Corrales-Castillo II Undercard

Originally Published: October 8, 2005
By Michael Rosenthal | Special to

LAS VEGAS -- On the undercard of Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo II, Jorge Arce and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. scored easy victories Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

But junior lightweight's Bobby Pacquiao's split decision victory over Carlos Hernandez was mired in controversy.

Arce (41-3-1, 31 KOs) stopped Hussein Hussein (28-3-1, 21 KOs) 2:50 into the second round of a scheduled 12-round bout for Arce's interim WBC flyweight championship.

Arce, who stopped Hussein in the 10th round of a competitive, entertaining bout in March, was the aggressor. Hussein attempted to jab and move out of harm's way.

However, Arce, from Mexico, knocked down his Australian opponent in the first round with a straight right and put him down again late in the second with a right-left combination. Hussein got up immediately and didn't look as if he was terribly hurt as the referee counted but his corner threw in the towel.

Chavez Jr. (23-0, 18 KOs) stopped inexperienced journeyman Jeremy Stiers (9-5, six KOs) 47 seconds into the fifth round of a scheduled six-round super lightweight bout.

The son of perhaps Mexico's greatest champion used the first round to feel out his overmatched opponent from Kansas City, Mo., but started to connect in the second. Chavez consistently landed body punches and straight rights to the head to wear down Stiers, who barely fought back at the end of Round 3.

Stiers showed some life early in Round 4, throwing several hard, but ineffectual punches, but Chavez took control again to dominate that round. Finally, in the fifth, Chavez connected with several hard punches that hurt his fast-fading opponent, which prompted the referee to stop the fight.

In other action, Pacquiao (26-11-3, 11 KOs) defeated former IBF 130-pound champion Hernandez (41-6-1, 24 KOs) by a controversial split decision in a brutal 10-round bout. Even Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said Hernandez won.

The decision was greeted with a chorus of boos by a baffled crowd.

Hernandez, 35, survived a second-round knockdown and seemed to control the fight the rest of the way with relentless body punching and overall aggression. The fighters, both of whom took considerable punishment throughout, brought the crowd to its feet by exchanging recklessly toe-to-toe in the third round but settled into a less-dramatic war of attrition thereafter. The judges scores were 95-94 and 95-93 in Pacquiao's favor and 97-92 for Hernandez.

Michael Rosenthal covers boxing for the San Diego Union-Tribune.