In a WBC featherweight title eliminator, Joseph Diaz Jr. (25-0, 13
KOs) was a step or two — or punch or two – ahead of Mexico’s
Rafael Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) for 12 rounds, earning a unanimous
decision (120-108, 119-109, 119-109). Diaz, a 2012 London Games
Olympian, walked Rivera down for the entire contest, using superior
craft and volume to stymie his foe; while Rivera’s right-hand
counters were the hardest shots of the first half of the bout, the
Tijuana native couldn’t match Diaz, who outlanded him seemingly two
to one in every exchange. In the final four rounds, “Jojo” turned
up the heat on an arm-weary Rivera, landing more unabated left
hands in multiples. With the victory, Diaz is lined up to challenge
WBC 126-pound champ Gary Warren Jr.
Former IBF bantamweight champion Randy Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs)
suffered the first loss of his pro career against another unbeaten,
23-year-old Mexican Diego de la Hoya (20-9, 9 KOs). De la Hoya
fought off his back foot for all 10 rounds, yet consistently used
his lead hand to activate extended, clean combinations of punches,
varying his left from a jab, to a cross, to a hook over the bout.
Caballero, who was competing for just the second time at 122 pounds
and for the third time in nearly three years, marched forward
throughout the contest and landed with regularity, but couldn’t
match the sharpness of de la Hoya, who was also permitted
considerable latitude in his clinching by referee Robert Byrd. De
la Hoya earned the NABF super bantamweight title via unanimous
decision with scores of 100-90 and 98-92 twice.
Lightweight prospect Ryan Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten
via split decision (96-93, 95-54, 91-98) against rugged but little
known Mexican Francisco Rojo (20-3, 13 KOs). Martin, a protégé of
boxing trainer Joe Delguyd who also trains Ultimate Fighting
Championship heavyweight titlist Stipe
Miocic, diligently worked his jab-right cross combination
throughout the fight and throughout the mid-rounds, turned his lead
hand into a steadily scoring left hooks. However, Rojo’s pressure
was relentless over 10 rounds, steadily tagging the flat-footed
Martin clean to the torso, despite the rangier the Ohio native
landing more volume upstairs. In the ninth round, Russell Mora
deducted a point from Martin for repeated low blows as he sought to
respond to Rojo’s steady body attack.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Gennady
Golovkin takes the lead early as Canelo fades back to the ropes,
looking to seemingly counterbox. Tentative jabs from Golovkin early
as Alvarez looks to slip counterjabs in and counter behind it.
Alvarez slips a Golovkin right hook and Alvarez smacks him with a
left to the body. Clean jab, partially blocked right from Alvarez.
Another right for Alvarez, then a jab, then a counter uppercut.
Alvarez coming alive with counters in the last 60 seconds, using
upper body movement to setting up meaningful, hard punches. 10-9
GGG is undaunted to start Round 2, marching forward once more
behind a pawing jab. Both clash hard jabs at the 60-second mark of
the round, then Alvarez just misses on an overhand right. Jab-hook
with the left hand lands for Alvarez, then a lead left hook
registers moments later for the Mexican, who is beating Golovkin
largely with lead-hand counters thus far. Jab-left hook to the
body. Alvarez is a fancy dan so far, using expert timing and
variation on his front hand to befuddle Golovkin. Hard body shot by
Alvarez, who circles out before the bell. Sherdog.com scores the
bout for Alvarez, now up 20-18.
Alvarez is starting to befuddle Golovkin. Canelo has operated a
counter-oriented game, fronting GGG with left jabs and hooks, then
mixing in body shots with both hands now. Alvarez starting to
become more assertive halfway through the round, coming forward now
and zinging right hands. Left hook lands for Golovkin, but Alvarez
immediately pops him with two jabs. Golovkin rips to the body,
Alvarez right back with a right hook, then touches him with a liver
shot. Golovkin still coming forward but his face is starting to
show the damage of Alvarez’s consistency. Clean right hook for
Golovkin before the bell backs Alvarez away before the horn. It’s
still a sweep, 10-9 for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Jab-left hook-right uppercut for Alvarez lands, but Golovkin rips
him with a right hook up top, then a left hook to the body. It’s
still Golovkin trotting forward, while Alvarez uses upper body
movement to duck, slip and counter with his lead left hands. Nice
body shot for GGG as Alvarez walks himself back to the ropes, but
he doesn’t open up as Canelo lays on the perimeter. The crowd
roars, hoping GGG will open up, but Alvarez begs him on as if he’s
Floyd Mayweather, then circles away. Canelo goes to the body,
Golovkin touches him harder in response. Better round for Golovkin
now. Right cross by GGG, Canelo responds in kind. Alvarez is just
circling and loading up on counters now. Golovkin finally seems to
have got into a groove. 10-9 for the Kazakh, 39-37 Alvarez.
Alvarez still willing to back up and put himself on the ropes as
Golovkin attacks, albeit still not opening up fully. As opposed to
the first three rounds, Alvarez fighting in bursts more now,
loading up on bigger counters. GGG triples his left hand and lands
twice in nifty fashion, but Alvarez tags him with two right hands
moments later. Golovkin tries a right uppercut and lands, but
Alvarez lands the left hook, then another. GGG with a rough right,
the hardest punch of the fight, registering an audible crack on
Canelo’s face, who tries to shake his head in defiance. Golovkin
grins at Alvarez as he tries to punch off the ropes. GGG rips with
three punches, Alvarez rips back with four. Both men flurrying as
GGG lands an overhand right over the top. The T-Mobile Arena crowd
roars for the biggest moments of action so far. 10-9 Golovkin, but
the Sherdog.com still has Alvarez up 48-47.
