Alberto Puello performed consistently Saturday night and shut out Ector Madera in the former WBA super lightweight champion’s first fight since he won the title in August 2022.

The Dominican southpaw sharply used his jab, fought from a comfortable distance and won by wide distances on all three scorecards (80-72, 80-72, 79-73) at The Armory in Minneapolis. Showtime streamed their eight-rounder on the network’s YouTube channel as part of the David Morrell Jr.-Sena Agbeko undercard.

Puello (22-0, 10 KOs) ended a 16-month layoff that lasted so long largely because he failed a performance-enhancing drug test before his scheduled title defense against Rolly Romero on May 13 in Las Vegas. Romero instead defeated Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso controversially by ninth-round technical knockout May 13 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Romero won the WBA’s interim title by beating Barroso. Puello was later stripped and Romero was elevated to full champion.

Puello won the WBA super lightweight title when he beat Batyr Akhmedov by split decision in August 2022 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Madera (11-1, 6 KOs), of Stockton, California, entered the ring undefeated Saturday night, yet he was far less formidable than Akhmedov.

He had difficulty dealing with Puello’s movement, jab and skill, and rarely landed clean punches over the course of eight rounds.

Madera did land a left cross just before the halfway point of the eighth and final round, but he couldn’t land the type of punch he need to hurt Puello.

Madera attempted to head-butt Puello about 30 seconds into the seventh round. Nelson admonished Madera for that foul.

Puello hurt Madera with a left to the body when there was under 30 seconds on the clock in the sixth round. Madera slipped and moved his way to the end of the sixth round.

An accurate Puello clipped Madera with a right hook with just over a minute to go in the sixth round.

Puello continued to control action at a comfortable distance during the fourth and fifth rounds. Madera came forward in those rounds, but he couldn’t catch Puello with clean punches.

Madera attempted to go after Puello once the bell rang, but Nelson separated them quickly.

A straight left up top backed up Madera a little less than a minute into the third round. Puello’s right hook to the body landed about 35 seconds into the third round.

Puello landed a left to Madera’s body that impacted Madera less than 10 seconds into the second round.

Puello worked well off his jab and landed several right hooks during the opening round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.