After the most lopsided series of undercards in recent memory, I settled down for Friday Night Fight's Main Event, and in the end I was left feeling that Casamayor looked respectable, but not spectacular, leaving a performance that will do little to pump up his stature (though it won't hurt, either).
I expected a slicker boxer, but he left himself open to a lot of rights early on. I was most impressed with his tenacity and ring savvy, as his greater experience revealed itself in his ability to focus and adjust.
It was a performance that built gradually until its tipping point in round seven, when two snappy head-pops sent Pearson reeling. He never really recovered and was clearly shaken out of his game. I heard later that Pearson injured his hand in the sixth, which would explain why he was left with nothing but a rickety jab for the last three rounds.
Still, up until round seven, it looked like he might have been able to out-point and upset Casamayor, but by round eight it was clear Casamayor was in the cockpit. An early blow to Pearson's eye became noticeably swollen. Casamayor kept up the pressure like he needed to, and the ref stopped it in the ninth, apparently after a miscommunication in which he thought Pearson told him he couldn't see (Pearson claimed later he told the ref just the opposite). I thought the fight was stopped a little too soon from the point of view of the eye swelling. It wasn't nearly as bad as others I've seen go on, such as Vargas's fleshy softball in the last Mosley fight (that one went on a bit too long). Regardless, there was little doubt at that point who was destined to win. Pearson seemed to have nothing left but duck, dodge, and dance.
So Casamayor wins a TKO in the ninth, though for some reason, ESPN had it as a KO in the banner at the bottom of the screen. Casamayor was leading by six points on two cards and four on the third when the bout was called.
Casamayor made $40,000 and Pearson was paid $12,000 for this fight, a pittance for a respectable match up like this.
BTW, I watched this at a sports bar downtown, where they had the sound down. Anyone want to fill me in on what I missed with Corralles' commentary? Other thoughts or takes on this one?