Father time and the raging fists of Giovani Segura were once again too much for Ivan Calderon. While the eventual outcome was the same as the previous encounter - Calderon taking the count on one knee, the give and take drama of last year’s classic battle failed to materialize.
Calderon tried mightily in the early going to keep his distance, and though greatly harried over the first couple sessions, he may have been successful in eking out a slight margin. Plenty of movement was the key, as Calderon popped in the occasional right hand as he circled quickly away from the Mexcian southpaw’s wild swings.
There was an inevitable foreboding though during those first two rounds, as the defending 108lb champion was almost immediately back in punching range after each near miss. Calderon found himself in danger too frequently, and while he managed to tie the bigger man up often enough, he was still getting forced into exchanges and banged to the body at times. It was that body work, some of which strayed low in the eyes of referee Samuel Viruet – that would spell the end midway through the third.
Segura’s first big breakthrough came about a minute into the round. Perhaps sensing he’d need to conserve a little energy if he was to have a chance of lasting, the Puerto Rican appeared to try and rest his legs by taking a breather along the ropes. Rather than slipping away to the side, he attempted to duck and dodge, while using his elbows to parry a two handed bombardment.
While Calderon managed to slip some of the fire, he got caught with a couple clean right hooks upstairs. These appeared to hurt the veteran southpaw and though he managed to get back on the move and buy a couple seconds – his legs now seemed a little slower, and Segura was almost instantly able to close the distance again.
A right hand upstairs sent Calderon back into the ropes yet again, and from there it was all body shots - with a right hand to the midsection appearing to be the finishing blow. Calderon sagged slowly to the canvas, where he remained on one knee, almost seated, until the count was tolled off. Segura seemed to know it was over, as he made his way to a neutral corner, opening his hands out towards the crowd in a gesture of victory.
The time of the stoppage was 1:39.
For one of the best pure boxers of the past decade, it's probably time to call it a career. Calderon likely wouldn't have to deal with Segura again, given the champion will probably be heading to 112lb soon - but he's at the point where the slope downhill might be awfully slippery, and it would be a shame to see such a fine fighter take any unnecessary punishment down the road.