By Keith Idec
Chris Avalos overcame a third-round knockdown to beat Miguel Flores on Tuesday night, but his technical knockout victory caused controversy.
A ringside physician advised referee Bruce McDaniel to stop their featherweight fight after the fifth round due to a cut over Flores’ left eye. McDaniel ruled that the cut was caused by a punch in the fourth round, not an accidental head-butt, and Avalos won by technical knockout at Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Had McDaniel determined that the cut was caused by an accidental head-butt, as Flores argued, they would’ve gone to the scorecards.
Mexico’s Flores was winning the scheduled 10-round, 126-pound fight by the same score, 48-46, on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped. Flores floored Avalos after landing a left hook with 18 seconds to go in the third round.
Flores and Avalos traded power punches throughout an entertaining exchange during the first half of the fourth round. McDaniel called for a break in the action after the nasty gash opened along Flores’ left eyebrow.
“I’m happy,” said Flores, who told McDaniel in the corner following the fifth round that his vision was blurry. “Look at all the people. The people know what we went on there. That’s what’s wrong with boxing. Until someone gets really injured, then they wanna put the blame on the ref, on the corner.
“But if a fighter can’t see off of a head-butt, what can you do? You’ve got guys like Prichard Colon and all those guys. Then you’ve got guys on Twitter talking about, ‘Oh, guys fighting nobodies.’ Man, they don’t know sh*t.”
The Avalos-Flores fight was televised by FS1 as the main event of a “Toe-To-Toe Tuesdays” telecast.
Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs), of Lancaster, California, had lost three of his previous four fights by technical knockout. Flores lost his previous bout by sixth-round TKO to Vietnam’s Dat Nguyen (20-3, 7 KOs) on February 21 in Houston, where Flores resides.
In the first televised fight Tuesday night, unbeaten Egyptian light heavyweight prospect Ahmed Elbiali stopped Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker in the second round of a scheduled 10-round fight.
Elbiali unloaded a barrage of power punches to Brooker’s head and body before a left hand finally floored Booker, who went down face-first to the canvas. McDaniel immediately waved an end to the fight 1:48 into the second round.
The 26-year-old Elbiali, who resides in Miami, improved to 16-0 thanks to his 13th knockout. Brooker, 26, dropped to 12-4 (5 KOs) and lost for the third time in four fights.
Earlier Tuesday night, former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin knocked out Mike Marrone with a body shot in the first round.
Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs), who fought for the second time since losing his title to Anthony Joshua 15 months ago in London, dropped Marrone twice in the first round. A short right hook by Martin dropped Marrone the first time.
A left hand to Marrone’s midsection floored him the second time and the Vero Beach, Florida, native was unable to get up before referee Kenny Saintes counted him out. Marrone (21-8, 15 KOs) lost a fourth straight bout, all by knockout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.