Light heavyweight prospect Isaac Chilemba won a bloody, 10-round unanimous decision over Edison Miranda in a Friday Night Fights main event in Las Vegas, Nev.
Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 knockouts), who won by scores of 97-91, 96-92, 96-2, withstood a fast start from Miranda and gradually took over the bout after the hard-punching former middleweight and 168-pound title challenger suffered a nasty cut over his left eye after an accidental headbutt in the third round.
The 24-year-old Malawi native got into his rhythm in the middle rounds, using lateral movement to neutralize Miranda’s power while walking the 31-year-old veteran into well-timed right hands.
Despite constant bleeding from the gash above his left eye, Miranda (35-7, 30 KOs) continued to press Chilemba with the reckless confidence that comes from being a former KO artist. However, the Puerto Rico-based Colombian was not able to do any damage whenever he got in close range of the South African resident.
Chilemba would tie him up and the two grappled while landing rabbit punches. Referee Robert Byrd docked both men a point for the illegal punch in the fifth round.
Miranda, who had lost three of his last five bouts, continued to stalk forward but he walked directly into Chilemba’s jab and was coutnered with hooks, uppercuts and right crosses every time he swung and missed with his haymakers (which was often).
Chilemba finished the fight strong and inched closer to contender status in the 175-pound division with the solid victory.
In the co-featured bout of the ESPN2 broadcast, junior lightweight Rances Barthelemy remained unbeaten with an eight-round unanimous decision over fellow prospect Hylon Williams Jr.
Barthelemy (15-0, 11 KOs), who won by scores of 80-72, 79-73, 79-73, was the aggressor throughout the bout. Williams (15-1, 3 KOs) counter punched and moved well in the early rounds, but Barthelemy figured his smaller, faster foe out by the fourth round and quickly imposed his size and skill on the 21-year-old Las Vegas resident.
The 25-year-old Miami-based Cuban befuddled Williams with switch-hitting tactics and repeatedly scored with uppercuts from both hands.