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Showtime Boxing Preview: Cruz vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Trout


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will rematch from a 2015 fight that featured more than 2000 total punches thrown. This rematch will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on Showtime. Santa Cruz and Mares will be fighting for Santa Cruz’s WBA “Super” Featherweight Title.

The co-main event of the night will be an intriguing bout between the rising Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout, who is best known for defeating Miguel Cotto. This bout will be for Charlo’s WBC Junior Middleweight Title.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The undercard is packed with fights such as Karlos Balderas and Pedo Lopez in the junior lightweight division, Arnold Alejandro and Elliot Brown in the Featherweight Division, Jose Balderas and Luis Montellano in the Junior Featherweight division, and Ivan Redkach and Brian Jones in the welterweight division.

The following is a preview of both planned televised bouts.

Jermell Charlo (30-0) vs. Austin Trout (31-4); WBC Junior Middleweight Title

The opening bout will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Austin Trout.

Trout had previously faced Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo, and came up short. Charlo is four years younger than Trout and will have about an inch and a half height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.

They both have decent power, Charlo has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Trout has stopped seventeen. Trout has only fought once in 2016, 2017, and 2018 while Charlo fought twice in 2017, once in 2016. Trout has struggled recently and went 2-2 the past four fights, Charlo has been on a tear and has never tasted defeated and is currently riding a four fight win streak.

Both boxers had a pretty good amateur career. Charlo was a Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist and Trout was a US Amateur Gold Medalist.

Charlo has defeated the likes of Erickson Lubin, Charles Hatley, John Jackson, Vanes Martirosyan, and Gabriel Rosado. Trout has defeated the likes of Joey Hernandez, Daniel Dawson, Miguel Cotto, and Delvin Rodriguez. He has losses to Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jermall Charlo, and Jarrett Hurd.

Unfortunately for Trout the Charlo brothers are very close and will likely be talking about how to defeat Austin Trout. Trout’s biggest victory of his career was against Miguel Cotto and a win against Charlo might be considered an even bigger upset, but his lack of activity the past three years plus his recent struggles against high level competition makes those prospects unlikely.

Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) vs. Abner Mares (31-2-1); WBA “Super” Featherweight Title

The first bout between Santa Cruz and Mares was an action packed bout with an abnormally high number of punches. Santa Cruz won a close decision when they first fought and Mares has been itching for a rematch ever since.

Santa Cruz is three years younger than Mares. He also has a three inch height and a three inch reach advantage. He will be the obvious bigger man inside the ring.

Both boxers are known for their ability to throw a high volume of punches and swarm their opponents. But Santa Cruz has been the more active boxer. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Mares only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017.

Both boxers come from a successful amateur career. Santa Cruz won a gold medal in the Junior Olympics and Mares competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Santa Cruz has a slight edge in power. He has nineteen stoppage victories while Mares only has fifteen.

Mares has two losses, but was stopped in one of those losses, a mild upset to Jhonny Gonzalez.

Santa Cruz has defeated the likes of Chris Avalos, Carl Frampton, Kiko Martinez, Abner Mares, Cesar Seda, Eric Morel, and Cristian Mijares. His lone loss was to Carl Frampton, and it was a loss he later avenged.

Mares has defeated the likes of Andres Gutierrez, Jesus Cuellar, Jonathan Oquendo, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan. His losses were to Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz, and he hopes to avenge his loss to Santa Cruz on Saturday.

Unfortuntely for Mares he’s still fighting a bigger man who’s in the middle of his athletic prime, while Mares is hitting the age that boxers tend to show signs of slipping.

It seems likely that Santa Cruz will get a more convincing victory on Saturday night.

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Mikey Garcia Easily Defeats Adrien Broner to Stay Unbeaten


By: Ken Hissner

At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY, Mayweather Promotions, PBC and DiBella Entertainment promoted before 12,000 fans over Showtime Saturday night.

The 3 division champion and current WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, 37-0 (30), of Moreno Valley, out of Oxnard, CA, easily defeated former 3 division champion of the world and No. 2 WBA welterweight Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3 (24), of Cinn., OH, over 12 rounds.

