On Saturday night, February 8, several DiBella Entertainment fighters posted big victories across the United States and internationally. “Merciless” Mary McGee (27-3, 15 KOs) successfully defended her IBF junior welterweight title for the first time near her hometown of Gary, IN, with an eighth-round stoppage against Deanha “The Silencer” Hobbs (8-2, 5 KOs), of Queensland, Australia, at the Civic Center in Hammond, IN. One of McGee’s biggest strengths is her punching accuracy and that was evident again versus Hobbs. McGee effectively countered Hobbs’ offense each round with her own heavy shots. When in close, McGee would unload combinations to the head and body. Hobbs was hurt by McGee’s left hook in the seventh and the champion was determined to go for the finish. In the eighth, an extended barrage aimed at a tired Hobbs against the ropes forced the referee to intervene for the TKO win. The victory, in front of a huge crowd of local supporters, was the seventh straight for McGee, who won the world title with a 10th-round stoppage of Ana Laura Esteche on December 5, 2019.
Christina “Medusa” Linardatou (13-2, 6 KOs), of Athens, Greece, regained the WBO super lightweight world title in Hammond, IN, with a 10-round unanimous decision against Prisca “die Kriegerin” Vicot(11-7, 2 KOs), of England. She pressed forward, landing the harder shots throughout and decked Vicot in round three with a right hand. Linardatou had previously lost the title to Katie Taylor in a hotly contested battle on November 2, 2019.
Also featured on the card in Hammond, IN, in a scheduled eight-rounder, the 22-year-old 2016 US Olympian Charles Conwell (12-0, 9 KOs), of Cleveland, OH, returned to the ring with a fifth-round knockout of Mexican southpaw Ramses “El Faraon” Agaton (22-12-3, 12 KOs), of Tlalnepantla. Conwell worked to close the gap against his taller foe then often pounded the body with combinations. After four completed rounds of getting outworked, Agaton retired on his stool, with the official time of the stoppage being 0:01 of round five. It was the first fight for Conwell following the tragic passing of Patrick Day after their fight on October 12, 2019.
In a scheduled six-rounder in Hammond, IN, top undefeated middleweight prospect, 23-year-old Isaiah Steen (14-0, 10 KOs), of Cleveland, OH, a training partner of Conwell’s, earned a first-round stoppage against Kenneth Council (10-4-1, 8 KOs), of Knoxville, TX. Steen dropped his adversary with an overhand right then, shortly thereafter, Council complained about an injured right shoulder which prompted the referee to end the contest via TKO.
Also, on Saturday night in Daytona Beach, FL, 2016 Olympian Juan Carlos Carrillo (3-0, 2 KOs), of Barranquilla, Colombia, knocked out Ben Williams (1-3), of Benton Harbor, MI, in the second round a scheduled six-round light heavyweight clash. The 27-year-old Carrillo, who represented Colombia at the Rio Olympics, landed a left hook to the body that sent Williams to the deck resulting in the knockout at the 2:27 mark of the frame. As an amateur, Carrillo compiled an impressive 388-23 record, winning gold at the 2012 Colombian National Games, 2012 Pacific Cup Tournament, 2011 Colombian National Championships, 2010 Colombian Youth National Championships, and silver at the 2014 Central American & Caribbean Games. The event, held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, FL, was promoted by women’s boxing legend and 2020 Hall-of-Fame Inductee Christy Martin.
In Vienna, Virginia, heavyweight contender Mike Balogun (16-0, 12 KOs), of Upper Marlboro, MD, scored a first-round stoppage of Adnan Buharalija, of Norcross, Georgia, in a scheduled eight-rounder. A right hook upstairs dropped Buharalija near the end of the opening frame and the fight was stopped at the 2:59 mark. It was the fourth knockout victory in his last five fights for the former college football standout who played with the Oklahoma Sooners.
Fighting at home in Bilbao, Spain, top lightweight contender Jon Fernandez (21-1, 18 KOs) knocked out Colombian Aristides Perez (31-13-2, 17 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled eight-round bout. Fernandez pressured from the outset, focusing on Perez’ midsection. Following a sustained attack against the ropes, an exhausted Perez took a knee. Once he arose, Fernandez unleashed a follow-up barrage to force a second and final knockdown to secure the TKO win. It was the fifth straight victory for the 24-year-old Fernandez, who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and MaravillaBox Promotions.