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By Lindy Lindell
Cries of “He’s okay,” and “He’s all right,” rang out as relatives and the crew of Andre Dirrell burst into the Joe Louis Arena room normally held for Detroit Red Wing press gatherings and celebrations. There were no celebrations on this night. Having put on a near-clinic of beautifully wrought boxing until close to midway into the penultimate 11th round in the 168-pound Super-Six Tournament (now in its second round), Andre Dirrell was awarded a victory by way of disqualification when the then-undefeated Arthur Abraham, well behind on points, unintentionally slugged Dirrell where he had slipped in Abraham’s thoroughly doused corner. Abraham’s right struck Dirrell in the left temple as he was virtually sitting on his bent left leg. After a second or two, Abraham having moved away. Dirrell capsized onto the canvas, totally prone. Referee Laurence Cole had started a count, but when Dirrell pancaked, he waved the fight off, rushing to the other side of the ring and then back to tell Abraham that he had been disqualified. For more details and photos click here…
Fighting like a bull in a china shop, to a crowd of crazy Argentines chanting “CHI-NO! CHI-NO!”, chin-checker Marcos Maidana might’ve given WBA Light Welter Champ Amir Khan one more reason to delay an inevitable confrontation with his interim belt-bearer.
Belting out a kayo over Dominican Victor Cayo, Maidana won over Las Vegas last night at the Hard Rock’s The Joint with a more-than-bargained-for war before a less-than-full house . . . Click here for more
Team Sauerland plans to officially protest Arthur Abraham’s DQ loss to Andre Dirrell on Saturday night. “After a slow start, Arthur was finally landing his power punches,” promoter Wilfried Sauerland said. “He clearly knocked Dirrell down in the tenth and was following it up in the 11th. There is no way Dirrell would have seen the end of the 12th round.” After reviewing the tape, Sauerland stated that a clearly exhausted Dirrell seized his chance to sneak out of the fight when the chance presented itself, especially with Abraham upping pressure before the ending. “The TV pictures indicate that Dirrell was down, but there is no way Arthur could have realized that in the heat of the moment. He was just trying to keep up the attack. However, Dirrell is a very good actor. We are glad that his check-up at the hospital turned out just fine but frankly we did not expect any other outcome since he was just acting. He deserves an Oscar for his performance.” (more…)
Ringside report by Gerardo Martinez
Photo by Raymond Mares
In boxing there are many “should haves.” That was the case in the last three bouts of Friday night’s “Warrior Vengeance” card held at the Isleta Casino & Resort Showroom . . . Click here for more
This Friday night, April 2nd, former UNLV amateur boxer and standout Sierra Vista High School running back Bradley Blankenship will make his professional debut at Hometown Heroes at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. (more…)
Two days after it was announced that undefeated WBA 168-pound champion Andre Ward (20-0, 13 KOs) would defend against world-ranked “Sweetness” Allan Green (29-1, 20 KOs) in a Group Stage 2 bout in the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Saturday, June 19, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), the boxers spoke with the media before the Andre Dirrell-Arthur Abraham tournament bout here Saturday night. (more…)
By Gabriel F. Cordero at ringside
WBA bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno (29-1-1, 10 KOs) retained his title by split decision over previously unbeaten interim champion Nehomar Cermeño (19-1, 11 KOs) on Saturday night at the Polideportivo José María Vargas in La Guaira, Venezuela. Judges had Moreno ahead 114-113, 115-112. Cermeño was up 115-112 on the third card.
Former world champion Jorge ‘Niño de Oro’ Linares (28-1, 18 KOs) rebounded from his first loss with a ten round majority decision over Francisco Lorenzo . (34-8, 15 KOs). Scores were 97-93, 97-94 and 95-95. Lorenzo has now lost four of five since his controversial win over Humberto Soto, the win being against a 1-17 fighter.
