Scorecard: Old-timers Maske and Hill put on a yawner

Dan Rafael recaps last week's notable boxing results from around the world.

Updated: April 13, 2007, 4:14 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


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

Saturday at Munich, Germany
Cruiserweight
Henry Maske W12 Virgil Hill
Scores: 117-110 (twice), 116-113
Records: Maske, 31-1; Hill, 50-6
Rafael's remark: In 1996, Hill took a split decision from German hero Maske to unify light heavyweight titles and send Maske into more than a decade of retirement. Hill went on to win two cruiserweight belts while Maske became a successful businessman in Germany, where he owns several McDonald's restaurants. But for Maske, the sting of his loss to Hill has haunted him all these years, and after watching Hill win a title at age 42 in January 2006, Maske decided to come out of retirement to challenge him to a rematch. Although Hill's cruiserweight belt was not at stake, the same Olympia Hall where they met the first time was sold out -- more than 12,000 fans -- and the fight was a major event in Germany.

Too bad it turned out to be an awful fight as the two 43-year-olds lumbered around the ring not doing much of anything but posing and pawing jabs. For just $24.95 on pay-per-view, it was the perfect way to induce an afternoon nap.

Hill, idle for more than a year, just never threw any punches and never snapped his bread-and-butter jab. He looked like a shot fighter who needs to retire. If he does, it's been a great career for the 1984 U.S. Olympic silver medalist. He's got a great chance to be in the Hall of Fame someday. However, this fight -- for which he made well over $1 million -- won't be the one he is remembered for.

Even though Maske won the fight -- one that seemed closer than the scores indicate -- he was no great shakes either. Although he was in excellent condition, his legs were stiff and his punches were slow. In his prime, Maske was not a big puncher. A decade removed, his blows had even less steam on them. The most exciting moment of the fight came in the eighth round, when Maske was penalized a point after a head butt opened a bad cut over Hill's left eye. Beyond that, it was more about nostalgia than a great prize fight.

Saturday at Cancun, Mexico
Featherweight
Naoki Matsuda KO5 Rudolfo Lopez
Records: Matsuda, 27-7-3, 10 KOs; Lopez, 19-4-1
Rafael's remark: Fighting for the first time outside of Japan and facing the first notable opponent of his career, Matsuda, 30, survived a first-round knockdown and went on to pull the upset against Lopez. Two fights ago, the 23-year-old Lopez, who recently worked in the training camp of Marco Antonio Barrera, won a version of the featherweight title with a seventh-round knockout of Takashi Koshimoto in Japan. He lost it in his first defense against Injin Chi and was facing Matsuda in his first bout since losing the belt. It was supposed to be a win in an effort to get back on track toward another title bout. Matsuda obviously had other ideas.
Featherweight
Oscar Larios W10 Luis Cid
Scores: unavailable
Records: Larios, 59-5-1; Cid, 6-4
Rafael's remark: Larios, a mandatory challenger, faces Injin Chi for a world title on May 26 on HBO, and wasn't taking any chances in this tune-up fight. Facing a virtual novice in Cid, who has lost three in a row, the former junior featherweight champ won a decision to preserve the title shot. Larios has won three in a row against less-than-stellar opposition since dropping consecutive fights to Israel Vazquez and Manny Pacquiao.
Lightweight
Omar Chavez TKO1 Oscar Sanchez
Records: Chavez, 2-0, 2 KOs; Sanchez, 0-3
Rafael's remark: Chavez, the second son of legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. to turn pro, was matched soft and scored the quick knockout. Anyone surprised? Expect to see a lot of these sorts of fights as Chavez builds his confidence and record. He figures to move slowly and safely, just like brother Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Friday at Tucson, Ariz.
Bantamweight
Jhonny Gonzalez TKO9 Irene Pacheco
Retains a bantamweight title
Records: Gonzalez, 34-5, 29 KOs; Pacheco, 32-2
Rafael's remark: After Gonzalez moved up to junior featherweight to challenge then-champ Israel Vazquez in September and was stopped in the 10th round of a terrific action fight, he decided to return to bantamweight to defend the title he had not relinquished. Defending against Colombian mandatory challenger Pacheco, a former flyweight titlist from 1999 to 2004, Gonzalez was in command in the same ring where he stopped Ratanachai Sor Vorapin to win the title via seventh-round TKO in October 2005.

In the Telefutura main event, Gonzalez, 25, of Mexico, hurt Pacheco, an old-looking 36, in the fourth and fifth rounds. He continued to pound on a tiring Pacheco and nearly had him gone at the end of the eighth, but the round ended before he could finish him. In the ninth, Gonzalez finished the job, landing a series of hard shots in that sent Pacheco down and through the ropes. Only the outstretched arms of someone at ringside kept him from falling to the arena floor. After a good career, this could be the end for Pacheco, while Gonzalez could move on to a defense against former junior bantamweight titlist Gerry Penalosa, who put up a great fight in a decision loss to junior featherweight belt holder Daniel Ponce De Leon last month.

