Weekend scorecard: 'Vitali' important date

The crucial thing about Hasim Rahman's victory over Monte Barrett: It sets up a fall shot at Vitali Klitschko and the most important heavyweight fight of the year.

Originally Published: August 15, 2005
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

A roundup of the weekend's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Chicago
Hasim Rahman W12 Monte Barrett
Wins a vacant interim heavyweight title
Scores: 118-110 (twice), 116-112
Records: Rahman 41-5-1; Barrett 31-4
Rafael's remark: Forget the interim title that Rahman won. This victory earned him a fall shot at Vitali Klitschko for the real title in what is the most crucial heavyweight fight of the year. Rahman, a former champion, got in 12 solid rounds in his first fight in nine months, so he should be well prepared for Klitschko, who hasn't fought since last December. But this was an ugly fight. It was downright boring most of the way, and the crowd of more than 15,101 booed lustily. More of the blame goes to Barrett, who ran and fought a defensive fight most of the way until coming alive in the final couple of rounds when he knew he needed a knockout for the win. We're just glad it's over and we can get on to the serious Klitschko-Rahman fight.
Junior middleweight
Ricardo Mayorga W12 Michele Piccirillo
Wins a junior middleweight title
Scores: 120-105, 117-110, 117-108
Records: Mayorga 27-5-1; Piccirillo 44-3
Rafael's remark: Mayorga had promised an early knockout. Although he didn't deliver, the wild swinger knocked Piccirillo down three times (twice in the second round and again in the third) en route to a dominant, although sloppy, decision. Piccirillo had no answers for Mayorga's crude style. Mayorga, the former unified welterweight champ, became a two-division title holder by picking up the belt that had been stripped dubiously from Javier Castillejo. Now, Mayorga wants the winner of the Fernando Vargas-Castillejo bout Saturday. A Mayorga-Vargas fight could be a tremendously exciting match.
Oliver McCall TKO4 Przemyslaw "Chemek" Saleta
Records: McCall 45-8, 32 KOs; Saleta 42-7
Rafael's remark: McCall, the 40-year-old former champion who once iced Lennox Lewis in two rounds, scored a minor upset with an excellent showing. Although McCall is from Chicago and had many fans in the crowd, Saleta, from Poland, was the fan favorite among the heavily Polish crowd. McCall hurt Saleta with an uppercut in the fourth that began his downfall, followed by a series of shots that finally knocked him down. Moments later, the referee stopped the bout. McCall originally was not supposed to be in the fight. He was slated for a non-televised bout on the undercard, but Andrew Golota was injured in training and McCall stepped in to replace him on short notice. If McCall, always a terrific puncher with an iron chin, can keep his chaotic personal life calm for an extended period, he is more than capable of pulling off another upset and regaining a title.
Luis Collazo TKO8 Miguel Angel Gonzalez
Retains a welterweight title
Records: Collazo 26-1, 12 KOs; Gonzalez 49-5-1
Rafael's remark: Collazo is a skilled boxer and his power might be a little underrated. He looked very sharp as he dismantled Gonzalez -- a former dominant lightweight champion -- before Gonzalez's corner stopped the fight immediately after the bell rang to start the eighth round. But before we get too excited about Collazo's performance, let's remember whom he was facing. Gonzalez hadn't won a meaningful fight in about a decade and scarcely resembled the fighter who made 10 lightweight defenses during 1992-95. He didn't deserve the title shot to begin with because he was coming off a lopsided defeat to then-undisputed champ Cory Spinks 11 months ago. As for Collazo, we're interested in seeing him again, but against an opponent with significantly more merit.
Junior middleweight
Alex "Terra" Garcia W12 Luca Messi
Retains an interim junior middleweight title
Scores: 119-109, 117-110 (twice)
Records: Garcia 25-1, 23 KOs; Messi 28-6-1
Rafael's remark: Garcia said he hurt his hand in the second round, which could be the reason this massive puncher didn't stop Messi, an Italian fighting in the United States for the first time. Garcia did manage to drop him in the seventh round. Unfortunately, the fight wasn't part of the pay-per-view broadcast but Garcia deserves to be seen. He's an exciting puncher who leaves everything in the ring, just the sort of fighter fans love to watch.

Friday at Cordoba, Argentina
Junior lightweight
Jorge Barrios TKO2 Victor Santiago
Retains a junior lightweight title
Records: Barrios 44-2-1, 32 KOs; Santiago 18-4-1
Rafael's remark: In his first title defense, the charismatic Barrios delivered what the hometown fans wanted -- a dominant knockout. He dropped Santiago three times in the second round, retaining the title in style. We expect Barrios' next defense to be in the United States, on a Golden Boy pay-per-view undercard.

Friday at Laredo, Texas
Junior welterweight
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. KO1 Jonathan Nelson
Records: Chavez Jr. 21-0, 16 KOs; Nelson 10-11
Rafael's remark: In the main event of Telefutura's fifth anniversary "Solo Boxeo" card, Chavez Jr. put a smile on his famous father's face at ringside. He smashed Nelson with a big left hook 54 seconds into the fight, and it was over. Chavez continues to face the worst opponents that his matchmakers can dig up, but it doesn't seem to matter to the thousands of loyal Mexican fans who have fallen in love with him. If it turns out Chavez can fight, he is going to be a major star.
Jose Aguiniga W10 Gerardo Espinoza
Scores: 96-94 (twice), 95-95
Records: Aguiniga 29-0; Espinoza 28-9
Rafael's remark: In a rematch of a previous Aguiniga victory, he beat late substitute Espinoza again, but had more trouble this time. Perhaps it was because Aguiniga came in about five pounds heavier than expected. He looked lethargic and disinterested in the fight but maintained his perfect record. He figures to get a title shot, probably as a bantamweight, but he needs to focus more.
Junior welterweight
Jorge Paez Jr. KO2 Javier Segura
Records: Paez Jr. 5-0, 5 KOs; Segura 4-11
Rafael's remark: Paez Jr., the son of former world champion Jorge Paez, showed a little of his father's flash with this highlight reel knockout. While winding up a right hand, Paez unleashed a left hook that crumpled Segura. Paez has some skills and is a prospect worth watching.

Friday at Denver
Junior welterweight
Donald Camarena W10 Jorge Alberto Padilla
Scores: 98-92 (twice), 96-94
Records: Camarena 16-1; Padilla 6-2
Rafael's remark: In a good give-and-take fight, Camarena earned his hometown victory. He is a more polished boxer than Padilla, a 2004 Mexican Olympian, and came on strong in the late rounds. But 98-92? Come on.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.