(SEPT 17) LAS VEGAS ----Last
night at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, In the first
bout of the evening, Marlen Esparza (3-0), the 2012 Olympic
Bronze Medalist of Houston, Texas, scored a six-round unanimous
decision victory against Aracely Palacios (8-8, 1 KO) in the
flyweight division. Esparza showed the influence of her
world-renowned trainer, Virgil Hunter, as she intelligently used
her left hand to jab and gauge distance before landing
combinations from the outside on Palacios, a native of Durango,
Mexico. Esparza cruised to her win with three scores of 60-54.
In the mainliner, Lineal and Ring
Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34
KOs) and WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO Middleweight World Champion Gennady "GGG"
Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) retained their respective titles in a
back-in-forth war that was ruled a draw on Mexican Independence
Day in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,358 raucous fans at
T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas presented live by HBO Pay-Per-View
and before 17,931 Closed Circuit attendees.
The action-packed fight featured
everything a boxing fan would hope for in a battle that not only
featured the two best middleweights in the world, but the two of
the best pound-for-pound fighters. Canelo took an early lead,
outboxing Golovkin from the outside with lateral movement, a
quick jab and hard counterpunches to the body. As the rounds
progressed, Golovkin returned fire, tapping through the middle
of Canelo's guard before ripping left and right hands around it.
The action reached its peak in the championship rounds, where
both men went back and forth, exchanging bomb after bomb in an
explosive attempt to avoid scorecards. Adalaide Byrd scored the
fight 118-110 for Canelo. Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113
for Golovkin, and Don Trella scored the fight a 114-114 draw.
Celebrities in attendance for this sold-out event included LL
Cool J, George Lopez, Randy Orton, Chris Brown, Mario Lopez,
Micheal Strahan, Jamie Foxx, Dave Chapelle, Chris Walhberg,
Victor Espinoza, and former world champions Oscar De La Hoya,
Bernard Hopkins and Miguel Cotto.
"I thought I won the fight," said Canelo Alvarez. "I think I was
superior inside the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds.
I was able to counterpunch, and even make Gennady wobble a
couple times. It's up to the people if we fight again. I feel
frustrated over this draw." When asked if he felt Golovkin's
power, Canelo said, "No, truthfully, not really. There wasn't
any power that surprised me. In the first rounds, I came out to
see what he had. Then I was building from there. Yes, of course
I want the rematch. Obviously, if the people want it, then yes."
"It's a big drama show," said Gennady Golovkin. "I want to thank
all my fans. I want to thank all my Kazakhstan fans for
supporting me, for coming out. Of course I want a rematch. This
was a real fight. Look, I still have all the belts. I'm still
Joseph 'JoJo' Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13
KOs) scored a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory
against Rafael "Big Bang" Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) to earn a shot
at the WBC Featherweight title. Diaz, a native of South El
Monte, California, boxed comfortably from his southpaw stance
throughout the fight, pawing with his right hand before
unleashing powerful right hooks and straight left hands on
Rivera, a native of Tijuana, Mexico. Diaz won with two scores of
119-109 and one score of 120-108.
"I feel like I had a good performance overall," said Joseph
Diaz. "I was able to put pressure and dictate the pace of the
fight, and be able to enter into a lot of exchanges. Rivera is
strong, has good body shots, and had good speed. I think we gave
them a good show tonight."
"I feel that trying to make weight in time for the fight really
drained me," said Rafael Rivera. "I wasn't able to perform at my
tiptop best. Other than that, I believe we did good despite the
Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs)
outclassed Randy "El Matador" Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs) over 10
rounds to win the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight titles by
unanimous decision. De La Hoya, of Mexicali, Mexico, started off
explosively by landing a fusillade of punches that caused
Caballero's left eye to swell by the third round. Caballero, who
fights out of Coachella, California, was the aggressor for much
of the fight, but De La Hoya's speed and size advantage
nullified Caballero's offense. De La Hoya won with scores of
90-100, 92-98, and 92-98.
Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) opened the HBO
Pay-Per-View telecast with a 10-round split decision victory
against Francisco Rojo (19-3, 12 KOs) to unify his WBC
Continental Americas and the vacant WBA Intercontinental
Lightweight titles. Martin, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, used his
footwork and high-guard defense to box from the outside, while
Rojo cut off the ring to land hooks to the body and head of the
Mexico, City, Mexico native. As the rounds progressed, Martin
and Rojo exchanged more and more explosively, though Martin was
deducted a point in the ninth round for excessive low-blows. By
the end of the fight, Rojo was coming on stronger, though it was
not enough to win on all the judge scorecards. Martin won with
scores of 95-94 and 96-93, while one judge scored it 98-91 for
"I didn't feel 100% tonight, even though I got the split
decision," said Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin. "I know I fought a good
fight despite the adversity in the ring. I know the judge that
scored in favor of Rojo recognized good boxing in him. I'm glad
I have this new belt and it's on to the next."
Serhii Bohachuk (5-0, 5 KOs), the rising Ukrainian super
welterweight prospect trained by Abel Sanchez, defeated Joan
Valenzuela (5-9-1, 5 KOs) via second-round technical knockout in
a fight scheduled for four rounds. Bohachuk overwhelmed
Valenzuela with hard shots to the body and head before stopping
him at 1:58 of the second round.
"He was a good opponent, I'm happy I won," said Serhii Bohachuk.
It was a tough fight, but I kept working at it and came out on
Super lightweight prospect Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs) of
Dallas, Texas scored an impressive second-round technical
knockout victory against Cesar Valenzuela (7-2, 2 KOs) in a
scheduled six-round fight. Ortiz unleashed a vicious body attack
on the body of Valenzuela, forcing the Mexican-born resident of
Phoenix, Arizona to drop to his knees twice before the referee
called the fight at 1:22 of the second round.
"I just do what my coaches tell me to do," said Vergil Ortiz Jr.
"They knew how this fight was going to end, and kept reminding
me to go towards the body. I'm super happy to get the win, and
this is just another fight on the way."