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Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Drian Francisco
Round 1Rigondeaux comes out with his customary southpaw stance, pawing with his jab. The Cuban rattles off several jabs upstairs, but they are more rangy than anything. A sweeping left hook from Rigondeaux glances off Francisco’s face; he’s unfazed. The Filipino is very tentative, trying to figure out Rigondeaux’s approach. Lead left to the chin by Guillermo late in the frame. Very little action to begin the fight. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 2Rigondeaux keeps that jab in his foe’s face, preventing him from getting into any sort of rhythm. Francisco tries getting inside to work the body, but he’s tied up. Here are some boos already as some of those in attendance aren’t warming up to the boxers still warming up. They trade jabs with a minute left, but Rigondeaux’s angles are perplexing Drian to no end. Nice counter straight left through the guard by Rigondeaux near the bell. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 3An overhand left by the Cuban begins the round, but it’s more of a glancing blow than anything. Francisco fires off a pair of jabs, but Rigondeaux counters with one of his own. Rigondeaux ducks under a wild left hook and then an even wilder right, making the Filipino look oafish in there. Sadly, he doesn’t make him pay for the mistakes and instead resets his feet and returns to the jab. The crowd in the Mandalay Bay is growing increasingly restless with the complete lack of action, as obscenities in both English and Spanish cascade into the ring. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 4This is obviously a heavily pro-Canelo crowd as the big screens show Cotto being given instructions in his dressing room. Boos and jeers erupt for as long as the Puerto Rican is shown. Back to the fight, Rigondeaux clips his foe with a lead left to the forehead and then pops him with a pair of jabs. Francisco smothers his own overhand left by rushing in and getting tied up. Rigondeaux tosses out a few jabs to keep him honest. Drian is growing incredibly frustrated and the avalanche of boos again floods the arena. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 5Rigondeaux begins the frame with nothing but jabs. Francisco misses badly on a telegraphed overhand right, but the Cuban almost refuses to make him pay. Francisco is beginning to press the issue now, chasing down his elusive target. Rigondeaux backs away, moving mostly to his right, as he repeatedly makes his counterpart miss his attacks. The steady stream of pitter-patter jabs from the former amateur great continues, much to the chagrin of the audience. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 6Rigondeaux is clipped by a sweeping overhand left as soon as the round starts, but it barely lands. He regroups and goes back to the jab, forcing the crowd to lose even more interest, showering the fighters with boos. Francisco is trying to make it a brawl, but he’s continuously smothering his own punches and being too reckless. Rigondeaux maintains his boxing brilliance, but a killer instinct he does not possess in this fight. Rigondeaux backs away in a hurry, avoiding the charges of the Filipino. A few more jabs from the Cuban end the round. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 7Rigondeaux unfurls a pair of jabs before tying his counterpart up. Francisco rushes in several times. Only to be tied up or eluded. Rigondeaux continues to pop his jab out there when he needs to, keeping his foe off-balance. Very little action. Finally, a nice right hook to the body from Francisco, his best punch of the fight. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 8A decent left uppercut to the gut by the Cuban early in the frame. Francisco rushes into a counter right hook, but it doesn’t do any damage. Rigondeaux backs off and clocks him with a pair of jabs before clinching. Drian is still trying to rough his nemesis up and make it a brawl, but Rigondeaux wants none of it. Guillermo tags him with a few more jabs. Nice overhand right to the face from Francisco, but Rigondeaux counters with a left and two jabs. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 9Plenty of movement and jabbing from Rigondeaux early before he cracks his foe with a counter left cross. Francisco races after him but can’t land anything before being tied up. Francisco motions to the crowd about how Rigondeaux keeps backing away. Some more jabs from the Cuban late. 10-9 Rigondeaux.