Friday at Detroit
Female middleweights
Mary Jo Sanders W10 Valerie Mahfood
Scores: 100-90 (three times)
Records: Sanders, 24-0; Mahfood, 19-13-3
Rafael's remark: Fighting in front of her hometown fans, including her father and former Detroit Lions standout Charlie Sanders, Sanders battered Mahfood for an easy shutout decision. There was not one competitive minute of the ESPN2 main event as Sanders crushed Mahfood, who has become nothing more than a punching bag with purple hair. She's 0-5-2 in her last seven fights and it's easy to tell why. She couldn't get out of the way of a punch if you told her it was coming.

Sanders is one of the best female fighters in the world and this victory could set her up for an eventual showdown with Laila Ali, the No. 1 female fighter in the world. Ali was in the ESPN2 studio watching the fight and said it was a bout that would interest her. Sanders, who has steadily been moving up in weight, will need to move up one more division to make the match possible. There aren't many women's matches out there that are too interesting but Ali-Sanders is one of them. Hopefully, when Ali is done on "Dancing with the Stars," it can happen.

Junior middleweights
Joel "Love Child" Julio KO7 Thomas Davis
Records: Julio, 30-1, 28 KOs; Davis, 11-4-2
Rafael's remark: The "Love Child" looked terrific beating Davis from pillar to post in this one-sided demolition that opened "Friday Night Fights." Although the tough Davis lasted into the seventh round, it was target practice for Julio, 22, who landed hard shots all night. In the seventh, Julio finished matters when he clubbed Davis with yet another right hand, this one dropping him to a knee. The win was the third in a row since the 2005 ESPN.com prospect of the year lost a decision to Carlos Quintana last summer in an upset. Julio remains an intriguing prospect with potential to be a champion because of his explosive punching power. New co-trainer trainer Pernell Whitaker, working with him for the first time, will need to impart some of his defensive wisdom on Julio.

Friday at Newcastle, England
SPOILER ALERT!
The Contender Challenge
U.K. vs. U.S.
Scores: United States 4, United Kingdom 2
Rafael's remark: The United States won the inaugural "Contender Challenge," which matched a team of American fighters from the "Contender" reality series against Frank Warren-promoted British fighters, captained by Hall of Famer Barry McGuigan. The bouts were all recorded and will air in the United States over six weeks on ESPN beginning April 10. Officially, the United States -- captained by Sugar Ray Leonard -- won because two bouts did not count toward the tally (Brit Nigel Wright's quick knockout of Jonathan Nelson, who replaced Michael Clark on a day's notice, and Brit Paul Smith's controversial seventh-round TKO of Jonathan Reid, who was apparently fine after a knockdown but had the fight called off). Here are the results for all eight bouts:
Light heavyweights
Robin Reid W8 Jesse Brinkley
Scores: 78-76, 78-75, 78-74
Records: Reid, 39-5-1, 27 KOs; Brinkley, 26-5
Junior middleweights
Alfonso Gomez TKO7 Martin Concepcion
Records: Gomez, 16-3-2, 7 KOs; Concepcion, 11-4
Junior middleweights
Cornelius "K9" Bundrage TKO7 Colin McNeil
Records: Bundrage, 26-2, 15 KOs; McNeil, 11-2
Welterweights
Freddy Curiel TKO8 Ross Minter
Records: Curiel, 17-6-2, 7 KOs; Minter, 17-2-1
Junior middleweights
Anthony Small W8 Walter Wright
Scores: 78-74, 77-75 Small, 77-76 Wright
Records: Small, 17-0; Wright, 13-3
Super middleweights
Jerson Ravelo W8 Paul Buchanan
Scores: 80-71, 79-73, 79-72
Records: Ravelo, 18-2; Buchanan, 8-1-1
Middleweights
Paul Smith TKO7 Jonathan Reid
Records: Smith, 20-0, 12 KOs; Reid, 34-6
Welterweights
Nigel Wright TKO2 Jonathan Nelson
Records: Wright, 18-2, 9 KOs; Nelson, 16-16

Thursday at San Jose, Calif.
Super middleweights
Andre Ward TKO3 Julio Jean
Records: Ward, 11-0, 6 KOs; Jean, 7-11-1
Rafael's remark: Ward, 23, the only U.S. boxer to win a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, dominated late substitute Jean into submission for an easy victory in front of a hometown crowd. Ward won the gold at light heavyweight but has campaigned as a professional in the middleweight division. However, for this fight, Ward moved up to super middleweight, where he plans to continue to fight. Although he won easily, Ward, who switched between his usual right-handed stance and a southpaw style, suffered a cut under his eye from an accidental head butt in the second round. Jean, 28, who replaced Delray Raines on six days' notice, lost his sixth in a row, fourth by knockout inside five rounds.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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