A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Atlantic City, N.J.
Lucas Matthysse TKO3 Lamont Peterson Welterweights
Records: Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs); Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: After blowing away junior welterweight titlist Peterson in such devastating fashion, Matthysse -- "The Machine" -- is clearly the best 140-pounder on the planet. His power is just sick. He might be the best one-punch knockout artist, pound-for-pound, in boxing today. Showtime analyst and welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi said it best during the broadcast with this comment about Matthysse: "It is literally like a bomb exploding every time he lands a punch." Undoubtedly, that is what Peterson felt each time he hit the canvas courtesy of a booming Matthysse left hook.
Matthysse, 30, of Argentina, holds an interim belt at 140 pounds and Peterson, 29, of Washington, D.C., holds a full title from another organization, but they fought a nontitle bout at a maximum contract weight of 141 pounds -- one over the junior welterweight limit (even though Matthysse actually weighed in at the championship weight of 140). But even without either belt up for grabs, this was a meeting of two of the elite fighters in the division.
They started a little slowly as they felt each other out, but by the second round Matthysse was catching Peterson. A right hand hurt him and sent him to the ropes. Moments later, Matthysse detonated a left hook that cracked Peterson on the temple and dropped him on a delayed reaction. At that point of the fight it was not if Matthysse would get his sixth consecutive knockout but when. It came in the third round. Matthysse dropped Peterson hard with a clean left hook. He beat referee Steve Smoger's count, but while Peterson was still clear-eyed, his legs were bad and he was in big trouble. Matthysse landed another couple of shots, including another hook, and Peterson went down again. Smoger rightfully called the fight off at 2 minutes, 14 seconds.
It was a terrific performance from Matthysse, especially considering that because of a problem with his passport -- it was badly damaged during a break-in at his home -- he was unable to get to the United States until Thursday, two days later than scheduled. After the fight, talking with Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez in the dressing room, Matthysse joked that after such a great performance despite arriving so late, maybe next time he wouldn't show up until the day of the fight.
The knockout was just another impressive one in Matthysse's recent run that has made him one of boxing's must-see fighters. Ever since controversial split decision losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander (in their hometowns) during a three-fight span from late 2010 to early 2011, Matthysse has improved. He has lived up to his vow to start faster and go for knockouts.
Now Matthysse is the mandatory challenger for unified titlist Danny Garcia, who looked a bit in shock at ringside after seeing Matthysse's overwhelming performance. Golden Boy and Showtime hope to finalize that fight for Sept. 7, possibly in Washington, D.C., with Peterson facing former titlist Zab Judah on the undercard in what amounts to a consolation match of this unofficial tournament to crown a 140-pound king. Garcia defeated Judah on April 27 and Golden Boy and Showtime want the Garcia-Judah winner to face the Peterson-Matthysse winner in the fall. Garcia-Matthysse is one of the most exciting matchups that can be made in boxing, and it should happen unless Garcia ducks the fight, although he has taken on all comers. Assuming Garcia accepts the fight, props to him because it is very, very hard to pick him to win. Matthysse, for his part, wants that fight badly -- as do many boxing fans.
Devon Alexander TKO7 Lee Purdy Retains a welterweight title
Records: Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs); Purdy (20-4-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: This was easy, one-handed work for Alexander, who retained his welterweight title in the first defense of the belt he won from Randall Bailey in October. Alexander, 26, of St. Louis, was scheduled three times for his mandatory defense against England's Kell Brook, but three times the fight was called off. First, Alexander hurt his biceps to cause a delay and then Brook got hurt twice, including a month ago when he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and wound up pulling out of the fight altogether.
That opened the door for his British countryman Purdy, 25, who took the fight on four weeks' notice and showed up in Atlantic City as a huge underdog taking on his first top-level opponent. Purdy, the former British champion, failed to make the 147-pound weight limit for the second fight in a row; he weighed 147.8 pounds. He was fined $15,000 of his $150,000 purse and could not win the title. Alexander, who got $7,500 of the fine money added to his $700,000 purse, could not lose the title either, but it goes down as a successful defense because he won and fulfilled his mandatory obligation.
