Scorecard: Mayweather too skilled for De La Hoya

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

Updated: May 7, 2007, 8:01 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


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

Saturday at Las Vegas
Junior middleweight
Floyd Mayweather Jr. W12 Oscar De La Hoya
Wins a junior middleweight title.
Scores: 116-112, 115-113 Mayweather, 115-113 De La Hoya
Records: Mayweather Jr., 38-0; De La Hoya, 38-5
Rafael's remark: Billed by many as "the fight to save boxing," Mayweather and De La Hoya did their part, even if the theory was ridiculous to begin with. After months of promotion, HBO's terrific four-part documentary series/infomercial "De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7" and massive expectations, it was going to be impossible for the fight meet the hype.

But you know what? It turned out to be a pretty darn good fight. The star-studded crowd of 16,700 who packed the MGM Grand (paying a record live gate of more than $19 million), the 30,000 or so who packed closed-circuit locations around the city and millions watching around the world -- including an expected record-setting pay-per-view audience in the United States -- were treated to a very good fight. If you had expected Gatti-Ward-like action, you were dreaming. That's not how these guys fight. Instead we got the best we could have hoped for -- a fight waged on a high skill level with a lot of tension and some good bursts of excitement.

De La Hoya tried to make it a brawl, pressing the action and trying to use his size and power advantage. Mayweather, moving up to capture a title in his fifth weight division, however, was just too skilled and fast for De La Hoya. There were some close rounds, but Mayweather was the clear winner. What the heck was judge Tommy Kaczmarek watching? There is no way De La Hoya won, although he did make it a closer fight than many expected. The best we could find on press row was a smattering of draws, but almost everybody had Mayweather as the clear winner. The problem was that De La Hoya's late-round flurries were not sustained, nor did many of the shots thrown in the flurries land cleanly. Although De La Hoya gave Mayweather one of his toughest fights, he could never land his powerful left hook and his jab was off the mark and not utilized enough. Mayweather, meanwhile, was fast and accurate with his blows.

Mayweather says he is retiring, but forget about it. There's no chance that he will stick to it, not at age 30, undefeated, in his prime and earning eight-figure purses. He'll be back, perhaps in a return engagement with De La Hoya, 34, who still has some fight left in him. If not De La Hoya, we want to see Mayweather fight Shane Mosley, another man who owns a win against De La Hoya.

De La Hoya showed enough that it is perfectly legitimate for him to fight on if that is what he decides to do. The way he packs in the crowds and creates excitement, boxing is lucky to have him. We should all remember that and thank him for giving us the biggest event the sport has seen in years. Mayweather also deserves thanks as well for doing his part to make it a terrific promotion and a memorable night.

Featherweight
Rocky Juarez W12 Jose Hernandez
Scores: 117-110, 116-111, 115-112
Records: Juarez, 27-3, 16 KOs; Hernandez, 22-4
Rafael's remark: After losses to Marco Antonio Barrera in a pair of junior lightweight title fights last year, Juarez returned to featherweight where he belongs. The 2000 U.S. Olympic silver medalist is much more skilled and a more complete fighter than Hernandez, who gets by on toughness and desire. Hernandez hung in as best as he could against Juarez, who methodically picked him apart. Although Juarez won -- probably setting up a fall shot against Indonesian titlist Chris John -- he didn't look great. Juarez was given the co-featured slot on the Mayweather-De La Hoya undercard, a huge spot to shine in. He didn't. Besides scoring a second-round knockdown, it was a flat performance against an opponent he should have handled more easily.

Junior featherweight
Rey Bautista W12 Sergio Medina
Title eliminator
Scores: 116-108, 115-109 (twice)
Records: Bautista, 23-0; Medina, 28-1
Rafael's remark: Bautista, just 20, of the Philippines, fights in the mold of his countryman and national hero Manny Pacquiao. That means Bautista loves to mix it up and make exciting fights, which is what he did with Medina, 25, of Argentina, who was just as willing to brawl as Bautista. That made for an all-action scrap. When it was over, Bautista had gotten the better of the fierce fight to earn a shot at 122-pound titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon. A De Leon-Bautista match should be equally as explosive. Bautista and Medina traded knockdowns on the big stage of the Mayweather-De La Hoya undercard -- Medina was down in the sixth round, Bautista in the seventh and Medina again in the 11th. Good fight.

