Weekend scorecard: Margarito ends it quickly

If there was any doubt about Antonio Margarito's power, he demonstrated it in spades with his lightning-quick dismissal of Manuel Gomez.

Originally Published: February 20, 2006
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


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

Saturday at Las Vegas
Welterweight
Antonio Margarito KO1 Manuel Gomez
Retains a welterweight title
Records: Margarito 33-4, 24 KOs; Gomez 28-11-2
Rafael's remark: If Margarito thought he was being ducked by the big names before this fight, what now? He simply destroyed Gomez, who was on a 12-fight unbeaten streak since his last loss, in 1998. Gomez had never suffered such an overwhelming defeat, but Margarito came out blazing and wrecked Gomez in a mere 74 seconds with a furious two-handed attack. But it was a huge left hand in the middle of the assault that did the real damage to Gomez, who went down along the ropes and immediately spit out his mouthpiece, causing referee Richard Steele to call off the fight without completing the count. Gomez popped up quickly to complain about the stoppage, but was staggering. Margarito has been pining for a big-time fight and promoter Bob Arum hopes he can finally deliver. Arum said afterward he has the Thomas & Mack Center on hold for July 29 to match Margarito with the winner of the April 8 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Zab Judah. There's no deal yet with Mayweather or the Don King-promoted Judah, but if Arum can pull it off, it would certainly qualify as a major, fan-friendly fight, one that Margarito deserves after so many years of toiling in obscurity. Mayweather was in attendance and, given that he is the favorite against Judah, that's the fight we probably will see.
Junior flyweight
Brian Viloria W12 Jose Antonio Aguirre
Retains a junior flyweight title
Scores: 117-11, 116-112 (twice)
Records: Viloria 19-0; Aguirre 33-5-1
Rafael's remark: Viloria, a 2000 U.S. Olympian, made the first defense of the 108-pound title he won in spectacular fashion via a first-round knockout of Erik Ortiz in September. The performance against Aguirre, a former long-reigning 105-pound champ, wasn't as explosive as his victory over Ortiz, but Viloria clearly won the action-packed fight, the best of the night on Top Rank's "Real Warriors" pay-per-view card. But the win didn't come without problems. Viloria appeared to be in trouble a few times, especially in the third round, as Aguirre controlled the action in spots, backing Viloria into the ropes and landing combinations. But with the victory in the bank, Viloria can look forward to some potentially marketable fights in the small weight divisions. A match is possible with former amateur rival and current 105-pound champ Ivan Calderon, or Viloria could move up to flyweight for a showdown with Jorge Arce in a battle of punchers. Either way, Viloria is poised to make some noise -- and some money.
Strawweight
Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon W12 Isaac Bustos
Retains a strawweight title
Scores: 120-108 (twice), 119-109
Records: Calderon 25-0; Bustos 24-8-3
Rafael's remark: This fight was classic Calderon, who administered a boxing lesson to the former title holder. Calderon is so smooth it can be boring at times, but he is effective. He hammered Bustos from pillar to post and appeared on the verge of a stoppage several times. We're still trying to figure out which round one of the judges gave Bustos, who is the sixth champion or former champion Calderon has beaten in his career (the others: Eduardo Marquez, Alex Sanchez, Edgar Cardenas, Roberto Leyva and Daniel Reyes). No other 105-pounder can match Calderon for level of competition. That said, true greatness will only come if Calderon puts on three pounds, moves up to junior flyweight and challenges the best at that weight. One match we would love to see -- and one that has been talked about -- is with titlist Brian Viloria. Viloria and Calderon are both with Top Rank and they were amateur rivals, facing each other three times.
Welterweight
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. W6 Carlos Molina
Scores: 58-56 (twice), 57-57
Records: Chavez Jr. 24-0-1; Molina 8-2-1
Rafael's remark: Chavez Jr., the son of the legendary Mexican icon, gained revenge for the lone blemish on his record after he and Molina fought to a draw Dec. 16 in Mexico. Once again, it was another very close fight, and a draw wouldn't have been out of the question, although Chavez did seem to do just enough to earn the decision. The two fought at close quarters, and both men had their moments. Chavez is showing himself to be a fairly limited fighter and undoubtedly will have problems if his handlers ever increase the level of his opposition. But don't expect it in the near future. At 20 and with no amateur background, Chavez figures to keep fighting six-rounders or eight-rounders for the rest of the year. His fans don't seem to mind. They just love having another Chavez to root for.
Lightweight
Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov W-DQ3 Jose Quintana
Records: Raiymkulov 21-1-1; Quintana 12-11-2
Rafael's remark: Raiymkulov was a fast-rising contender when ran into Nate Campbell and was stopped in a major upset last October on the undercard of the third Antonio Tarver-Roy Jones fight. This was Raiymkulov's comeback fight and he rebounded well from that shocker. Now working with trainer Miguel Diaz, Raiymkulov used his aggression and jumped on Quintana. Raiymkulov was in control, but Quintana refused to stop throwing low blows despite warnings and a point deduction from referee Jay Nady. Eventually, Nady had no choice but to disqualify him.
Junior middleweight
Vanes Martirosyan TKO3 Juan Pablo Montes De Oca
Records: Martirosyan 7-0, 4 KOs; Montes De Oca 6-9-2
Rafael's remark: Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian, continued his pro progress, beating last-minute opponent De Oca. The fight was stopped after the ringside doctor examined De Oca and determined he had a broken nose. Martirosyan scored knockdowns in the first and third rounds and was dominating when the fight was called off. He's a top prospect who is slowly finding his groove as a professional. At 19, there is no rush.