By Joe Koizumi
Just after the WBC flyweight unification title bout of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam and Koki Kameda, there was a scandalous incident in the loser Kameda’s dressing room. His father Shiro Kameda, 43, who had been suspended indefinitely by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC), called up JBC executive secretary Tsuyoshi Yasukochi, WBC supervisor Edward Thangarajah and the referee Guadalupe Garcia, and loudly shouted at them. He also threatened Yasukochi to have him fired. Shiro allegedly accused him of negligence for the referee not giving Pongsaklek a second penalization in the fifth round due to the WBC eye-cut rule. (more…)
Retired boxing superstar Joe Calzaghe has admitted cocaine use since leaving the ring in February 2008. The “News of the World” tabloid recorded Calzaghe talking about his own drug use in an undercover operation. The paper reports that In a series of meetings Calzaghe allegedly 1) admitted he takes cocaine and gave advice on where to buy it, 2) claimed a relative actually supplies drugs, 3) bad-mouth fellow British boxers Ricky Hatton, Lennox Lewis, Amir Khan and Naseem Hamed. (More)
Andre Dirrell turned the Super Six World Boxing Classic upside down and handed previously undefeated Arthur Abraham his first loss on an 11th-round disqualification Saturday in a fight at the Joe Louis Arena during a Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME® that ended in bedlam with family, friends, officials and team members of both camps in the ring. Referee Laurence Cole stopped a Group Stage 2 bout in which Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs), of Flint, Mich., had performed magnificently at 1:13 of the 11th after Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) connected with a sweeping right hand while Dirrell, who had slipped in Abraham’s corner, was down on one knee. (more…)
By Ron Jackson
Themba Joyi retained his South African junior bantamweight title with a unanimous 12 round points decision when he beat the veteran Zolile Mbityi on Saturday night at the Mdantsane Indoor Centre near East London. The southpaw Joyi (10-1-1, 6 KOs) who won the title in November 2008 when he stopped Thembelani Maphuma was just too strong and rugged for the 40-year-old Mbityi (34-14-3) in a fight that never rose to any heights. (more…)
By John Robbins / FightNews Canada
After what was by far the most entertaining undercard in eleven tries at Casino Rama, the main event was warmly welcomed by the Canadian fans awaiting the arrival ringside of Steve Molitor who would finally get his chance at redemption, and his shot to get his IBF junior featherweight title back. The ‘Canadian Kid’ did not disappoint, scoring a unanimous 116-112, 117-111, 115-113 decision over the IBF #1 ranked contender, Takalani Ndlovu of South Africa, the same fighter Molitor stopped in his first ever world title defense some 3 years earlier! Read more…
In another notable fight, WIBA and IFBA world champion, Lisa “Bad News” Brown scored a convincing 99-92, 99-91, 100-90 over a bloodied and battered Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton, capturing the vacant WBA female super bantamweight world title.
Puerto Rican hot prospect Jayson ‘La Maravilla’ Velez (12-0, 11 KOs) won the USNBC super bantamweight title by knocking out Colombian Pedro ‘El Torito’ Rincón in Boxeo Boricua In Caguas’ main event. “I always thought I had a good chance of beating him, but I didn’t anticipate he’d go so quickly. Nevertheless, this kind of KO is always welcome,” said Vélez, who won at 1:34 in the first round. For more details and photos click here…
Tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. at UFC 111: Georges St-Pierre put on a takedown clinic in a lopsided win over Dan Hardy. The champion controlled the tempo and the pace from the outset, putting “The Outlaw” on his back at will. St-Pierre showcased his submission skills catching Hardy in a tight arm bar and kimura, but was unable to force Hardy to tap. A visibly disappointed St-Pierre said he hoped to finish Hardy and apologized to the capacity crowd for the performance.
Shane Carwin claimed the UFC interim heavyweight championship with a dramatic knockout of former champion Frank Mir at 3:48 of the opening stanza. (more…)
In a crowd-pleasing fight, three division world champion and Mexican ring legend Erik Morales (49-6, 34 KOs) returned as a welterweight on Saturday night following a two-and-a-half year layoff to trade punches with former lightweight titleholder Jose Alfaro (23-6, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at the in Monterrey, Mexico. It was a brutal battle from the opening bell, with both fighters giving and taking a lot of punches as Morales showed the old fire that made him loved by fight fans around the world. In the end, Morales claimed a 117-111, 116-112, 116-112 decision.