Round 10Francisco looks a desperate, trying to somehow make this a slugfest. Rigondeaux is too slick, though, and sticks to his elusive style behind a steady diet of jabs. Rigondeaux is completely on his bike, preserving his win. A few jabs from the unbeaten fighter keep Drian honest. With 40 seconds left, Francisco needs a miracle. Rigondeaux doesn’t give him one as he rides out the clock doing his best impression of Carl Lewis. 10-9 Rigondeaux (100-90 Rigondeaux).
The Official ResultGuillermo Rigondeaux def. Drian Francisco via Unanimous Decision (97-93, 100-90 x 2) 3:00, R10
Takashi Miura vs.Francisco Vargas
Round 1Vargas is very aggressive early, charging after Miura. A flurry to the head rocks the Japanese fighter and he almost goes down. Vargas is all over him but Miura is able to right himself and clinch. Miura clears his head and regroups, but he’s tagged by a counter left hook with 30 seconds left. They trade blows briefly but Miura is wobbled near the bell. 10-9 Vargas.
Round 2Vargas continues to be the aggressor, but Miura has his wits about him. They trade jabs early but Vargas is still trying to make it a slugfest. A nice lead left by the champ but Vargas shakes it off. Miura is back in the fight and starting to land his power shots with much more frequency. Nice hard right to the head by Vargas at the bell. Very close round. 10-9 Miura.
Round 3Miura stalks his challenger with his jab. Vargas seems a little gun shy early. Miura stands forehead-to-forehead with him, and they trade uppercuts to the body. The cut on Vargas’ right cheek is bleeding again and it’s starting to swell up more and more. Counter right hook to the head by Miura, The Japanese fighter unloads a three-punch combo upstairs and suddenly Francisco isn’t doing anything. Finally, he tags the champ with a lead right but Miura counters with another right hook. Left hook to the body by the champ at the bell. 10-9 Miura.
Round 4Vargas backs off early in the round as Miura tracks him down. A left-right upstairs from the champ, though the shots are mostly blocked. Vargas chips him with a counter left hook, but there’s hardly anything behind it. Nice straight right to the face from Takashi, but Vargas is able to answer with a left and right. Miura is tagged by a right cross just as he digs a left hook to the gut. Miura goes with a left uppercut to the jaw and then floors him with a huge straight left. Vargas falls into the ropes and when he gets up, the gash on his cheek is pouring blood. 10-8 Miura.
Round 5Miura is going for the kill early. Vargas is cautious, backing away from the attacks. The Mexican ties him up, still trying to clear his head. Vargas’ right eye is swollen almost shut a minute in. Francisco lands a decent lead right to the mouth, but Miura walks right through it. They trade rights to the grill, but Vargas’s was sharper. The Akita resident crushes his challenger’s body with a left hook but Vargas is tough. Vargas clinches twice with about 30 seconds left, still trying to recover. Vargas opens up a flurry near the bell but it’s not enough to win the frame. 10-9 Miura.
Round 6The two trade some decent leather as soon as the stanza begins, but nothing terrific lands for either man. Miura pins the Mexican along the ropes and slams a right to the intestines. Hard lead left to the face by the champ, forcing Vargas to step back. Francisco digs a left hook to the body, but Miura makes him pay with a right hook up top. Vargas springs to life late as he lands a few rights and left upstairs. Some decent action late. 10-9 Miura.
Round 7A few jabs from the Mexican starts the round, but Miura walks through them to land a few of his own. A pair of lead lefts to the face rock Vargas at the midway point and once again, Miura is looking to take him out. Vargas backs away and regroups, but the Japanese fighters lands a pair of jabs and then another left to the head. Francisco storms back with a left hook to the body, followed by two right up top. The round ends with Miura backing his foe into the ropes behind several jabs. 10-9 Miura.
Round 8A lead left by Vargas opens the round, but Miura quickly counters with a right hook and then a pair of jabs. The champ tags him with a lead left again, snapping Vargas’ head back. Vargas returns the favor with a combo to the head and body, but most of the shots are blocked. After exchanging some sharp shots to the body, Miura tags his challenger with another straight left to the face. Miura ducks under a lazy right cross and drills his for with a straight left. Vargas backs into a neutral corner, covers up and survives the round with Miura all over him. 10-9 Miura.
