In what was a fairly innocuous weekend of boxing, fans were still treated to a Matchroom Boxing card live on DAZN in Florida on Saturday night.
There were no huge ramifications in any of the fights, even though the headline fight featured a world champion and former world champion.
However, the headline act of Devin Haney vs Yuriorkis Gamboa offered up a good test for the young rising Lightweight contender. He comfortably won on all three cards against his toughest opponent to date.
Also on the card we saw the likes of Zhilei Zhang, who was making his debut on a Matchroom card having just signed, display his power with a knockout win. Among others such as Filip Hrgovic and a flurry of young American fighters, all at the start of their careers.
It's worth noting all the winners on the night were unbeaten and the average fights per fighter of the winners (excluding Haney) stood at only 10 fights.
It's clear this was a night for building experience and adding to the boxing resumes' in a time where making fights is tough for all concerned.
In terms of the young talents on the card, we saw young Americans Reshat Mati (Welterweight) Raymond Ford (Featherweight) and Darren Cunningham (Super Batamweight) all come through their tests with relative ease. Canadian fighter Movladdin Biyarslanov gave the quickest fight of the night with a first round TKO.
This uppercut from Reshat Mati was FILTHY 🔥 pic.twitter.com/mjvR1O6VIy— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 8, 2020
Moving up into the heavyweight clashes, we saw the big Croatian Hrgovic take on former world title challenger Rydell Booker. In what seemed a mismatch fight on the night, we saw a TKO stoppage in the sixth round with the American still on his feet.
The one sided beatdown wasn't the most exciting fight, but we saw Hrgovic's power as Booker hit the canvas in the second round. The American had previously gone the distance with Kubrat Pulev so getting the stoppage has done Hrgovic no harm at all.
Hrgovic: "You're too old!" 😂 pic.twitter.com/5VRAiaqR0O— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 8, 2020
Moving onto what was a debut under the Matchroom banner for Chinese heavyweight Zhang Zhilei. The 37-year-old extended his record to 22 wins with 17 coming by way of knockout, as he dispatched Devin Vargas (22-7) with a fourth round KO.
Expect the 6 foot 6 southpaw fighter to be involved in some good clashes next year. Being under the new promotional banner of Matchroom, there are plenty of heavyweight clashes that can be made and hopefully we see him in those in 2021.
ZHANG SCORES KNOCKOUT 💥— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) November 8, 2020
🇨🇳 Heavyweight contender 'Big Bang' Zhang Zhilei knocks down and stops Devin Vargas, who appears to sustain a leg injury on his way to the canvas. 🙅♂️
🔞 @Betfred Fight Odds: https://t.co/WpCjSZKyjP#Boxing #HaneyGamboa pic.twitter.com/LWzFrhH11w
Onto the main event, Haney came through his toughest test against Gamboa and despite not getting the knockout, his performance showcased a lot of his boxing skills.
Winning by a large majority on all three cards, he won practically every round against the former world champion. After the lightweight bouts of Teofimo Lopez vs Vasily Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz, many wanted to see Haney produce a performance equal to that of Lopez and Davis.
What we saw a finessed boxing display, from a fighter who at only 21 years old, has already cemented himself in that top bracket of fighters in his weight class.
The division is flooded with talent and it seems that the future will see the four young fighters of Lopez, Davis, Haney and Ryan Garcia battle it out for Lightweight supremacy.
Garcia faces Luke Campbell on December 5th and if the American comes through that, the four fighters could well face each other in 2021.
In what was a relatively quiet night of boxing, fans still got action with knockouts and TKO's on the night. Young talents showcased their skills and heavyweights showed their power but Haney stole the show with a one sided beatdown of an experienced fighter to put his name firmly in the hat for a huge lightweight showdown in 2021.