Tonight at 11:00 pm EST on UniMas, Solo Boxeo Tecate goes live with fights from Houston, as hometown favorite Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz returns to action, with "Mile High" Mike Alvarado in the co-feature.
Former light heavyweight titleholder Diaz (40-4, 19 KO) hasn't fought since September 2014, missing all of last year largely due to injury. The 32-year-old returned after nearly three years in retirement in 2013, fighting three times, and fought twice in 2014. He's yet to take on any serious competition. Tonight, he faces Fernando Garcia (30-7-2, 18 KO), a 27-year-old fighter from Tijuana who also hasn't fought since 2014, when he was knocked out in five rounds by Sharif Bogere. Diaz-Garcia is set for 10 rounds.
Alvarado (34-4, 23 KO) is also ending a long layoff, as the former 140-pound titleholder looks to get his career back on track, now competing fully as a welterweight. His last fight came in 14 months ago, a third round stoppage loss to Brandon Rios in their rubber match. Alvarado, 35, hasn't won a fight since beating Rios in their second fight in 2013. He's lost three straight. He faces Saul Corral (19-6, 10 KO) this evening. Corral is a club fighter from Mexico who has never faced an experienced opponent, most notably losing to Dierry Jean way back in 2007, when Jean was in his ninth pro fight. Alvarado-Corral is scheduled for eight rounds.
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Juan Diaz def. Fernando Garcia by TKO (2:24 of round 9)
Mike Alvarado def. Saul Corral by TKO (1:25 of round 3)
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ROUND BY ROUND
JUAN DIAZ vs FERNANDO GARCIA
Round 1: Diaz storms out of his corner. I like his new haircut, very fashionable. Diaz eats a couple little shots, but already he still looks exactly like Juan Diaz, other than that aforementioned new haircut. He's letting his hands go, looking to stay busy inside and work off of pressure. Sloppy start because of Diaz's style making it hard for Garcia to sit down on anything or line anything up. Garcia is landing a few, but Diaz is whacking away, too. Pretty much your typical Juan Diaz round. Diaz 10-9
Round 2: Diaz landing some clean power shots early in the round, throwing in combination, cracking Garcia with a right cross. Garcia throws a hook to the body, uppercut follow-up doesn't get in. Diaz bullying Garcia a bit more here, really pushing him around, or at least trying to push him around. Garcia trying to hold his ground, but it's adding up quickly. This is even more of a Juan Diaz style round than the first. But he's still getting hit a fair amount, too, and Garcia closes the round pretty well as the two trade in close. Diaz 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: This round starts pretty hot, both guys settling in and throwing their hands. Garcia giving as good as he gets now. All phone booth action now. Both throwing to the body, both landing uppercuts. Trading the advantage at the moment. Diaz rocking Garcia's head around with a couple uppercuts, Garcia ties up, then eats another uppercut when he lets go. Diaz landing uppercuts at will with both hands now. Garcia trying to hold his ground but getting overwhelmed a bit. Diaz 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Diaz throwing vicious shots now, really winging his punches in there. Garcia holding on. If Diaz could punch this fight would be a wrap, but he can't, so on we got for now. Garcia's face starting to really mark up as Diaz continues to whale away on him. Garcia still landing the odd shot, but Diaz in total control. Diaz 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: More of the same. Basically a question now of whether or not Diaz will stop Garcia in this fight, because it's pretty much one way traffic. Diaz 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: Diaz's output slows just a bit this round, but Garcia's doesn't really go up in counter, so Diaz still able to pretty well control the action for the most part. Garcia still landing shots here and there, but the momentum remains with the hometown guy. Trading uppercuts to end the round, neither landing much. Diaz 10-9, 60-54
Round 7: Diaz continues being Diaz. Garcia continues being not as good as Diaz. This is something of a tiresome exercise at this point. Diaz 10-9, 70-63
Round 8: See round 7. Diaz 10-9, 80-72
Round 9: Give Garcia credit for still trying. He's just not as good as Diaz and Diaz has all the momentum. There's nothing Garcia can do that makes any real difference in what Juan Diaz wants to do in here. Diaz finally drops Garcia, and finishes shortly after. Diaz TKO-9
MIKE ALVARADO vs SAUL CORRAL
Round 1: Well, Corral is coming out letting his hands go, firing off a jab, moving around the ring. So at least he's here to fight. That's about all you can ask of a matchup like this one, that the underdog brought in to lose gives it an honest whirl. Corral lands a little left hook, breaking through the guard of Alvarado. Alvarado digs a right hand to the body and is trying to get his feet under him right now. Alvarado crowding and targeting the body now. Corral firing away with both hands and landing some shots. Alvarado missing badly on return fire. Not that I expect this to last, but I'd give Corral the opening round. Corral 10-9
Round 2: Alvarado lands a long jab, pushing with it a bit at the end. Alvarado being patient at the moment, doesn't look flustered or anything, looks like he's trying to read for openings. Combination from Corral, a shot does land. Uppercuts have been there for him inside, and hooks to the body are there, too. More combination punching from Corral. Alvarado not untracked yet. Uppercut from Alvarado misses, right cross behind it doesn't get in, either. Alvarado shoots a lead right, blocked. Right to the body from Corral, but he puts himself in a bad spot and Alvarado lands a couple shots back. Cutting down the momentum, Corral unloads with both hands. Now they're trading inside! Alvarado's shots look heavier, but Corral landing more. Alvarado coming on hard now to close the round, firing power shots. He shook Corral just a bit. Closer round, and Alvarado got going late. Alvarado 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Corral coming out throwing again to start this round. He certainly isn't lacking for spirit, and this is obviously his biggest fight ever, a real chance for him to do something. Alvarado going to the body with the hook, uppercuts coming now inside. Both guys leaning in close, head to head, and throwing. Alvarado catches Corral hard with a left hook counter and Corral is hurt! Alvarado unloading with power shots, Corral goes down, and the referee stops it! Alvarado TKO-3