By Andreas Hale and Anthony Springer Jr. at ringside
WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 37 KOs) retained his title with a ninth round TKO over interim champ Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Katsidis sought to draw Marquez into a brawl and Marquez accommodated him. Katsidis dropped Marquez in round three with a left hook to the chin. Marquez, however, recovered and for the most part was in control of an action packed bout before it was waved off at 2:14 of round nine by referee Kenny Bayless.
WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs) annihilated Freddy Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs) in the first round. After a cracking right hand floored Hernandez, referee Russell Mora waved it off. Time was 2:07
In a junior lightweight bout, highly regarded WBA/IBF super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero (34-3, 23 KOs) lost a ten round split decision to Jason Litzau (28-2, 21 KOs) over ten good rounds. A 13-1 underdog, Litzau won 97-93 96-94 on two cards, while Caballero prevailed 96-94 on the third card.
Jr welterweight Walter Estrada (38-13-1) outpointed former undisputed lightweight champion Nate Campbell (33-7-1), earning a surprising split decision victory in the eight round affair. While the bout offered little in terms of fireworks, Campbell wowed the crowd in the opening round, staggering “The Galaxy Warrior” in the final ten seconds. The pair traded body shots through the duration of the bout. Campbell appeared woozy at times, but fought on while mounting some offense of his own. Estrada brought the fight full circle in the final frame, wobbling Campbell in similar fashion to the first round finish. The judges scored the contest 77-74, 75-76, and 77-74 for Estrada. The Miami fighter was docked one point in the third round for striking Campbell while holding.
In a battle for the Vacant WBA Fedelatin Jr. Middleweight title, Erislandy Lara (14-0, 9 KOs) continued to prove why he is one of the fighters to watch heading into 2011 as he wrecked Tim Connors (10-2) within a round in a scheduled ten rounder. Lara dropped Connors with the stiffest of jabs about a minute in and proceeded to land a stunning barrage of punches to earn the TKO stoppage at 1:38.
Junior middleweight Keith “One Time” Thurman only needed one punch, flattening Favio Medina at 2:34 in the fourth round. The knockout came courtesy of a devastating left hook that sent Medina sprawling backwards. The referee immediately intervened, not allowing Medina a chance to recover. Before the big punch, the pair engaged in a bloody back and forth with Thurman getting the better of most of the exchanges. The victory moves Thurman to 15-0 with 14 wins coming by way of knockout. Medina drops to 23-3-3.
Super middleweight Bastie Samir (7-0, 7 KOs) continued his winning ways, stopping Billy Cunningham (4-8, 4 KOs) at 1:56 in the second round via TKO. A vicious right hook to the body sent Cunningham to the canvas for the third time in the second frame.
Welterweight prospect Michael Finney (6-0, 6 KOs) made short work of Clayvonne Howard (2-5-1) and scored a TKO at 1:26 in the second round of a scheduled 4 round fight.