In a WBA light heavyweight eliminator Chris Henry (25-2, 20 KOs) scored a first round knockout over Hugo Hernan Garay (32-5, 17 KOs). A right hand put Garay down and out at 2:20. (more…)
By Bob Ryder and Lindy Lindell at ringside
In SHOWTIME’s much acclaimed “Super Six” super middleweight tournament, Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) won by DQ over previously unbeaten Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) on Saturday night at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Dirrell dominated an inactive Abraham in rounds one and two. Abraham came on in round three, but Dirrell dropped an off-balance Abraham in round four. Dirrell again outworked Abraham in rounds five through seven. Abraham was cut over the right eye in round seven. An increasingly desperate Abraham tried to land a KO punch and floored Dirrell in the tenth, inexplicably waved off by referee Laurence Cole. After Dirrell slipped in the eleventh, he was knocked cold by Abraham. Abraham was disqualified by Cole at 1:13. At the time of the DQ, Dirrell was ahead 97-92, 98-91, 97-92. Abraham later insisted that Dirrell wasn’t down when he threw the final punch. A shaken Dirrell will be taken to the hospital for tests. (more…)
WBA interim super lightweight champion Marcos Maidana (28-1, 27 KOs) scored a sixth round KO over previously unbeaten Victor Cayo (24-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday night in “The Joint” at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Maidana dropped Cayo at the end of round two, then continued to break down Cayo, finishing him with a body shot at 1:38 of the sixth round.
In a clash for the vacant IBF lightweight championship, Joan Guzman (30-0-1, 17 KOs) won a split decision over Ali Funeka (30-3-3, 25 KOs). Guzman dropped Funeka with a right hand in round six and went on to win 116-111, 114-113 on two cards. Funeka was ahead 114-113 on the third card. Guzman did not win the title after weighing in 9 lbs heavy.
In an IBF light flyweight eliminator, former world champion Ulises ‘Archie’ Solis (30-2-2, 21 KOs) scored an action-packed fifth round TKO over Bert ‘Ninja’ Batawang (45-15-3, 37 KOs) on Saturday night at the Plaza Pueblo Antiguo in Ensenada, BC, Mexico. Solis dropped Batawang in round four and after a one sided round five, Batawang didn’t come out for round six.
WBA mini-flyweight world champion Giovani Segura (30-1-1, 20 KOs) moved up to flyweight with a fourth round TKO over WBA #5 ranked Ronald Ramos (28-8-3, 14 KOs). Segura dropped Ramos in round four and punished him for the duration of the round. Ramos didn’t come out for the next round. Segura’s world title was not at stake. For more details and photos click here…
Ringside by Chris Cozzone
From the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s The Joint in Las Vegas: In an eight-rounder at supermiddleweight, Danny Jacobs (19-0, 16 KOs), of Brooklyn wasted no time with Jose “Bam Bam” Rodriguez Berrio (20-5, 12 KOs), of Colombia, flooring his foe twice in round one. In between rounds, Referee Jay Nady, on advice from the ringside doc, stopped the bout.
In an eight-round welterweight bout, Jermell Charlo (11-0, 5 KOs), of Houston won an unspectacular-but-unanimous decision over Gerardo Prieto (6-9-1, 0 KOs), of Mexico City, with scores of 79-72 twice and 80-71.
In a sixer between Texas welters, Omar Figueroa (9-0, 8 KOs) won a unanimous decision over game Edgar Portillo (6-4-1, 4 KOs). Figueroa outboxed his foe, but injured his left hand in round two. Scores were 60-54 and 58-56 twice.
In a six-round welterweight bout, Argentina’s Diego Chavez (14-0, 12 KOs), in his U.S. debut, could not land a sleep-producer on Edvan Dos Santos Barros (10-9-1, 7 Kos), of Boca Raton, Fla., and had to settle for a unanimous decision with scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56.
By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Gayrat Ahmedov (14-0-1, 9 KO’s) won a close eight round majority decision over tough Demetrius Davis at the Karma Club in Victorville, CA. Davis (19-21-5, 7 KO’s) started strong, working the body of his opponent. Ahmedov landed the harder and more effective punches in the middle rounds. Both fighters had their moments in the last round, as Davis got his second wind. One judge had the bout scored 76-76, while the other two judges gave Ahmedov the nod with scores of 77-75.
