Joachim Alcine lays flat on the canvas after being knocked out by Daniel Santos in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
The former WBO welterweight and junior middleweight titleholder knocked out WBA junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine at 2:10 of the sixth round to take his title and firmly establish himself as having fully returned to the sport, after his career sagged following a 2005 loss to Sergei Dzinziruk.
The 32-year old Santos (32-3-1, 23 KO) succeeding in dethroning Alcine (30-1, 19 KO) throws a potential big, big wrench into the mix at 154. While Alcine could be generously described as potentially entertaining to watch and still a bit unproven despite his age (32, as well), Santos' chops are well-known and respected.
It was a left-right combo that felled what the AP report called a "nervous-looking" Alcine. The now former titleholder had fought just once since beating Travis Simms in a dreadfully dull bout last July to win the title, scoring a TKO over fringe contender (at best) Antonio Mosquera last December.
I'm really happy to see Santos back near the top of the mountain. He's always been a quality fighter, and I just plain am a fan of his. Congratulations to him.
On the Montreal undercard, Alex Bunema (30-5-2, 16 KO) had a successful return to the ring after six months off, dropping super vulnerable slugger Walter Matthysse (26-4, 25 KO) at the end of the sixth round. It is Matthysse's third straight knockout loss, and his fourth in his last five fights.
Over in Lancashire, John Murray (25-0, 13 KO) stayed unbeaten and gained the vacant British lightweight title with a fifth round TKO victory over Lee Meager (21-3-2, 8 KO). Murray, 23, isn't exactly Amir Khan, but he could snatch a recognized world title or two sometime.
On Friday Night Fights, Tomasz Adamek (35-1, 24 KO) made easy work as expected of out of shape, short, outgunned, overmatched, stay-busy opponent Gary Gomez (18-10-1, 7 KO), winning when Gomez refused to return to the ring for the seventh round, claiming a hand injury. I'm not sure what Gomez hit that might have hurt his hand. There must've been some mighty solid air in Chicago last night.
I don't really mean to make fun of Gomez -- mostly because, yes, he could beat me up, I understand -- but the guy would've been a chubby dude at your local beach, let alone as a pro boxer. He has no height listed on BoxRec, but if Adamek is 6'1 1/2" as reported, Gomez could have been no more than 5'9", and he weighed in at a floppy 201 pounds. Adamek was also at 201, the heaviest he's ever fought.
Now what bothered me watching Adamek was he never took advantage of Gomez and just wasted him, which he clearly could've done at any point he really felt like it. Sure, maybe Gomez lands the perfect punch. More likely Gomez panics and fears for his life, and Adamek assaults him into the canvas. Tomasz won easy because he was 400% more talented than Gomez. But where was the fire? This guy has been in some wars before, and now he's boxing like an amateur. It worked against a super-rusty O'Neil Bell and Chubby Cherub, but how's that going to go when he fights Steve Cunningham?