In the opening round it took the aggressor Garcia close to a minute to land his first punch, a jab. Up until then it was Broner’s jab controlling. A Garcia lead right had Broner nailed on the chin. Later a left hook body shot by Garcia had Broner against the ropes. In the second round it was all Garcia. When Broner tried to tie him up Garcia pushed him back. Garcia got in several right hands to the body of Broner. In the third round like the first it was Broner’s jab for almost a minute before Garcia landed a counter left hook punch. At the halfway mark of the round Garcia landed a solid left hook to the body. With half a minute left in the round Garcia opened up with a flurry of punches ending with a right uppercut to the chin of Broner. In the fourth round Broner stayed in the pocket for the first time halfway through the round but did little as Garcia landed a flurry of punches twice in the second half of the round with the right uppercut to the chin of Broner at the end of the flurries.

In the fifth round Broner with hands held up right trying to stop the jab and lead right of Garcia but with little success to stop them. With 30 seconds to go in the round Garcia landed a solid left hook to the landed a combination. In the sixth round Garcia continued to pound Broner until a little than a minute left in he round before Broner landed a 3-punch combination to the head of Garcia. The round ended with a lead right from Garcia to the body of Broner. Broner’s corner is Around Broner came out strong for half a minute before dancing around throwing a weak jab as Garcia is all over him. With a minute left in the round Garcia lands punch after punch keeping Broner at bay. Just prior to the bell Garcia landed five unanswered punches with a right to the jaw among them rocked Broner. In the eighth round after a minute Garcia drops his hands challenging Broner to fight back. Garcia landed a dozen punches without return from Broner who landed a chopping right to the head. Broner came forward at the bell trying to steal the round but was stopped in his tracks by a Garcia hard jab. It was a big round once again by Garcia.

In the ninth round a right cross from Garcia grazed the jaw of Broner after the first minute of the round. Garcia keeps pressing Broner easily out landed Broner. Inside of a minute left in the round Broner landed several beltline or lower punched keeping Garcia on the defense. This may have been Broner’s best round since the first round. In the tenth round with Broner coming forward Garcia countered well. At the minute mark to go in the round Broner landed the best punch of the fight for him a left hook to the head of Garcia putting him back a step or two. Garcia finished strong with a combination at the bell. In the eleventh round Broner well behind in the fight was looking for a big punch but was taking a two-handed attack from Garcia. It was another big round for Garcia as both Garcia counters well as Broner keeps coming forward but landing little. A Broner body shot got Garcia’s attention as he came right back landing punch after punch. Garcia finished up as strong as he was in the first round. The referee was Harvey Dock.

Judges Weisfeld and Don Akerman had it 116-112 while Eric Marlinski had it 117-111 and this writer had it 119-109.

“I will stay at 140 but may move up to 147 in the future,” said Garcia. Broner was very bitter though omitting Garcia beat him. Using a couple of foul words as the crowd boo’d him Broner did little to convince anyone he will be back at the championship level as he was boasting. It was a superb performance by Garcia who is trained by his brother Robert Garcia.

In a WBC middleweight elimination bout IBF Super welterweight champion Jermall Charlo, 26-0 (20), of Houston, TX, stopped No. 1 WBC contender, southpaw middleweight Jorge Sebastian “El Gaucho de Pigue” Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), of Bueno Aires, ARG, at 2:13 of the fourth round.

Prior to the start of the fight the Boxing Commissioner made Heiland take off a wrapping around his left leg. In the opening round Charlo kept his jab in the face of Heiland throughout the round. It took Heiland half a round to land a punch though he was the aggressor. How he ever got to be the No. 1 contender must have been “paid for” as he plug’s along. In the second round with Charlo now the aggressor dropped Heiland at the halfway mark of the round with a right uppercut. Referee Benjy Estaves, Jr. administered the 8 count and upon rising made him walk to the left and right. He lasted out the round though a lead right from Charlo rocked him prior to the round ending. The bell sounded to start the round and referee Esteves brought the ring physician in to check the left leg of Heiland. Charlo continued landing the jab followed by lead right hands easily winning the round. Before the third round started the ring physician was brought in again to check Heiland. With one minute left in the round a left hand to the ear dropped Heiland. He got up and looked like a drunken soldier falling back into the ropes forcing the stoppage. This was a mismatch when Heiland signed the contract. He could have had three “good legs” and he was going to be stopped early.