Unbeaten welterweight Ravshan Hudaynazarov (11-0, 9 KOs) knocked out fading Anthony Mora in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. Hudaynazarov dropped Mora with a left hook to the body and dropped him again with another left hook to the body. Mora (15-6, 10 KOs) remained on one knee as referee Jack Reiss counted him out at 2:59. Mora has lost his last six bouts in a row. (more…)
By Karl Freitag and Alexey Sukachev
126lb superstar Yuriorkis “El Ciclon” Gamboa (18-0, 15 KOs) successfully defended his WBA featherweight championship with a twelve round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Argentinian Jonathan Victor Barros (28-1-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at the Sporthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. After two tame opening rounds, Gamboa opened up in round three, but Barros proved to be a tough, durable opponent who didn’t fold under Gamboa’s speed, power and pressure. Gamboa finally battered Barros to the deck in round eight, but the über-tough Barros weathered Gamboa’s violent follow-up assault and somehow made it to the final bell. Scores were 118-109, 118-109, 116-111.
In the co-main event and grudge rematch, PABA heavyweight champion Denis Bakhtov (33-5, 22 KOs) again proved his superiority over Steffen Kretschmann (14-2, 13 KOs). Bakhtov made Kretchmann take a knee in round six and continued to punish him until Kretschmann finally quit :46 into round nine, much to the disgust of the local fans. Bakhtov had previously knocked out “Kretsche” in one round last summer.
Former world cruiserweight champion Juan Carlos Gomez (45-2, 36 KOs) demolished Alex Mazikin (13-5-2, 3 KOs) in a bout for the WBA international heavyweight championship. Mazikin was down four times – each time thanks to the left hook to the liver.
Middleweight contender Mahir Oral (28-2-2, 11 KOs) stopped Juan Camilo Novoa (14-5-1, 12 KOs) in round ten to claim the WBA international 160lb championship.
By Joe Koizumi
WBC interim flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (75-3-1, 39 KOs), 111.5, Thailand, unified the WBC 112-pound belts as he convincingly and impressively defeated previously unbeaten WBC full champ Koki Kameda (22-1, 14 KOs), 112, by a majority but well-received decision over twelve fast rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. It was an encounter of southpaw speedsters. The official tallies were as follows: John Keene (England) 116-112, Max DeLuca (US) 115-112, both for Pongsaklek and Predrag Aleksic (Montenegro) 114-114 (ridiculous score to be questioned by the WBC). The referee was Lupe Garcia (Mexico). This reporter tallied 116-111 for Pongasklek.
It was a one-sided affair totally dominated by the more experienced Thailander, who displayed his ring-craft all the way. The 32-year-old veteran toyed with the less experienced 23-year-old sensational Japanese with his speed and skills. The Kameda myth was miserably destroyed by Pongsaklek’s superior ring-generalship. Kameda, the most hated Japanese boxer because of his barbarous and unsportsmanlike behavior, gave Japanese fight fans the happiest night due to his first defeat. (more…)
By Jacob Chavez at ringside
Heavyweight Mike Mollo (20-3, 12 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over Billy Zumbrun (23-12-1, 13 KOs) on Friday night at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Scores were 78-74, 79-73 and 79-73. In other notable action, comebacking cruiserweight Jason Robinson (18-5, 11 KOs) outpointed Harvey Jolly (10-14-1, 5 KOs) and former heavyweight contender Maurice Harris (22-14-2, 10 KOs) outpointed seven-footer Julius Long (15-14, 13 KOs). (more…)
By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Australian light heavyweight champion Shane McConville (5-0-4, 1 KO) forced Kashif Mumtaz (5-13-1, 4 KOs) of New Zealand to retire at the conclusion of round four of a scheduled eight round main event at the Civic Center in Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia on Saturday. McConville, who captured the national title recently by defeating Daniel “Porky” Lovett in 2009, was in control of the contest in all the rounds. Pakistan born New Zealand based Mumtaz had taken WBA #15 and IBF #9 rated Les Sherrington the twelve round distance in 2009. He also lost a split decision to Porky Lovett in 2009. In the supporting bout light heavyweight Tim “Knuckles” Kanofski (8-1) won a six round points decision over Christopher Fox (1-5-2). Super middleweight Terry Lambert (3-8-1, 1 KO) stopped Marlon Toby (2-9) in four rounds.
