Weight issues were not a factor in Joan Guzman’s world title fight against Khabib Allakhverdiev Friday night but another Guzman bout again had bizarre circumstances.
Guzman, who twice failed to make weight for two lightweight title opportunities and also was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance in another bout, injured his left leg in the eighth-round against Allakhverdiev for the vacant World Boxing Association super-lightweight title at the BB&T Center.
Guzman slipped and fell awkwardly while avoiding a punch. When he reached his feet, Guzman limped slightly but told referee Luis Pabon that he wanted to continue fighting. Allakhverdiev quickly attacked and landed a left to the head that sent Guzman to the canvas but Pabon didn’t rule a knockdown.
Grimacing in pain, Guzman instructed Pabon and his cornermen he could not continue fighting. The result went to the scorecards and Allakhverdiev won a technical split decision before a pro-Guzman crowd of approximately 5,000.
“This feels awesome,” said Allahkverdiev, a native of Russia. “I knew I had to put the pressure on him.”
Judges Michael Pernick and Mark Streisand scored the fight for Allakhverdiev, 76-75. Judge Nelson Vazquez had Guzman ahead, 76-75.
Allakhverdiev (18-0) dropped Guzman with a three-punch combination to the head in the third. Allarkhverdiev stunned Guzman (33-1) with two rights to the head and landed a left hook to the head before Guzman fell to the canvas.
Although Guzman was effective with body shots and rights to the head, Allakhverdiev resumed his attack in the fifth and landed repeated lefts to the head that landed a cut on the bridge of Guzman’s nose.
In the opening round, Guzman and Allakhverdiev ignored a cautious start and opted to trade at an entertaining pace. The taller Allakhvediev pressed Guzman and scored with lefts to the head. Guzman stepped his attack midway through the round and landed combinations to the body and rights to the head.
Earlier, junior-middleweight prospect Dominique Dolton remained unbeaten with a victory by unanimous decision against veteran Richard Gutierrez.
Dolton, 21, was the busier fighter throughout the 10-round junior-middleweight bout.
After Dolton (13-0) controlled the early rounds, the bout’s pace intensified in the fifth as Dolton scored with combinations to the body and followed with a right a right to the head. Later in the round, Gutierrez connected with a left hook to the head and also landed a right to the head.
In the seventh, Dolton landed a three-punch combination to the body. Gutierrez pressed Dolton to the ropes and scored with a left-right combination to the head. Dolton resumed his body attack in the closing seconds of the round and ended the seventh with a solid right to Gutierrez’s head.
Gutierrez (26-10-1) landed rights to Dolton’s head in the 10th, forcing Dolton to momentarily clinch to avoid additional shots. Dolton later answered with combinations to the head and Gutierrez countered with rights and lefts and lefts at close range.
Dolton won the bout on two judges’ scorecards, 100-90 and 99-91 on the third.
In another bout, Hollywood resident Ed Paredes won a lopsided decision over Hector Munoz. Two judges scored the fight for Paredes, 100-89, and the third also had him winning, 99-90. Paredes is now 32-3-1.
In other bouts: bantamweight Juan Carlos Payano won a unanimous decision against Jose Araiza; light-heavyweight Isaiah Thomas won a unanimous decision against Richard Hall; featherweight Claudio Marrero scored a TKO over Mauricio Martinez at 1:36 of the fourth round; light-heavyweight Humberto Savigne won a unanimous decision against Dhafir Smith.