Not much by way of major action tonight, as even Europe had nothing of real note going on. But there were a few cards in the U.S. featuring some familiar names and prospects, so let's do it to it. Obviously the weekend's focus is all on tomorrow night.
Lincoln, Rhode Island
Peter Manfredo Jr. RTD-6 Jhon Berrio. Manfredo (36-6, 20 KO) successfully defended his IBO middleweight title (or didn't defend it, but still has it -- whatever) in his home state with a body shot attack that wore down Berrio (15-8, 11 KO) to the point that the Colombian challenger couldn't answer the bell for the seventh round. Manfredo said after that he broke Berrio's ribs. "It was an ugly fight," Manfredo said. "I got in some rounds. He was strong and wild. I didn't want to get cut. I hit him with short shots to the body until I broke his ribs." The win is Manfredo's fifth straight since an overwhelming beatdown against Sakio Bika in 2008, and the fight also marked the first time he's fought back in Rhode Island since that loss. I really like Manfredo, but he's coming along at a tough time to contend even at 160, which is by far his better weight as compared to 168. There are a lot of good, rising young fighters, and Manfredo is pretty average skills-wise. But he's a tough guy who has never ducked a challenge, so hopefully he finds his way into a bigger fight in 2011. He already has a date for his next fight, January 14 on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
- Mariusz Wach TKO-4 Galen Brown. Wach (23-0, 11 KO) is a huge Polish prospect at 6'7" and generally at 260 pounds or so for his fights, but he's also 30 years old and still fighting six-rounders against limited opposition. Most likely his upside is fighting as an undercard feature in the northeast and in Poland. Brown falls to 33-15-1 (20 KO).
North Bergen, New Jersey
- Ossie Duran UD-10 Matt Vanda. In this fight between well-traveled veteran gatekeepers, Duran (25-8-2, 9 KO) outpointed Vanda (43-12, 23 KO) on a near-shutout, winning two cards 100-90 and losing one round on the third official score (99-91). Vanda's 32 now and might be at the end of his rope even as a journeyman with some mild upset potential, but he's durable, lasts 10 rounds, and if nothing else will fight anyone. He'll still have a few more years left taking on prospects or fighters similar to him, like Duran. Ossie, at 33, still looks like he's hanging on to his role just fine. He gave James Kirkland ten full rounds in 2007 and pressed Fernando Guerrero to a majority decision just last year.
- Omar Figueroa D-8 Arturo Quintero. Figueroa (10-0-1, 8 KO) is a 20-year-old lightweight prospect from Welasco, Texas, and was definitely The Guy Who Was Supposed to Win, but instead left Hidalgo with a draw (77-75, 75-77, 76-76) against Quintero (15-4-1, 9 KO). The worst thing about this? Quintero hadn't fought since 2006. Jake Donovan's report at BoxingScene.com called the fight a war, so it sounds like it's worth tracking down. The show was televised on Telefutura. Not a good night for Figueroa, but the cards don't have to fall as they were supposed to for there to have been a hell of a fight.
- Jermell Charlo UD-8 Luis Grajeda. Charlo improves to 14-0 (7 KO), while Grajeda loses his first fight (10-1-1, 7 KO). Donovan's report says this was the opposite of the main event, as there were calls of "boring!" from the crowd.
- Jesus Ruiz UD-12 Julio Ler. You might remember Ler (30-8, 18 KO) from an absolutely awful TV performance on Boxing After Dark against Jorge Arce on January 27, 2007. If that doesn't jog your memory, that was also the night that Kelly Pavlik made his HBO debut, demolishing Jose Luis Zertuche. Or maybe this'll work: Ler's performance was so awful that Arce spent portions of the fight all but hitting his knees (as that would be a knockdown) and begging Ler to engage him in a fight of any kind. Anyway, nowadays Ler wins in Argentina and trots around the globe losing to everyone else. He got Ruiz (24-3-2, 18 KO) back in the win column in Polanco, losing on scores of 120-108 across the board.
Josesito Lopez TKO-3 Sergio Rivera. Not much of a contest, this one. Lopez (28-3, 16 KO) was fresh off of a mild upset win over Marvin Cordova Jr. on Friday Night Fights in August, and battered Rivera (25-6-2, 16 KO). With both his style and vulnerability, there's no reason Lopez can't become an ESPN2 fixture. It seems like a while since we've had one of those guys that ESPN2 just loves to showcase, win or lose. Lopez has some of that in him.