By Kurt Wolfheimer
Pound for Pound Promotions put on another electrifying card of professional boxing at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, New Jersey on Thursday night that was sure to leave all the fans in attendance satisfied. The main event of the evening was an eight round slugfest as “Iron Man” Brian Miller (8-0-3, 3 KOs) captured the World Boxing Foundation All Americas lightweight title by split decision over Danny “Little Mac” McDermott (8-2-1, 3 KOs). In the six round co-feature of the evening, undefeated super middleweight prospect Jason “Monstruo” Escalara (8-0, 7 KOs) needed just two minutes and forty-seven seconds to dispose of an outgunned Jesus Flores (5-1-1, 4 KOs). (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Two tiny tournaments have been staged today in Moscow and the nearby city of Balashikha, with two reigning Russian champions featured. At the Mashinostroitel Sports Arena in Balashikha, Russian super middleweight champion Konstantin Piternov (10-0, 3 KOs) scored a fifth-round TKO over Benson Mwakyembe (6-1-1, 4 KOs). At the Krilya Sovetov Sports Arena in Moscow, Russian featherweight champion Ayup Arsaev (10-0, 6 KOs) blew away Jasur Alimjanov (5-2, 3 KOs) in the first round. (more…)
By Christian Schmidt at ringside
Recon Garza Promotions and J2L Boxing Productions teamed up to put on a very exciting and emotional night of boxing in Laredo, TX at the Laredo Enrgy Arena. In the main event, heavyweight Hector “The Hurricane” Ferryro (20-7-1) won a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Aaron Lyons (11-8). Lyons was a last second replacement for Zack Page. (more…)
By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Australian based Namibian middleweight Johannes “Tito” Mwetupunga (7-3, 4 KOs) captured the vacant Australian 160 pound championship when he stopped Jason Hartman (8-3, 5 KOs) in three rounds at the Mansfield Tavern in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on Friday. Mwetupunga was down in round two but came back to force a stoppage at 54 seconds of the third stanza. Mwetupunga is based in Melbourne, Victoria. (more…)
By Rick Scharmberg at ringside
Ahmed “Baby Face” Kaddour, Omar Sheika, and Terrance “The Heat” Cauthen all registered victories last night at the sold-out Hamilton Manor in Hamilton, NJ. Kaddour (22-2-1, 9 KOs) dominated Jerome Ellis (12-11-2, 10 KOs) over eight rounds in the junior middleweight main event. In twin co-features, Omar Sheika (29-9, 20 KOs) overcame a very slow start to batter game Garrett Wilson (7-4, 2 KOs) and stop him in the fourth round of a scheduled eight round cruiserweight bout, and Terrance Cauthen (34-6, 9 KOs) rode his right hook to an eight round unanimous decision over power hitter Isam Khalil (15-2-2, 9 KOs) in a welterweight bout. The eight bout card was promoted by Nedal’s Promotions. (more…)
By Ricardo Conde
Former three time world champion, Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito (37-6, 27 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico began preparations this week for his upcoming bout under the watchful eye of former junior lightweight champ, Robert Garcia. Margarito will step back into the ring on Saturday, May 8th in Aguascalientes, Mexico to headline Latin Fury 14 against Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (28-2, 21 KOs) in a 10 round super welterweight bout which will be shown live on pay-per-view and is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Tecate. Click here for more photos…
By Ray Wheatley–World of Boxing
Australian junior lightweight contender Clint Hosking (5-0, 2 KOs) outscored Filipino Flash Villacura (23-28-3, 12 KOs) in the main event over eight rounds at the Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia on Friday. Hosking rated #2 for the national title was impressive in defeating Villacura who has been in the ring with the best in Australia including IBF #7 Billy Dib, WBO #10 Daniel Iannazzo and Will Tomlinson. (more…)
Thompson Boxing Promotions lightweight Danny “El Travieso” Hernandez (10-0, 6 KOs) was shot in the head last night. Southgate, California’s Hernandez was left by an anonymous person at a clinic at 4AM this morning. He’s been in surgery since 7AM. Doctors don’t know what will happen. The bullet didn’t enter the brain, but he suffered major trauma. Hernandez is at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, California. Nobody knows who did it. Promoter Ken Thompson is asking for your prayers and your thoughts for Daniel Hernandez.
