Scorecard: PacMan chomps sore-loser Solis

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

Updated: April 16, 2007, 10:01 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


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

Saturday at San Antonio
Junior lightweight
Manny Pacquiao KO8 Jorge Solis
Records: Pacquiao, 44-3-3, 34 KOs; Solis, 32-1-2
Rafael's remark: The PacMan express rolled on as the world's most exciting fighter scored another big knockout in the main event of a strong Top Rank pay-per-view card.

Coming off his thrilling knockout of Erik Morales in their November rubber match, Pacquiao started a little slowly against his Mexican opponent. Solis buzzed Pacquiao in the sixth round and also opened a cut on his left eyelid on an accidental head butt. It seemed to wake Pacquiao up. From then on, he turned up the heat until knocking down Solis -- the brother of junior flyweight titlist Ulises Solis -- twice in the eighth round. Although Solis made it to his feet (barely) after the first knockdown, he was still wobbly and Pacquiao attacked him immediately, knocking him down for the count a few seconds later. In his postfight comments, Solis had the audacity to say, "With respect to Manny Pacquiao, my wife hits harder." Somehow we doubt that, but if it's true, there has to be a promoter out there willing to sign her.

Pacquiao's victory came despite a storm of outside-the-ring distractions. He is running for a congressional seat in the Philippines, where he is a national hero. He is also at the center of a brutal legal battle between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions over his promotional contract, although he has professed an allegiance to Top Rank, which put on Saturday night's card. He also prepared for the fight without trainer Freddie Roach, who left him to train Oscar De La Hoya. Justin Fortune, Roach's assistant, handled the training camp, but Roach did come in to work the corner for the fight. For Pacquiao, however, distractions are nothing new and they typically do not make a difference once the bell rings.

With Solis dispatched, Pacquiao could fight later in the year in Macau, China, where promoter Bob Arum originally hoped to stage this fight. Hopefully, there can be peace between Top Rank and Golden Boy and they can get together to make a rematch between Pacquiao and division champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Their first bout in 2004, which ended in a draw, was a sensational brawl. We need to see it again.

Junior bantamweight
Cristian Mijares W12 Jorge Arce
Retains a junior bantamweight title
Scores: 119-109, 118-110, 117-111
Records: Mijares, 31-3-2; Arce, 46-4-1
Rafael's remark: Arce, with his relentless, slugging style and charismatic personality, had emerged as one of the biggest stars in boxing among smaller-weight fighters in recent years. The former junior flyweight champ came into the bout riding a 26-fight winning streak since his 1999 loss to Michael Carbajal, who he was dominating before being stopped in the 11th round of a 108-pound title bout. Arce, the mandatory challenger, was the favorite to win the title from his little-known Mexican countryman Mijares and move on to a July 28 date on HBO and, hopefully, an eventual showdown with flyweight titlist Vic Darchinyan.

However, Mijares, the pick of many insiders because of his boxing skills, speed and southpaw style, upset the apple cart in grand fashion. He completely took Arce apart in the performance of his life. Arce was befuddled from the opening bell and it was obvious this was going to be Mijares' night. The judges gave Arce a few rounds, but it could easily have been a shutout. Arce's face said it all -- he was a bloody mess by the end of the fight thanks to the dozens of clean shots he ate. After his performance, Mijares could become a force to be reckoned with at 115 pounds, and there are some attractive fights for him: Jose Navarro, Martin Castillo and Darchinyan among them. However, we don't expect to see anyone rushing to fight him. Arce, meanwhile, vowed to return, which will be welcome. He can still be an exciting fighter and top draw. Just keep him away from southpaws with boxing skills.