Golovkin is alive now, even more aggressively walking Alvarez down.
Just when the Kazakh opens up, Alvarez rips him with a right hand
that visibly backs him up and briefly stops his forward march. Lead
hooks from both, but Alvarez puts a left to the body behind his,
then another upstairs. Canelo comes off of the ropes now, working
his jab before lazily letting Golovkin march him back once more.
They clinch and on the break, Alvarez trolls Golovkin by bopping
him in the head with a behind-the-back shot which referee Kenny
Bayless admonishes. On the restart, Golovkin walks Canelo down,
digging the body, then landing a hard one-two. Another jab-cross
registers for Golovkin, while Alvarez taps the body again. After
three straight Canelo rounds, it’s three straight GGG rounds.
Canelo’s lead hook is landing more and more often now, seemingly
forcing Golovkin to b breathe with his mouth open. Yet, once
Alvarez gets comfy, Golovkin’s right cross pays dividends, raking
the Mexican along the ropes. Left uppercut lands for Alvarez and
Golovkin misses a slow right hook, but GGG keeps on walking his man
down and rips another left hook to the body.Jab-jab-cross, then a
delayed cross all land for Golovkin .GGG’s volume is really
starting to show now as Alvarez is circling more than countering
now. Hard right to the body by Alvarez but Golovkin tags him back,
unfazed. 10-9 Golovkin, who takes the lead, 67-66.
Alvarez is more active in Round 8, coming off the ropes and
throwing combinations. However, Golovkin sticks him with counter
jabs and sneaks in right crosses to stem his forward movement.
Canelo still smartly works the jab-hook with the left hand but
Golovkin is timing his more aggressive foe now. GGG with a right
uppercut on the counter, then a jab. Alvarez just backing away now,
really slowing his output and barely escaping a lunging right cross
from Golovkin. Out of nowhere, he lands a clean right uppercut on a
charging Golovkin, but still can’t slow GGG’s roll. A jab, another,
then a right to the body from Golovkin close the round. Five
straight for GGG, 77-75.
The emerging narrative of the bout is being crystallized in Round
9, as Golovkin runs Canelo down and starts unloading. GGG lands the
best punch of the fight, snapping Alvarez’s head up with a right
uppercut, then tagging him with a left hook. Canelo wobbles and
circles out, then wings a left hook to ward off the rushing
Golovkin. GGG will not stop, doubling and tripling his jab to move
Alvarez back to the ropes now and looking for the right uppercut.
Alvarez is still throwing, landing short uppercuts on his
encroaching foe. Left hook to the body then a right hook upstairs.
Golovkin dives on him in response, lunging in with a right hook.
Sixth straight round for the unbeaten Golovkin, who leads on the
Sherdog.com card, 87-84.
The tenth round starts in roaring fashion, both men tearing into
the other in the ring’s center with hooks to the head and body.
Alvarez lands harder but Golovkin walks him back to the ropes. It’s
a phone booth war for a moment, both chopping away in tight before
Kenny Bayless warns both for using their heads. Alvarez backs up
and Golovkin re-establishes his jab. GGG uses smart footwork to not
let Alvarez circle back to the center, keeping him confined to the
corners as he tries to regain his wind. Clean jab for GGG and
Canelo clinches. Golovkin lands a jab, Canelo with a counter left
hook. Alvarez just misses with a right hook, clinch. Golovkin with
three punches, then a jab as Canelo tags him. Two punches to the
body for Canelo, Golovkin tags him to the body, then with a right
over the top. Great round, but 10-9 and now 97-93 Golovkin.
Golovkin is the aggressor as per usual, but he’s putting his right
hook over Alvarez’s lead hand now. Canelo playing more defense in
the early portion of the round and seems slower with the lead hand.
Both men land left hands, but Alvarez rips Golovkin with two rights
over his guard. GGG walks right through them and tags his foe to
the body. Jab-cross bounce off of Alvarez’s forehead. Canelo is
still landing but his shots are no longer stopping GGG’s forward
surge. Hard jab-cross for Golovkin, then another right cross
moments later. Jab misses for Golovkin, but he lands a right
uppercut-left hook that stands Alvarez up straight, then jabs him
out. Make it eight straight rounds for GGG now, 107-102.
Alvarez seems to sense he could be behind as he finds a last wind,
smacking a rushing Golovkin with left hooks, right hooks and
uppercuts. Golovkin tags him back with a lunging one-two, then
Bayless warns both for headbutts again. Big action in the final
round as Alvarez finally circles instead of backing up, jabbing.
Golovkin nicely cuts Canelo’s lead foot off and tags him with a
right cross. Golovkin misses a two-piece, Alvarez puts a right hook
to the ribs, then a left to the chin. Another lead left hook from
Alvarez, who is all over Golovkin until the last five seconds, when
GGG unloads a six-punch salvo all over a lazy Canelo before the
bell. 10-9 Canelo round, but 116-112 Golovkin is the official
The Official Result
Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin Fight to a Split Draw (118-110,
114-114, 113-115) R12 3:00