LAS VEGAS – Alberto Puello became the first man to both take Gary Antuanne Russell the distance and to beat him, following 12 untidy rounds at the MGM Grand on Saturday.

Puello won’t care about the type of bout it was after he won via margins of 115-112 and 114-113, against a very different score of 118-109.

Styles did not blend well at all, but it was not for lack of trying. The all-southpaw clash was simply a messy affair, and sometimes these things happen.

Puello, from the Dominican Republic, is now 23-0 (10 KOs) and claimed the WBC’s interim junior welterweight title while Russell, from Capital Heights, Maryland, dropped to 17-1 (17 KOs).

It was a fight of few highlights. Puello was docked a point for holding in the ninth, and after Russell was given time to recover from a low shot that looked borderline in the 12th, there were some furious exchanges. That aside, it failed to catch fire. 

Russell had opened up looking quick, twitchy and compact, but Puello reminded him of the danger he presented with a pair of right hooks.

The second was quiet, and it seemed Russell was done with the feeling-out process by the third as he appeared to be growing more aggressive.

Puello enjoyed some success with his back to the ropes in the fourth, but the fight grew scrappy. On the front foot, Russell was so eager with his work that Puello either pushed him back or claimed him.

They both landed hooks at the same time in the sixth and Puello posed some danger with his long left hand in the eighth, working well off the ropes. But he lost a point in the ninth and allowed Russell to smother his work.

In the 10th, Puello caught Russell at the end of a rangy left hand in the closing moments of the session, and Russell held after getting clobbered with a couple of lefts in the 11th. There was swelling beneath Russell’s left eye, too.

In the 12th, Russell was afforded time to recover from a shot that was ruled low but looked to be on the line, and that caused the fighters to finally set about each other, producing more action in the final session than they had in the previous 11. Puello started to get the better of things, too, able to use his pole-like shots to catch Russell getting careless and earning him the win.

Carlos Adames made the first defense of his WBC middleweight title but failed to stamp his authority on the division following a less-then-dominant display over Terrell Gausha.

Adames, from the Dominican Republic, won by margins of 119-109 and 118-110 (twice), with the judges rewarding him for coming forward and not giving Gausha credit for his tidier work, particularly later in the fight.

“This win is very satisfying,” said Adames. “To have defended my title the way I did, with the convincing decision, was what I wanted after a year away.”

The first round did not set a lively tone, and Adames tried to apply more pressure in the second. Gausha was doing precious little.

Through the third, there was predictability about Adames’ work, and he didn’t get close to troubling the Ohio challenger. But Gausha was simply not busy enough, even though he jabbed and moved with greater efficiency in the fifth.

The sixth was quiet, and Gausha started the next strongly, beginning to let his hands go – but paid for it by shipping a right hand that forced him to take cover for a while.

The veteran Gausha, however, came back into it with his poised and disciplined boxing giving him the edge over the comparatively wild swings of the champion, although he didn’t have the power to stop Adames from willingly closing the cap.

Despite Gausha being busier in the ninth, trainer Manny Robles in his corner told him they were “coming from behind” on the scorecards, and Gausha’s smoother, more textbook shots seemed to be earning him some late rounds. Adames was snatching at his punches. Gausha was more steady and impressive.

The challenger was given time to recover after taking a blow low in the 11th and was told in the corner he needed to win the last round big, not knowing the fight was already out of sight.

For me, Gausha had done a great job of neutralizing Adames and making him look a one-dimensional brute in the final rounds. But for the Ohio man who has lost big fights to Erislandy Lara, Erickson Lubin and Tim Tszyu, he was the bridesmaid again.

You could understandably say Adames won, but the margins looked unjust on Gausha.

“Carlos Adames is a tough, helluva fighter and he has a strong punch, so I knew we had to be careful in the first few rounds,” admitted the 36-year-old Gausha. “The game plan was to pick it up towards the end of the fight, which I thought I did. But obviously it wasn't enough tonight.

“The scorecards were wide. I don't agree with them. I thought it was closer, but at the end of the day he won the fight. So it is what it is.”