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Home » Joshua James Pagan, Ali Akhmedov score victories

Joshua James Pagan, Ali Akhmedov score victories

Joshua James Pagan (10-0, 4 KOs) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, stayed undefeated but endured a tough battle to do it against Chattanooga, Tennessee’s now formerly undefeated Roger Hilley (13-1, 8 KOs).

Pagan fought through a free-flowing left-eye cut he suffered from an accidental head butt in round one to outwork the durable Hilley for a majority of rounds and in the process, won the Junior NABF Super Lightweight Championship.

To his credit, Hilley came out smoking and looking to bang Pagan’s body from both sides, but Pagan righted the ship quickly and put his amateur pedigree to work by slipping uppercuts and right hands between Hilley’s attempted outbursts.

As the rounds wore on, the better conditioning of Pagan showed through, and he was beginning to pull away late in the fight.

The scores were 78-74 from all three judges.

“I’m feeling great,” said Pagan, post-fight. “That was my first eight rounder and it was against an undefeated guy, but I trained hard for this and definitely earned it.”

Pagan said that the cut in round one was a bit of a distraction, but he used his experience as a pro and former amateur champion to will his way through the obstacle.

“I knew if I got butted or cut, to just stay calm. I’ve been cut before, and I know how to adjust and fight through it. I learned as I went on to fight smarter and not get hit in the eye. I felt like he was trying to back me up and I’ve always heard you have to bully the bully, so I decided to stand my ground and that made him hesitant. So, then I started using my boxing ability to keep him outside and fight my fight.”

In the night’s opening televised bout, Almaty, Kazakhstan’s once-beaten Ali Akhmedov (21-1, 16 KOs) cut his scheduled-for-10 super middleweight matchup against San Francisco, California’s Encarnacion Diaz (18-5, 11 KOs) short by stopping him at 2:14 of round two.

One-way traffic in the bout, as Akhmedov’s thudding body shots and straight punches to the head were too much for the outgunned Diaz, who tried switching stances and throwing haymakers to no avail.

Trained by Detroit’s own Johnathon Banks, Akhmedov kept his skills sharp while he waits for another opportunity to climb the rankings.

In a four round all-Detroit middleweight fight that served as a TV swing bout, Josiah “Mighty Joe” Shackleford (2-1, 2 KOs) of Detroit and pro debuting foe Ja’Shar Banks (0-1) put on an entertaining scrap with Shackleford coming out victorious by unanimous decision.

Shackleford had too many weapons for the tough Banks, but Banks refused to give in and kept throwing back to the bitter end. Shackleford may have tried for a knockout too hard, giving Banks the opportunity to duck under the potentially finishing blows.

The scores were 40-36 from all three judges.