Junior flyweight
Edgar Sosa W12 Brian Viloria
Wins a vacant junior flyweight title
Scores: 115-113 (twice), 114-114
Records: Sosa, 27-5; Viloria, 19-2
Rafael's remark: Few fighters in recent years have been as disappointing as Viloria. Tabbed for stardom after a standout amateur career, which culminated with the Hawaii native representing the United States on the 2000 Olympic team, Viloria did win a 108-pound title, but only made one defense before being schooled by Omar Nino last summer. In an immediate rematch, the judges ruled it a draw. Nino, however, was stripped of the title and the result changed to a no contest because Nino failed his postfight drug test. With the title vacant, Viloria was matched with Sosa and once again disappointed. He was outworked, outpunched and seemed to fade in the late rounds of his first fight with trainer Joe Goossen. Although one judge had the fight even, Sosa appeared to clearly win. So where does Viloria go from here? He'll need to seriously think about it. As for Sosa, he won his 15th consecutive bout since 2003 after suffering losses earlier in his career to future titleholders Ulises Solis (twice), Nino and Isaac Bustos. Sosa will eventually have to fight a rematch with Nino, the mandatory challenger once his suspension is over.
Welterweight
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. KO2 Anthony Shuler
Records: Chavez, 31-0-1, 24 KOs; Shuler, 20-5-1
Rafael's remark: Chalk up another big knockout against an overmatched opponent for the son of the legend. Chavez continues to pound out an assortment of limited fighters as he continues to pad his record against no-hopers. Although Shuler was coming off back-to-back first-round knockout wins, they came against sub-.500 opponents. Chavez quickly exposed him, and then in his postfight interview proclaimed he will be the next welterweight world champion. Maybe Chavez ought to beat an opponent with a pulse before he gets too carried away. Still, it was a pretty knockout that excited the crowd. Chavez might not be the next welterweight champ, but the fans love him.
Junior welterweight
Victor Ortiz TKO5 Tomas Barrientes
Records: Chavez, 17-1-1, 12 KOs; Shuler, 27-11-1
Rafael's remark: Ortiz, a 20-year-old southpaw, is an outstanding prospect who got the better of the experienced Barrientes in this action fight. In his last fight, Ortiz suffered a terrible cut from a first-round head butt against Marvin Cordova Jr. in a January "ShoBox" bout and the fight was declared a technical draw. With the cut healed, Ortiz started quickly by knocking Barrientes down in the first round. They traded knockdowns in the second round, but after Ortiz scored his third knockdown of the fight in the fifth, Barrientes' corner threw in the towel.
Junior featherweight
Bernabe Concepcion W10 Benjamin Flores
Scores: 97-93 (twice), 96-94
Records: Concepcion, 21-1-1, 12 KOs; Flores, 14-3
Rafael's remark: Concepcion, of the Philippines, is just 19 and one of Top Rank's prospects. He made an impression on those who watched his slugfest with fellow prospect Joksan Hernandez of Mexico on the Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales III undercard in November. Flores didn't engage him like Hernandez did, but Concepcion still pounded out the unanimous decision.

Saturday at Stuttgart, Germany
Heavyweight
Ruslan Chagaev W12 Nikolai Valuev
Wins a heavyweight title
Scores: 117-111, 115-113, 114-114
Records: Chagaev, 23-0-1; Valuev, 46-1
Rafael's remark: Thankfully, we can all exhale, and heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano can rest easy in his grave knowing his hallowed 49-0 mark is safe once again. Had Valuev beaten Chagaev, his mandatory challenger, it looked like Valuev and his handlers would have hand-picked a few more opponents to get him to 50-0 in order to break one of the most storied statistical plateaus in boxing history. Publicly, the Valuev camp talked about trying to make a unification fight against Wladimir Klitschko this summer, but that was lip service. Klitschko is fighting a rematch with Lamon Brewster.

The discussion of Marciano's record and Klitschko came to a thudding halt as Chagaev, a former amateur world champion, won a close fight to become the first heavyweight titlist from Uzbekistan. Valuev, 33, at 7-foot and 319 pounds, held an 11-inch and 90-pound advantage over Chagaev, 28, but it didn't help. Chagaev, a rare southpaw heavyweight titlist, was effective throwing flurries and getting inside against the huge Russian, whose thudding jab was not nearly as effective as it has been in the past. Valuev attributed the loss to problems with his legs and creaky back.

The result of the fight wasn't that shocking if you consider how they had fared against a common opponent. Chagaev, nicknamed "White Tyson," had a much easier time outpointing former titlist John Ruiz in their November elimination fight than Valuev did, edging him on a controversial decision to win the belt in December 2005.

Thanks to New York regional sports network MSG -- which is on satellite services -- and Valuev co-promoter Don King, viewers in the United States were able to see a bout that originally had no American outlet. If you appreciated what MSG and King did, let them know it so they'll be inclined to do it again.

Chagaev's new status probably won't help in the desire by many to see a unified champion. He figures to stay in Germany to milk the title for awhile against lesser opponents. It's not the best situation, but at least he saved us all from having to compare Valuev to Marciano.

Friday at Russellville, Ark.
Heavyweight
Joe Mesi KO1 Ron Johnson
Records: Mesi, 35-0, 28 KOs; Johnson, 21-21
Rafael's remark: The comebacking Mesi scored two knockdowns and crushed Ron Johnson with ease as he continues his comeback from suffering a brain bleed in 2004. Mesi was medically suspended after the injury, but went to court and won the right to be able to apply for a license. He's gotten one in Arkansas and West Virginia, states with weak commissions that will more easily dole out a license than, say, Nevada, New York or California. It was Mesi's sixth win in a row on the comeback trail, but they've all come against lesser opponents as he works himself back into shape. Johnson, who used to box as a welterweight, lost his fourth straight and eighth in 10 fights. Seven fights ago, Johnson weighed 164 pounds and was knocked out in two rounds by Peter Manfredo Jr., so it's no surprise that Mesi clobbered him.

