Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla serves up a full weekend wrap-up of the most relevant boxing events in the worldwide scene. Every fight that matters is right here, in one place, and at one click away. Follow Morilla on Twitter at @MorillaBoxing
Huntington, N.Y., February 14
Chris Algieri UD 10 Emmanuel Taylor, junior welterweights
An unbeaten New York-based fighter is always a commodity, and a testimony of that is the few hundred fans who braved the storm last Friday to come over and see an unbeaten local credit in Algieri (19-0, 8 KO) taking an almost shut-out victory over Taylor (17-2, 12 KO) in what turned out to be the one entertaining fight in an otherwise lackluster card. The 98-92, 97-93 (twice) cards pretty much told the whole story, with Algieri taking a break during the middle rounds only to come on stronger towards the end and outmuscle his foe with ease.
The winner goes on to: Another NY card in more benevolent weather conditions should help set the stage for Algieri’s 20th victory on his way to even bigger challenges.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, February 15
Rene Alvarado TKO 9 Robinson Castellanos, featherweights
When looking at the fighter’s records, we may think that the favorite won on this one, but it was quite the upset as Castellanos (19-10, 12 KO) put his loss column in double digits in his very deceptive record, thus ending an 11 fight winning streak that included a victory over Celestino Caballero for the WBC Silver championship (oh, yes, the old WBC hands out belts in every shade of tinsel) one year ago. All it took was a motivated and active Alvarado (20-2, 14 KO) to out hustle the tough but crude Castellanos and pummel him into submission through 9 punishing rounds. We won’t say that the entire featherweight card deck was reshuffled on this one, but it does add some interest to a division that features lots of interesting, talented fighters nowadays.
The winner goes on to: becoming an entrant in the sweepstakes for a few of the big names in the division to keep busy and create interest in the fans.
Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., February 15
Diego Magdaleno KO 4 Jorge Pazos, lightweights
Jessie Magdaleno KO 5 Roberto Castaneda, junior featherweights
If you followed boxing in the early ‘90s, you’ll remember the story of the Ruelas brothers, the first pair of brothers to simultaneously hold world titles. Today, that story has a chance to repeat itself in the Magdaleno brothers, two talented young Mexican-American contenders born in Las Vegas, who have managed to put together a solid fan base with their entertaining style, and who usually share the spotlight by fighting (and cheering loudly on each other) on the same cards. This time, they took a short trip to the East Coast, where Diego Magdaleno (25-1, 10 KO) demolished Pazos (14-7-1, 8 KO) in a confidence-builder after his failed bid at a world title one year ago in China against Roman Martinez. Diego was his usual self in this occasion, storming out of his corner in every round until he caught Pazos with a terrific right hook from his southpaw stance in the third round and send him to the canvas, only to finish him at 2:26 of the following round with a body blow in a solid victory.
Previously, his younger brother (and also a leftie) Jessie Magdaleno (18-0, 14 KO) took a step up in competition against a battle-hardened veteran in Castaneda (20-6, 15 KO), taking care of business in five rounds after dropping his foe twice in the second round only to finish him three rounds later with a beautiful straight right. They should be back in a Vegas card pretty soon under Top Rank’s solid guidance so far, in search for even bigger challenges in a year that should see them rise to the next level.
The winners go on to: Continue developing a rabid following in their native Las Vegas, hopefully becoming a double attraction much in the mold of the Ruelas brothers.
Esquiva Falcao TKO 4 Joshua Robertson, super middleweights
One of Top Rank’s recent acquisitions had his grand debut in a televised card in the United States when Falcao, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist from Brazil, scored a solid KO in four rounds in his first paid engagement when he pummeled Robertson (5-5, 1 KO) into submission with an explosive attack that was just too much to withstand for his experienced foe. Falcao appears to be the real deal, and unless Top Rank moves him too quickly and too recklessly (very unlikely), he’ll be in championship territory in no time at all.
The winner goes on to: More exposure in televised fights, in an attempt by Top Rank to expand their market approach towards emerging countries such as China, Brazil and Russia.
London, February 15
Dereck Chisora UD 12 Kevin Johnson, heavyweights
Tyson Fury TKO 4 Joey Abell, heavyweights
Finally, two entertaining, marketable British heavyweights with legitimate chances of successfully challenging for a world title are stepping up to face each other in a do-or-die matchup. This London card was merely the teaser, as both Chisora and Fury have already declared their intention to fight each other in the near future, and they just needed a joint performance that could serve to compare their abilities.
In the main event, Chisora (20-4, 13 KO) had his way with former title challenger Johnson (29-5-1, 14 KO). Other than a right hand that dropped Johnson in the fifth, the fight was a steady workman-like domination for Chisora, who won by a shut-out with scorecards of 118-109 (twice) and 118-110, mostly by being the only aggressor of the fight and applying a mix of pressure and punching power throughout the bout.
Previously, Fury (22-0, 16 KO), a towering, 6-foot-9 Irish traveler born in a family of bare-knuckle prizefighters, kept his unbeaten mark alive at the expense of poor little (in comparison) Abell (29-8, 28 KO), who had his 15 minutes of fame in a second round in which he had Fury in retreat. Fury came back in the following round dropping his foe three times (two of them counted as knock-downs). Abell came back fighting for his life in round four, but Fury’s 275 frame held just too much power for Abell to handle, and he suffered a stoppage loss after being dropped and pummeled on the ropes towards the end of that same round.