Saturday at Edinburgh, Scotland
Junior lightweight
Alex Arthur W12 Ricky Burns
Retains European/British/Commonwealth junior lightweight titles
Scores: 118-110, 117-111, 116-112
Records: Arthur 22-1, 17 KOs; Burns 13-1
Rafael's remark: In an all-Scottish fight, Arthur continued to polish his credentials in the hopes of earning a world title fight with the clear decision victory. Arthur, who had former bantamweight champ Wayne McCullough working in his corner, took the fight to Burns with heavy body shots and an aggressive style. Burns just wasn't strong enough to keep Arthur off him. Arthur has made a series of exciting fights on the European scene and could well land a title shot in the next year.

Saturday at Fairfax, Va.
Middleweight
Joey Gilbert TKO3 Jimmy Lange
Records: Gilbert 11-1, 8 KOs; Lange 26-3-1
Rafael's remark: Gilbert came to Lange's turf -- he is from Great Falls, Va., just a few minutes from Fairfax -- and demolished him in a rematch of their fight from the first season of NBC's "The Contender" reality series. Gilbert won a five-round decision that time. This time, Gilbert dropped Lange in the first round and hammered him until the fight was stopped late in the third.

Friday at Memphis
Welterweight
Delvin Rodriguez W-DQ4 Alexis Divison
Records: Rodriguez 18-1-1; Divison 16-3
Rafael's remark: Rodriguez is an excellent prospect, but he didn't get the sort of sensational win he was probably seeking. Instead, he had to settle for an anticlimactic disqualification victory. But it wasn't his fault. Divison, of the Dominican Republic, would not stop fouling, including several low blows. Referee Bill Clancy warned Divison several times and deducted a point for hitting behind the head, but when Divison refused to abandon the blatantly dirty tactics, Clancy DQ'd him. Rodriguez was winning anyway, but it's a shame Divison couldn't play by the rules.
Junior welterweight
Lamont Peterson W10 Jose Leo Moreno
Scores: 100-90 (twice), 99-91
Records: Peterson 16-0; Moreno 12-2
Rafael's remark: Peterson, who turned 22 last month, continued his ascent as one of boxing's top prospects with a near-shutout of the tough Moreno, who got in his licks but lost a lot of close rounds. The scorecards were wide, but every round was competitive, as Moreno tried to pressure Peterson from the start. Peterson, who was a 2004 U.S. Olympic alternate, tries to emulate his boxing idol, Winky Wright, by using a tight defense and movement, but this fight was more of a slugging match. Peterson probably will want to avoid that kind of fight when he starts facing better fighters, and more important, bigger punchers. Nonetheless, this is a solid win for Peterson on the national TV platform of "Friday Night Fights."

Friday at Los Mochis, Mexico
Featherweight
Humberto Soto TKO9 Oscar Leon
Retains an interim featherweight title
Records: Soto 39-5-2, 23 KOs; Leon 27-5
Rafael's remark: Soto won his second bout in a row in his hometown since pulling a big upset of Rocky Juarez on HBO last summer. Soto has been on a tremendous winning streak, winning 16 in a row with a no contest since a majority decision loss to Kevin Kelley in 2002. A stoppage victory -- including three knockdowns -- against Leon rates as one of Soto's best wins. Leon has fought excellent competition and pushed Chris John and Derrick Gainer to the brink before losing split decisions to both of them in title bouts.

Friday at Cicero, Ill.
Junior lightweight
Kevin Kelley KO2 Juan Carlos "Ranchero" Ramirez
Records: Kelley 58-6-2, 39 KOs; Ramirez 37-9
Rafael's remark: Kelley, the former featherweight champ, is nowhere near what he was when he was among the best in the world. He hasn't been close to that form for almost a decade now, but he can still punch -- as Ramirez found out. Kelley was unloading combinations against Ramirez and caught him with a smashing left hand that blasted him into the ropes before he fell face-first for a spectacular knockout, one that is an early contender for knockout of the year. Kelley has won four in a row since being destroyed in four rounds by Marco Antonio Barrera in April 2003 and thinks he deserves a meaningful fight. We beg to differ.

Friday at London
Super middleweight
Carl Froch TKO9 Dale Westerman
Retains Commonwealth super middleweight title
Records: Froch 18-0, 14 KOs; Westerman 15-6
Rafael's remark: Froch, 28, struggled with his 36-year-old Australian opponent, who was supposed to serve as little more than a tune-up for Froch's fight with Irishman Brian Magee. Froch, one of England's promising contenders, got hit early and often. Westerman, however, is not a big puncher, so Froch was able to take the shots until coming around with his own offense to get the TKO.

Thursday at Chainart, Thailand
Flyweight
Pongsaklek Wongjongkam W12 Gilberto Keb Baas
Retains a flyweight title
Scores: 120-108, 120-109, 119-110
Records: Wongjongkam 60-2; Keb Baas 26-13-1
Rafael's remark: Wongjongkam defended his title for the 13th successful time, but this was a mismatch on paper going into the fight and it turned out to be just that in the ring. Keb Baas, who won just a single round on one of the three scorecards, had done nothing whatsoever to justify a title opportunity, but when has that ever stopped the heinous WBC?

Thursday at New York
Heavyweight
Fres Oquendo TKO9 Daniel Bispo
Records: Oquendo 25-3, 16 KOs; Bispo 16-3
Rafael's remark: Oquendo was rusty, which was to be expected after a 22-month layoff. After losing back-to-back title bouts against Chris Byrd and John Ruiz, Oquendo split with promoter Don King and signed with Lou DiBella before making his comeback against Bispo, an awkward southpaw from Brazil. This was a lackluster affair with much clinching and little clean punching. In other words, just like your typical Oquendo fight.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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