• By Miguel Maravilla at Ringside Photos by Tom

Canelo and Golovkin Battle to a Draw


In what was the biggest fight in boxing, Ring Magazine middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico and WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO middleweight champion Kazakhstan’s Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) fought to a draw in their highly anticipated clash on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Wasting no time Golovkin threw a looping right in the opening seconds of the fight as Canelo countered with a left hook to the body. In round two, Alvarez worked off the jab and moved side to side mixing it up with combinations as Golovkin pressed with a grin. Alvarez landed low in round three as referee Kenny Bayless told him to keep the punches up, Golovkin began to work off the jab but Canelo's fast hands was the difference in the round. In round four Golovkin backed Alvarez to the ropes as Canelo appeared to be showboating in the final seconds.

Golovkin cornered Canelo early in the fifth round and continued to pin him as he landed a huge overhand right hand as Alvarez shrugged it away. At the halfway point in the sixth Golovkin pressed Canelo as he had him backing up. Continuing to press Golovkin backed Canelo was on his feet countering away boxing. In round eight Canelo kept his distance from Golovkin countering and landed a solid uppercut.

The ninth round saw Golovkin land a powerful right as Canelo responded with his big punches connecting with a left hook and later connecting with a power right. Alvarez staggered Golovkin in the tenth round with a left hook, right hand combination but Golovkin kept coming at Canelo. The championship rounds in the eleventh Canelo countered and let his hands go as Golovkin stalked. The twelve and final round Canelo unloaded combinations and boxed as Golovkin pressed searching for the knockout as they traded away to the final bell.

In the end the judges scored the fight 118-110 for Canelo, 115-113 for Golovkin, and 114-114 a draw.

In the HBO Pay per view co-main event Joseph "JoJo" Diaz, Jr. (24-0, 13 KOs) of South El Monte, California won a unanimous decision against undefeated late replacement Rafael "Big Bang" Rivera (25-0-2, 16 KOs) in a 12-round WBC Featherweight title eliminator. Diaz boxed in the early rounds has he took time to feel out Rivera. In round four Rivera began to get aggressive as the composed southpaw Diaz stuck to the plan and continued to box.

In round five Diaz landed a snapping left uppercut as Rivera's head snap back. At the halfway point in round six Diaz continued to box as Rivera landed big shots. Continuing to box away in the seventh Diaz began to take control however Rivera landed a thudding punch in the final seconds of the round. Staying close on the inside Diaz and Rivera exchanged in the eighth round.

Diaz attacked the body and stood close inside on Rivera in round nine as the southpaw Diaz pressed. The tenth round saw Diaz land some snapping uppercuts as he continued to stay on top of Rivera. The championship rounds was all Diaz as he seemed poised, working Rivera in route to the decision victory.

The judges scored the bout 120-108, 119-109, and 119 -109 .

Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) won a unanimous decision in impressive fashion over former world champion Randy "El Matador" Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs) of Coachella, California in winning the NABF Super Bantamweight title.

Off to fast start De La Hoya tagged Caballero with big punches landing a solid left hook in the opening round. Caballero's aggression caused him to slip early in round two but he landed a left hook of his own as De La Hoya was cornered and attempted escape. In round three Caballero began to swell on his left eye as De La Hoya unloaded combinations. Keeping his distance in round four De La Hoya landed a solid right hand that snapped Caballero's head. Trading inside in the fifth round, a clash of heads caused Caballero to briefly back away as De La Hoya went after him.

Boxing away in round six De La Hoya kept his distance as a bruised up Caballero pressed the action. De La Hoya was back on the inside in round seven as he momentarily staggered Caballero. Mixing it up De La Hoya pumped the jab keeping his distance catching Caballero as he came in and unloading combinations backing the former champion to the ropes. Late in the fight Caballero was fading as De La Hoya unloaded combinations and seemed to have him going as De La Hoya cruised his way to an impressive decision victory.

Scores were 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.

Opening up the HBO Pay per view was Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) had his hands full Francisco Rojo (20-3, 13 KOs) of Mexico City going the distance ten rounds in what was a hard fought fight as Martin boxed, Rojo pressed the action.

Martin's right eye was swelling at the halfway point as Rojo backed him to the ropes landing a solid shot to the mid section stopping his momentum. Rojo continued to back Martin to the ropes as the Mexican unloaded. The seventh round saw Rojo and Martin fighting on the inside as referee Russell Mora issued a warning to Martin for hitting below the belt.

Late in the fight in round eight, Martin landed two low blow's as Mora continued to warn Martin but no point was deducted as the Rojo camp went wild. The point deduction finally came in the ninth round as Martin once again connected low, Mora took a point away. The tenth and final round saw Rojo coming forward sensing the urgency as Martin fought him off displaying his superior skills.

The judges scored the bout 98-91 for Rojo, 96-93, and 95-94 as Ryan Martin squeaks by with the split decision.

NON PPV Bouts

Welterweight Serhii “El Flacco” Bohachuk (5-0, 5 KOs) who is trained by Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez, disposed Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1, 5 KOs) of Baja California, Mexico in two rounds. Bohachuk patiently boxed and in round two he landed a crunching left hook to the body as Valenzuela hit the canvas. The Mexican got up but Bohachuk continued to attack patiently as referee Jay Nady waived the bout at 1:58 of the second.

Dallas, Texas’s super lightweight Vergil Ortiz (7-0, 7 KOs) scored a second round knockout over Cesar Valenzuela (7-2, 2 KOs) of Phoenix, Arizona. Ortiz landed a body shot and followed up with a right hand dropping Valenzuela as he got up but was down a second time. Referee Robert Byrd waived the bout at 1:22 of the second.

In the opening bout from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympian Marlen Esparza (3-0) of Houston, Texas won a unanimous decision over Aracely Palacios (8-7, 1 KO) of Durango, Mexico going the distance in a scheduled six round bout. Esparza boxed well as Cosme was the aggressor with the Olympian displaying her skill over her tough Mexican opponent in route to a unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 60-54.

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