Brian Vera Scores Questionable Stoppage Win Over Donatas Bondorovas On FNF (And Teddy Atlas Endorses The TBRB)

Brian Vera had his hands full with Donatas Bondorovas on ESPN's Friday Night Fights through seven rounds of a solid fight, but the referee made a highly debatable call to stop it at the end of that round. In the corner, asked if he could see through a cut over his left eye and over his nose, a blinking Bondas answered, "not good," and that was enough for the ref to decide Bondas didn't want to continue and wave it off. Afterward, his corner protested immediately, with one member of his team explaining that he didn't understand the question in English and berating him with the humorous-yet-valid, "Do you speak Lithuanian?" It sure didn't seem like the cut over his eye was bleeding dangerously, but his body language was only so-so; the ref probably should've asked more questions than the one he did. Vera opened the cut on the nose in the 1st round, but he probably didn't win the first two — Bondas was outlanding him and landing the harder shots. Eventually Vera (pictured on the right) began to do damage, but Bondas (pictured on the left) was again coming on before things ended and he had a strong chance of winning on the cards.

Vera was in line for a bigger money bout against the likes of middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Gennady Golovkin or Matthew Macklin, and it's likely his performance was shaky enough as to make those bouts less marketable. Whether it stops them from happening anyway is a whole 'nother thing.

Before the main event, ESPN's Teddy Atlas gave a glowing endorsement to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a project I've been working on with a group of writers to crown lineal champions. Asked by studio host Todd Grisham if the Board would be good for the sport, he answered, "It's great. It's not good." Compared to all the alphabet belts, Atlas also said, "There has to be a better system. This is a better idea… We have to have an alternative to what's there right now. I think this is an alternative. I applaud it. That's why I'm promoting it and why I'm giving some light to it." Music to my ears. I hope to have video of the entire segment soon. [Quotes are, it turns out, approximate, and I have deleted a reference to one of them. The video will show the slight differences.]

On the undercard, light heavyweight prospect Jackson Junior looked nothing like a prospect in getting stopped in the 4th after three knockdown courtesy Umberto Savigne, whom he had sparred with only a week before. Jackson won the 1st round, but by the 2nd Savigne had completely figured out his thorough overcommitment to his punches and began countering him mercillessly. He dropped Jackson in that very same round with a right, with Jackson throwing one of his home run punches even as he fell. Another right felled him in the 4th and a jab put him down for the final time, as Jackson only had his legs for the 1st round tops and was flopping around the ring like he was ice-skating on flip-flops.

(photo by Shane Sims, Banner Promotions)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.