By: Rich Lopez
It was a shootout at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas. It was a night of fun filled action in the main event and the co-main event. The undercard also featured rising undefeated prospects and quick knockouts. The card was streamed on DAZN to kick off the New Year.
In the main event, former junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (35-0, 28 KO’s) was successful in his middleweight debut by stopping Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (34-4, 21 KO’s) in the 11th round. It was expected for Munguia to win this fight but O’Sullivan tested Munguia in the early going. In the opening round, both fighters started jabbing each other. Munguia startedto go to the body of O’Sullivan with hard left hooks. Towards the end of the round, Munguia threw a flurry of punches and stunned O’Sullivan with a left hook at the end. In the secondround, O’Sullivan was the aggressor but Munguia was still landing good left hooks to the body. Munguia threw nothing but power shots. The same intensity continued from Munguia in the third round. Munguia was looking for a quick knockout. At the end of the round, Munguia got caught with a hard right hand bythe Irishman that stunned him. O’Sullivan put the pressure in rounds four and five. Even though Munguia still did some good body work in the rounds, O’Sullivan was getting the better of the exchanges in the inside. O’Sullivan also had a decent 5thround as both men exchanged furiously. As the fight was close after five rounds, Munguia took over after this. Instead of just throwing power shots, he decided to use his jab which was effective. As O’Sullivan kept the pressure in round six, Munguia’s jab was landing as will. Munguia was deducted one point for a low blow in the round. In the seventh round, Munguia landed an unintentional low blow that sent O’Sullivan to the canvas. In rounds eight and nine, the young Mexican was mixing his punches by landing straight jabs to the head and body of O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan was getting battered and was more fatigued. In round ten, O’Sullivan was hurt towards the end of the round as Munguia swarmed O’Sullivan with a barrage of punches. In the eleventh round, Munguia went for the finish. Munguia landed power shots on O’Sullivan which prompted the corner of O’Sullivan to throw the towel in. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:17 of the eleventh round.
It was quite a debut for Munguia at middleweight and O’Sullivan was as tough as they come. After a rough start for Munguia, he finally used his jab in the latter part of the fight to have success. At the post fight interview, Munguia called out all the top middleweights in the division like Canelo Alvarez and Jermall Charlo. Based on tonight’s performance, Munguia still needs some work on defense and not just rely on power shots. However, he won the fight as expected and provided thrills for the fans in attendance.
In the co-feature, former female heavyweight champion Alejandra “El Tigre” Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KO’s) won the WBC and WBO Female Super Middleweight Titles by split decision over Franchon Crews-Dezrun (6-2, 2 KO’s) in a slug fest. The ladies wasted no time and came out firing punches in the 1stround. Crews got the better of the exchanges as Jimenez walked into some heavy punches coming in. As round two got underway, it was apparent that Crews was already gassed out. Jimenez caught Crews with a right hand that stunned her. Jimenez picked up the pace in rounds three and four. Jimenez was backing up Crews with right hands and hook shots. Crews would land punches in spots but Jimenez’s work rate was winning the rounds. Round five was a good round for Crews as she was able to land some good counter punches on Jimenez. With a little spurt of energy, Crews started round six well but Jimenez finished the round strong. Jimenez mixed her attack with body punches in rounds seven and eight while Crews was still gassed. Crews got herself together and had a good round nine. Jimenez got caught with a hard right hand by Crews that snapped her head back. Jimenez took the shot well. Both women slugged it out in the final round both having their moments. At the end, Jimenez won the fight by split decision with two judges scoring it 98-92 and 97-93 in her favor while one judge score it 97-93 for Crews.
It was an action packed fight between both women and a rematch would be fun to watch again. The difference in the fight was the size of Jimenez as she was coming down from the heavyweight division. The punches of Crews had no effect on Jimenez. At the post fight interview, Jimenez called out ClaressaShields. With the win, Jimenez is now a player in the super middleweight division.
The undercard featured local prospects that kept their winning ways.
