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
Las Vegas, May 3rd
Floyd Mayweather Jr. MD 12 Marcos Maidana, WBC/WBA welterweight unification
Reality check? A bad day at the office against an inspired challenger? Business as usual for the most dominant fighter of our era? Whatever the case may have been, the truth remains that Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO) was tested in every single department and forced to use every weapon in his arsenal to beat Argentina’s Maidana (35-4, 31 KO) in a WBC/WBA unification bout that is already being hailed as one of Mayweather’s toughest challenges. An unusually not-so-hostile pre-fight buildup led to a very hostile first round in which Maidana started making his case for a victory that, although it would be denied, came as close as anybody else has been able to summon it. Maidana was able to wrestle a few good moments when he stood up close pressing Floyd against the ropes and throwing punches from all angles. Most of them missed (Maidana achieved a landing rate of 26 percent to Mayweather’s 54 percent), but he gave the impression of being the one pressing the action. Still, the rounds won by Mayweather were more than enough to give him a majority decision of 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112, with the two most extreme cards being a bit inexplicable and the one in the middle being shared by most of the press at ringside (including XN Sports). The distribution of the rounds in the judges’ cards, the misleading punchstats and the overall image of Maidana throwing many more punches did cause the impression of a close and disputed fight. Which it was, but not enough to justify the loud boos of an audience too eager to see Mayweather go down after a career that has known very few challenges. This, for a change, was one of them, and no one would complain if a rematch was the next fight for both of them.
The winner goes on to: Which one of the two winners are we talking about here? Maidana won in respect, and he will be installed in the top ten at 147 for a while, and Mayweather now has a potential rematch as yet another option in his already large waiting list of contenders not named Manny Pacquiao.
Amir Khan UD 12 Luis Collazo, welterweights
On paper, it looked like an early crossroads fight for both fighters, with Collazo (35-5, 18 KO) coming off a career-best performance in his KO victory over Victor Ortiz, and Khan (29-3, 19 KO) trying to stay on the winning track after a disappointing 2-2 streak in the past two years. In the end, it was all Khan, as the former silver medalist from England scored three knockdowns in what appeared to be a total and utter domination. Khan has always looked physically fit, and he boxes beautifully from bell to bell, but his stamina was in question after a couple of terrible setbacks in his career. This time he was the complete package, hurting Collazo continuously, forcing him to retreat in every attack, and dominating him in every aspect of the fight. Collazo lost a point in round eight for a low blow, and Khan suffered a similar penalty for excessive holding. In the end, the wide scorecards of 117-106, 119-104 and 119-104 reflected the one-sided nature of a fight that will go great lengths in redeeming Khan’s career, and perhaps even set it in collision course with the winner of the main event of the night.
The winner goes on to: His letter of intent for a fight against Floyd Mayweather climbed a few steps higher in the pile, but he could use another fight before reapplying for that gig again.
Adrien Broner UD 10 Carlos Molina, junior welterweights
Trying to bounce back from a catastrophic defeat at the hands of Marcos Maidana last December, former welterweight titlist Broner (28-1, 22 KO) won a ten round unanimous decision over Molina (17-2-1, 7 KO) after dropping back to 140 lbs and looking good in the process. True to his nature, Broner walked into the ring with the confidence of an unbeaten (or maybe even unbeatable) fighter, and this permeated through to his masterful performance, where he outpunched and outboxed Molina in every way imaginable. The scorecards gave Broner the victory for 99-91, 98-92 and 100-90, a testimony of his dominance, and the proof of a solid rebound win for a fighter who was destined for greatness until he ran into Maidana back in December of 2013.
The winner goes on to: Broner called out Manny Pacquiao right after his flamboyant performance, and if he gets his wish, that’s as close as we’ll get to see Mayweather against the Filipino multi-division champ. Don’t count on it, though.