It couldn't have been much easier for Alexander, a southpaw, who won basically using only his right hand because he injured his left hand in the first round. Still, Alexander abused Purdy with a ton of punches and a lot of solid body shots and uppercuts. Purdy was totally outclassed and was getting his head handed to him when his corner threw in the towel after the seventh round and referee David Fields stopped the fight. Purdy was woeful while Alexander, a former unified junior welterweight titlist, looked good for a one-handed fighter.
It looks as if Alexander's next fight will be a defense against another former unified junior welterweight titlist, Amir Khan, who is expected to return on Dec. 7. Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer said he expects to make that fight, and that's fine by Alexander and his trainer/manager Kevin Cunningham, who loves the fight.
Saturday at Cancun, Mexico
Shane Mosley W12 Pablo Cesar Cano Welterweights
Scores: 115-113 (three times)
Records: Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KOs); Cano (26-3-1, 20 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: A former champion as a lightweight, welterweight (twice) and junior middleweight, Mosley announced his retirement soon after he got manhandled in a junior middleweight title challenge against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in May 2012. It was time to go, as Mosley was 0-3-1 in his four most recent performances: woeful one-sided decision losses to Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, and a hideous draw with Sergio Mora. But Mosley could not stay away and soon announced his comeback, which at age 41 came against the 23-year-old Cano of Mexico.
If you are in the camp that believes Mosley should no longer be fighting, this victory against Cano was the worst thing to happen, because even though Mosley did not look particularly good, he got his first win since his ninth-round upset knockout of Antonio Margarito in January 2009. Since Mosley won, he will obviously keep fighting, and Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer has said that because of the win, Mosley deserves another world title shot. Such is boxing that a guy can beat a C-level fighter for his first win in four years and it's enough to get a world title fight. Mosley, of Pomona, Calif., did what he had to against Cano, who is tough and strong but painfully slow as he lost his second fight in a row. In October, Cano dropped Paulie Malignaggi in the 11th round but lost a debatable split decision in a fight for which Cano did not make weight and was ineligible to win Malignaggi's 147-pound title.
Mosley made $100,000, his smallest purse since the 1990s. Mosley and Cano put on a crowd-pleasing fight in which both took punishment -- the last thing Mosley needs at his age. The Mosley of old -- as opposed to the old Mosley -- would have cut down Cano with ease, but this one was a struggle. It was a competitive fight all the way as both fighters had their moments. In the toe-to-toe sixth round, Mosley ripped Cano to the body -- he's always been a great body puncher -- and also rocked him with right hands to the head. Mosley had Cano wobbling and holding on in the round. There was more outstanding action in the ninth round, which is when Cano rocked Mosley with a left hook but then got cracked with a big right hand. When it was over, Mosley had eked out the close win, with his father, Jack, back in the corner as head trainer for the first time in years. The victory means we will see Mosley again, probably in a world title fight. One fight Golden Boy is thinking about -- as sick as it is -- is matching him with Adrien Broner if Broner wins a title when he challenges Malignaggi on June 22.
Sergio Thompson KO4 Gustavo Sandoval Lightweights
Records: Thompson (27-2, 25 KOs); Sandoval (13-5-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Thompson, 29, of Mexico, has been a contender on the rise for the past few years but made his name in March 2012 when he upset Jorge Linares, stopping him in the second round. Thompson stayed busy against Sandoval in what was a tune-up fight for an expected August shot against junior lightweight titlist Takashi Miura (25-2-2, 19 KOs) of Japan. This was an easy night for Thompson, who hammered Sandoval and had him in survival mode by the end of the first round as Thompson cleaned up with solid shots with both hands. Sandoval appeared to be out of gas in the second round -- that could have been from all the body shots he took -- and could not do anything against Thompson's relentless attack. Sandoval showed heart to even make it to the fourth round, but there was only so much he could take. Thompson backed Sandoval into a corner and was landing everything. Thompson snapped Sandoval's head back, pounded his body and was just annihilating him when referee Manolo Alcocer stepped in to end it at 1 minute, 20 seconds. Good workout for Thompson, and now it's on to a world title shot. The brave Sandoval, 21, of Colombia, needed oxygen and medical attention after the fight as he lost his second bout in a row.
