Alvarado KOs Bazan
By Chris Williams: Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Mike Alvarado (22-0, 15 KOs) stopped former WBC lightweight champion Cesar Bazan (47-11-1, 30 KOs) in a 4th round KO in a scheduled 1o-round bout at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alvarado, 28, caught Bazan on the ropes in the 4th round and nailed him with a three-punch combination ending with a powerful right hand that dropped Bazan to the canvas. He never attempted to get up and was soon after counted out by referee Russell Mora at 2:46 of the 4th round.
Alvarado, a relative late comer to boxing at the age of 18, is still mostly a work in progress. He has good power in each hand, but lacks the quickness and boxing ability of more polished fighters in the light welterweight division like Paulie Malignaggi, Ricky Hatton, Kendall Holt or Timothy Bradley, to name just a few, but his power gives him a chance against any fighter in the division. On Saturday night, Alvarado had problems against the 33 year-old ring veteran Bazan, who looked much more relaxed, skilled and experienced against the hard-throwing Alvarado in the early going of the bout. In the 1st round, Bazan repeatedly nailed Alvarado with hooks to the body and head, hitting him hard, yet making it look so effortless.
For his part, Alvarado was always tense, tight and clearly loading up on his punches, trying to score a quick knockout in order to impress the large ringside crowd. For the most part, it was Bazan who looked impressive as he drilled Alvarado with repeated hooks to the head in the round. I found myself wishing that Bazan was the prospect and Alvarado the veteran at the end of the road, because Bazan looked so much in terms of skills, a fighter that had a lot of talent with which to build on.
With Alvarado, he’s a like a diamond in the rough, unfinished with a lot of work ahead of him in his career to try and make it to the top of the division. The first round ended up being very close, with Alvarado making a late surge by landing some hard right hands.
In the second round, Bazan punished the slow-moving Alvarado with right uppercuts and constant hooks to the body and head. Alvarado, still throwing nothing but power shots, was no match for the punch variety that Bazan showed in the round. It was like watching an expert, albeit an older one, against an unschooled crude-fighting pupil as Bazan spent the round tagging Alvarado with hard shots while barely breaking a sweat while doing so.
At the end of the round, Alvarado’s left cheek was swelling up from some of the many shots he took during the round. His corner help urged him to move his head, to try and avoid some of the shots that were being rained on him by Bazan. However, if anything, it was Bazan who was the one ducking shots, as Alvarado was fighting more like a mini-Terminator trying to destroy Bazan at all costs. Again, I gave this round to Bazan, who was just fighting much better than Alvarado was at this point in the fight.
Alvarado fought a little bit better in the 3rd round, but mostly due to his power rather than any real boxing skills. He was able to drive Bazan to the ropes later in the round, bull rushing him and hammering him with big shots and getting hit often as he didn’t seem to be paying any attention to protecting himself. While he had him trapped on the ropes, Alvarado landed some good shots to the head, and Bazan was much less able to block them due to being pinned there without room to maneuver
Bazan fought well in the first minute of the 4th round, hitting Alvarado frequently with jabs and easily moving around him in the center of the ring. However, Alvarado once again pushed him to the ropes where he began hammering him with big shots again. It seemed that Alvarado increased the power in his shots all of a sudden, going right hand crazy and hitting Bazan with one right after another.
Finally, he landed a straight right that sent Bazan sagging down to the canvas. Judging by his body language, there was no question that Bazan wasn’t going to be able to get up from the knockdown. Referee Russell Mora then moved in and counted him out at 2:46 of the 4th round.
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