Friday at Las Vegas
Junior Flyweight
Hugo Cazares TKO2 Wilfrido Valdez Perez
Retains the junior flyweight world title.
Records: Cazares, 25-3-1, 19 KOs; Perez, 23-2-3
Rafael's remark: Cazares, of Mexico, dominated Colombia's Perez, a ridiculous and obscure mandatory challenger coming off a draw, in the Telefutura main event. Fighting in the conference center at the MGM Grand on the night before the big Mayweather-De La Hoya fight in the main arena, Cazares excited the fans with a dominant performance in the fifth defense of his 108-pound crown. He scored two knockdowns in the first round and knocked Perez down again in the second, forcing the referee to abort the mismatch 25 seconds into the round. Next up for Cazares could be an appetizing showdown with 105-pound champion Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon in August on Calderon's turf in Puerto Rico.
Welterweight
Francisco "Panchito" Bojado W10 Dairo Esalas
Scores: 98-90, 97-91, 96-92
Records: Bojado, 17-2; Esalas, 29-8
Rafael's remark: Bojado was once the darling of boxing fans and media and viewed as a rising superstar when he turned pro after the 2000 Olympics, where he represented Mexico. His career got off to a blazing start until he was upset by Juan Carlos Rubio in 2002. He put that loss aside, and ripped off seven consecutive victories, including a lopsided decision against Rubio in a rematch. But then came a July 2004 decision loss to James Leija on HBO, a loss that sent Bojado into an almost three-year layoff. Some doubted he would ever return. But he did return, just a few days shy of his 24th birthday, to outpoint Esalas, who fell to 2-7 in his last nine bouts.

Friday at Las Vegas
Heavyweight
Eddie Chambers W10 Dominick Guinn
Scores: 100-90, 97-93 (twice)
Records: Chambers, 29-0; Guinn, 28-5-1
Rafael's remark: Chambers is slick and fast and outboxed Guinn, 32, who has become a heavyweight division gatekeeper. If you can beat him, you have a chance to do something. Chambers is just 25 and has a chance to do something, even though his style is not entirely fan friendly. In the "ShoBox" main event, he easily outboxed Guinn, although the judge who scored it a shutout was way out of line.

Heavyweight
Chris Arreola TKO8 Malcolm Tann
Records: Arreola, 20-0, 18 KOs; Tann, 23-3
Rafael's remark: Arreola isn't the most talented heavyweight, but he has a knack for making his fights exciting, which is what people want to see in heavyweight bouts. He is fearless and will throw down with anyone, which is just what he and Tann did, much to the delight of the crowd inside The Palms' beautiful Pearl Theater, which was hosting the first of what hopefully will be many more fight cards; it's a perfect place for boxing. Arreola's eighth consecutive knockout was of the highlight-reel variety as he knocked Tann, a late replacement for injured Devin Vargas, through the ropes to end this slugfest. It was the first time Arreola had ever been as deep as the eighth round.
Heavyweight
Malik Scott W10 Charles Shufford
Scores: 100-90, 99-91 (twice)
Records: Scott, 28-0; Shufford, 20-7-1
Rafael's remark: Few fights are as predictable as one involving Scott, the talented 26-year-old from Philadelphia. He has a ton of skills but little in the way of fire. He is always content to just outbox his opponents. Although he was a bit more active than in recent fights -- largely because of the preaching from trainer Joe Goossen, who has worked with him for the past few bouts -- Scott remained content to outbox Shufford, who dropped to 1-5-1 in his last seven but was by far the best opponent Scott has faced. Because Scott typically wins by shutout on at least one scorecard, we dubbed him "Malik 80-72." Sure enough, he did the same thing in his first scheduled 10-round bout. So we adjusted the nickname. He is hereby "Malik 100-90."

Friday at Uncasville, Conn.
Junior featherweight
Mike Oliver TD8 Vernie Torres
Scores: 79-72 (twice), 78-73
Records: Oliver, 19-0, 20 KOs; Torres, 27-10
Rafael's remark: In February, Oliver outpointed Gary Stark Jr. in a controversial decision. In his first start since, the Hartford, Conn., product returned to outpoint Torres, who lost his fourth in a row. Oliver got time to recover after an accidental head butt stopped the action in the seventh round. After another accidental head butt in the eighth round, Torres was cut on his forehead and the fight was stopped and sent to the scorecards, where Oliver had a comfortable lead.

Thursday at Tokyo
Bantamweight
Hozumi Hasegawa W12 Simpiwe Vetyeka
Retains a bantamweight title
Scores: 116-112 (twice), 115-113
Records: Hasegawa, 22-2; Vetyeka, 16-1
Rafael's remark: Hasegawa, who made his fourth title defense, had predicted a knockout against his South African challenger, but had to settle for a decision in an action-free, technical boxing match. The bout was fought under the WBC's awful open scoring system, in which scores are revealed after the fourth and eighth rounds, so Hasegawa knew he was ahead 77-75 on all three scorecards after the eighth. Hasegawa continued to be a bit more active than Vetyeka, especially in the 12th, when he pinned him against the ropes during his attack.

