Tonight at 9 pm EST, Premier Boxing Champions returns to ESPN with a doubleheader from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, as former two-division titleholder Devon Alexander faces Aron Martinez in the welterweight main event, with a featherweight title bout in the co-feature slot.
Alexander (26-3, 14 KO) has not fought since a December 2014 loss to Amir Khan, where he was routed on the scorecards and had a terrible time keeping pace with the fast British fighter. Martinez (19-4-1, 4 KO) is no Amir Khan, but he's a capable veteran fighter who can be a very tough out. That said, he's lost three of his last four at the hands of Jessie Vargas, Josesito Lopez, and most recently, Robert Guerrero. This figures to be a tune-up type fight for Alexander, but we'll see how he responds to his last loss and 10 months of inactivity, too.
IBF featherweight titleholder Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KO) will make his first defense, as the Welsh fighter moves his career to the United States and kicks off a new chapter against Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KO), a former titleholder at flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight. The 36-year-old Montiel has won eight straight since 2011.
Join us tonight for live coverage! It's Wednesday, what else are you doing?
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Aron Martinez def. Devon Alexander by UD (96-94, 97-93, 97-93)
Lee Selby def. Fernando Montiel by UD (119-109, 118-110, 116-112)
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ROUND BY ROUND
DEVON ALEXANDER vs ARON MARTINEZ
Round 1: Martinez comes out scrapping, Alexander with a couple of good body shots to kick off his offense. Alexander looking pretty sharp in the opening round after the long layoff in his career. Alexander daring Martinez to come to him, holding his hands down and squatting down at distance. Good left hand from Alexander as he's walking down Martinez now. Martinez roughed Alexander up inside a bit this round but didn't do a lot more. Alexander 10-9
Round 2: Martinez getting in close and leaning in on Alexander, who is happy to hold and draw some boos. Alexander trying to throw in close now, at least. Martinez is getting the fight on the grounds he wants, but Alexander throwing now and doing decent work in there. Lots of grappling and rough stuff inside in this round. Alexander 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: This is getting boring to go along with being ugly. Alexander is just a miserable TV fighter most of the time. Alexander holding, holding, holding. Martinez 10-9, Alexander 29-28
Round 4: Crowd is consistently booing the fight at this point. Martinez doing the things he can and knows how to do. Alexander is better than him but Martinez is doing his best. Alexander 10-9, 39-37
Round 5: When Alexander doesn’t hold constantly, this is a watchable close quarters battle. When he does it’s trash. This round is the former through the first two minutes, and Martinez is really bullying him at times. Throwing constantly, banging away, even shoving Devon off and into the ropes. Devon landing some shots, too. Martinez 10-9, Alexander 48-47
Round 6: Devon using his legs this round, staying out of the pocket and getting back to what he does best. When he keeps distance and throws anything, it's an easy fight for him. But here he is back in the trenches with Martinez in the second half. Martinez is giving another "top" welterweight hell. Martinez 10-9, 57-57
Round 7: Martinez keeping control in this round. He's banging away and having his best round here. Martinez tagging the body, working away, Alexander not looking good at all. Martinez 10-9, 67-66
Round 8: Martinez with a left hook that lands. Alexander supposedly complaining about blood in his eye between rounds. Martinez continuing to work. Body shot and a straight right from Martinez, hurts Alexander late in the round. Martinez is just throwing and throwing. Martinez 10-9, 77-75
Round 9: Kevin Cunningham is extremely frustrated in the corner, telling Todd Grisham that Alexander doesn't appear mentally right and isn't doing anything right, not executing. Alexander is battling this round, though, and getting himself back in. Martinez lands a hook, Alexander throwing in close. Martinez 10-9, 87-84
Round 10: Martinez not doing as much as you might want in this round, but he does clip Devon here and there. Alexander just looks exhausted in there and has for several rounds, but he gave what he had this round, to his credit, and I think he won it. Alexander 10-9, Martinez 96-94
LEE SELBY vs FERNANDO MONTIEL
