10 Point Must System by Devon Currer
The place was the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas. The night of 7 May 2005 that lived in infamy involved two of the best light weight champions at the time pitted against each other in a unification fight that could not have become anything other than the fight of the year and one of the greatest fights in living memory.
The late Diego "Chico" Corrales was quoted as saying that he was prepared to "walk through hell" in order to leave the arena as the unified and linear light weight champion. The other half of the ingredients to that beastly broth came from Mexico in the form of Jose Luis "El Temible" Castillo who brought his WBC version of the light weight championship into the fight with a mission of heading back to Mexico with an added trinket - The WBO Belt held by Corrales.
An all out phone booth was ensued with both fighters giving as good as they got with a twist in the tale that only boxing can supply - one of the greatest comebacks in the world of sports. Tony Weeks stopped the bout after Corrales caught Castillo on the ropes and delivered a devastating left hook which rendered El Temible out on his feet. This is arguably the greatest round in boxing.
Fast forward just short of eight years - The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino played host to another eagerly anticipated fight - but this time a rematch. Tony Weeks again was put in charge of a fight that delivered every promise made by the first match and more. This bout had no major silverware on the line but that did not matter. Brandon Rios v Mike Alvarado II was a gift to long suffering fight fans around the world by Top Rank.
Again, both men traded a barrage of brutality in the very centre of the ring for 12 rounds. The winner emerging in the form of the Colorado native. Fitting it was that Alvarado avenged his first loss by handing the guy who beat him a first career loss.
For the time being both Rios and Alvarado find themselves in the mix of names also promoted by Top Rank - WBO welter weight titlist Timothy Bradley, 10 time world champion Manny Pacquao and his fiercest rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
While Top Rank look to strike the best opportunity for Pacquiao / Marquez V, they have announced Marquez will fight Timothy Bradley in Los Angeles later this year in September while Pacquiao, in an effort to pay less tax, will fight Brandon Rios in Macau, China on November 23.
In a super bantam weight title unification clash, Guillermo Rigondeaux brought the impressive run of Nonito Donaire to a grinding halt with a unanimous point's decision victory. The fight took place in one of the most beautiful boxing venues - the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This fight was far from entertaining as it featured the defensive minded genius of Rigondeaux being able to outfox Nonito Donaire who was unable to land and damaging combinations.
The Alomodome in San Antonio, Texas was sold out to the tune of 34 427 spectators when Saul Alvarex decided to take his name and title unification fight off a Floyed Mayweather under card. Alvarez v Trout was for the WBA and WBC super welter weight titles and Ring Magazine Belt.
Both men have records that sport that magical zero in the loss column. It was the fiery haired Canelo who managed to hang onto his and usurp a version of the WBA title (the "Super" title being held by Floyd Mayweather which is no surprise when it comes to the sport's governing bodies) and the linearly regarded Ring Magazine Belt.
In a display of patience and power, Canelo managed to land some telling blows and about 10 seconds into the 7th round was able to send Austin Trout to the canvas for the first time in his career, courtesy of a lethally planted straight right hand.
Trout out punched Alvarez by almost double the volume but it was the quality of the power punches that Alvarez landed on Trout that made the difference at the end of the day.
Although Canelo took his foot off the gas late in the fight (thanks to the WBC and their open scoring policy) he was still handed a unanimous decision victory.
Danny Garcia continued his impressive run of form when he defeated Zab Judah at the Barclay's Centre in Brooklyn, New York. The aggravated manner in which the promotional tour ran with verbal barbs being thrown between Zab and Angel Garcia (father and trainer of Danny) meant that both fighters were weighed in separately in an effort to prevent and kind of pre-fight brawl between the two champs.
The fight itself was of a very high calibre in the opening 6 rounds and an all out war down the stretch. Carcia dropped Judah in the eighth with a flush straight right hand - this only served to bring Judah to life and he made the closing stretch a nightmare for Garcia and easily won the last 4 rounds. Although Judah lost on points, he is far from done at the age of 35.
He was able to close out the last 4 rounds against the unified champion 10 years his junior and deserves another big fight.
As for Garcia, a big fight is a certainty with him likely to get a shot at the winner of Lamont Peterson and Lucas Mathysse in September.
It's not too often that fans are treated to a heavy weight clash that on paper looks to have the marking of a great fight.
Stylistically with both men roughly the same size, Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola are only known to be able to fight walking forward and that is exactly what was delivered - a good, hard fought heavy weight scrap with a mandated challenger position for Vitali Klitschko and his WBC belt as reward.
Arreola looked in decent enough shape in comparison to earlier fights in his career and won the first two rounds. Stiverne, whose previous big win in the division came against the 40-year-old Travis Walker, pulled the trigger in the third round, dropping Arreola with a big looping right hook. With blood streaming profusely for the rest of the fight from a suspected broken nose, Arreola faced an uphill battle to get back into the fight against a very solid opponent who peppered his rib cage with right hooks.
Arreola showed tremendous heart but fell short at the end of the night with Stiverne being awarded the unanimous decision.
Stiverne now is in the position of mandatory WBC title challenger but it remains to be seen if Vitali will fight against him or a bigger money fight against David Haye before he retires for good.
The MGM Grand played host to "Mayday", underscored by the dominant display from the universally regarded pound-for-pound champion, Floyd Mayweather. he swept the challenger Robert Guererro aside for an easy nights work by way of an anticipated and wide unanimous points decision.
Guererro, who won a world title at feather weight unfortunately fought like he had just came from that division.
It has to be mentioned that after Floyd fought Miguel Cotto exactly a year prior, where the Puerto Rican exposed many of Floyds' age inspire frailties, his choice of Robert Guererro as an opponent was insulting to many hardcore boxing fans. As Floyd closed out the show and moved to a record of 44.
The only fighter out there that can make the kind of money he has become accustomed to would be in the form of the undefeated and unified super welter weight world champion, Saul Alvarez.
The co-main feature on that same card held the names of Daniel Ponce de Leon and the undefeated 2 time world champion, Abner Mares. Mares moved up to the feather weight division to challenge de Leon for his WBC title.
He dropped De Leon in the second round with a bombing left / right hook combination to the top of the head and again in the 9th with a blistering right hook which coming off a clinch. De Leon took the count and upon resumption, got caught again on the ropes in the follow up attack. After taking several clean shots on the ropes, referee Jay Nady stopped the fight with seconds left on the clock in the 9th frame.
This was somewhat controversial as de Leon looked cognitive and was firing back with his eyes trained on Mares and there could have been an argument that in a world title fight, the champion should be allowed to go out on his shield but it was not to be.