Friday at Tunica, Miss.
Welterweight
Zab Judah No Contest 1 Ruben Galvan
Records: Judah, 34-4; Galvan, 27-11-2
Rafael's remark: Judah, the former undisputed welterweight champ, had been out of the ring for a year because the Nevada Athletic Commission revoked his license for inciting a near-riot by twice fouling Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the 10th round of their fight in Las Vegas. In his comeback fight, which headlined "Friday Night Fights," Judah was hoping to shake off some rust and look good in his tuneup for an already-signed June 9 HBO PPV fight against titlist Miguel Cotto.

With Cotto watching from the ESPN2 studio in Bristol, Conn., Judah didn't get a chance to shake off any rust and didn't get a chance to score the highlight reel knockout that appeared to be coming. The reason? After dominating the opening moments of the fight, an inadvertent elbow from Judah during a flurry caught Galvan on the forehead and opened up a terrible cut that was pumping blood. After consultation with the ringside doctor, the referee stopped the fight. Because it hadn't gone four full rounds, it was declared a no contest. The Cotto-Judah fight is still a go and will be formally announced at a new conference at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Judah is winless in his last three bouts -- two losses to Mayweather and Carlos Baldomir and the no contest -- but the match with Cotto shapes up as one of the most intriguing fights of the year.

Friday at Cicero, Ill.

Junior lightweight
Francisco Lorenzo W12. Cristobal Cruz
Scores: 115-112 (twice), 114-113
Records: Lorenzo, 28-4; Cruz, 34-10-1
Rafael's remark: Lorenzo won his second decision against Cruz in three fights in this fast-paced Telefutura main event. On Dec. 1, Lorenzo pounded out a lopsided eight-round decision. Cruz got an opportunity for a rematch when original opponent Hector Velazquez dropped out a couple of weeks ago and he made it much closer this time, but Lorenzo eked out the decision.

Friday at Ontario, Calif.
Junior welterweight
Timothy Bradley KO5 Nasser Athumani
Records: Bradley, 19-0, 11 KOs; Athumani, 20-4-1
Rafael's remark: Bradley, of Palm Springs, Calif., emerged as a top prospect with back-to-back wins on Showtime's "ShoBox" series last year and continued his rise with a knockout of Athumani, a southpaw from Kenya. How confident was Bradley that he would defeat Athumani? A few days before the fight his publicist sent out a press release in which Bradley challenged Francisco "Panchito" Bojado, the once red-hot prospect, who has signed with Golden Boy and returns May 4 for his first fight after a layoff of almost three years. If Bojado is serious about his return and gets a fight or two under his belt, a match with Bradley would be excellent.

Wednesday at New York
Middleweight
Raymond Joval W10 Willie Gibbs
Scores: 97-93 (twice), 96-94
Records: Joval, 36-4; Gibbs, 20-3
Rafael's remark:Considering that Joval hadn't fought in 17 months, he looked pretty good in outpointing Gibbs in the season debut of ESPN2's "Wednesday Night Fights." In November 2005, Joval, of the Netherlands, went to Australia and knocked out hometown favorite Shannan Taylor in the 10th round in an impressive performance, but instead of moving on to an even bigger fight, Joval was sidelined because of a neck injury. Making his return, Joval started fast and then settled into a steady rhythm, landing his stiff jab regularly and doing just enough to win many of the close rounds. Gibbs suffered his second loss in a row, but looked a lot better than he did in December, when Edison Miranda wiped him out with one shot in the first round.
Junior middleweight
Andrey Tsurkan KO9 Sammy Sparkman
Records: Tsurkan, 25-2, 16 KOs; Sparkman, 19-16-1
Rafael's remark: Tsurkan is never going to make anyone's pound-for-pound list, but he is a hard-working brawler who always gives the fans their money's worth. This fight was no different and it ended in explosive fashion with Tsurkan landing a left hook to score a mammoth one-punch knockout that put Sparkman to sleep. Tsurkan was fighting for the first time since June, when he pulled an upset by stopping Hector Camacho Jr. on the Bernard Hopkins-Antonio Tarver undercard. Hopefully, Tsurkan will get back in action sooner this time. Sparkman continued to lose to the multitude of good opponents he's faced, including Andre Berto, Paul Williams, Anthony Thompson, Miguel Cotto, Cory Spinks and Mikkel Kessler.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE