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
Inglewood, California, May 17
Juan Manuel Marquez UD 12 Mike Alvarado, WBO welterweight eliminator
A legend is not built on just one fight, and Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KO) is carving his place in boxing history one fight at a time. In this particular occasion, the perennial Mexican champion continued to challenge the passing of time with a masterful performance against a tough and determined Alvarado (34-3, 23 KO). Marquez steered away from his usual counter-punching ways to take the initiative in the early going, clinching as many as the first six rounds of the fight and then making a huge statement by dropping Alvarado with a thudding right hand towards the end of the eight round. Fearing defeat and already badly cut as it is customary in him, Alvarado went out on survival mode and dropped Marquez in the ninth, the best round of the fight. But Marquez’s advantage and his desire were too much for him to overcome, and the rest of the action belonged to the Mexican multi-division champion, who took home a victory by scorecards of 117-109 (twice) and119-108 in a dominant performance against a tough contender. Marquez is now the mandatory contender for WBO titlist Manny Pacquiao.
The winner goes on to: A long-awaited fifth fight between Marquez and eternal nemesis Pacquiao is unlikely to come to fruition anytime soon, but it cannot be ruled out especially if Manny fails to land his dream match with Floyd Mayweather during this lifetime.
Viktor Postol TKO 12 Selcuk Aydin, WBC junior welterweight eliminator
Numbers don’t do justice in boxing, but when a fighter lands more punches than the total number of punches thrown by his opponent, it’s easy to start using terms like “shellacking” or “pummeling”. That’s exactly what Postol (26-0, 11 KO) laid on former titlist Aydin (26-2, 19 KO) in a not-so-exciting but very solid performance. Aydin found himself on the receiving end of almost 400 punches (out of a total of over 1100 by Postol), but only managed to release just about the same amount, with his efficiency being limited to about 100 punches landed. But in the end, all it took was one single punch in the form of an uppercut. That’s the punch that finished Aydin at 2:52 of the final round, when there was almost no time even for an 8-count. And there was no need for it either, as the referee simply waved the bout off just as Aydin was hitting the floor in a heap and looking disoriented after a massive blow to the head. Terrific ending for a forgettable fight.
The winner goes on to: As smooth-boxing but boring fighter in a division packed with explosive contenders, Postol will have a hard time finding a lucrative bout, but this victory and his unbeaten record may help him secure at least one high-profile bout in the near future anyway.
Diego Magdaleno UD 8 Oscar Bravo, junior lightweights
Another step in the right direction for a talented young contender. Former title challenger Magdaleno (26-1, 10 KO) always manages to win and entertain, and this is exactly what he did once again in this almost shutout of Bravo (21-4, 9 KO), a limited but tough trialhorse. Magdaleno had Bravo briefly in the canvas in the fourth round but failed to finish him, cruising instead to a solid points win by scorecards of 80-71 (twice) and 79-72.
The winner goes on to: Despite his only setback (in a title shot), Magdaleno remains a very entertaining fighter to watch and is one of boxing’s most promising young talents. Another title shot is just a matter of time.
Oscar Valdez TKO 7 Noel Echevarria, super featherweights
A diamond that shines brighter with every passing day. Two-time Mexican Olympian Valdez improved to a still perfect 11-0 with 11 KO with a one-sided beating of Echevarria (11-3, 6 KO) to continue impressing boxing fans and press alike as he moves forward with his career. Echevarria simply refused to come out for the eight round after a sustained beating throughout the fight.
The winner goes on to: Valdez may be one of Mexico’s once-in-a-generation future champs. Definitely a fighter to follow this year, and beyond.
Fresno, California, May 17
Jose Ramirez KO 2 Jesus Selig, junior welterweights
Andy Ruiz TKO 2 Manuel Quezada, heavyweights
Jose Benavidez UD 6 Angel Hernandez, junior middleweights
Three former amateur standouts remained unbeaten in this card. At the top of the bill, an inspired Ramirez (10-0, 8 KO) got an early KO when a terrific body shot sent Selig (16-3-1, 10 KO) to the canvas at the 0:44 mark of the second episode. Earlier, Ruiz (22-0, 16 KO) got in the best shape of his career to return after a long layoff and drop Quezada (29-9, 18 KO) two times on his way to a stoppage win at the 2:00 mark of the second round. And earlier, Benavidez (20-0, 14 KO) inched towards a bigger challenge when he defeated Hernandez (16-16-2, 13 KO) in a session of virtual target practice, dropping him three times and winning by a landslide with scorecards of 60-51 across the board.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico , May 17
Javier Prieto D 12 Ivan Cano, lightweights
A terrific fight between two true Mexican warriors, indeed. In the end, Prieto (24-7-1, 18 KO) held on to his worthless “silver” WBC title with a draw against Cano (22-6-1, 15 KO) after a terrific back-and-forth action fight. Prieto was coming off a victory over the very capable former champ Vicente Mosquera, and figured to make a solid defense against Cano, but the brother of former title challenger Pablo Cesar Cano managed to grind out a superb performance and impress at least one judge that gave him a 116-112 scorecard, with Prieto taking another one by 115-114 and the third one being a draw at 114-114. A rematch in a more visible card would not be a bad idea at all.
