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Calderon Beats Cazares; Wins WBO 108-pound title

In a fight between two Bad Left Hook top-20 pound for pounders, Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon succesfully moved up in weight to take the WBO light flyweight title from Hugo Cazares.  Calderon completely dominated the first half of the fight, but was floored by Cazares in round 8, at which point he appeared to be hurt.  Nonetheless, the undefeated Puerto Rican was able to withstand Cazares's attack on his way to a well-deserved victory by split decision.  Two of the judges scored the fight 115-112 for Calderon, while the third--who must have been watching a different fight--scored it 116-111 for Cazares.  With the win, Calderon improves his record to 29-0, and officially establishes himself as the man to beat in the two lower weight classes in the sport.  The Iron Boy had previously won the WBO minimumweight title in 2003, which he successfully defended a dozen times.  Because he couldn't solidify fights against any of the other 105-pound titleholders, he decided to move up in weight and challenge Cazares, whom most considered to be the true 108-pound champ.  This was undoubtedly the biggest fight of both men's careers so far.

Unfortunately though, this fight was not available to any cable subscribers in the US.  It just goes to show how the lower weight classes in boxing are overlooked by the major boxing networks.  Calderon-Cazares is a much better match-up (even on paper) than a lot of the stuff we've gotten to see on HBO over the last couple of years.  The truth is that while Calderon is one of the most skillful boxers in the sport (I wouldn't hesitate to say he's the second slickest boxer in the world, only behind Floyd Mayweather) he lacks punching power and, hence, star appeal.  I can say this for certain, though:  I've never gotten bored during one of his fights.  He boxes; he doesn't run.

Hopefully this win will open up the door to whatever big fights could be available for Calderon.  Other than Cazares, the only other major player at this weight class is Ulises Solis.  I guess it's possible the two could meet at some point down the line.  For now, one thing is certain:  Ivan Calderon is the most dominant--and perhaps also overlooked--little man in boxing since the great Ricardo Lopez.

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