Saturday at Trujillo, Puerto Rico
Felix Verdejo TKO4 Corben Page Junior lightweights
Records: Verdejo (6-0, 5 KOs); Page (4-6-1, 0 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Verdejo is a blue-chip prospect and was a 2012 Olympian for Puerto Rico. Not only are his skills developing, but so is his following. There's a bit of a void right now at the top of Puerto Rican boxing with Miguel Cotto near the end of his career, Juan Manuel Lopez in comeback mode, and Rocky Martinez holding a world title but not having gained much popularity on the island. Verdejo is viewed by many as the next possible big thing from Puerto Rico. He fights with a fan-friendly style and has a lot of charisma, including a million-dollar smile that comes to him easily. In other words, there is nothing not to like about the 20-year-old with a potentially very bright future. He looked good against Page while gaining valuable television exposure on UniMas' "Solo Boxeo Tecate." Page, 24, of Springfield, Ore., is no world-beater, but he was game and hung in there long enough for Verdejo to gain experience in the fight. Page tried to get physical with Verdejo but that could go on for only so long. Verdejo brushed it off and fired numerous punishing shots. He was measuring Page with his right hand by the second round. In the third round, Verdejo floored Page with a short left hand. In the fourth round, Verdejo was doing as he pleased and landing shots with both hands. When he rocked Page's head back with a left hand and then hammered him to the body, referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. stepped in to stop the fight at 1 minute, 48 seconds. It was a solid stoppage considering Page had zero chance to win the scheduled six-round bout.
Saturday at Zitacuaro, Mexico
Edgar Sosa W12 Giovani Segura Flyweight Title Eliminator
Scores: 116-112,115-112, 114-113
Records: Sosa (49-7, 29 KOs); Segura (29-3-1, 25 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In a battle of former junior flyweight titleholders from Mexico, Sosa edged Segura in a tough fight to earn a mandatory shot at flyweight titleholder Akira Yaegashi of Japan. Segura is a seek-and-destroy banger while Sosa is more of a boxer, so the styles meshed well. An aggressive Segura looked for the knockout. Sosa did a nice job of countering in a competitive and fan-friendly fight. Sosa got off to a strong start, but Segura rallied in the middle rounds and landed some heavy combinations. In the ninth round, Segura lost a critical point when referee Jose Guadalupe Garcia docked him for a low blow. There were a lot of excellent exchanges throughout the fight. With the bout seemingly up for grabs, Sosa closed strong for the tight win. Both men showed facial bruising when the fight was over.
Sosa, 33, of Mexico, won his sixth fight in a row since going to Thailand in October 2011 and dropping a decision to then-flyweight titleholder Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. As a junior flyweight, Sosa outpointed Brian Viloria to win a vacant belt and made 10 title defenses during his reign from 2007 to 2009. Segura, 31, who has lost two of his last three fights, held a junior flyweight title from 2009 to 2011 before vacating, moving up in weight and losing to then-flyweight titleholder Viloria in 2011; after that, Segura was idle for 14 months.
Friday at Gatineau, Canada
James DeGale KO2 Sebastien Demers Light heavyweights
Records: DeGale (15-1, 10 KOs); Demers (31-6, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: DeGale, 27, was a 2008 Olympic gold medalist for Great Britain and is a rising 168-pound (super middleweight) contender, although this bout was at light heavyweight. He's already won the European title and has now won five fights in a row since his lone defeat, a close decision against rival George Groves. DeGale, a southpaw with good hand speed and skills, made his North American debut against Demers, 33, of Quebec, who took the fight on short notice but is an experienced veteran. Demers once fought for a middleweight world title but was knocked out in the third round by Arthur Abraham in 2007. But he had nothing for DeGale, who came out aggressively in the first round and never let up. In the second round, DeGale nailed Demers with a hard left hand and Demers took a step back and went down to a knee. He had no intention of getting up and referee Steve St-Germain counted him out at 1 minute, 58 seconds. DeGale looked good. Now all he needs to do is keep it up and stay a little more active. Demers lost his fourth consecutive fight, including his third by knockout inside three rounds.
Friday at Moscow, Russia
Guillermo Jones KO11 Denis Lebedev Wins a cruiserweight title
Scores: 98-92, 97-93, 96-94
Records: Jones (39-3-2, 31 KOs); Lebedev (25-2, 19 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: This fight was the very best of boxing and the very worst. On the good side, this was a fantastic action fight, a mild upset and a clear fight-of-the-year candidate. Jones regained the belt that had been stripped from him -- because of his chronic inactivity -- and handed to interim titlist Lebedev. But it also represented the worst of the sport because Lebedev, the hometown fighter, was allowed to continue round after round despite a horrifically damaged right eye that was as bad as any ring injury seen in many years. His eye looked like a piece of ground-up hamburger. It was cut, bleeding, swollen, bruised, closed and just absolutely disgusting. Basically, the right side of his face was grotesquely disfigured and he obviously could not see out of the eye. Nobody should be shocked if Lebedev, 33, has permanent damage. This made Antonio Margarito's eye injury look like fun.
