ATLANTA (December 28, 2019) — Undefeated Super Lightweights Malik Hawkins (17-0, 10 KOs) and Darwin Price (16-0, 9 KOs) faced each other in the featured fight of a Showtime Championship Boxing Countdown. The bout streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. The bout was one of the most anticipated fights on the undercard of the Gervonta Davis vs Yuriorkis Gamboa championship bout which was hosted at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Price needed most of the opening minute to adapt to Hawkins’ length. While Hawkins looked to establish his jab and some body work, Price found a few openings over Hawkins’ jab with his right hand. Hawkins landed a solid left hook to Price’s body early in round two. Price relied on his timing and footwork to continue scoring with his right hand.
Hawkins opened the third round walking towards Price. Price circled around outside looking to counter, and the action moved in and out of the center of the ring. Price moved forward over the final minute.
The 30-year old Price asserted himself in the middle of the fourth round. He landed a series of right hands as Hawkins stood in range. Hawkins responded with a booming overhand right hand that stunned Price.
Hawkins opened round five seeking an opening for another big right hand, after seeing the reaction to his punch the round before. Price stopped and popped to fend off a full-on attack from the 23-year old from Baltimore. As Hawkins pursued Price, the Houston resident moved out to his right and sustained an apparent leg injury when he went to plant his right foot.
Price stumbled, continued to move into the corner and Hawkins moved in for the finish. Price attempted to slip Hawkins’ flurry, but the referee eventually stopped the bout after realizing Price was dealing with more than just Hawkins’ pressure. The referee listened to what Price had to say as he pointed towards his knee, an athletic commission official made his way towards the ring, and the fight was stopped as it became clear Price was unable to continue.
The official decision was a fifth round technical knockout. With the TKO Hawkins, the newly signed Mayweather Promotions fighter picked up win No. 18 and his 11th stoppage. Price exited the ring with his arms over the shoulders of his cornermen to support his weight, as he was unable to walk on his right leg.
Earlier in the night, Hawkins’ stablemate Super Featherweight Malik Warren stopped undefeated Trayvion Butts in the first round to move to 3-0 with his third knockout. Warren beat Butts to the punch with a 1-2 combination, and Butts was unable to continue following the powerful right hand.
Featured image by Amanda Westcott/Showtime