Junior lightweight
Edwin Valero TKO8 Nobuhito Honmo
Retains a junior lightweight title.
Records: Valero, 22-0, 22 KOs; Honmo, 29-5-2
Rafael's remark: Valero, the 25-year-old Venezuelan knockout artist based in Japan, continued to flaunt his impressive power in his second title defense, although Honmo made it out of the first round (Valero has 19 first-round KOs). Valero stalked Honmo from the outset, bloodied him and finally stopped him in a ruthless display. Valero opened a cut over Honmo's left eye in the second round. It was one of several cuts Valero authored. Honmo was bleeding badly from four different cuts in the eighth when the referee stopped the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor. Valero is medically suspended in the United States because of a non-boxing related head injury many years ago, but his promotional team is going to try to get him relicensed here, where he can make a lot of money because of his fan friendly offensive style. The natural fight would be against Manny Pacquiao, which is perhaps the single best action fight we can think of in the sport.

Junior bantamweight
Alexander Munoz W12 Nobuo Nashiro
Wins a junior bantamweight title.
Scores: 118-109, 117-112, 117-111
Records: Munoz, 30-2, 22 KOs; Nashiro, 9-1
Rafael's remark: Munoz, now a two-time titleholder from Venezuela, has suffered only losses to Martin Castillo in title fights during his career. Nashiro stopped Castillo on cuts to win his title last summer. In Nashiro's second defense, he was beaten by Munoz, proving that just because Nashiro beat Castillo and Castillo twice beat Munoz doesn't mean Nashiro will automatically beat Munoz. Munoz was the mandatory challenger and figured to be a handful for the inexperienced Nashiro. Sure enough, Munoz's aggressive style was a bit too much for Nashiro to effectively handle.

Wednesday at Miami
Junior middleweight
Eromesele Albert W10 Yory Boy Campas
Scores: 99-91 (twice), 97-93
Records: Albert, 20-1, 18 KOs; Campas, 88-10
Rafael's remark: Albert, 32, a two-time Olympian for Nigeria, scored the most notable victory of his career in easily outpointing faded former titlist Campas, 35, who dropped his second in a row (the other loss being last fall's bloody slugfest against John Duddy). Campas was game to the end of this "Wednesday Night Fights" main event, stalking forward constantly and throwing his trademark left hook to the body, but it wasn't enough for the busier, fresher Albert.

Heavyweight
Fres Oquendo TKO6 Damian Norris
Scores: 118-109, 117-112, 117-111
Records: Oquendo, 27-4, 17 KOs; Norris, 9-3
Rafael's remark: This was the perfect bounce-back fight for Oquendo, who was coming off a close decision loss to Evander Holyfield in November. Facing a much less experienced opponent, Oquendo dominated Norris, dropping Norris at the end of the third round, again in the fourth and two more times in the sixth, when it was finally called off. If Oquendo, who lost back-to-back title bouts against then-belt holders Chris Byrd and John Ruiz in 2003 and 2004, respectively, can keep winning, he probably can land another title opportunity because the division is so thin.

Wednesday at New York
Junior featherweight
Andres Ledesma KO5 Gary Stark Jr.
Records: Ledesma, 14-5, 9 KOs; Stark Jr., 18-2
Rafael's remark: Stark was looking to rebound from his controversial decision loss to Mike Oliver on a Feb. 16 "ShoBox" card. Instead, Ledesma, coming off four consecutive losses, scored a major upset. Stark knocked Ledesma down in the third round, but Ledesma rebounded to brutally knock Stark out with a right hand that he never saw coming.

Super middleweight
James McGirt Jr. W8 Brad Austin
Scores: 80-70, 79-71 (twice)
Records: McGirt Jr., 15-0; Brad Austin, 8-3
Rafael's remark: Wins don't get more routine than this easy, near-shutout decision victory for McGirt Jr., the son of former two-time champ and top trainer Buddy McGirt. McGirt scored knockdowns in the fourth and eighth rounds on his way to the blowout.

Tuesday at Montreal
Middleweight
Davey Hilton Jr. W10 Adam Green
Scores: 98-91 (twice), 97-92
Records: Hilton Jr., 41-2-2; Green, 12-5
Rafael's remark: Hilton, a former super middleweight titlist, returned to the ring at age 43 after a 6½-year layoff forced on him when he went to prison for five years for sexually assaulting his two daughters. There are lots of bad guys in boxing, but Hilton is one of the worst. Still, the notorious Canadian is continuing his career and started off with this hard-fought decision win. Green, who lost his third in a row, sent Alex Hilton, Davey's brother, into retirement with a sixth-round knockout victory in 2004.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.