Welterweight prospect Brad Solomon took a step toward legitimate contender status by outpointing former title challenger Demetrius Hopkins over 10 uneventful rounds in the main event of a Friday Night Fights show from Hollywood, Fla., on Friday.
Solomon (17-0, 7 knockouts), who won by scores of 99-91 (twice) and 97-93, was the aggressor throughout the low-volume tactical contest.
Hopkins (30-2-1, 11 KOs), who won two welterweight bouts last year after sitting out 2009, appeared to be looking for counter-punch opportunities for much of the fight but the 30-year-old veteran did little else during the ESPN2-televised bout. The nephew of former middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins was expected to test his lesser experienced foe with his jab, but he never got that punch — or any other — going.
Solomon didn’t light up the punch stats either but the 27-year-old ex-con from Lafayette, La., let his hands go enough to take control of the bout from start to finish.
Hopkins, who dropped a split decision to Kendal Holt in a 140-pound title bout in 2008, has some soul searching to do following the second loss of his career. The well-schooled technician simply did not fight with any sense of urgency against Solomon. If he can’t get up to fight an undefeated fighter, who happens to hold a No. 1 ranking in one of the sanctioning organizations, in a nationally televised bout, he may need to find a new line of work.
In the co-featured bout of the FNF card, Yan Barthelemy, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, cruised to a 10-round decision over late-sub Francis Ruiz. Barthelemy (12-2, 4 KOs), a Miami-based junior featherweight southpaw, dropped Ruiz in the fourth round en route to winning by scores of 97-92, 98-91, and 100-98.
Ruiz (9-4, 4 KOs), who replaced injured 122-pound prospect Chris Avalos on Wednesday, was clearly outclassed but the stubborn Dominican survived the second half of the bout with constant movement, lots of holding, and a sporadic body attack.