In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.
Sánchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas and caused referee Mike Ortega to warn Sanchez.
Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.
Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) was even better against Adam Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest, which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round of their scheduled 12-round heavyweight encounter.
“It was good,” Helenius said of the ending. “Either way, it would have been a stoppage. I had a lot of good shots tonight and he didn’t have any.
“I expected [this win] because, what does he have? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good brawler, but I’ve been fighting brawlers for 20 years. I know how to deal with them, even if they are hitting me low or behind the head. That doesn’t bother me.”
Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza.
Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches, but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, closing Kownacki’s left eye and bloodying his nose with thudding power shots.
The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landed another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him for the infraction and decided to halt the action.
“Right now, I want to go home to my family,” Helenius said. “I’ve been away from them for four weeks. Then we can worry about what’s next.”
Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.
“I was a little anxious in the opening round,” Anderson said. “My first pay-per-view card and all that. But I settled in and gave a great performance. I practiced what my coaches preached. On to the next one.”
Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless stepped in.
“I got great work in the gym with Tyson Fury. Iron sharpens iron,” Anderson said. “Shout out to Toledo, my home. I hope I made the fans back home proud.”
Photo: Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions