Highlighted by a knockdown in the eighth and final round, reigning WBC USNBC Silver Super Middleweight Champion Kendrick Ball Jr. (17-1-2, 11 KOs) of Worcester, MA, defended his title for the first time with a unanimous decision win Saturday over challenger Tyi Edmonds (14-4) of Meridian, MS, at MGM Springfield.
The Ball-Edmonds title bout headlined an exciting seven-fight card promoted by CES Boxing, the second of back-to-back events over the weekend. Ball won 79-71, 80-70, 76-74 for his eighth consecutive victory and first since winning the title in April.
In the six-round co-main event, Ontario’s Josh Wagner (8-0) won convincingly over New Haven’s Jeffrey Torres (7-1), earning a 59-55 unanimous decision on all three scorecards in the highly-touted battle of unbeaten welterweights.
The night was also a success for all three Springfield fighters. Featherweight Josh Orta improved his record to 7-0 and earned his third career stoppage by defeating Esteban Aquino (12-9) of the Bronx. Orta dominated the first two rounds and referee Leo Gerstel stopped it at the end of the second with Aquino unable to fight back.
Making his professional debut, featherweight Isaiah Cruz (1-0) won all four rounds over Ohio’s Eddie Hines (1-4-1) for a 40-36 unanimous decision on all three scorecards and fellow Springfield native Jalen Renaud (6-0, 2 KOs) came out strong against Hartford super welterweight Joe Wilson Jr. (3-5), scoring knockdowns in the third and fourth round before referee Chris Burke to wave it off 58 seconds into the fourth.
In an entertaining, back-and-forth battle, Manchester, CT, super welterweight Jose Rivera (9-4-1) grabbed the split decision win over Boston’s Mitch Louis Charles (6-3-2), 58-56, 58-56, 55-59. Judges Jackie Morrell and Lucy Miller scored it in favor of Rivera while Gary Litchfield had it for Charles. Also on the undercard, Lynn, MA, welterweight Khiry Todd (11-1, 9 KOs) made quick work of Arizona’s Isias Cardona Gonzales (26-22) with a body shot at the 1:16 mark of the opening round.