By: William Holmes
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions’ Pay Per View offering between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana.
The opening bout of the pay per view was between Alfredo Angulo (22-4 ) and James De La Rosa (22-2) the in middleweight division. The arena was eerily quiet and empty at the start of the televised portion of the undercard.
This fight was a big step up in competition for the southpaw De La Rosa, but he started the bout of well by staying light on his feet and circling to the left of Angulo. He was landing good combinations from the outside and was even switching stances.
De La Rosa continued to pop shot Angulo in the second round and was doing better from the outside, but Angulo was able to land some decent body shots when he gets in tight. De La Rosa scores a knockdown near the end of the round when a double left hook sent Angulo into the ropes and the referee rules it a knockdown.
Angulo looked like he had cement in his feet by the third round and De La Rosa was just way more active with more bounce in his step. Angulo did have a decent fourth round and looked like he may be close to turning the tide of the fight in his favor, but De La Rosa was able to retake control of the fight in the fifth round with good combinations.
De La Rosa started off the sixth round with a six punch combination that had Angulo staggered by the ropes. Angulo’s face was showing the signs of the punches he was taken and De La Rosa was consistently switching stances and landing cleanly. Angulo had blood streaming from his right by the end of the sixth.
To make matters worse for Angulo he was deducted a point in the seventh round for a low blow and clearly needed a knockout in the final three rounds to have any hope of a victory. In fact, before the start of the ninth round Angulo’s trainer could be heard telling him he needs the knockout or his career is over.
Angulo listened to his corner and gave it his all in the ninth round, in fact hurting him badly with a short left that had De La Rosa wobbly and backed to the corner, but De La Rosa was able to stay on his feet.
Angulo continued to apply the pressure in the final round and was landing combinations to the body and to the head, but De La Rosa was game for a slug fest and was fighting back. That might have been the wrong choice as Angulo had De La Rosa hurt again with short hooks. De La Rosa was fighting with his back to the ropes and was trying his best to move and survive and he barely did.
It became an interesting fight at the end, but the final scores were 98-90, 96-92, and 99-89 for James De La Rosa.
The next bout of the night was for the IBF Lightweight Championship between Mickey Bey (20-1-1) and Miguel Vazquez (34-3).
Neither fighter is known for having an exciting style and it showed inside the ring tonight. Vazquez was bouncing like he usually does and was circling towards Bey’s power hand in the first round, but he was content with his jab early on and was staying out of Bey’s range.
Vazquez continued to fight at a comfortable range in the second round and stayed on his jab. It was beginning to look like a typical Miguel Vazquez fight by the third round, with his opponent landing a few counters but for the most part looking confused.
Bey was able to land a few counters on Vazquez when he got inside, but for most of the fight it was one fighter coming in awkwardly with a few punches, both fighters tie up, the referee quickly seperates, repeat.
The crowd booed heavily in the fifth round and Bey was looking confused in the middle rounds. There was several clashes of heads by both fighters, especially in the eighth round.
Floyd Mayweather Sr., Bey’s trainer, implored him to show more offense before the start of the ninth round and Bey responded by being slightly more aggressive, but neither fighter appeared to land clean, heavy punches.
Bey had never been past the tenth round his best rounds were the last three. He landed a good double left hook combination in the last round and may have stolen some rounds just by being more aggressive.
Vazquez outlanded Bey 89-81 by the end of the fight, but the judges scored it 115-113 for Bey, 115-113 for Vazquez, and 119-109 for Bey.
Manuel Roman (17-2-3) met Leo Santa Cruz (27-0-1) for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship in the final bout of the undercard.
Roman was a former sparring partner of Santa Cruz and it showed at the referee introductions. Roman was unable to look at Santa Cruz in his eyes and looked intimidated.
Santa Cruz came out aggressive in the first round and was landing hard body punches and a saight right hands to the head of Roman. Roman’s punches were much slower and did not carry the same power of Santa Cruz. Roman looked like he did not belong in the ring with Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz ended the fight with a straight right to the jaw of Roman that sent him crashing to the mat. Roman got back to his feet on wobbly legs at the count of nine and the referee rightly waived off the fight.
Leo Santa Cruz wins by knockout at 0:55 of the second round.