The Intercontinental Welterweight, WBC Featherweight and IBF Bantamweight Championships were decided on Saturday night September 15, 2012. The boxing was fast paced at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jesus Karass (26-8-3) and Marcos Maidana (32-3) fought for the Intercontinental Welterweight Title. The early rounds were hotly contested and Maidana was frustrated in the fourth round. He lost a point deduction from the referee. Maidana was at a disadvantage in reach although he displayed superior punching power. Karass had the reach advantage with a differential of four inches over Maidana.
For most of the fight, Karass avoided Maidana due to his longer reach, more effective bobbing, weaving and overall speed advantage. Both fighters struck each other on the break in the fourth round. This event prompted the referee, Kenny Bayless to penalize each fighter by a point. For a brief time, Karass came ahead in the sixth round. The fight looked quite even at the end of the sixth round.
Karass was knocked down and through the ropes in the seventh round. He was bloodied in the seventh and eighth rounds. The referee stopped the fight in the eighth round after Maidana exploded with a barrage of punches leaving Karass unable to defend himself effectively.
The referee stopped the fight and the Intercontinental Welterweight Belt went to Maidana. Karass had the boxing skills and footwork to win the fight; however, he simply ran out of steam. To prevail over Maidana in the future, he will need a more extensive elite athlete's workout with more sprints and better quality sparring.
The defending world champ, Daniel DeLeon (44-4) fought against Jhonny Gonzolez (52-8) for the WBC Featherweight Belt. The opening rounds were very competitive with DeLeon suffering a head gash on the right side of the head. He was bloodied in the second and fourth rounds. Gonzolez prevailed in the second and third rounds with DeLeon picking up from the fourth round until the end of the fight. In the seventh round, the fighters clashed with Gonzolez getting the worst of the situation with a cut over the right eye. The fight was stopped after the referee consulted with the ringside physician due to the injury. The judges voted the outcome by a unanimous technical decision in favor of DeLeon by scores of 77-74 ; 79-72 and 79-72. This boxing fan saw the outcome as 77-75 in favor of DeLeon.
Eric Morales (46-4) , the former flyweight champ fought Leo Santa Cruz (21-0-1) for the IBF Bantamweight Championship. The fight was even in the first and third rounds with Santa Cruz winning the fourth round onward very convincingly. After the third round, Morales, at age 36 simply could not keep up with Santa Cruz. The fight was stopped in the sixth round with the IBF Bantamweight Championship going to Santa Cruz. Eric Morales needs to either retire or do a more extensive elite training workout with more running in the overall regimen.
Saturday night was a spectacular show for boxing fans. There was lots of action and the fights see-sawed back and forth until the more aggressive fighter emerged. This is boxing at its best.