Once he withstood his game opponent’s best shots, Yudel Jhonson found the opening toward a new winning streak.
In the first ring appearance since his first professional loss eight months ago, Jhonson won a unanimous decision over Dashon Johnson in an undercard bout of Saturday night’s boxing show at BB&T Center.
A Miami resident and 2004 Olympic silver medalist while representing his native Cuba, Jhonson built an early lead with jabs and punches from a distance only to allow Johnson to shorten the range and enjoy productive middle rounds.
But Jhonson closed strongly and nearly finished his tiring opponent in the final round with unanswered and potent power shots. All three judges scored the eight-round junior-middleweight bout for Jhonson 78-74.
“After the sixth round, I fought at my opponent’s distance to prove how I was and everything turned out perfectly,” Jhonson said. “I was able to achieve my victory without a threat.”
Jhonson (13-1) tried to set the pace from the opening round with a lead right jab. Jhonson didn’t follow with much arsenal beyond the jab, but he scored later with rights to the body.
In the second round, Jhonson stepped up his attack and landed a three-punch combination to the head while still connecting with the right jab.
Johnson, who took the fight with less than a week’s notice, chased Jhonson in the third and scored repeatedly with rights to the head. Meanwhile, Jhonson lessened the use of his jab in the round.
The action intensified in the fourth as Johnson (13-10-3) found openings from short range and scored with rights to the head. Jhonson countered with lefts to the head, but Johnson was the busier fighter during the round.
“Those are things that happen in boxing; I stopped using my right lead,” Jhonson said of his opponent cutting the punching range. “I took some shots, but they really didn’t hurt me.”
Johnson had one last stand in the seventh and landed repeated rights to Jhonson’s head. But Johnson also seemed weary and on a few occasions threw wildly, landing only air.
In the card’s main event, Venezuela’s Johan Perez (16-1-1) made a successful U.S. debut but not before overcoming a tough challenge from veteran Steve Forbes (35-12). Perez won a majority decision against the three-time world title challenger.
In other bouts: super middleweight Terrell Gausha scored a technical knockout over Kenneth Schhmitz at 1:42 of the first round; light heavyweight Thomas Williams scored a TKO over Jason Smith at 1:56 of the third round; junior middleweight Tracey Rollins scored a TKO over Jose Sanchez at 2:29 of the first round; and lightweights Larry Yanez and John Wampash fought to a draw.