Hector “El Finito” Tanajara Jr (19-0, 5 KO’s) scored aunanimous decision over former world featherweight and super featherweight challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (33-4-2, 21 KO’s)for the USNBC World Lightweight Title. The 1st round was a feel out for both fighters. Once the second round started, Tanajara started to box well. His used side to side movement and he established his jab. Burgos made a good effort but he was missing a lot of punches. The smooth boxing would continue for Tanajara throughout rounds 3-5. The action picked up in round six as Burgos opened up with a furious body attack. This forced Tanajara to exchange with Burgos in the inside. Burgos continued to focus on the body in the seventh round and was having some success. Tanajara put the pressure in round eightand backed Burgos to the ropes. Burgos fought well off the ropes but Tanajara was the busier of the two. Both fighters had good exchanges in the round. In rounds nine and ten, both fighters traded blows and provided good exchanges. Tanajarawon by a ten round unanimous decision with scores of 99-91 and 97-92 (twice).
Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (16-1-2, 7 KO’s) scored a 9th round TKO over Jose Alejandro Burgos (17-3, 14 KO’s) in a super flyweight bout. Burgos started the fight well in the opening round by throwing a lot of punches to the head and body of Franco. As Burgos kept a good work rate, Franco closed the distance and started to land his jabs and straight right hands. This continued in rounds two and three. Burgos continued to come forward in rounds four and five but was not effective. Franco was landing almost every counter shot he threw. There was a shift in the fight in round six as Franco was starting to push back Burgos now. Burgos got off to a good start in round seven but Franco landed a right hand followed by a left jab that snapped the head back of Burgos. In round eight, Franco wasstill landing good combinations on the charging Burgos. In round nine, Franco landed a clean left hook that snapped the head of Burgos. Finally the legs of Burgos gave out and Franco went for the finish. Franco landed a series of punches on the head of Burgos that prompted the ref to stop the fight. The end came at 2:13.
Two tall light heavyweights competed in a four round contest.Tristan Kalkreuth (4-0, 3 KO’s) blasted Blake LaCaze (4-8-2, 2 KO’s) in the 1st round. In the opening round, the 6’4” Kalkreuthdropped the 6’8” LaCaze with a left hook. LaCaze got up but it was apparent he was not in the same class of Kalkreuth. Sensing his opponent was ready to go, Kalkreuth finished the fight with a crushing right hand followed by a left hook that floored LaCazeagain. LaCaze was down and out and the ref waved the fight off. The stoppage came at 1:50 of the 1st round.
Hector “El Travieso” Valdez (12-0, 8 KO’s) knocked out Luis Rios (25-6-1, 17 KO’s) in the 3rd round of a super bantamweight bout. Valdez who just fought last month was making a quick return to the ring. The 1st round was a feel out round for both fighters. Valdez landed the most significant punch of the round which was a right hand that backed up Rios to the ropes. Valdez opened up more in the 2nd round. He started to land nice combinations to the head and the body of Rios. In round three, Valdez continued the onslaught and kept the pressure on Rios. Valdez continued to go to the body of Rios which paid off. Towards the end of the round, Valdez landed a left hook to the body that dropped and finished Rios. The fight ended at 2:59 of the 3rd round.
In a ten round super welterweight bout, Travell Mazion (17-0, 13 KO’s) demolished Fernando Castaneda (26-14-1, 17 KO’s) in the 1st round. Mazion took it to Castaneda right away. Mazionthrew a flurry of punches which ended with a left hook to the liver of Castaneda that immediately dropped him. Castaneda tried to get up but he was in pain and could not continue. The knockout occurred at: 58 of the 1st round.
In the opening bout of the telecast was a six rounder in the super lightweight division. George Rincon (10-0, 6 KO’s) blasted Diego Perez (13-10-1, 11 KO’s) in the 1st round. Rincon wasted no time and came after Perez. The southpaw Rincon landed a right hook followed by a straight left hand that dropped Perez. Perez got up and Rincon came after Perez and dropped him again with another straight left hand. Perez went down again but got up. Rincon went after Perez and finished him off with a few body shots and Perez went down again. This prompted the ref to step in and wave the fight off. In a scary moment, the winner Rincon fainted in the ring but was able to regain consciousness. The knockout was at 2:53 in the 1st round.