“First I want to thank God for this opportunity along with Showtime and feel I am ready for the best in the middleweight division,” said Charlo.

Heavyweight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller, 19-0-1 (17), Brooklyn, NY, stopped Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington, 18-2-1 (12), of Vallejo, CA, at the end of the eighth round of a scheduled 10.

Miller landed four right hands and had Washington out on his feet forcing referee Gary Rosato to call a halt.

“I want to thank God for the victory. I’m surprised they took this fight. I lost 40 pounds (came in at 298) for this fight. I want to be another American world heavyweight champion,” said Miller. He is No. 7 in the WBO, WBA and IBF while Washington was No. 15 in the WBC.

For Olympian southpaw Rau’sheen Warren, 15-2 (4), of Cinn., OH, bounced back after losing his WBA Super World bantamweight title earlier this year with a win in a super bantamweight bout over McJoe Arroyo, 17-2 (8), of Fajardo, PR, who lost his IBF Super World Flyweight title last year losing over 12 rounds by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice.

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Twin Power: The Charlo Brothers


Twin Power: The Charlo Brothers
By: Kirk Jackson

One half of the powerful twin tag team duo was on display this past weekend as Jermell Charlo29-0 (14 KO’s) successfully defended his WBC junior middleweight title, stopping Charles Hatley26-2-1 via 6th round knockout.

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In his first defense of his WBC title against the no.1 contender, Charloshowcased a wide range of skills.Displaying offensive versatility;stiff jabs, accurate straight punches, counter left hooks, punching power and range-awareness.
Charlo rocked Hatleyin the 2nd round, dropped Hatley with a right hand in the 3rd round and ultimately finished him in the 6th round.

A boxing-brother tandem issomething we’ve witnessed in the sport as there are many successful examples throughout history.

Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez, Koki, Daiki and Tomoki Kameda, Ricky and Matthew Hatton, Michael and Leon Spinks, Roger, Jeff and Floyd Mayweather Sr., Vitali and WladimirKlitschko who reigned as heavyweight kings for more than a decade.

The Charlo brothers appear to be the next tandem to take over and they are twins – the Charlo brothers are only the second set of twins to hold world titles at the same time.

The first is Khaosai Galaxy (junior bantamweight) and Khaokor Galaxy (bantamweight), of Thailand, briefly holding world titles simultaneously in the late 1980s.

Jermell aims to dominate the junior middleweight division now that his twin Jermall moved up to the middleweight division.

The younger twin brother (one minute younger) spoke of his ambitions post-fight after defeating Hatley. “They got a guy named JarretHurd that took my brother’s title – we could unify,” said Jermell Charlo.

Hurd 20-0 (14 KO’s) recently won the IBF junior middleweight title Jermall Charlo 25-0 (19 KO’s) vacated in February.
The possibility of facing and potentially defeating another undefeated champion, while adding an additional world title is a great accomplishment and feather on the cap.

The other champions in the division are stable mate Erislandy Lara (WBA) 22-2-2 (14 KO’s) and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (WBO) 48-1-1 (34 KO’s).

Lara and the Charlo brothers shared the same trainer, Ronnie Shields. Although Jermell is no longer with Shields, the prospect of Jermell and Lara fighting is less than likely.

It’s also unlikely we’ll see Jermell vs. Alvarez, with Alvarez facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at 164 lbs. and the Mexican star probably staying in the middleweight division after his clash with Chavez Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Canelo’s ascension towards middleweight does open the door for Jermall however.

Another notable name in the division is the former WBO junior middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade 24-0 (16 KO’s).

