Sekhniashvili defeated Isiah Jones by unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 59-55)
* Giovani Santillan defeated Antonio DeMarco by majority (95-95, 96-94, 96-94)
Highlights of Greer vs. Plania can be seen at the top of the page.