The winner goes on to: A WBC “silver” title is not exactly a crowning achievement, but Prieto may be able to parlay that trinket into a meaningful fight after his demonstration of toughness and grit.
Cardiff, Wales, May 17
Lee Selby UD 12 Romulu Koasicha, WBC featherweight eliminator
Gavin Rees UD 12 Gary Buckland, lightweights
Nathan Cleverly TKO 2 Sean Corbin, cruiserweights
A trio of talented British fighters with different goals improved their records with solid victories. In the main event, Selby (19-1, 7 KO) outpointed Koasicha (21-4, 12 KO) in a snoozer with scorecards of 119-109 across the board in an otherwise forgettable event. Previously, Rees (37-4-1, 18 KO) bounced back from a previous loss to Buckland (28-3, 9 KO) with a close but solid split decision win with scorecards of 117-113 and 117-112, while Buckland took the third one by 116-113. And in a very anticipated matchup, former 175 lb titlist Cleverly (28-1, 13 KO) stopped Corbin (17-5, 12 KO) in Cleverly’s debut in the cruiserweight division. Corbin was taking shelter on the ropes when Cleverly launched a barrage of punches that prompted the stoppage at the 2:19 mark of the second round.
Villa Maria, Argentina, May 17
Omar Narvaez KO 5 Antonio Garcia, WBO junior bantamweight title
A local hero makes a homecoming bout. Fighting in his adopted hometown once again, Narvaez demolished Mexico’s Antonio “Tostado” Garcia (13-2-0, 6 KO), with a body shot in the fifth round after a methodical drubbing in the first three rounds of the bout. Narvaez (42-1-2, 23 KO) started slow but quickly got his groove going, establishing his control of the tempo and the spaces in the ring from his southpaw stance, until a glancing right hook to the body of Garcia sent the visiting fighter to the canvas with a delayed effect towards the end of the fourth round, where he grimaced in pain until the referee reached the full count. Sadly, we may never know truly how talented Narvaez really is. He does look the part and has the numbers to back him up, but he insists on fighting sub-par opposition on his local turf (at least during this latter part of his career) and that’s not the best way to shine.
The winner goes on to: Even Narvaez realizes that it is time to take his act to the road in order to make money, and he may get his wish is one of the Kameda brothers invites him to Japan to renew the storied Argentine-Japanese boxing rivalry. Let’s hope it happens soon.
Chester, West Virginia, May 17
Shannon Briggs KO 1 Matt Greer, heavyweights
One of boxing’s most bizarre comebacks had yet another episode when former heavyweight titlist Briggs (54-6-1, 48 KO) destroyed Greer (16-13, 13 KO) in barely 23 seconds of action. Raging out of his corner, Briggs decked Greer when the initial bell was still ringing. He did get up, but the fight was stopped at the discretion of the referee, and now the 42 year-old Briggs has compiled a 3-0 record in his latest comeback trail, all without completing 4 minutes of action in his three wins.
The winner goes on to: Sadly, there will be a few more club fights against non-descript opposition before we even know how serious Briggs is about his un-retirement – and how fruitful it can really be.
Leeds, England, May 17
Eddie Chambers TKO 3 Carl Baker, heavyweights
Another former heavyweight title challenger moved a step ahead in his own comeback trail when Chambers (39-4, 21 KO) scored a TKO in the third round over Baker (10-8, 7 KO). Chambers, training and fighting mostly in Europe right now, is also 3-0 in this new part of his career, being trained by the Fury family in the U.K.
Rome, Italy , May 17
Isaac Real KO 7 Emanuele Della Rosa, vacant European junior middleweight title
Mild upset here, as late substitute Real (10-0-1, 5 KO) traveled to Rome from his native Spain to take on local favorite and highly-ranked Emanuele Della Rosa (33-2, 9 KO) in what was intended to be a keep-busy fight. Instead, Real sent Della Rosa down twice in the second round and ended up stopping him four episodes later to put his entire career in revision mode.