If this fight had been anywhere else on the planet other than in Lebedev's hometown, where they obviously wanted him to have a chance to win, it would have been stopped in about the fifth or sixth round. Yet, incredibly, the ring doctor spent maybe 10 seconds in total looking at the eye. Referee Stanley Christodoulou was pathetic and should not be allowed to referee again after ignoring the injury for the entire fight as if it had never happened. And Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, Lebedev's trainer and the former junior welterweight champion, did his fighter a great disservice and should be absolutely ashamed of himself for not protecting his man.
Lebedev, 33, got cut on the eye in the first round. Jones, 41, of Panama, was fighting for the first time in 18 months since knocking out Mike Marrone in a title defense in November 2011. But Jones was eventually stripped of the title and given the silly designation of "champion in recess." Upon his return, he had a mandatory shot against Lebedev.
There was excellent two-way action throughout the fight, even if Lebedev's eye injury overshadowed it. Despite the injury, Lebedev dominated the first half of the fight, and the question seemed to be whether he would stop Jones or whether the fight would be stopped because of the eye. But as the fight wore on the eye got worse, and Jones finally picked it up and started to take over. The boxers measured each other with huge shots in the sensational seventh round -- a round-of-the-year candidate -- by which time Lebedev's eye was a total mess. Lebedev was fading and Jones could not miss, and Lebedev finally went down from a left hand to his eye that he never saw. Lebedev, ahead on all three scorecards, was headed toward a hometown decision -- shocking, right? -- and he showed all the heart in the world as he tried to get up. But he could not beat Christodoulou's count and the fight was called off at 1 minute, 54 seconds. It was a sensational fight but repulsive at the same time.
Alexander Povetkin TKO3 Andrzej Wawrzyk Retains a heavyweight title
Records: Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs); Wawrzyk (27-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In one of the most epic mismatches in heavyweight title history, Povetkin easily sliced through Wawrzyk, 25, of Poland, to set up a long-awaited showdown with the real champion, Wladimir Klitschko, which was originally being planned for Aug. 31 but now likely will be Oct. 5. Somebody should give Wawrzyk's matchmaker a medal for his ability to get this stiff up to 27-0. He had fought absolutely nobody before being given the undeserved shot at Povetkin's secondary title. But with the fight against Klitschko at stake, Povetkin, 33, and his handlers were taking as little risk as possible. However, it was obvious from the outset that Povetkin had little to worry about. Wawrzyk was inept.
Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, won the first round easily. Then the Russian had a huge second round, including a clean knockdown on a hard overhand right. Wawrzyk appeared petrified to throw anything back, and Povetkin walked Wawrzyk down in the third round, landing a left hand to drop him and bust open his nose. Wawrzyk did show heart and continued, but when Povetkin dropped him again with a nice combination, referee Russell Mora called it off at 2 minutes, 33 seconds. Povetkin retained his belt for the fourth time.
Povetkin went into the fight versus Wawrzyk with not only the mandatory fight against Klitschko at stake but also the massive payday that goes with it. Povetkin has twice ducked mandatory challenges against Klitschko -- who won his tuneup fight on May 4 -- even after purse bids were held. But this time Povetkin and his team seem serious about accepting the fight after Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov, who doesn't promote either fighter, shocked everyone by winning a purse bid with a staggering offer of $23.33 million, the third-biggest winning purse bid ever. It dwarfed the $7.13 million bid by Klitschko's K2 Promotions and the $6.014 million bid by Povetkin promoter Sauerland Event. So by fighting Wawrzyk, Povetkin was risking -- with a loss or injury -- his 25 percent share of that bid, which is $5.83 million, and he was putting Klitschko's career-high payday of nearly $17.5 million in jeopardy.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Weight increased for Alvarez vs. Angulo fight
- Molina remains jailed, title defense canceled
- Quillin's next defense added to Hopkins card
- MGM Grand to host Mayweather-Maidana bout
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM