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Calderon Squeaks By Rivas; Vazquez Jr KO's Leyva

By Jake Donovan

Former two-division champion Ivan Calderon won for the first time in more than a year in barely outpointing visiting journeyman Felipe Rivas in their pay-per-view main event Saturday evening in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Calderon dropped back down to strawweight after a four-stay at the junior flyweight championship level, although the results didn’t automatically translate. There were traces of the diminutive southpaw showing slick defense – offering little beyond a shoulder roll to avoid most of the incoming, but not offering anything damaging in return.

Rivas had his best success when he targeted the body. Doing so, however, left him open to left hand counters which caused a cut around his right eye.

Calderon was effective offensively when he elected to plant his feet and trade. A right hook caught Rivas flush on the chin and slightly wobbled him, though with no follow-up.

As the bout wore on, Calderon grew more content with sticking and moving – with far more moving than sticking, as Rivas grew frustrated in trying to pick off his retreating foe. It was a rare case where you had to reward defense above all else, as Rivas was falling way short whenever he decided to attempt a punch.

The closest there came to any drama was late in the final round, when Rivas was finally able to connect after adopting a throw-it-all-against-the-wall strategy. Rivas seemed to find the strategy more effective than anyone else in the room, bullying Calderon but not all of it legal.

Calderon hit the deck on what was clearly a slip, only for Rivas to celebrate as if he scored a knockout. The Mexican kept up the pressure until the final bell, turning a boxing match into a back alley brawl.

He almost turned it into the year’s biggest upset, as the final verdict was surprisingly split. Rivas won by 96-94 on one card, but was overridden by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 for Calderon, who improves to 35-2-1 (6KO).

Rivas dips below .500 in falling to 9-10-1 (4KO).

For Calderon, the win is his first since suffering back-to-back knockouts at the hands of Giovani Segura. The second of their two fights had many calling for the Puerto Rican’s immediate retirement from the sport.

After Saturday’s result against a career journeyman, it’s doubtful that any such concerns were alleviated. There’s an argument to be made that Calderon should view the fight as an opportunity to go out with a win.

VAZQUEZ JR FLATTENS LEYVA IN THREE ROUNDS

Fighting for the first time since suffering the first loss of his career, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. made quick work of Roberto “Mako” Leyva, flattening the former strawweight titlist in three rounds.

It took a couple of rounds for Vazquez Jr. to find his punching range but had Leyva in serious trouble the moment he began to dial in. Leyva, to his credit, took everything his much bigger opponent had to offer, but is just too far gone in his career to have done anything about it.

The end came in emphatic fashion, with Vazquez Jr. connecting with a series of right hands. The Puerto Rican was missing with nearly all of his left hooks, but every time was able to come back and score with enough right hands before Levya collapsed flat onto the canvas.

Referee Geno Rodriguez began to count but eventually waved off the bout once he saw that Leyva had no prayer of recovering. The official time was 2:59 of the third round.

Vazquez Jr improves to 22-1-1 (18KO) with the win in his first fight since his shocking 12th round knockout loss at the hands of resurging Jorge Arce. Now back in the win column, there are talks of the second generation prizefighter being next in line for a possible crack at Nonito Donaire, who plans to move up to the 122 lb. division.

Leyva falls to 27-15-1 (21KO) with the loss. The Mexican has suffered nine losses in his last ten fights, with six of them coming inside the distance. If there’s anyone out there who loves the former strawweight champ, they will call an intervention and never again allow him to step foot in the ring.

TELEVISED UNDERCARD

Unbeaten junior flyweight titlist Yesica Bopp of Argentina made quick work of Suzannah Warner, scoring two knockdowns en route to a knockout at 1:21 of the opening round.

The opening bout of the telecast featured a horribly blatant hometown decision as Jorge Melendez received a gift-wrapped 10-round decision over Eric Mitchell.

Melendez appeared in over his head in what represented a step up in class for the 22-year old – which isn’t saying much since Mitchell hasn’t been on anyone’s radar in nearly a decade. But with each passing round, Mitchell gained more and more confidence, constantly beating the Puerto Rican to the punch and imposing his will at every moment.

Still, the American’s corner must’ve sensed something rotten in the air, as they urged their fighter to not give away any rounds down the stretch. Mitchell did his best to oblige, but Melendez’ youth had its advantages when it counted most, and apparently was enough to win in the eyes of the judges.

Melendez’ record advances to 21-2-1 (20KO) in his first win – and just second fight overall - to go to the scorecards. The 42-year old Mitchell deserves to go home with his head held high even with his record dipping to 23-8-1 (11KO).

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 10-30-2011

[QUOTE=MJ223;11350105]Calderon doesn't have it anymore. Thanks for the memories champ. Not worried about WV2 because he is young and will figure it out.[/QUOTE] Great post, co-sign. Thanks for the memories champ.

Comment by LeadUppercut on 10-30-2011

[QUOTE=puga;11349685]no...i think you and yesir hands down are the dumbest people on planet earth...[/QUOTE] I point out facts that you cannot refute, and you reply by whining like a little girl. I can see why you think that I am…

Comment by 0r1g1nal S1n on 10-30-2011

Calderon's been on the slide for a while now. Definitely not the same fighter he was a few years ago.

Comment by nycsmooth on 10-30-2011

Bopp surprised w/KO as she's very light punching but good technically, and a looker..seh's WBO so moving up won't be a problem as she won't see Marianna Juarez who'd ko her, or Kentikian if they unified...terrible WBO card, shame on…

Comment by MJ223 on 10-30-2011

Calderon doesn't have it anymore. Thanks for the memories champ. Not worried about WV2 because he is young and will figure it out.

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