Round 1: Selby shooting his jab to start. Remember when Nonito Donaire made Montiel look small and physically overmatched? At bantamweight? He looks very small at featherweight. He's got a ripped body and some jacked up arms, but he's short and looks narrow, or slender at the weight. Selby just jabbing, Montiel holding his elbows up high and his forearms straight from there. Uneventful round but Selby leading what action there is. Montiel did land a decent right at the end of the round. Selby 10-9
Round 2: Selby continuing to flick his jab out, right hand starting to come behind now. When Selby gets too close and doesn't get out, Montiel is ready to throw. Montiel doesn't look bad, he just looks small. Montiel throwing a hook, blocked, and follow up shots also blocked. Right hand from Selby, maybe clipped Montiel. Jab from Selby gets in. Selby moving and jabbing, using the ring. Montiel grabs him and tries to rough him up toward the end of the round in an attempt to steal it. Selby 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Selby with a quick charge to start the round, Montiel neutralizes it and gets him to reset. Montiel trying to figure out a way to do some damage here, but it's tough for him to get close enough, and once he does, to actually get off before Selby wraps him up. Selby getting a little more aggressive here halfway into the round, walking Montiel down and looking to pick his spots. Right hand and a left thud off the sides of Montiel's head. Selby really looking ready to use his size advantage now. Punch clips Montiel, he slips and his glove touches the canvas, Robert Byrd rules a slip. Montiel looking a bit more hopeless now. Selby 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Selby throwing with intent to start round four, throwing power shots behind his jab. Montiel does land a little right uppercut that forces Selby to tie him up. Sharp left from Montiel gets in shortly after. Montiel isn't taking silly risks, doesn't seem to believe he needs them to win this fight. He probably does, but he's not fighting like that. Selby with some good work through the second half of the round, but Montiel hits him with another uppercut late and did some solid stuff this round, too. This is a competitive shutout right now. Selby 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Montiel having moments here and there but the size differential has started to become a serious issue for him, and a big advantage for Selby. FM having his best round here. Montiel always has a couple to throw after the 10 second warning. Montiel 10-9, Selby 49-46
Round 6: Montiel has really picked up the pace and is staying effective here in the sixth round. Selby is cut and doesn't seem to be responding particularly well to that. Montiel's confidence is really growing. Montiel's countering well, defending well, and has the momentum. Selby lands a right at the bell. Montiel 10-9, Selby 58-56
Round 7: There's some pressure on Selby now. Todd says that Selby's corner is expressing some concern. They should be. Selby gets back to business in the first minute of this round, Montiel not landing punches. Selby getting some shots in, but leans in and gets slapped with a little left hand. Good left hook from Montiel, then an overhand right scrapes Selby. Selby with a jab to the body. Good right hand from Selby gets in. Selby's cut not a problem this round. Montiel chasing and throws a hook. Selby got himself back in gear this round. Selby 10-9, 68-65
Round 8: Selby working effectively behind the jab again in the first minute and change of this round. Montiel trying to land looping rights, can't get close enough. Right hand from Selby, and then a left hand comes right through Montiel's wide guard. Montiel trying to be aggressive, but only in spurts, and not enough landing. Selby 10-9, 78-74
Round 9: Selby is in control again, Montiel's output not enough to make a real dent. This is now Lee Selby's fight to lose, and he's gotten past that rough patch in the fifth and sixth rounds. Selby 10-9, 88-83
Round 10: Selby remains in control, but slips hard throwing a fancy hard jab late in the round. Montiel tries to get Robert Byrd to buy into it, but Byrd won't have it. Selby 10-9, 98-92
Round 11: Montiel throwing with purpose again this round, but Selby working comfortably at this point. This hasn't been his best performance but it's obviously a win in the making unless he gets stopped. Montiel is trying, give him that much. And he certainly hasn't been easy for Selby. Selby 10-9, 108-101
Round 12: Montiel just unleashing both hands and landing some good shots when Selby gets caught leaning in. Fernando is fighting to knock him out, and that's all you can ask in this situation. I like Montiel this round, because he pushed the pace and Selby mostly was just playing defense in there. He threw a little but fought like he didn't need the round and didn't need to take a risk. Which he did not. Montiel 10-9, Selby 117-111