Round 9A right uppercut nails Miura. Vargas explodes with a furious combo to the head. A straight right to the jaw sends him down. Miura is in serious trouble. He is up but unsteady and Tony Weeks allows him to go on. Vargas is all over him, slamming shots to the head and body. Miura stumbles across the ring as Vargas tears into him. Miura is rattled by two more right to the face. His knees buckle. Weeks is looking closely at him but he’s fighting back. Vargas continues to pound away with reckless abandon and Miura is buckled by a right and left. He stumbles to the ropes and finally, weeks steps in to safe him. Huge come-from-behind knockout for Vargas, who snatches the WBC junior lightweight title away from Miura.
The Official ResultFrancisco Vargas def. Takashi Miura via TKO (ref stoppage) 1:31, R9
Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez
Round 1A big left hook by Canelo misses immediately into the fight. Cotto is bouncing up and down, pawing with his jab. Cotto is keeping a distance, looking to counter the slightly more aggressive Mexican. Canelo blocks a few left hooks to the head and body midway through the round. A nice jab by the Puerto Rican. They trade rights to the body but Saul’s follow-up right hook misses badly. A triple jab by Cotto late but Canelo brushes it off. A few jabs from Cotto near the bell after Canelo has a vicious left to the body blocked. Very, very close round that could go either way. 10-9 Cotto.
Round 2A double jab-overhand right by Cotto opens the frame. Canelo goes with a left hook but it’s blocked. Nice check hook by Cotto after digging to the body. Canelo shakes it off and resets. Saul chases after Cotto with a flurry after swallowing two jabs but the Puerto Rican defends the attack. Right to the head-left to the body by Miguel. A jab by Alvarez, followed by a glancing right cross. Cotto blocks a few left hooks upstairs late. They trade blows but Canelo’s straight right is the cleanest of the flurry. Lead right to the face by Cotto just before the bell. 10-9 Cotto.
Round 3A few jabs by Cotto as he boxes beautifully early on. Canelo walks after him, not able to land anything clean. A quick jab by the Mexican snaps Cotto’s head back, but the Puerto Rican returns the favor moments later. Nice sweeping straight right to the noggin by Miguel, which backs Canelo off briefly. They trade left hooks to the body at the midway point. Canelo blocks a left upstairs and counters with one to the body. A triple jab by Cotto keeps Saul away with 45 seconds left. Hard, chopping overhand right to the ear buzzes Cotto for a few seconds late but it’s not enough to win the round. Cotto jabs a few times at the bell. 10-9 Cotto.
Round 4a lead right to the jaw from Cotto just grazes Canelo, who is unfazed by it. Nice left to the body-right to the head by Canelo, his best punch of the fight. Cotto walks right through it, though. Nice jab by the Mexican, but Cotto comes back with a triple jab and then a right to the gut. Lead left hook by Canelo is mostly blocked. Cotto digs to the body twice but his follow-up left hook to the head misses. There is some swelling under Canelo’s right eye late. Hard right to the hip by Saul, who then whiffs on a monster of an uppercut. Double jab by Miguel late in the frame. Another close round. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 5Cotto is sticking and moving early until he’s popped by a left. Canelo digs to the body but it’s a little low. Counter right up top by Canelo, who has seemed to found a rhythm. Lead right to the ear again by Alvarez but Cotto is unfazed. Canelo nails him with a lead left uppercut, which forces Cotto to answer with a sizzling combo to the head and body. Right-left up top by the Puerto Rican at the midway point. Sweeping overhand right by Canelo just clips Cotto. They trade left hooks late and Cotto scoots out to his left. Decent action late, highlighted by a Cotto jab. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 6There is some swelling on the left cheek of Canelo now to start the round. Cotto jabs to the body and head, but his follow-up right to the noggin is blocked. They exchange briefly near a neutral corner. Hard left to the body by Canelo and it gets Cotto’s attention for sure. Cotto comes back with a left-right to the ribs in return. Hard, thudding shots to the body from Cotto. There is some swelling around Cotto’s left eye with a minute left and he looks like he’s slowing down just a little. Nice right to the face by Miguel, but Canelo comes back with a left. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 7Cotto tags his foe with a quick right to the head to start the round. A left hook from the Mexican is blocked. Lead right to the head by Canelo, but Cotto comes right back with two to the body. Hard right downstairs from Saul. They trade jabs until Canelo pops him with a sneaky right up top. A triple left hook to the head and body by Cotto, but it’s mostly blocked. Counter right uppercut from Canelo as Cotto lunges in with a left. Canelo misses with a huge right late in the round. Cotto answers with a flurry to the body. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 8Cotto walks into a counter left uppercut right away, but he’s unfazed. Canelo ducks under a left and cracks his foe with a right. Cotto storms back with a flurry but Saul nails him again with the right. Cotto is rocked a little, but he stands there and bangs with the Mexican. Big right by Canelo and Cotto is hurt. He comes right back with power shots to the body and head. A triple jab by Cotto backs Canelo off. Cotto digs two to the body and then rips his counterpart with a left hook. Canelo backs off, seemingly shaken by the blast. Canelo drills him with another right uppercut on the inside. A decent left to the head by Cotto at the bell. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 9Canelo blocks a volley of punches to the body. A double jab from the Mexican star backs Cotto off. Saul clips him with a left, but his powerful right over the top is blocked. Cotto sips his head and eats a left hook, but he’s not rocked. Cotto backs into the ropes and has to take a big left hook, but it’s mostly blocked. Cotto escapes out to his right to regroup and pops him with a few jabs. Canelo draws him into an exchange and cracks him with a right-left. Cotto dances around for the last 10 seconds. 10-9 Canelo.
Round 10Cotto opens up the round with a double jab and right to the head. Canelo backs him off and tags him with a grazing lead right. Huge right by Canelo whiffs by a foot but Cotto is out of position to counter him. Saul lands another shot to the hip and Cotto complains, drawing the ire of the crowd. Nice jabs by Cotto as he backs Canelo off him. Canelo misses a few more rights and then is countered by a few jabs from the Puerto Rican. Triple jab by Cotto, who has gotten back to his boxing rhythm from early in the tussle. Cotto is moving well, and then pops him with a nice right to the grill. 10-9 Cotto.
Round 11A triple jab and right by Canelo misses. Cotto jabs him and moves to his left, backing off. Canelo walks after him, but he is nailed by a sweeping overhand right. A left hook by the Mexican is blocked, but his follow-up jab isn’t. Cotto is sticking and moving well at the midway point, but he’s not landing anything terribly hard at this point. Canelo is in pursuit, but Cotto’s angles are giving him problems. Left hook to the noggin by the Puerto Rican, who then digs to the body with his right. Triple jab by Cotto keeps the pressing Saul off him. It’s all Cotto late as Canelo can’t figure his style out now. Left to the body, followed by a right up top by the Mexican late. 10-9 Cotto.
Round 12It comes down to this. The fight is up in the air as many of the rounds have been extremely close. The winner of the fight will likely win the fight. Ringside scores are all over the board. Canelo immediately digs a left uppercut to Cotto’s groin and is warned by Robert Byrd. Left to the body by Saul but Cotto comes back with a left and right. Double jab by Cotto, but he’s nailed by a overhand right. They trade blows in the center of the ring. Cotto backs off, bleeding above his left eye. Lead right to the puss by Miguel, who moves out to his right. With a minute left, the fight is up in the air. Hard left hook to the head by Cotto with 55 seconds left. A lethal exchange falls short for both. Double jab by Cotto. A late flurry to the head and body by Cotto likely seals the round for him. 10-9 Cotto (114-114).
The Official ResultSaul “Canelo” Alvarez def. Miguel Cotto via Unanimous Decision (117-111, 119-109, 118-110) 3:00, R12
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