Ra’eese Aleem dominated Marcus Bates in their rematch Saturday night.
Aleem remained unbeaten by thoroughly out-boxing Bates and stopping his injured opponent during the 10th round of their 12-round, 122-pound WBA elimination match at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Bates appeared to have injured his right wrist during the ninth round, wasn’t using his right hand in the 10th round and referee Gary Rosato ended the bout once Bates turned away from Aleem after absorbing a left hook to the body with about 50 seconds to go in that final round.
The time of the stoppage was 2:18 of the 10th round. Judges Glenn Feldman, Tom Schreck and Steve Weisfeld all had Aleem ahead by the same score, 90-81, when the action was stopped.
Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs) was supposed to meet Tramaine Williams in the second of three fights Showtime televised, but Bates (11-2-1, 8 KOs) took their rematch on three days’ notice once Stephen Fulton tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19. Williams replaced Fulton in the main event, a 12-round fight against Angelo Leo for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title.
Aleem, 30, and Bates, 26, each were scheduled for more than eight rounds for the first time in their respective careers.
Aleem, of Muskegon, Michigan, beat Bates by unanimous decision in their first fight, an eight-rounder in April 2018 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Bates, of Washington, D.C., alleged Thursday that his cut man, whom he claimed was friendly with Aleem’s team, spiked his water to give Aleem an advantage in that bout.
Aleem, who dismissed Bates’ charge, made sure there was no such discrepancy Saturday night.
The 10th round was one-sided before Rosato stopped the fight.
Bates nailed an off-balance Aleem with a counter left hook about 15 seconds into the ninth round. Before Saturday night, neither fighter had ever boxed beyond the eighth round as a professional.
Bates began favoring his right hand in that ninth round and held it as he went back to his corner once that round ended.
Aleem kept pressuring Bates throughout the eighth round and out-landed him in those three minutes. Bates caught Aleem with a right hand, however, with about 10 seconds to go in that round.
Aleem opened up on Bates early in the seventh round, but Bates blocked many of those punches. A jab by Aleem moved Bates back late in the seventh round.
Aleem hit Bates low toward the end of the sixth round, which left Bates holding his groin area.
Bates began holding Aleem 1:10 into the fourth round, several seconds after they exchanged in a corner. A stiff jab by Aleem moved Bates backward with about 1:20 to go in the fourth.
Aleem’s right hand to the side of Bates’ head made Bates move away from him with about 40 seconds to go in the third round. Another right hand by Aleem caught Bates just before the third round ended.
Aleem’s clean left hook backed Bates into the ropes late in the second round.
Bates clipped Aleem with a counter left hook about 1:05 into the opening round. Aleem’s left hook caught Bates with just under 30 seconds to go in the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.