Despite the rumors that Chisora may be interested in traveling to Moscow to face Alexander Povetkin next, the truth is that the fight is already on and both fighters have done their share of publicity already by trash-talking on each other as soon as a microphone is placed in front of their mouths. Should be fun while it lasts.
The winners go on to: Hopefully, a mega-fight against each other in a bout that will do a lot to determine who draws the longest straw in the post-Klitschko lottery.
Tapachula, Mexico, February 15
Roman Gonzalez TKO 6 Juan Kantun, flyweights
Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (38-0, 32 KO), a former minimum weight champion and a terrific puncher, had outgrown his division a while ago, but he went back and forth between boxing’s lightest divisions for a while before dropping his belt to move on with his career at the junior flyweight level, where he demolished Kantun (21-6-3, 15 KO) with ease in just 6 brutal rounds. Kantun was game early on, but was clearly overmatched and went down and out without complaints at the beginning of the sixth, opening the way for Gonzalez to move on to bigger challenges.
The winner goes on to: I’d say Japan, but even that is a long shot. As a dominant, heavy puncher with no following of his own in one of the least-profitable, most territorial weight classes, he’s going to have tons of trouble finding the big paydays he craves.
Rodrigo Guerrero TKO 7 Daniel Rosas, bantamweights
Can’t count an old fighter out until he’s actually out, I guess. Former titlist Guerrero (20-5-1, 13 KO) lived up to his nickname of “Gatito” (Little Cat) by being reborn once again in one of his seven lives with a fitting seventh-round KO over Rosas (17-1-1, 11 KO), a young contender who figured to use the old champ as a stepping stone and add a “name” to his unbeaten record. In turn, Rosas got his 0 smashed, and Guerrero (“warrior”, in case you slept through Spanish all through high school) lives on to fight yet another war. Rosas was down as early as the first round, and from then on it was a full-blown cockfight with Guerrero getting the best of it. Solid win for one of them, solid lesson for the other one.
The winner goes on to: I’d go for an Omar Narvaez-Guerrero fight at 118 in neutral territory, but a bout against fellow southpaw Anselmo Moreno would work just as well.
Albertslund, Denmark, February 15
Patrick Nielsen KO 2 Tony Jeter, middleweights
Denmark has had its share of guilt in the growth of boxing in the region, and Nielsen (22-0, 11 KO) aims to become the next Mikkel Kessler with his colorful style and his punching power. He even shares Kessler’s penchant for full-body tattoo work. Nielsen stayed busy working towards his goal with a destruction of Jeter (16-4-1, 11 KO), a 38 year old fighter who probably had a better chance of snatching his namesake Derek’s spot in the Yankees lineup than winning this fight abroad. Jeter went down twice in the first round and was finished a minute into the second episode. Good stay-busy fight for a marketable and solid fighter that we may end up hearing a lot about in the near future.
The winner goes on to: It’s crowded at the top at 160 lbs, and even if you’re the best you still have Golovkin and Martinez to look forward to. Look for Nielsen to make it to 30-0 before he even considers jumping into the pool with those guys.
Mississauga, Ontario, February 15
Denton Daley UD 12 Andres Taylor, cruiserweights
Some divisions undergo periodic reconstruction periods every once in a while. The cruiserweight division seems to be in reconstructions since its very creation, with only a handful of fighters staying long enough to leave a mark in one of boxing’s youngest weight classes. Unfortunately, Daley (12-0 8 KO) doesn’t seem to be the one guy who will change that situation for good. He did stay undefeated with a shut-out (120-108 on all three cards) over Taylor (21-6-2 8 KO), but did very little to get the attention needed to take his career to the next level. He did blame a hand injury for his lack of power, though. Still, an unbeaten big guy with a loyal Canadian following is still a commodity.
The winner goes on to: I’m trying to think of the name of a cruiserweight that I would really love to watch Daley fight with. OK, wait…
Macas, Ecuador, February 14
Ernesto Antuni UD 6 Edinson Jiménez, junior welterweights
Nothing to write home about, right? After all, it’s just a six-rounder in Ecuador, in the middle (literally…) of nowhere. And it’s not the winner’s record, either (3-1-1) what has brought our attention to this fight. It’s gotta be something, then. Oh, yeah! The “other guy” just reached his 54th loss. According to our friends at BoxeoDeColombia.com, Jimenez is still trying to log in one final victory before he retires, but the task seems to be more difficult than expected. How bad is he? He started off with a 2-50-2 in his first 11 years as a pro. He had a terrific 2013 with a 3-3 record, including a 3-0 streak at the beginning of the year, but he’s now slipping into loser territory (also known as “home”) again. A handyman by trade, Jimenez is now challenging the legendary Melquiades “Remolino” Ventura for one of the worst winning percentages for part-time fighters/full-time janitors of all time (he’s a little bit too good to challenge Ventura, though). And yet, as bad as he may be, he is sadly an essential part of boxing: the perennial on-call “opponent” ready to lend his name to someone’s else’s record. We can’t help but honor his dedication with this modest recap, and wish him the best in his quest to retire with a two-digit win column.
The winner goes on to: Still too early to say, but if he continues facing the Jimenez of the world, he could go end up racking up a solid record.
The loser goes on to: Hopefully, he’ll see his dream completed before he retires. We can’t wish him anything but the best of lucks.
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