NEW YORK -- Ivan Calderon earned a unanimous decision over Jesus Iribe in the WBO Junior Flyweight Championship in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Calderon was knocked down with a hard right hand in the second round, but used movement and slickness to win most of the remaining rounds.
"I got hit hard and went down in the second round, but I knew good movement would beat him," Calderon said.
The 35-year-old Calderon (34-0-1, 6 KOs) is considered one of the best pure boxers in the world, but because he fights at junior flyweight and doesn't have much knockout power, he has flown under the radar for much of his career.
The judges scored it 118-109, 118-109, 116-111 for Calderon.
He was making the sixth defense of the WBO title he won in August 2007, when he earned a close split decision over Hugo Fidel Cazares in his native Puerto Rico. It has been a rough title reign, though, with Calderon's past three fights stopped early because of deep cuts from accidental headbutts. One was ruled a draw and Calderon won the other two on scorecards.
Iribe (16-7-5, 10 KOs) was not expected to give Calderon much of a challenge, having lost his only two other title fights. Edgar Sosa beat him by lopsided unanimous decision in February 2002, and Brian Viloria did likewise last August.