In case you missed anything from what was an exciting, eventful, and pretty damn great Saturday in the world of boxing, let's put it all together here so you can catch up.
Las Vegas, NV (Thomas & Mack Center - HBO PPV)
Martinez survived a big 12th round push from Chavez Jr, but otherwise dominated the fight, and led 11-0 on two official scorecards (and ours) and 10-1 on the third official scorecard heading into that round. For 11 rounds, Martinez outclassed his younger, far bigger rival, but a big right hand stunned Martinez and a few left hooks put him on the canvas moments later, bringing an incredible reaction from the sold-out, mostly pro-Chavez crowd. The fight was not a a classic -- but the 12th round sure was, as Sergio refused to hold and fought his way through over a minute of pure survival as Chavez Jr threw everything he had at him. [ Chavez Jr vs Martinez Recap / Video Highlights ]
In the true Fight of the Night on the Top Rank/HBO PPV side, Puerto Rico's Martinez scored a narrow win over Mexico's Beltran in an all-out, 12-round war that saw Beltran start fast, and Martinez heat up to meet him on even ground. These two traded heavy leather, and in the end, it was unfortunately a Russell Mora point deduction that made the difference, as Martinez won on two cards, 114-113, with Beltran taking the third, 116-111. Without the deduction -- which wasn't really undeserved or totally unfair, but regrettable, I guess you would say -- we'd have had a majority draw. The decision itself was pretty fair, and if you missed this show, this is a fight to track down. Great stuff. Martinez now holds the WBO super featherweight title. [ Martinez vs Beltran Jr Recap ]
Some expected this to at least be competitive, though I was not one of them. I didn't really expect Macklin to trounce Alcine in 2:36, but I also wasn't shocked by it. It wasn't that long ago that Alfredo Angulo did the same to Alcine on HBO. Alcine is still a competent fighter on a certain level, but Macklin was all business tonight -- in other words, he wasn't in Vegas to fuck around, and he pounced on Alcine quickly, and just ran him right over. Alcine was down twice, and though he played surprised by the stoppage, it was barely arguable. Macklin was bombarding him and was ready to finish it. Macklin fought like a guy who meant to tell the audience, "Look, this is what I can do. Don't forget me just because Sergio beat me." [ Macklin vs Alcine Recap ]
Marroquin, 23, gave it a decent go, but he just couldn't figure out the savvy Cuban for any real stretch of time. He did buzz him twice in the fight, but that didn't make up for two knockdowns suffered at the hands of the defending WBA super bantamweight champion. Rigondeaux kind of cruised through this fight -- he has a level of ability that allows him to do that better than just about anyone in the sport, and frankly, he's not being matched with world class fighters. It's a question of whether or not they want to fight him, too. Nonito Donaire has honestly sounded like he wants nothing to do with Rigondeaux, making a big deal out of not wanting to fight a guy who isn't worth much money. This coming from the guy who fought Jeffrey Mathebula in his last fight. Honestly, the more I watch Rigondeaux, I agree with the minority that thinks Donaire-Rigondeaux might be an awful fight full of guys twitching and waiting. [ Rigondeaux vs Marroquin Recap ]
Willie Nelson UD-10 John Jackson, Michael Medina UD-8 James Winchester, Wale Omotoso UD-8 Daniel Sostre
Nelson vs Jackson was actually a very good fight, and would have been high-end ShoBox stuff. I saw one notable boxing writer describe it as an upset, but was it? Nelson had been in with better competition, and despite being the son of Julian Jackson, John Jackson's 13-0 mark was super empty and I don't recall hearing a ton about his prospect status. Jackson just got outworked and outlasted in the end, but he's got raw tools and some upside. Nelson, the 6'3" junior middleweight, remains interesting, and fun to watch. Medina and Omotos had no trouble at all in their fights. [ Undercard Recap ]
Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand - Showtime)
This wound up a pretty gross mismatch, and Lopez said after the fight that the size was definitely a factor, but he didn't try to make an excuse out of it. "I knew he was a tough fighter and he proved he's a better fighter," Lopez said. "He was smarter, stronger and patient. I felt good going in but there was a big size difference. I was hoping to land a good punch to change the momentum." Lopez, gritty and brave, was floored three times before referee Joe Cortez mercy-stopped it in the fifth round. Lopez actually had a decent game plan, wasn't fighting poorly, and landed some shots. But the physical strength difference between them was really obvious. I'm not saying Golden Boy should hang their heads here -- maybe you feel that way, but I've seen far worse than this, though this wound up pretty bad -- but they've got to be serious about Canelo's next opponent. It absolutely has to be a legit junior middleweight. [ Canelo vs Lopez Recap / Photo Gallery ]
On that angle, Canelo says he's ready for Miguel Cotto or Floyd Mayweather.
The night's most disappointing fight, with nowhere near the fireworks we expected. But it wasn't a bad fight. The two had a lot of respect for one another. This was the darkhorse option: A fight where two guys knew they were matched extremely tough, and were worried about how vulnerable they were to the other man's strengths. Gonzalez knew his weak chin was a bad fit for Ponce De Leon's thunder, and Ponce De Leon knew his lack of speed could be badly exploited by Gonzalez. The fight was called early when a head clash led to a nasty cut over Gonzalez's eye, and Ponce De Leon got the cards in the shortened fight. Maybe they should do it again. Ponce De Leon now has the WBC featherweight title. [ Gonzalez vs Ponce De Leon Recap ]
THESE TWO TRIED TO TAKE EACH OTHER APART. MAIDANA GOT THE WIN. WATCH THIS FIGHT. IT WAS A FIGHT OF THE YEAR CONTENDER. [ Maidana vs Soto Karass Recap ]
Well, Morel came to fight, and he came to win. And Santa Cruz, the highly-talented, highly-entertaining young WBC bantamweight champ, beat the crap out of him and forced him to give up the fight after five rounds. [ Santa Cruz vs Morel Recap ]
Ross won this fight, but you'd never know it. The usual, "Well, swing rounds" banter is already out. I didn't think there were all that many swing rounds, personally. There was also another Edmund Gerber load of BS on the undercard. [ Hernandez vs Ross Recap ]