“Hail to the Victors” was not the theme of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights on March 8 as junior welterweight Emmanuel Taylor defeated Victor Cayo by technical knockout in the main event from the Resorts Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
The scheduled 10-round match was a war of attrition that was both exciting and unpredictable. Though the opening round was close, Cayo (31-4, 22 KOs) dug into a brisk work rate and outlanded a stalking Taylor, who patiently picked his shots. The trend continued for the majority of round 2, but Taylor (17-1, 11 KOs) came on strong in the waning moments, pinning Cayo against the ropes and pouring punches onto his opponent.
The boxers tussled in tight quarters for the 3rd round, where Taylor seemed to jar the one known as “Mermelada.” Collecting his bearings, Cayo worked hard and often as he found a weapon by switching to southpaw. He knocked down Taylor with a right hook from the lefty stance at just over two minutes into round 5. Taylor recovered, but Cayo smelled blood. Though he was warned for a low blow 15 seconds into the 6th, Cayo maintained his pace and strategy while his left cheek started to swell.
A minute into the 8th round, Taylor again cut off the ring and unleashed a barrage that sent Cayo from the ropes to the canvas. After taking the count from referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., Cayo was clocked by a straight right hand. Esteves, concerned with Cayo’s safety, stepped in to call the contest at 1:11 of round 8.
In a six-round junior middleweight swing-bout, Samuel Rogers notched a unanimous decision win against Ivan Ziglar. The Indiana-born, Virgin Islands-bred Rogers improved to 13-0 with 7 knockouts. Official scores were 59-55, 60-54 and 58-56. TQBR scored a shutout for Rogers. Ziglar, of Virginia Beach, fell to 7-3-1.
Cayo wasn’t the only of Victor to exit in defeat. Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov kept his streak alive as he scored his seventeenth knockout is as many fights with a 5th-round stoppage of Victor Bisbal. The scheduled 10-round bout was the first that the southpaw out of Oxnard, Calif., had fought past the 4th frame.
It took several minutes for Abdusalamov to let his hands go. Bisbal (21-2, 15 KOs) held a 48-26 connect advantage after two rounds. By the third, Abdusalamov began to land with more authority, at times wobbling his opponent. Referee Randy Neumann stopped the bout after Bisbal was floored by an Abdusalamov left hand and didn’t respond well when asked if he could continue. Official time of the knockout was 1:12.
(ESPN image of Emmanuel Taylor celebrating via Star Boxing)