He currently holds a portion of the WBA title – one of the many fragments and is adamant on beating both Charlo brothers.

A fight between the two needs to happen. The winner has the opportunity to unify titles in the division and may establish himself as not only the best at 154, but as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.

Regarding Jermall at 160 lbs., he is ranked no.2 according to the WBC middleweight rankings and intends on becoming the mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin’s 37-0 (33 KO’s) WBC title. However he must defeat Argentinian Jorge Sebastian Heiland to secure that position.

Jermall had a solid run at 154, defeating a faded world titlist at the time Cornelius Bundrage, a strong former champion Austin Trout and one of the best, undefeated, world contenders Julian Williams.

The older twin brother was a terror at junior middleweight; technically sound, a nice blend of overall speed, punching power and athleticism.

If Jermall can carry these traits to middleweight, he’ll present problems to anyone.

Match-ups against Alvarez, Chavez, Golovkin sound intriguing on paper. Even match-ups against some of the other factors at middleweight; WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, former titlists Danny Jacobs, David Lemieux and Andy Lee, all sound like interesting fights.

It’s just a matter of manifesting. Can each brother put a strangle hold on their respective division?

Will this be the year the twin tag team takes over boxing?

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Showtime Championship Boxing Results: Charlo defends title by devastating KO; Porter wins by 9th round TKO


Showtime Championship Boxing Results: Charlo defends title by devastating KO; Porter wins by 9th round TKO

By: Matthew N. Becher

Premier Boxing Champions presented its second major welterweight matchup in 2017, again at the growing boxing venue the Barclays Center in Brooklyn,NY. Andre Berto and Shawn Porter are both former welterweight world champions, with the winner getting a chance to take on the unified welterweight champ, Keith Thurman.

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The leadup fight is between two Jr. Midleweights from the great state of Texas. Jermell Charlo, one half of the famous “Charlo Twins”, will defend his WBC title for the first time, against a very game Charles Hatley. Hatley has only fought outside of his home state of Texas once in his career, when he went to Australia and beat an aging Anthony Mundine over 17 months ago.

Jermell Charlo v. Charles Hatley: WBC Jr. Middleweight

Hatley came out a bit more wild in the opening round. It was easy to see who was the champion, with Charlo landing the much more effective, crisp punches. Hatley was the more aggressive fighter, as Charlo was content in countering and waiting on a heavy shot. Charlo recieved a cut over his left eye due to an accidental clash of heads in the second round.

In the third round Charlo landed a beautiful three punch combination to knock down Hatley. Hatley was definitley hurt, but was able to survive the round by moving and holding appropriately.

Charlo is able to land a one, two, left, right to the head of Hatley at will. Charlo cuts off the ring with no problem and can even fight backing up and using his supperior speed to counter Hatley.

In the fifth round Hatley just decided to continualy move around and around the ring, not engaging with Charlo. Charlo was able to use a stinging left jab that snapped Hatley’s head back every time.

Charlo decided to unleash a barrage of punches in the sixth round and ultimately ended the fight by knocking Hatley out of the ring with a devastating right hand to the chin.

Charlo defended his title and proved that he was on another level than Charles Hatley.

Charlo KO6 0:32

Shawn Porter v. Andre Berto: Welterweight

Neither of these veterans decided to come out and feel the other out, it was a rough and tough battle from the first bell. Both Berto and Porter fought and clinched, wrestling around to show the other who was the stronger or more dominant man.

Berto was just physically dominated by Porter in the second round. Porter bum rushed his way in, got Berto on the ropes and used his head, elbows and just unloaded punches. In the trenches, Porter ended up coming away with a nasty cut over his left eye, from a headbutt. This didn’t bother Porter in the slightest, as he put Berto to the canvas at the end of the round with a right hand to Berto’s temple.

Porter just puts his head down and bumrushes Berto into the ropes. Porter is mentally frustrated by not being able to box and continually fighting with his back against the ropes. The recklesness of Porters sytle is he ended up getting cuts over both of his eyes from headbutts.

The ugliness of the fight now has both fighters with bad cuts over their eyes. Porter is an overwhelming swarm of a fighter, pushing forward , with no regard to headclashes or shots landed back. Berto, is having trouble with the blood flowing into his eye. Porter is fighing thinking the fight could end at any moment and go to the scorecards, Berto is trying to figure out a way to get back to his gameplan.

In the seventh round, Berto has been landing his counter shots much more accurately. Those punches come very few and far between unfortunately, as Porter has the advantage of power and continues to lead with his jab and braun.

Porter came out in the eighth round and used Berto like a heavybag. Porter immediately got Berto on the ropes and just unloaded against the body and head. Berto didn’t seem to be hurt, but he was never able to get anything started at all.

Porter, who seemed to have an endless supply of energy, rushed Berto and in an ugly exchange between the two fighters, Porter was able to knock Berto down for the second time of the fight. Berto complained about a clash of heads that left him seemingly dazed. Porter rushed in again, got Berto stuck in a corner and the ref stepped in and stopped the fight in the 9th round.

Porter TKO9 1:31

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PBC on Showtime Preview: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley


PBC on Showtime Preview: Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter, Jermell Charlo vs. Charles Hatley
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York Showtime will televise at least two bouts in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The main event will be between two top contenders, Shawn “Showtime” Porter and Andre Berto in a WBC Welterweight Title eliminator. The co-main event will be for the WBC Junior Middleweight Title between Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley.

Other boxers on the undercard include WBO Women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Serrano, Jose Miguel Borrego, Julian Sosa, and Richardson Hitchins.

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The following is a preview of the Porter vs. Berto and Charlo vs. Hatley bouts.

Jermell Charlo (28-0) vs. Charles Hatley (26-1-1); WBC Junior Middleweight Title

This bout is between two boxers who should be somewhat familiar with each other, Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley. Charlo and Hatley are both Texas natives and Charlo hails from Houston while Hatley hails from Dallas.

Charlo, the younger twin brother of Jermall, will be five years younger than Hatley and will have about a one inch height and reach advantage. Hatley, however, appears to be the harder puncher of the two. Hatley has stopped eighteen of his opponents and four of his past five wins have come by TKO. Charlo has only stopped thirteen of his opponents and only two of his past five opponents were stopped.

Both boxers have not been very active recently. Charlo only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015, while Hatley did not fight in all of 2016 and fought twice in 2015.

They both had decent amateur careers, but Hatley was the more accomplished amateur. Hatley was the 2007 US National Amateur Welterweight Champion and the 2008 Olympic alternate. Charlo won the bronze medal in the 2005 Junior Olympics.

Charlo has the better resume as a professional. He has beaten the likes of John Jackson, Joachim Alcine, Vanes Martirosyan, Mario Lozano, Charles Bellamy, Gabriel Rosado, Demetrius Hopkins, and Harry Joe Yorgey. Hatley has beaten the likes of Emmanuel Augustus, Anthony Mundine, Saul Roman, and Jose Flores. His lone loss was to Lanardo Tyner, and he failed to go the distance in that bout.

At the age of thirty one and not having fought in over a year, ring rust is a serious concern for Hatley. Charlo is coming off a very good win against Jackson and momentum and age is on his side.

This should be a close bout early, but Charlo should take over in the later rounds.

Shawn Porter (26-2-1) vs. Andre Berto (31-4); WBC Welterweight Eliminator

This is a bout between two of the top contenders in the welterweight division that are looking for another chance at a welterweight title shot. Another loss for either boxer could spell the end of any hope of fighting for a title in the near future.
Both Porter and Berto had successful amateur careers. Porter was a World Golden Gloves Champion and came up short in qualifying for the 2008 US Olympic Team. Berto was a National Golden Gloves Champion, a bronze medalist in the 2003 World Championships, and represented Haiti in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Both boxers have had some difficulties as of late. Berto has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts while Porter has gone 4-2. Porter has losses to the likes of Keith Thurman and Kell Brook by close decisions. Berto has lost to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Robert Guerrero, Victor Ortiz, and Jesus Soto Karass.

Berto appears to have the harder punch of the two. He has stopped twenty four of his opponents while Porter has only stopped sixteen. However, Porter is five years younger than Berto and will have a half an inch height advantage and about an inch reach advantage.

Neither boxer has been very active the past two years. They both fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Berto’s career started off strong but has since fizzled a little bit. He has wins over Victor Ortiz, Josesito Lopez, Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo and Freddy Hernandez.

Porter’s two losses could have gone either way, and he has defeated the likes of Adrien Broner, Paulie Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.

This should be a good bout and as typical for most Shawn Porter fights, will likely be very rough and chippy. Porter should be given the edge based on his edge and recent performance, but Berto has the power to stop the fight early if he lands a punch cleanly.

This writer believes Porter will win a close, and at times ugly, decision.

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Mares Impresses, Charlo Destroys In Satisfying Showtime Card


Mares Impresses, Charlo Destroys In Satisfying Showtime Card

It was a battle of undefeateds Saturday night in California as Jernall Charlo – 24-0 – defended his IBF super welterweight title against Philadelphia tough guy Julian Williams – 22-0-1 – at the USC campus in Los Angeles. This was no mere tuneup. This was two top divisional fighters throwing down. It was, in short, the real thing. Both men were active and sharp in the first, with no one landing anything too significant. Things remained sharp in the second until – bang – Charlo dropped his man with a jab. Williams beat the count and the two men took to banging away for the next several seconds. Things settled down – but then Williams landed hard himself.

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It was becoming an exciting affair.

Things got a bit quiet in the third – at least by the standards that had been set by the match so far. In the fourth, Williams started landing clean and hard with some consistency. It remained, however, a very close bout. Williams continued to land in the fifth, but an absolutely thunderous shot from Charlo put Williams down in highlight reel fashion. Williams managed to get up – but Charlo put him right back down again and that was the end of the fight.
Unfortunately, in an act of bad sportsmanship, Charlo refused to tap William’s offered glove after the fight. It was an off putting footnote to an impressive performance. Afterwards, however, the man publicly expressed remorse when being interviewed by Showtimes’ Jim Grey. “I apologize for me being a fighter and letting my emotions take over me,” he said.

The audience at USC appeared to be unforgiving, but that didn’t take away the fact the man apologized in public. What more could be expected of the guy?
It was then time for the main event. Thirty-one-year-old Abner Mares – 29-2-1 – was giving what might be a last grasp at glory by facing the menacing 28-1 Jesus Cuellar for Cuellar’s WBA featherweight title. The first round belonged to the veteran challenger, Mares, who controlled space and fired effectively. Cuellar started trying to rough his man up in the second and managed to find some success. Mares, however, wasn’t simply going to roll over.

Cuellar began asserting himself in the third, moving forward and landing hard. Mares landed straight and clean in the first minute of the fourth. Indeed, the experienced pro re-asserted himself and took the round. Mares went on to employ an impressive skill set throughout the fifth. Cuellar, however, kept the fight very close in the sixth, possibly taking the round with a clean shot in the final seconds. And indeed, things remained close and exciting throughout the seventh.

Yet Mares looked completely in control in the eighth. As the fight moved onto the later rounds it became clear that Mares controlled tempo and distance – but Cuellar landed the harder shots. Depending on one’s preference, it wasn’t hard seeing the rounds go to one man or another. Mares landed hard after the bell at the end of the ninth, of course, but illegal shots simply don’t count. Things remained incredibly close in the tenth – but then Cuellar tasted the canvas in the eleventh.

Cuellar got up, but it looked like Mares was going to stop him. Cuellar managed to survive the round and even remained competitive. Still, it was clear by that point that Mares had the edge. Mares played defense in the center of the ring in the twelfth and began raising his hands in victory before the round even ended. Here was a supremely confident man.

Ultimately, the judges went for Mares by split decision. Those who had possibly written Mares’ career off after his 2015 loss to Leo Santa Cruz had clearly done so too soon.

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