Rios decisions Abril; Gesta stops Cuero; Alvarado defeats Herrera

By Boxing News - 04/14/2012 - Comments

Image: Rios decisions Abril; Gesta stops Cuero; Alvarado defeats HerreraBy Jim Dower: Former WBA World lightweight champion Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KO’s) failed to impress in winning a 12 round split decision on Saturday night at a fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a fight where no one really won, neither Rios, Abril and especially boxing fans due to the controversy surrounding the results of the judges’ decision.

The judges gave Rios a split decision win by the scores 117-111 for Abril, 116-112 and 115-113 for Rios. Abril looked to be the winner, and Rios today has a win that he arguably doesn’t deserve. The judges have their own criteria about what they look at when choosing a winner, but when it’s so far off what boxing fans see, then it’s not a positive for the sport.

Rios looked weight drained, weak and utterly clueless in how to go about dealing with Abril’s movement and smothering fighting style. Although a couple inches taller than the 5’8″ Rios with much longer arms, Abril proved to have the better inside fighting ability to go along with his superior hand speed.

I saw Rios winning three rounds in the fight – 2nd, 5th and 10th. He was dealing with constant movement and his offense isn’t suited for fighting on the move. Rios, who is like a smaller version of Antonio Margarito, needs a stationary fighter for him to do well. He wasn’t able to cut off the ring against the taller Abril, because unlike Margarito, Rios plodded after Abril instead of jogging to catch up to him the way that Margarito does against movers.

Rios had a lot of problems landing his shots in close with Abril standing sideways in a Floyd Mayweather Jr. stance, and picking off Rios’ attempts at landing. But it didn’t really matter even when Rios was landing, because he lacked power in his shots. Abril chose to fight Rios in close a lot, and Rios was completely unsuited for this kind of fighting. We saw him land shots, but without power and there were a lot of rabbit punches thrown by him.

By the 10th, Rios seemed desperate and angry with Abril’s defensive skills shutting him down completely. Rios roughed Abril up in the 10th out of frustration and seemed to win the round. However, Abril came back in the 11th and 12th to dominate the action.

It was a fight that scored badly and I still can’t figure out what the two judges that scored the fight for Rios saw in his performance for them to give him the victory.


Alvarado decisions Herrera

In the best fight on the card undefeated Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KO’s) powered through to grueling 10 round unanimous decision win over #7 IBF Mauricio Herrera (18-2, 7 KO’s). The final judges’ scores were 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94. I had the fight scored a draw, because of the 31-year-old Herrera’s impressive work in the first half of the fight. However, Herrera wasn’t able to keep up the pace into the second half and he clearly wore down from the constant pressure from Alvarado. Both of Herrera’s eyes were swollen up by the end of the fight and his left was completely closed. Alvarado, #3 WBO, #9 IBF, #11 WBA, suffered a small cut on the side of his right eye and a lot of swelling around from his face from his back and forth war.

This fight has got to be in the running for the fight of the year, because most of the action was toe-to-toe with both guys throwing punches without concern for their own safety and just looking got stop the other guy. The style seemed to favor Alvarado, but he got the worst of it in the first half of the fight because he wasn’t as quick as Herrera. Alvarado had the power and size advantage, and that was the telling factor in him getting the decision.

Herrera started off well in the 1st round using his jab to control the round and adding a few combinations. If he stuck with the style of fighting he likely would have won. However, beginning in the second round, Herrera changed his style and chose to stand with his back against the ropes and trade with Alvarado. Both fighters unloaded on each other and Herrera left eye was starting to swell and turn purple by the end of the round.

In rounds three and four, Herrera, #7 IBF, did the better work with his all out attacks. He was constantly with his back against the ropes but he just never stopped punching and Alvarado couldn’t match his pace. That kind of fighting had it’s drawbacks for Herrera, as both of his eyes were swelling up by the end of the fourth.

In six through nine, Alvarado took control over the fight with Herrera tiring out. Alvarado punished Herrera with vicious shots in these four rounds and it’s surprising that Herrera was able to take the punishment without going down. Alvarado suffered a cut on the right side of his right eye in the 7th, and he continued to get at an alarming rate despite winning the rounds. He was winning but paying a price.

Herrera came back strong in the 10th round by throwing a storm of shots to dominate the action.

All total, I had the fight scored five rounds a piece for each fighter. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between these two guys because this one of the best fights I’ve seen in quite some time.

I thought Alvarado looked a lot better than Brandon Rios tonight, as well Herrera. One of those guys should be facing Juan Manuel Marquez on July 14th at the Cowboys stadium instead of Rios.


Gesta defeats Cuero

Undefeated lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KO’s) defeated 26-year-old journeyman Oscar Cuero (15-8, 12 KO’s) by an 8th round TKO win. Gesta, knocked Cuero down in the 7th and 8th rounds. The fight was stopped in the 8th after Gesta landed a short right cross that sent Cuero down. It looked like a nothing punch, but Cuero seemed to not be into fight anymore at that point. He had been knocked down the round before by a right to the body, and he didn’t look like he wanted to continue then but he did.

Gesta had problems catching up to Cuero in then opening round because the Colombian was moving all around the ring and doing a lot of holding. In the 2nd round, Gesta hurt Cuero with a right uppercut followed immediately with a right hook that staggered him and had him holding on.

Cuero lost a point in the 5th when he was penalized for holding. There wasn’t a warning before the point deduction, however, and it’s too bad he had to lose a point like that. It didn’t matter to the outcome of the fight but you never like to see a fighter lose a point without being warned first.

Gesta knocked Cuero down early in the 7th with a right to the body. Cuero came alive after the knockdown and dominated the remainder of the round, as Gesta dropped his guard and almost let Cuero land his shots.

In the 8th round, Gesta came out meaning business and teed off on Cuero with big shots until catching him with a short right cross that put him down on the canvas. Cuero beat the count but the referee Robert Byrd halted the fight anyway, stopping the fight at 1:38 of the 8th round.

I can’t say I was impressed with Gesta. He’s too short, too easy to hit. He doesn’t throw enough combinations and seems to live and die by his power shots. He’s ranked high but I don’t see him beating any of the champions nor do I see him beating a lot of the contenders in the division. There’s a chance that Gesta could fight Juan Manuel Marquez next on July 14th at the Cowboys stadium if Marquez decides he doesn’t want to fight Brandon Rios. I think Gesta will be destroyed by Marquez. He’s not ready for him and never will be.


Other action on the card:

Mikael Zewski TKO 6 Brandon Baue
Terence Crawford KO 5 Andre Gorges
Tremaine Williams TKO 1 Jesse Anguiano
Anthony Flores KO 1 Gabriel Medina

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