J’Leon Love UD 10 Marco Antonio Periban, super middleweights
A prelude of what was coming later in the night? Some people wished that had been the case. Periban (20-2-1, 13 KO) was the bullish Latino fighter trying to run over a slick, skilled, fast unbeaten fighter in Love (18-0, 10 KO), who had to rely on his stamina and his athleticism to overcome a knockdown and a serious challenge from a crude but very solid Mexican fighter, who survived a cut above his left eye himself. Still, the quick jab and precise combinations of Love were more than enough to give him the victory by margins of 95-93, 97-92 and 96-93.
The winner goes on to: Good enough to beat Periban? Sure, 8 times out of 10. Good enough for the Wards, Frochs and perhaps Golovkins and Chavez’s of the division? Hardly.
Berlin, Germany, May 3rd
Arthur Abraham UD 12 Nikola Sjekloca, WBO super middleweight title
A perennial presence in the European scene got his career back on track with another dominant victory. Armenia’s Abraham (40-4, 28 KO) gave Sjekloca (26-2, 8 KO) his classic treatment for visiting fighters in his adoptive Germany: a solid beating from the very first bell, at least until the inexact point during the fight in which Abraham hurt his right hand and had to resort to fighting with only one hand. Still, a one-handed Abraham was better than a two-handed Sjekloca, who allowed the champion to keep the initiative in spite of his handicap and ended up losing by scorecards of 116-113 (twice) and 119-110.
The winner goes on to: Abraham is another 168 lb fighter stuck between a rock and a hard place. Too young to retire, too old to rumble with the young lions. Still, he may have at least one big performance left in him.
Cebu City, Philippines, May 3rd
Johnreil Casimero KO 1 Mauricio Fuentes, junior flyweights
This fight was supposed to have Casimero’s title on the line, but he lost it on the scale after showing up almost 5 lbs heavier than the limit. Fuentes agreed to carry on with the fight (in which he would have won the title in case of a personal victory) only to prove that the weight difference was simply too much. Casimero (20-2-1, 12 KO) dropped Colombia’s Fuentes (16-3, 10 KO) three times in the opening stanza before the bout was mercifully stopped as the bell was ringing to end the first round. The title is now vacant, and Casimero is presumably taking his punching power with him to the next division.
The winner goes on to: If Casimero survived the huge melee after he took the title from Argentina’s Luis Lazarte , he can survive and maybe dominate the best fighters in the division right now.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 3rd
Cesar Cuenca UD 12 Albert Mensah, IBF junior welterweight eliminator
A gem of a fighter took another step to a well-deserved title challenge when Cuenca (47-0, with only 2 KO) defeated Ghana’s Mensah in his usual dominant fashion to become the mandatory challenger for Lamont Peterson’s title. The light-hitting Cuenca has already ran out of opposition in his native Argentina, fighting most of the country’s most decent 140 lb fighters twice. This time, he dominated Mensah (27-5-1, 12 KO) with his usual ease, fighting behind a solid and quick jab and scoring at will for a victory as dominant as the scorecards of 120-108 and 119-109 (twice) would suggest. It’s definitely time to give Cuenca the chance he deserves to take his pure boxing skills to another level. After all, nobody in his right mind would be willing to say he ducked a fighter with only two stoppage wins in almost 50 bouts.
The winner goes on to: A light-punching fighter with a shinny unbeaten record is still saleable enough, and Cuenca may have his chance to outpoint a top 130 lb contender abroad soon.
Culiacan, Mexico, May 3rd
Omar Chavez UD 10 Daniel Sandoval, junior middleweights
Unlike George Foreman, Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez did not name all of his kids after him. His youngest offspring Omar Chavez (32-2, 22 KO) may not be as talented as his big brother, but he does carry a similar drawing power at the box office, this time bringing in more than 5000 fans to a cock-fighting ring in his native Sinaloa to watch him take care of a serious challenge in Sandoval (35-3, 30 KO), winning by scores of 96-93 (twice) and 96-92. Omar is still a few notches below his brother and a few miles behind his legendary dad, but he still has more than enough to leave his mark in the family business.
The winner goes on to: With a respectable talent and a name to back it up, you can be sure we’ll be hearing from Omar for a while, win or lose.