By Scott Shaffer @ Ringside
Joel Casamayor and Almazbek Raiymkulov, who fights under the name Kid Diamond, battled to a twelve-round draw in a WBA lightweight elimination bout. Billy Costello, the former champion, scored it 116-111 for Diamond, Tom Schreck gave it to Casamayor, 115-112 and Luis Rivera had it even, 114-114. Casamayor had a very slim lead on Compubox's Punchstats, 140-138 in punches landed. Diamond was busier, throwing over 200 more punches than Casamayor, but Boxingtalk thought Casamayor outboxed Diamond and deserved the decision. "A draw is ridiculous," said Casamayor, who socred the only knockdown of the bout. Casamayor rocked Diamond midway through the first, causing a cut near Diamond's eye and then he knocked Diamond to the canvas with about 15 seconds left in the round. Casamayor added an extra punch while Diamond was down. Diamond's corner did a fine job closing the cut, and Diamond himself came on strong at the end of the second, but the bout soon settled into a medium-paced affair that favored Casamayor, the older boxer by five years. Casamayor's style was effortless and economical, with barely any wasted movement. Diamond should have done more to try to make Casamayor fight for the full three minutes of each round. The eighth round featured the best toe-to-toe action of the fight as Diamond landed solid punches and made Casamayor fight hard for the first time in the bout. On Rivera's scorecard, Diamond pulled out the last two rounds, which turned the bout into a draw. As a result of the verdict, WBA titlist Juan Diaz does not have a mandatory challenger. Casamayor and Diamond entered the bout rated #5 and #11 respectively in the Boxingtalk ratings.