Two years since his last ring appearance, Panama’s best Guillermo Jones (37-3-2, 29 KOs) came back to the squared circle to put his WBA cruiserweight title at risk, and it turned out he had barely lost any steam during his semi-retirement. Jones, fighting in front of a partisan crowd at Arena Roberto Duran in his home land of Panama City, Panama, showed some signs of ring rust but gradually shook them off and imposed his will on the WBA #1 and WBA mandatory challenger Valery Brudov (38-3, 27 KOs) of Pskov, Russia, to finally stop him on cuts at 2:16 of the eleventh round and to retain his title.
It was a jabbing contest from both sides at the very beginning. Brudov, the smaller of the two, tried to stay outside of Jones’ long fire range and to score mainly with jabs to his head. Jones used his forefront hand to measure Brudov and to connect with hard stoppers.
Brudov rarely gave Jones a taste of his right hand, while the Panamanian was simply too rusty and too lazy to take initial rounds. However, Jones gradually worked his way into a fight in its second part.
Jones began to pressure Brudov and connect with harder and cleaner counterpunches as the Russian came in. Brudov hardly used any power punches, relying fully on his jab which turned out to be a huge mistake. Jones, on the other hand, threw various combinations including uppercuts and doubled hooks. Brudov wasn’t hurt by any of them but he was spending more and more time on retreat.
Another problem for the Russian was a bad cut over his left eye, which appeared midst into this collision and worsened drastically in rounds nine and ten. In round eleven, referee Luis Pabon halted action to get an advice of a ringside physician. Brudov was allowed to let go but after another series of punches, which he could barely see, the referee waved the bout off. Brudov, though unhurt, didn’t protest this decision.