By Joe Koizumi
WBC interim flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wongjongkam (75-3-1, 39 KOs), 111.5, Thailand, unified the WBC 112-pound belts as he convincingly and impressively defeated previously unbeaten WBC full champ Koki Kameda (22-1, 14 KOs), 112, by a majority but well-received decision (116-112, 115-112 and 114-114) over twelve fast rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. (More to come)
Unbeaten Thailander Oleydong Sithsamerchai (38-0, 13 KOs), 103.75, very barely kept his WBC 105-pound belt by a hairline unanimous verdict (113-112, 114-113 and 114-112) as Japanese challenger Yasutaka Kuroki (23-4-1, 15 KOs), 105, kept stalking him all the way though receiving occasional counters, finally dropped the champ with a solid combination in the eleventh and had him at bay in the final session on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. It wasn’t a technically excellent fight, as Oleydong kept backpedaling and Kuroki kept hitting the air rather than the opponent, sometimes absorbing the champ’s counters. But as the champ visibly began fading and slowing down from the eighth, it was all Kuroki. The champ was penalized a point because of his repeated clinches in round ten. He hit the deck in the eleventh, and absorbed a very solid left of Kuroki in the final stanza to have a narrow escape. Kuroki may deserve a rematch. (More to come)
WBC female atomweight champ Momo Koseki (7-0, 2 KOs), 101.75, a Japanese southpaw, kept her belt as she kept throwing light but busy combinations all night and pounded out a unanimous decision (99-91 and 98-92 twice) over Korean Gunjoo Shin (3-0-1, 1 KO), 101, over ten speedy frames on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Koseki, 27, displayed her sharper hands and dominated the contest with a volume of her combinations, steadily piling up points. Shin, 21, sometimes scored with straight rights, but lacked convincing power to capture the belt from the champ. The referee was Yuji Fukuchi (Japan). Promoter: Miyata Promotions.
Steve Molitor 121.6 vs Takalani Ndlovu 121.2
(IBF jr featherweight championship)
Greg Kielsa 239 vs Neven Pajkic 240.6
(Canadian heavyweight title)
Ana Julaton 120.8 vs Lisa Brown 122
(WBA female super bantamweight title)
Justin Fountain 145.2 vs Fabian Ramirez 147
Jason Douglas 165.8 vs Stephan Boyd 165.6
Felix Mercedes 144 vs Ivan Flores142.4
Venue: Rama Casino, Rama Ontario, Canada
Promoter: Orion Sports Management
By Graham Houston
When old champions come back it is often with unhappy outcomes. The latest to try is Erik Morales, who, at 33, is giving the game another try, this time in the welterweight division.
Morales, a champion at 122, 126 and 130 pounds, was last seen in the ring almost three years ago when losing a tough fight to David Diaz in Chicago. Morales fought well, even scoring a knockdown, but Diaz was a bit too strong and persistent for him in a gruelling fight.
I have to admit that Morales surprised me in that fight. He had more left in him than I thought would be the case. Still, his decision to retire seemed the right one. This was his fourth loss in a row, including consecutive stoppage defeats against Manny Pacquiao.
On Saturday, Morales meets Jose Alfaro, the former lightweight champion from Nicaragua, in a 12-rounder for the WBC’s International welterweight title.
Morales will have trained down to 147 pounds after packing on poundage during his layoff, while Alfaro is moving up two weight divisions. It is difficult to say which man will be the more effective at welterweight.
Alfaro is a good puncher but has not always shown a sturdy chin. He lost his lightweight title in Tokyo when Yusuke Kobori outpunched him in a fierce battle that saw each man hurt before a left hook from the Japanese fighter sent Alfaro sprawling in the third. After three wins in a row, Alfaro was disappointing in his last fight when losing in 10 rounds to Antonio DeMarco. It was as if Alfaro had become slower and even easier to hit than in the past, although DeMarco’s height, reach and southpaw stance might have played a big part in the Nicaraguan boxer’s struggling performance.
The Morales camp will have studied this fight and decided that they are getting Alfaro at the right time. Any fight is a gamble for Morales, though, after his long layoff and the hard slog to lose weight and get himself into boxing shape. He isn’t an old fighter as such at 33 but he has been in many hard fights and taken a great deal of punishment. The three years away from boxing might have rejuvenated Morales to some degree, but no one can be sure how much of his one-time ability he retains, nor how well he will be able to take a punch after the lengthy break from boxing.
Morales has fought at a much higher level than Alfaro, of course, and he is boxing at home in Mexico. He might be able to win simply on heart, pride and experience. Alfaro says he has trained very well, but he is coming into the contest after getting outclassed and stopped in his last fight and this might have had a negative psychological effect.
Anything can happen in this fight, but I will go with Morales to reach back and find sufficient form to scrape through with a win, perhaps by stoppage late in the fight.
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