By: Rich Lopez
After a superb 2019 in boxing, we get back into it this weekend with tons of boxing action to begin the New Year. Boxing is back on DAZN this Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, with a stacked card presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The main event will feature Jaime Munguia who will be making his return to Texas. The co-feature will showcase WBC and WBO World Female Super Middleweight Champion Franchon Crews-Dezrun.
The main event will be a 12 rounder in the middleweight division between Jaime Munguia and Gary O’ Sullivan.
Jaime Munguia (34-0, 27 KO’s) of Mexico, is back and he will be making his middleweight debut. Munguia made his pro debut at the young age of 16 years old and worked his way to a top prospect within four years. Munguia was even named Prospect of the Year in 2017 by Ring Magazine. It was in 2018, where the young Mexican made a statement. Munguia was brought in as a late replacement to challenge Sadam Ali for the WBO World Super Welterweight Title after Liam Smith pulled out of the fight due to an illness. Munguia made the most of this opportunity and blasted out Ali in four rounds to become a world champion at only 21 years old. Most fans got their first glimpse of Munguia that night. He immediately became a fan favorite due to his aggressive style and his willingness to exchange punches. Munguia wasted no time and came back to fight in two months. Munguia was matched against the tough Liam Smith for his first defense of his title and he proved again he was a force to be reckoned with. Munguia defeated Smith by a 12 round unanimous decision in a good scrap. Munguia came back in two months again and stopped Brandon Cook in the 3rdround. Munguia also had another busy 2019, but there has been some criticism on him. Some observers have questioned if he is really that good? To start 2019, he had a slugfest against the undefeated Takeshi Inoue of Japan and it went all 12 roundswith Munguia winning a 12 round unanimous decision. The next fight would be a bad night for Munguia. He was once again forced to go all 12 rounds in another battle against Irishman Dennis Hogan. Munguia won a majority decision but some observers felt he lost that fight. Munguia ended the year by stopping the over matched Patrick Allotey. Even though Munguia went from top prospect to world champion, he has flaws. He lacks defense and is a one dimensional fighter but he is still very young. We will have to wait and see if he can improve his technique but one thing is for sure, he brings excitement and he likes to brawl. That is what brings fans to theseats.
Coming into Saturday, Munguia will be making his middleweight debut and now has Hall of Fame boxer Erik Morales as his trainer. Munguia is tall and should adapt to the new weight class but it remains to be seen how well he would doat this new weight. There is a lot of great competition in theweight class with names like Canelo Alvarez, DemetruisAndrade, Jermall Charlo, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and SergiyDerevyanchenko. Munguia will need another statement for his debut and his challenger to welcome him is Gary O’ Sullivan.
Gary “Spike” O’ Sullivan (30-3, 21 KO’s) of Ireland, is the prefect opponent for Munguia. Sullivan will be heading into his eleven year as a professional. He started his career mainly fighting in Ireland and more recently has been fighting in the New York and Boston area. He has had his ups and downs in his career. He also made his way through the rankings as being a top prospect and eventually landing a WBA Middleweight Title Eliminator bout in 2015. However, he lost that fight by stoppage against Chris Eubank Jr. Since that loss, Sullivan climbed up the rankings again and earned another WBA Middleweight Title Eliminator bout against knockout artist David Lemieux in 2018. Once again, Sullivan was stopped in the fight and this time in the 1st round. There was still no quit in Sullivan and he has won two fights since the Lemieux fight. Now he will get another big fight against Munguia and he would need to make the most of it as this can be his last big shot. Sullivan also brings a crowd pleasing style and likes to come forward which should make the fight a barn burner as long as it lasts.
