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
Montreal, Canada, May 24
Adonis Stevenson UD 12 Andrzej Fonfara, WBC light heavyweight title
Was this a sign of decline by the winner, or a statement of ruggedness by the loser? Either way, it is clear that Stevenson (24-1, 20 KO) won clearly and decisively in a thrilling fight that no one expected to be this close. True, Fonfara (25-3, 15 KO) had more than enough credentials to produce this kind of performance, but Stevenson had not heard a final bell for a fight since 2007 , and that was more than enough to predict a KO victory that almost happened in round one, when a strong straight left hand by the southpaw Stevenson dropped the “Polish Prince” to set the tone for an exciting bout. Fonfara fought his way back into the bout, and after being dropped again in round five, he finally had his moment in the ninth when he dropped Stevenson with a straight right after a hook to the body. The damage, however, had already been done, and Stevenson closed the proceedings with power and control, grabbing a unanimous decision by scores of 115-110 (twice) and 116-109 in what was the third defense of his belt. A tremendous back-and-forth action fight that will go great lengths in establishing the reputation of both fighters, and which could lead to a well-deserved rematch one day.
The winner goes on to: Stevenson needed a dramatic victory like this one in his highlight reel to establish himself as a marketable fighter, and now he is definitely headed towards the lucrative bouts he always wanted – and a higher placement in the P4P lists.
David Lemieux KO 3 Fernando Guerrero, middleweights
After a couple of setbacks and a few redeeming wins, it can be said now that Lemieux (32-2, 30 KO) is officially back in contender territory with this destruction of a still respected former title challenger in Guerrero (26-3, 19 KO). Lemieux was destined to be one of the most outstanding fighters in Canada’s exciting group of young contenders, but after a two back-to-back unexpected defeats he seemed to lose steam a little bit. It’s all water under the bridge now, as Lemieux cut, dropped, and finally knocked out Guerrero in a one-two-three sequence, in less than 9 minutes of action. Superb showing for a fighter that regained a large measure of the respect he once had.
The winner goes on to: Lemieux has the following, the style, and the talent to warrant a title shot in the near future, and he should seek to continue his impressive winning streak in another high-profile bout just to warm up for a championship fight.
Jermell Charlo UD 12 Charlie Ota, junior middleweights
The ‘0’ is still there, but it isn’t getting any easier to keep it. Charlo (24-0 11KO) had to get up from the canvas in the third round to move on to a solid 115-111 and 118-109 (twice) points win over a much taller Ota (24-2-1 16KO) in an elimination fight that could send Jermell (brother of fellow contender Jermall) Charlo to a not-yet-deserved and potentially dangerous title shot in the near future. Sure, the talent is there, but his level of opposition so far and the level of the talent at the top of the division are not good omens for him.
The winner goes on to: With powerful advisor Al Haymon in the driver’s seat, and a colorful style and backstory, the Charlos will be making headlines for a while, and a title shot for either one of them within this year should not be ruled out.
Eleider Alvarez UD 10 Alexander Johnson, light heavyweights
Rapidly gaining acceptance as one of the Next Big Things in the 175 lb division, Elieder Alvarez (15-0 8KO) improved his chances to land a title shot in the near future with a terrific points win over Johnson (15-2 6KO) in what threatened to be a war but ended up being quite the snoozer. Johnson spent too much time retreating and trying to counterpunch Alvarez, who instead put on a workmanlike performance to get a 97-92 (three times) decision victory. Alvarez scored an impressive knockdown in the fifth round, but failed to follow up on it as Johnson slipped even further into Houdini territory. The last round was by far the most entertaining one of the fight, with Alvarez aiming for the elusive knockdown and Johnson trying to erase the shame with a last-minute barrage.
The winner goes on to: Alvarez is being groomed as a potential opponent for Stevenson, but expect to see him in at least one more fight before he is even mentioned as a possible foe for the Haitian terror.
Acapulco, Mexico, May 24
Jhonny Gonzalez TD 10 Clive Atwell, WBC featherweight title
Pyrrhic victory? Perhaps. Gonzalez (56-8, 48 KO) kept his belt with a solid performance against a good challenger in Atwell (12-1-1, 7 KO) but his cuts are now too recurrent and he is not looking any younger in the ring. He did dominate the bout in every scorecards of 99-89, 96-92 and 98-90 to secure a decision, but his many wars are clearly piling up on his battered body. The Gonzalez of old would have ran over Altwell with the force of a tsunami, and yet the bout was too competitive for a champion who is coming off the best victory of his career (a frightening stoppage of former pound-for-pound entrant Abner Mares). Still, great job by one of boxing’s true working class heroes.
The winner goes on to: A rematch against Mares wouldn’t be a bad idea to cash in on his efforts, after a career that has already seen its best moments.
Tijuana, Mexico, May 24
David Sanchez UD 12 Breilor Teran, vacant WBA interim junior bantamweight title
Jackie Nava KO 7 Alys Sanchez, female junior featherweights
Edgar Sosa TKO 5 Omar Salado, flyweights
Three solid Mexican fighters scored meaningful victories in this card. A promising contender did it again when Sanchez (25-2-2, 19 KO) put his winning streak at 15 with a good victory over a battle-hardened trialhorse in Teran (13-10-1, 6 KOs) with scores of 116-111 across the board, helped by a knockdown in the 11th round. Earlier on, Nava (29-4-3, 13 KO) earned the WBA female super bantamweight belt with a seventh-round demolition of Alys Sanchez (12-2-1, 4 KOs). And in a confidence-gaining bout, former titlist Sosa (50-8, 30 KO) turned in a superb performance against Omar Salado (24-8, 15 KO), beating him to the punch for most of the bout and finally forcing him to remain on his stool for round five.
Dewsbury, England, May 24
Gary Sykes TKO 10 Jon Kays, British super featherweight title
Sykes (27-3, 6 KO) got the job done in this grudge rematch when he rose from the canvas to stop Kays (18-4-1, 4 KO) in a fight with the Lonsdale belt at stake. After enduring a cut over the right eye in the first round, Sykes went down in the following round, and sensing trouble he fought his way back bravely, battling his own bloody eye and an adverse pair of scorecards to pull the miracle with a late-round stoppage. Terrific win for a rivalry that already calls for a third bout between them.
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