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Felix Alvarado Knocks Out Randy Petalcorin In Seven, Wins Vacant Jr. Flyweight Title


By Jake Donovan

The third time proved to be a charm for Felix Alvarado.

A relentless workrate coupled with a sustained body attack paved the way for the 29-year old from Nicaragua to capture a vacant junior flyweight title, halting Randy Petalcorin in seven rounds Monday in Pasay City, Philippines.

Petalcorin did his best to keep pace but was ultimately sent home courtesy of three knockdowns in round seven. The last of the three forced the Filipino to the canvas for the full ten count, producing a knockout at 2:04 of round seven.

It was never that easy for Alvarado, whose previous title bids resulted in back-to-back road losses to Kazuto Ioka in Japan and Juan Carlos Reveco in Argentina. The latter defeat came in June ’14, with Alvarado having rattled off 15 consecutive wins—all but one coming inside the distance—coming into Monday’s clash with Petalcorin, a former interim titlist making his first attempt at a real belt.

Their main event battle—which aired live on ESPN+ in the United States and TV5 in the Philippines—was fought at a furious pace and supremely high skill level. Alvarado forced the action early and essentially throughout, while Petalcorin favored efficiency over volume, the southpaw riding out the early exchanges and countering with straight lefts highlighting his combination punching.

Realizing that Alvarado wasn’t going to let up, Petalcorin took the initiative in the middle rounds in his best efforts to keep his opponent at bay. The biggest difference in their methods of attack was body punching. Whereas Petalcorin sought to take the lead when the opportunity arose, Alvarado never stopped going downstairs.

It was an investment that reaped dividends, even if it meant giving away rounds to reach his end goal. During nearly every exchange, Alvarado would at some point catch his foe with a left hook or right hand to the body, often setting up the shots with straight right hands upstairs.

Meanwhile, Petalcorin’s strategy only proved aesthetically pleasing but not particularly effective. The 26-year old title hopeful often found a home for his left hand, but never put enough behind it to make Alvarado break stride. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but rather his absorbing a tremendous amount of body punches taking the sting off of his attack.

Alvarado picked up on this as the fight entered the second half, intensifying his own offensive attack. A right hand upstairs followed by one to the body forced Petalcorin to a knee just inside the first 40 seconds of round seven, at which point in the round he’d already landed six purposeful body punches.

Petalcorin managed to beat the count but was visibly struggling to catch his breath as referee Ernie Sharif—after giving the boxer a hard look—elected to allow the action to continue. Alvarado went right back on the attack, at times a bit wild but settling down just long enough to prompt his foe to once again take a knee just past the one minute mark.

The sequence looked to have finally beaten the fight out of Petalcorin, who was up at eight but bearing a lost look on his face as Sharif asked if wanted to continue. Action resumed, with Alvarado finishing off the local favorite with a flurry of power punches. A left hook to the body knocked the wind out of Petalcorin, with a right hand upstairs serving as window dressing as he once again fell to a knee.

This time, Sharif reached the full ten count in waving off the contest at 2:04 of round seven.

Alvarado (34-2, 30KOs) has now racked up 10 straight knockouts—all within the past two years—amidst a current 16-fight win streak. With the win, he picks up a title left behind by Hekkie Budler, whom he was supposed to challenge earlier in the year after the South African boxer inherited two mandatory challengers following his two-belt win over Ryoichi Taguchi this past May.

The title, however, became available when Budler vacated in lieu of being stripped due to their mandatory title fight failing to secure the minimum purse bid requirement during a hearing in July. Bulder was never keen on defending by the October deadline as it was, opting to relinquish the strap in lieu of being stripped.

Nevertheless, the ugly side of boxing’s politics provided an opportunity for Petalcorin (29-3-1, 22KOs) to challenge for first major title. He’d briefly reigned as an interim titlist, but his first bid at the real thing results in a six-fight win streak coming to a close—and persistence paying off for Alvarado, who joins top-rated flyweight Cristofer Rosales as Nicaragua’s lone current major titlists.

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HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado


HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens will meet in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark card in the active and exciting middleweight division. This bout will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino live in Verona, New York.

Yuriorkis Gamboa, and recent Golden Boy Promotions signee, will be fighting in the co-main event of the night and will be facing Rene Alvarado in the junior lightweight division.

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Several other high level prospects will be fighting on the untelevised undercard, including boxers such as Zachary Ochoa, Diego De La Hoya, and Damon Allen Jr.

The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.

Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1) vs. Rene Alvarado (24-7); Junior Lightweight

Gamboa has been very inactive since he left Top Rank Promotions to sign with the short lived boxing promotional company ran by 50 Cent. He only fought once in 2015 and did not fight at all in 2016. He’s since signed with Golden Boy Promotions and looks to get his career back on track, and Golden Boy has picked the perfect opponent for him to shake off the ring rust.

Alvarado is seven years younger than Gamboa and will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as a seven inch reach advantage. He also fought twice in 2016 and five times in 2015 and has been considerably more active than Gamboa. However, his advantages stop there.

Gamboa has seventeen knockout victories while Alvarado has sixteen. Gamboa went 4-1 in his past five fights with only one stoppage victory while Alvarado went 2-3 in his past five fights.

Gamboa clearly has the better professional and amateur resume. He’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist and has defeated the likes of Hylon Williams Jr., Darleys Perez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jorge Solis, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Jose Rojas.

The only big win of Alvarado’s career was against Jayson Velez. He has losses to the likes of Manuel Avila, Andrew Cancio, Joseph Diaz, Eric Hunter, Rocky Juarez, Jezreel Corrales, and Orlando Rizo.

The inactivity would be a bigger concern for Gamboa if he was facing a tougher opponent, but Alvarado lost to nearly every big name opponent he has ever faced and Saturday will be no different.

David Lemieux (36-3) vs. Curtis Stevens (29-5); Middleweight

Lemieux and Stevens are both hard hitting middleweights with knockout power who put on exciting fights for their fans. They both also suffered stoppage defeats to the current middleweight kingpin, Gennady Golovkin.

This is a must win fight for both boxers if they want to fight for a world title in the near future. Lemieux will have about a two and a half inch height advantage but will be giving up an inch and a half in reach to Stevens. Lemieux is three years younger than Stevens and has been more active. Lemieux fought twice in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Stevens fought twice in 2016 and zero times in 2015.

They both has successful amateur careers as Lemieux was a three time Canadian Amateur Champion while Stevens was the 2002 US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion.

Lemieux and Stevens are both known for their power, but Lemieux has to be given the edge in this department. He has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Stevens has stopped twenty one. They both can be stopped as Stevens was stopped twice in his career while Lemieux has two stoppage losses.

Lemieux has beaten the likes of Glen Tapia, Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Hernando Guerrero, Jose Miguel Torres, Elvin Ayala, and Hector Camacho Jr. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Jachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.

Stevens has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa, Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Elvin Ayala, and Darnell Boone. His losses were to losses to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gennady Golovkin, Jesse Brinkley, Andre Dirrell, Marcos Primera (later avenged).

This could be a very entertaining fight, but Lemieux has the stronger amateur background, appears to be the stronger puncher, and has been considerably more active than Stevens recently. Stevens could win by stoppage, but momentum is on Lemieux’s side.

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