Our resident boxing writer Diego Morilla serves up a full weekend wrap-up of the most relevant boxing events in the worldwide scene. Every fight that matters is right here, in one place, and at one click away. Follow Morilla on Twitter at @MorillaBoxing
Denver, Colo., Jan. 24th
Brandon Rios TKO 3 Mike Alvarado, welterweights
Quite an anti-climatic ending for such a terrific rivalry. Rios (33-2-1, 23 KO), a former world titlist coming off a shaky DQ victory and a loss, had two toe-to-toe wars against Alvarado (34-3, 23 KO) and this was supposed to be the final chapter of a storied rivalry between two top fighters. But apparently, a few tough defeats and a short jail stint that cut his training camp short affected Alvarado negatively, and he was never able to gain any kind of momentum against Rios, who came out determined to save his career with what he would later call his “best fight ever.” Rios came out blasting, throwing all kinds of combinations and landing most of his punches against a defenseless Alvarado, who took an awful lot of punishment and had his face swollen before the ringside physician advised the referee to stop the bout before the beginning of the fourth round due to what appeared to be a serious eye injury. A somewhat redeeming win for Rios, but also a devastating loss for Alvarado who is now 1-4 in his last 5 bouts and probably headed to retirement.
The winner goes on to: Despite his demolishing victory, Rios’ star is fading quickly, and it’s up to him to decide whether to shape up and take his game to the next level with a more challenging fight in the near future.
Gilberto Ramirez UD 10 Maxim Vlasov, light heavyweights
“El Zurdo” keeps going strong. Ramirez (31-0, 24 KO) continued on his unbeaten streak in his debut in the light heavyweight division with a decent decision victory over a very serious contender in Russia’s Vlasov (30-2, 15 KO), in what represented another step up in level of competition for the talented Mexican southpaw. A very active fighter with above average punching rates and a defense that could use some polishing, Ramirez won thanks to his higher connect rate although he did get clipped in several occasions. Ramirez pressed the action towards the end to grab scorecards of 96-94 and 97-93.
Abner Lopez UD 8 Aik Shakhnazarian, junior welterweights
In a mild upset after eight entertaining rounds, Lopez (22-4, 19 KO) caused the first defeat in the record of Shakhnazaryan (15-1, 6 KO) after a workmanlike unanimous decision. Shakhnazaryan seemed on his way to a victory when Lopez finally sent him to the canvas twice in the sixth round to turn the tables on him and put him on the verge of a stoppage that never materialized. The two points lost by Shakhnazaryan in that round, however, were more than enough to lose him the fight by scores of 78-73 (twice) and 76-74.
Konstantin Ponomarev UD 8 Steve Clagget, junior welterweights
Ponomarev (27-0, 13 KO) stayed unbeaten with a solid decision victory over Claggett (20-3-1, 14 KO) by scores of 77-75 (twice) and 78-74 after securing the victory with a terrific run in the first five rounds and then protecting his lead towards the end to grab the win.
Oleksandr Gvozyk TKO 2 Cory Cummings, light heavyweights
Impressive performance by another talented Russian former Olympian. Gvozdyk (5-0, 4 KO), a 2012 Olympic light heavyweight bronze medalist, needed only four minutes to send Cummings (18-8-1, 13 KO) to the canvas a grand total of three times (all in the second round) to take the win and leave the audience wanting to see more of this talented Russian fighter.
Itxapa, Mexico, Jan. 24th
Rey Vargas KO 2 Nestor Paniagua, junior lightweights
Vargas (23-0, 20 KO) continued to impress and is now headed into championship territory after an easy, short night against Argentina’s Paniagua (25-8-2, 17 KO). Vargas scored a dominant, one-sided stoppage that puts him in collision course with any of the big names at 130 lbs in 2015.
Marcos Reyes UD 8 David Lopez, middleweights
Reyes (33-2, 24 KO) bounced back from his recent loss to Abraham Han with a unanimous decision against a proven journeyman in Lopez (41-15-1, 23 KO), who put a scare on him in the second round when he made Reyes visit the canvas briefly to put him on notice about his power and his intentions. Reyes managed to dominate the rest of the proceedings and grabbed a much-needed victory by scores of 77-74 across the board.
Pennsauken, N.J., Jan. 24th
Chazz Witherspoon TKO 2 Cory Phelps, heavyweights
Witherspoon (32-3, 24 KO), son of former world champion Tim Witherspoon, returned to action with a stoppage victory over Phelps (16-8-1, 8 KO), who visited the canvas twice in the second round and was prevented from continuing fighting by the referee midway through that same episode.