Carlos Canizales defeated fringe contender German Valenzuela by unanimous decision late Friday night at the Foro Centenario in Mexico City.

Scores were 98-92, 98-92, and 99-91 for Canizales, who improves to 23-1-1, 17 knockouts.

Canizales, the former WBA ‘Regular’ junior flyweight titleholder who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, was making his return to action since losing by knockout to Esteban Bermudez on May 28. 

The shorter Canizales was the more-aggressive fighter from the opening bell, successfully moving in and out of Valenzuela’s guard. Canizales varied his offense, working behind a jab, but also connecting with lead right hands to Valenzuela’s head and body. 

Valenzuela (16-3, 12 KOs) began to close the distance between the two fighters in round 4, connecting at times with looping or lead right crosses to the Canizales. Despite some success, Valenzuela had to keep his guard up as Canizales was able to put him on the defensive and after landing two or three-punch combinations.

The fighter from Navajoa, Mexico was game, connecting in spots, but Canizales was too effective, outlanding Valenzuela on the inside or from distance.

Canizales’ win Friday night puts him back into immediate contention for a world title belt, including a possible rematch with Bermudez. 

In the co-feature of the ‘Boxeo EstrellaTV’ card, lightweights Wilfredo Flores of Puerto Rico and Jonathan Escobedo fought to a majority-decision draw. 

One judge scored the bout 96-94 for Escobedo (7-2-1, 2 KOs), but the other two judges scored the bout 95-95. 

The southpaw Flores (9-0-1, 4 KOs) had to deal with Escobedo walking him down and putting him on the defensive. Flores was able to make Escobedo, who resides in Guadalajara, Mexico, miss, allowing him to counter, but Escobedo did connect to the head of Flores.

Escobedo had his best moments in round 3, momentarily stunning Flores with a two-punch combination to the head. Flores was able to weather the onslaught, fighting back to close out the round.

The action slowed down by the midway point of the fight, which favored Flores. Escobedo’s punch output did drop with each passing round, but he was getting the better of the exchanges as Flores was at his best slipping and countering Escobedo.

In junior flyweight action who reside in the Mexico City area, Emmanuel Ramirez (3-4, 2 KOs) overcame a knockdown in the opening round to stop Erick Fuentes at 1:07 of round 4. A left cross dropped Fuentes (1-3) to the canvas against the ropes. Referee Jorge Bonilla immediately stopped the bout at 1:07.

Friday night was another installment of ‘Boxeo EstrellaTV,’ which airs live on Estrella TV in the United States. Producciones Deportivas, which is run by longtime promoter Ricardo Maldonado, promoted the card. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing