Newly crowned WBA Interim Featherweight Champion Claudio Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) shocked previously unbeaten Carlos Zambrano (26-1, 12 KOs) with a first round knockout in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes, Saturday night from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
“There’s so many emotions going through my head right now, that I still can’t wrap how it feels to be a champion now,” said Marrero. “I won’t let it distract me, because I’ll fight whoever is the best in my weight class. I knew what kind of fighter I was going up against and I knew what had to be done. I was hungry”
The fight ended abruptly as Marrero of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic threw a rock solid straight left hand that sent Lima, Peru’s Zambrano to the canvas, rendering him unable to stand and referee Vic Drakulich waved off the bout at 1:30 of the one and only round. Marrero extended a seven-fight win streak.
“After being inactive for a year, of course my timing was a little off I am not happy at all with my performance,” said Zambrano. “This is a fight that was long awaited and I know Marrero has been eyeing me for a while, so it’s just unfortunate the way things ended.
“I need to come back to the states and find sparring partners who can really help get me to the level that I want to be,” continued Zambrano. “For my record to be beaten at this point, its just really disappointing I have no other words to describe it.”
The co-main event of the FS1 and FOX Deportes telecast ended in a sixth round TKO by hungry middleweight Nathaniel Gallimore (18-1-1, 15 KOs) of Kingston, Jamaica over Jeison Rosario (12-1, 9 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.Both fighters came out swinging in the first round with Rosario taking it on all three judge’s scorecards. Rosario, who had never gone past the fourth round started to slow down in the fifth as Gallimore took over.
“I came into the fight confident then at some point something just happened, my body started to slow down,” said Rosario. “I got a little tired and I started to fight a little sloppy. My plan is to go back and begin working on my jab consistently, that was my weakness during throughout the fight.”
Gallimore came out of the corner in the sixth round determined to end the fight and succeeded. He dropped Rosario, but the Dominican rose to his feet, only to be dropped by a hard upper cut. In the end, it was a left hook that sent Rosario to the canvas for a third and final time as referee Jay Nady waved off the fight at 2:15 of the sixth round.
“He was fighting really dirty the whole fight, I think he knew he was hurt early on,” said Gallimore. “I knew I had a lot more experience so I just started breaking him down round by round and that’s what got me the win. This was the first time he went so many rounds, so I think it really just got to him to the point where he was just trying to hold on the last few rounds. I came to finish him and that’s what I did.”
In the main event of the FS2 and FOX Deportes telecast, super lightweight prospect Ladarius Miller (13-1, 4 KOs) put on an impressive performance before stopping Jesus Gutierrez (14-2-1, 4 KOs) in the eighth and final round of their matchup.
“I am extremely happy with my performance,” said Miller. “This is the best Ladarius Miller I have shown. I was familiar with him as a fighter so I knew what I had to do in the ring. I thought I had him in the first round with the uppercut, but he was in a lot better shape than I thought. He took the punches but in the end I knew I would end up on top with the win. I’m just ready to get back in the ring and look ahead at my next challenge.”
Miller out boxed Gutierrez with a combination of movement and lead left hands to take control of the first portion of the fight. Gutierrez attempted to close the distance between him and Miller, but was unable to muster up enough offense to slow down his opponent.
“It was a great fight, I think we gave the fans what they wanted to see,” said Gutierrez. “I have nothing but respect for Ladarius, he came out tonight and showed what he was made of. I kept the pressure on and I thought that would be enough to get him.”
Several back and forth flurries defined the final two rounds of the fight before Miller was eventually able to use a big right hand to floor Gutierrez and force referee Russell Mora to halt the fight at 2:34 into the eighth round.
The opening bout on FS2 and FOX Deportes saw former world champion Layla McCarter (39-13-5, 10 KOs) dominate and eventually stop Szilvia Szabados (15-10, 6 KOs) in the seventh-round of their welterweight bout.
“I saw early in the fight an opportunity, to go for the body and that’s what I did,” said McCarter. “She took a lot of damage and was a tough opponent. I felt I could have brought it a lot harder, I had such a great training camp I wish I just would have delivered the Layla i know I can bring.”
Szabados came out aggressive from the start, but the veteran contender McCarter picked her off with power punches throughout the early rounds before Szabados began to wear down and become frustrated.
“She was a great opponent for me, there are definitely a lot more things that I need to go back home and work on,” said Szabados. “Overall, she came to win and she showed it. I brought a lot of toughness, but in the end she came out on top.”
Referee Tony Weeks deducted a point from Szabados for blows to the back of the head early in round seven before a final flurry from McCarter forced the referee to stop the fight 56 seconds into the round.
PBC on FS1 and FOX Deportes was promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.