In the co-feature, WBC and WBO World Female Super Middleweight Champion Franchon Crews-Dezrun (6-1, 2 KO’s) of Baltimore, Maryland, will square off against Alejandra “El Tigre” Jimenez (12-0-1. 9 KO’s) of Mexico. Crews started her professional career in 2016 with a loss to Claressa Shields. Both women were making their professional debuts and Crews lost by a four round unanimous decision. Since then, Crews has gotten better. For Crews, 2018 was her coming out party when she defeated Maricela Cornejo by a 10 round majority decision for the vacant WBC title. To prove the win was no fluke, Crews defeated Cornejo in a rematch last year with a more decisive victory by 10 round unanimous decision. That victory earned her the WBO title. Crews would like a rematch with Shields but first would need to get by Jimenez. Jimenez, who is already a five year pro, started her career at heavyweight and was the former WBC World Female Heavyweight Champion. Jimenez has made a transformation and lost a lot weight. She is currently now campaigning at the super middleweight division at 168 lbs. There has been some bad blood between these ladies since last year and they will settle the score in the ring on Saturday.
By: Sean Crose
It’s common for fighters, even high level fighters, to listen to a trainer’s advice. When that trainer is none other than the iconic Erik Morales, however, it’s quite difficult to say no. Former junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia has the advantage of having Morales in his corner. When the Hall of Famer made it clear he wanted the hard hitting, 34-0 Munguia to train for his middleweight debut at Mexico’s high altitude Otomí Ceremonial Center, the 23 year old made sure to adhere to his trainer’s wishes. “It was a decision of Eric’s,” Munguia told me over the phone. “I told him I would go where he wanted.”
Morales, along with Munguia’s team – which includes Munguia’s father, Jamime Sr – has subsequently been working on making the exciting six foot tall junior middleweight into a full fledged middleweight. The immediate goal? For Munguia to impress when he meets the colorful and exciting Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan on January 11th at San Antonio’s Alamodome. It will be the first bout in what team Munguia hopes will be a fiery run at middleweight. “We’re dong well,” Munguia tells me. “It’s been a great camp. We’re learning a lot.” Holed up in his camp, Munguia has been able to learn from Morales, his father, and others.
“Yeah,” he says when I ask if the relationship between his father and Morales is a smooth one, “they get along very well.” Such things are important, especially for a fighter hoping to up his game. “We’re working for all kind of situations,” Munguia says of preparations for O’Sullivan, “but also looking for openings.” With 27 knockouts under his belt already, Munguia is hoping to put his power on display at the Alamodome. But how is Muguia going to make sure his weight carries over into middlweight? “I’m going to do the same thing as always,” he tells me, “train hard (while) making sure I’m getting good nutrition.” Confidence, and a belief in the basics, has led Munguia quite far, especially when one considers his young age.
Yet Munguia is already planning for the future. For he plans on fighting for one of the middleweight titles in 2020. “Anyone whose a world champion,” he says, “I’d like to face him.” First, though, there’s the experienced, fun to watch O’Sullivan to deal with. “We’re thinking about the people, too” he says when I ask if O’Sullivan was chosen for his entertainment value, as well as his skill set. In other words, the young man from Tijuana wants to impress more than just himself. “On January 11th,” he says, “we’re going to deliver a great fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
Becoming a great boxer isn’t easy but it also isn’t exactly hard. Let me explain.
Fighters put in hours upon hours in the gym. It takes days, weeks, months and yes even years before a fighter can become a great one. There’s a reason why Vasiliy Lomachenko is considered one of the best fighters anyone has ever seen. He has spent countless hours in the gym working on his craft. The same goes for Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr and many others. The dedication that these world championship level boxers have is immense.
These aforementioned fighters might be stars in the ring but they aren’t quite stars outside of it. There are very few fighters in the sport today that have true star power. Former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would qualify as a star both inside and outside of the ring, but even his star power fails in comparison to Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez routinely sells out venues, and before he moved away from the pay per view module, his fights brung in millions of viewers. Alvarez can’t do what many of us enjoy in privacy. Getting a cup of coffee, walking your dog or even going outside to check the mail results in Alvarez getting mobbed by dozens of fans.
His stardom has afforded him two of the biggest and most popular dates on the boxing calendar. Cinco De Mayo in May and Mexican Independence Day in September. Now that he has forged his September date this year because of his difficulties in finding a suitable opponent, the date was given to another Mexican champion, WBO Jr Middleweight belt holder Jaime Munguia.
At just 22 years of age, Munguia has shown incredible promise but can he follow in the footsteps of Alvarez? That seems doubtful.
