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Vlad Panin beats Quashawn Toler by unanimous decision in Red Owl main event

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by Francisco Salazar | 

In a clash between welterweight prospects, Vlad Panin is taking the next step forward toward contender status.

Panin defeated Quashawn Toler by unanimous decision Friday night at the Red Owl Boxing Arena in Houston, Texas. Scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94 for Panin, who improved to 18-1, 10 knockouts.

The 28-year-old, who is originally from Gomel, Belarus and now lives and trains in Los Angeles, let his hands go during the third round after two uneventful opening rounds. Panin found success walking Toler down, and throwing and landing a consistent jab to Toler’s head.

Toler had a decent fourth round, where he was able to close the distance between the two and connect with counter and lead right hands to the body of Panin. Toler found success connecting with left hooks to the body as Panin threw punches, but mostly landed to the shoulders and gloves of Toler.

The rally was short-lived. Panin began finding a rhythm in round six, mixing his attack to the head and body. Toler did well in spots during the second half of the fight, but Panin would beat him to the punch or would effectively connect with combinations as both stood in the pocket.

 “I felt the longer the fight went, the more I was able to separate myself,” said Panin after the fight. “It wasn’t the most action-packed fight. He was a sharp counter-puncher. The couple of times I did open up, he was sharp with his counters. I would’ve liked to have kept up with the pace and volume a bit more. 

“This was my first 10-round fight. He was my best opponent to date. I trusted my preparation, sparring lots of rounds.”

Panin last fought on December 2, dropping Cristian Mino three times en route to a knockout win in round two. Panin has not lost since a decision loss in his eighth fight as a pro in February 2020.

Toler, who resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, falls to 17-2, 12 KOs. The 31-year-old had not lost since a decision loss to Clay Collard in January 2020. The loss occurred one day after the tragic death of his brother Eugene Hafford.

In the co-feature of the Red Owl Boxing card, junior welterweight Breyon Gorham of Houston overcame a knockdown to defeat Wilfredo Flores by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 78-73 for Gorman, who improved to 16-0, 13 KOs.

Photo by Red Owl Boxing

Over a minute into the first round, a right hook from the southpaw Flores dropped Gorham to the canvas. Gorham was not visibly hurt after getting up from the knockdown to finish the round.

Gorham was more assertive and aggressive throughout most of the fight, walking Flores down and outboxing him during many exchanges. Flores did well in spots, but Gorham clearly won most of the rounds.

Flores, who resides in Dunkirk, New York, falls to 10-2-1, 5 KOs. 

Light heavyweight Edel Gomez of Fremont, Nebraska improved to 9-0-1, 8 KOs, dropping Denvers’s James Weissman three times en route to a knockout victory in round two.

Weissman (5-2, 4 KOs) went down twice in the opening round, and once more in round two, prompting an immediate stoppage at 57 seconds.

In the opening bout of the card that was streamed live on DAZN, junior featherweight Jose Camacho Torres defeated Luis Alberto Lopez (6-2, 3 KOs) of nearby Cleveland by unanimous decision. Scores were 59-55, 59-55, and 58-56 for Torres, who improved to 8-0-1, 3 KOs.

Camacho, who resides in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is trained by Bryan ‘Bomac’ McIntyre, who also trains Ring Magazine welterweight champion Terence Crawford. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]

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