Marcos Maidana was victorious in his return to the ring tonight in Argentina. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Marcos Maidana had no trouble tonight with tune-up opponent Petr Petrov, stopping the Spain-based Russian in the fourth round fighting in front of a rowdy and appreciative home crowd in Argentina.
Maidana (31-2, 28 KO) scored a debatable knockdown of Petrov (29-3-2, 13 KO) late in the first round when Petrov's glove touched the canvas after what looked like a glancing right hand. In the second, Petrov fared a bit better, but it was smoke and mirrors. Through it all, Maidana was the aggressor, but he was so wild with his punches that he often made himself look bad simply because he was missing the target by so much. Petrov landed a couple of sneaky shots during the round, but didn't bother Maidana much at all, and was constantly moving backward.
Maidana dominated the third round for the most part, though Petrov hung in and landed some decent shots late. Early in the fourth, Maidana put Petrov down again, and would finish him off before the bell rang, putting him back on the canvas for a third time, prompting referee Uriel Aguilera to wave it off. Petrov protested a bit, but the fight was going nowhere, essentially, and he didn't appear to have any chance to win.
The televised opener was a true barnburner that diehard boxing fans and lovers of a good "closet classic" should seek out. 26-year-old junior welterweight Oscar Pereyra (24-2, 15 KO) was stunned by a hard-charging Angel Aguirre (8-5-1, 5 KO) in a pure brawl that saw both men taste the canvas and the underdog pull the shocker. Pereyra was floored and badly hurt early in the fight, but in the fourth round came back to put Aguirre on the mat. Once Aguirre returned to his feet, the war was on, and eventually after much trading of heavy blows, Pereyra was back on the canvas. The fourth round was a legit Round of the Year candidate and must-see stuff. Aguirre stopped Pereyra on another knockdown in the fifth round, as the referee waved the fight off and Pereyra's corner threw the towel in.