Munguia has yet to fight a single meaningful fight in his division. His resume is littered with below average fighters. That isn’t to say that Munguia is not deserving of his championship because he is, but his level of opposition needs to be raised considerably in order to raise his profile. Just who is his September 14th opponent Patrick Allotey? Or his previous opponent Dennis Hogan? These aren’t the sort of fights that will get Munguia noticed to the casual fans.
Alvarez isn’t just a great fighter but he also fights the toughest opposition available to him. In his next contest he is reportedly moving up two weight divisions to take on Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Both casuals and hardcore fans will be intrigued to see how that contest plays out.
The blueprint for Munguia is simple. He needs to fight better competition. He also needs to take risk. Sitting back and taking on fighters that everyone expects him to beat will assure that he remains a champion but he will have a hard time making the leap to becoming a superstar.
Munguia does have youth on his side but if he wants to effectively cross over into the eyes of the mainstream then he must act now. The Jr Middleweight division is filled with talent. Julian Williams, Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo all reside in his division. If he can defeat them then a life of stardom awaits him.
By: Hector Franco
The return of one of 2018’s breakout stars will take place this weekend when Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) attempts to make the third successful title defense of his WBO super welterweight championship against Japan’s Takeshi Inoue (13-0, 7 KOs).
Munguia was first heard of by a majority of boxing fans last year as a potential opponent for former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Golovkin ended up facing Vanes Martirosyan instead when the Nevada Athletic Commission did not approve Munguia due to his young age and lack of experience of fighting in the middleweight division.
It may have been a blessing in disguise for the 22-year old Munguia as he instead went on to face Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali for the WBO super welterweight title. The Brooklyn, New York native, was coming off of the most significant victory of his career in defeating future Hall-of-Famer Miguel Cotto by decision in Madison Square Garden. Munguia was not intimidated by Ali and made quick work of him scoring two knockdowns in the first round and two more in rounds two and four en route to a dominating fourth-round stoppage.
After the bout with Ali, Munguia made a quick return in July 2018 when he faced former super welterweight champion, Liam Smith. Once again Munguia dominated his opponent dropping him in the sixth round to win a clear unanimous decision victory. Against Smith, the young Mexican showed that not only does he pack a punch, but has the ability to go a full twelve rounds.
Following the fight with Smith, Munguia faced Brandon Cook on the undercard of Golovkin’s rematch with Saul Alvarez in September 2018. The fight only lasted three rounds with Munguia proving his superiority from the sound of the first bell.
Munguia’s opponent on Saturday is undefeated and seven years his senior. Inoue will be fighting for the first time in the United States and only his second fight outside of his native Japan. He is relatively unknown outside of Japan making him a mystery for many boxing fans. The odds are heavily against Inoue to defeat Munguia; however, bigger upsets have taken place in the sport. Japan has seen a recent influx of great fighters such as bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, flyweight champion Kosei Tanaka and super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito. Against Munguia, Inoue will look to place himself on the list of the latest set of Japanese world champions.
Munguia will look to add another title defense to his ledger. Unfortunately for Munguia, he may be on the wrong side of the fence in his division with the majority of the champions falling under the Premier Boxing banner. The young Mexican’s goal is to one day step in the ring with Canelo Alvarez. Should he continue winning, it is a possibility that the fight can take place in the near future. The two men are both promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
The broadcast’s co-main event will feature “regular” WBA featherweight champion Jesus Rojas (26-2-2, 19 KOs) taking on China’s Can “Monster” Xu (15-2, 2 KOs). Rojas is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Joseph Diaz. Rojas was able to keep his title per WBA rules due to Diaz not making the featherweight weight limit of 126 pounds.
The Puerto Rican won the title against the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero scoring a seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas the day before the first encounter between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Rojas’ opponent is also unknown in the United States having fought a vast majority of his fights in China. Xu will be making his second appearance in the U.S. and holds some physical advantages over Rojas. Xu is 24 years of age making him eight years younger than the Puerto Rican (32). The Chinese fighter also has the edge in height and reach. It has been shown that Rojas can be outboxed. With just two knockouts in 17 professional bouts, it is likely going to be the game plan for Xu to use lateral movement to offset any of Rojas’ oncoming attacks.
On paper, the card in Houston looks to be one to showcase two world champions who will go on to bigger and better things. However, boxing matches are not fought on paper they are fought in the ring.
The card will begin at 5 pm ET on Saturday, January 26, 2019, on the DAZN streaming app.
By: Ken Hissner
Don King Productions, Queensbury Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions over USA HBO presented two world title fights Saturday night, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
WBO World Super Welterweight champion Jaime Munguia, 30-0 (25), of Tijuana, MEX, retained his title with a hard fought but decisive decision over game Liam “Beefy” Smith, 26-2-1 (14), Liverpool, UK, over 12 scheduled rounds.
Photo Credit HBO Boxing Twitter Account
In the first round Munguia is looking for a early knockout but Smith is throwing back. Smith coming from a family of four boxing brothers landed a good right to the chin of Munguia driving him back several steps in what was a close round. Smith was checking his own face at the bell as if he was cut but he wasn’t.
In the second round Smith hands held high took a hard right to the body but came back with a hard right of his own to the head of Munguia. Referee Russell Mora warned Munguia to keep his punches up. Smith landed a good counter right to the head of Munguia. Munguia is getting a lot of credit for one fight stopping Sadam Ali for the title.
In the third round both fighters are throwing bombs. Munguia had a mouse under his left eye already. Smith landed a long lead right to the head of Munguia. After the bell Munguia threw a right that fortunately missed the head of Smith. In the fourth round Munguia landed a solid left hook to the chin of Smith. Munguia is landing body shots and being countered by Smith’s right hands. Smith landed a good left hook to the chin and followed up seconds later with a right hand to the chin of Munguia. Munguia pushed Smith into a corner landing three punches before the bell and one after without warning from referee Mora.
In the fifth round Munguia landed a double left to the body and head of Smith. Smith is smiling though taking punishment to the body. Munguia landed a left hook to the body of Smith who countered with a solid right to the chin of Munguia.
In the sixth round Munguia landed a vicious right hand body shot on Smith who in smiling usually means it hurt. Munguia landed a hard left hook to the head of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the chin of Smith dropping him to the canvas. Smith may be limping from hurting an ankle when knocked down. Munguia again got away with a punch after the bell. Referee Mora simply grabbed Munguia and walked him back to his corner.
In the seventh round Munguia is throwing wildly trying to knockout Smith. Munguia is landing too many punches especially to the body for Smith to continue to take. In the eighth round the raw power of Munguia is starting to take a toll on Smith. The taller Munguia has been easy to hit with a Smith right hand after a miss by Munguia. Referee Mora warned Munguia for using his elbow. Both fighters went down to the canvas with Smith on top just prior to the bell.
In the ninth round Munguia landed a dozen unanswered punches without return. Smith tries to block those left hooks to the body with his elbow. Both fighters looked fatigued. Munguia continues to look for a knockout but Smith hangs in and fights back. Between rounds the referee warns Munguia to keep his punches up.
In the tenth round Munguia landed a left hook but got countered by a Smith right to the head. Once again referee Mora warned Munguia for hitting Smith on the hip but failed to take a point away.
Munguia is all offense and fortunate to be in with an opponent that cannot match punch for punch. Once again at the bell Munguia tries to land a punch but had it blocked by referee Mora who stepped between the fighters.
In the eleventh round Smith landed an overhand lead right to the head of Munguia. Inside Smith landed a chopping right to the head of Munguia. Munguia landed four left hooks to the body of Smith. Munguia landed a left hook to the head while Smith countered with a combination to the head of Munguia.
In the twelfth and final round Munguia coming out has a disappointing look like “what’s keeping this guy up?” Smith is determined to go the distance and is slipping half the punches but getting hit with the other half to the head. Munguia lands two to one but Smith never gives up fighting back. Smith got in the last punch a right to the chin of Munguia.
Judges scores were 116-111, 119-110, 119-108 and this writer’s 120-106. Both champions got a big build up prior to their fight for their punching power but neither scored knockouts.
WBA World Super Featherweight champion southpaw Alberto “El Explosivo” Machado, 20-0 (16), of San Juan, PR, won a lopsided mismatch over gutsy southpaw Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah, 31-1 (23), of Accra, GH, over 12 rounds.
In the first round in a fight with two southpaws it’s a feeling out boxing match early in the round. Machado halfway through the round has had his way standing in front of Mensah until he delivered a right hook to the chin knocking Mensah down with less than fifteen seconds left in the round. The Ghana fighters are known to fight a bunch of stiffs from their own country in order to build up their records.
In the second round Machado is looking for the knockout but Mensah is not daring to mix it up with the stronger puncher Machado. In the third round Machado continues to stalk Mensah who walked in the ring with his new promoter Don King. While Machado is trained by Freddie Roach and it shows. Mensah has never been in with a puncher like Machado and he is not throwing much in return.
In the fourth round Machado continues landing right hooks to the body but in close he was warned by referee Tony Weeks for grabbing him from the back of the neck and leaning on him. Machado had Mensah out on his feet after slipping a jab and landing a solid left to the chin of Mensah in what is turning out to be a mismatch as he was saved by the bell. In the fifth round Mensah’s got much swelling on the left side of his face which could possibly be a broken jaw. The fight should be stopped but Weeks is allowing it to go on and Mensah’s corner would obviously not stop their fighter from taking a beating. After taking a solid left to the side of his right cheek bone Mensah is looking to his corner looking to stop the fight. Why a ring physician didn’t check out Mensah’s jaw is unbelievable. Where is the commissioner?
In the sixth round Mensah is hanging in there but has no chance to hurt Machado who is using him for target practice. One of the corner men of Mensah motioned to the ring physician pointing to the jaw of Mensah and the ring physician never moved. In the seventh round Machado continued to onslaught but not trying to knock him out for some reason. The ring physician finally did his job checking Mensah.
In the eighth round Mensah landed his first combination that had little on it. Machado continues landing punches. Since Mensah never got paid for his first thirty fights in Ghana why he hooked up with King makes one wonder but he should get some of his purse being in Nevada. Mensah has thrown more punches in this round than at any time but far from enough to win a round. The trainer Stacy McKinney is pushing Mensah to keep throwing punches. Since being one of King’s favorite trainers one can see why the trainer will not stop the fight.
In the ninth round Machado keeps landing right uppercuts to the body and right hooks to the swollen head of Mensah. One has to wonder how good a puncher Machado is that Mensah has lasted this long in the fight. Machado landed a straight left to the head of Mensah driving him into the ropes. On top of the mismatch Machado lands a right hook after the bell without warning from referee Weeks. In the tenth round Machado drives Mensah into the ropes snapping the head of Mensah with left hands. Mensah’s eleven year old daughter had passed away a month ago and his mind cannot be completely on the fight. His face is swollen on both sides.
In the eleventh round Machado lands punches and continues when inside pushing the back of the head down when Mensah leans in low. Referee Weeks has stopped warning Machado of the infraction. Is Machado allowing Mensah to go the distance?
In the twelfth and final round of a fight Machado had won every round as the one sided fight continued that way. One wonders if Machado has the killer instinct or not. Machado pushed Mensah back without a warning and then landed a low punch and got warned. Once again Machado got warned for pushing down the neck of Mensah. Was it another black eye for boxing? The fan’s showed their dislike during the last round that there was no stoppage.
All 3 judges had it 120-107 and this writer 120-106.
Middleweight southpaw Yamaguchi Falcao, 16-0 (7), of Sao Paulo, BRZ, defeated Elias “Latin Kid” Espadas, 17-4 (12), of Yucatan, MEX, in a 10.
Super Bantamweight Carlos “Purin” Caraballo, 8-0 (8), of Ponce, PR, forced Jesus Martinez, 24-4 (12), of Monteria, COL, not to come out for the fifth in an 8.
Philadelphia born welterweight Blair “The Flair” Cobbs, 9-0-1 (6), of Las Vegas, NV, stopped Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez, 5-5 (5), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:52 of the second round in a 6.