By Elisinio Castillo
Nicaraguan boxer Felix "Twin" Alvarado won the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight world title by securing a seventh round knockout over former world champion Randy Petalcorin, in the main event of a fight card that took place Monday at Casino Midas Hotel in Manila, Philippines. The fight was organized by MP Promotions and televised by ESPN +.
Alvarado pressed at all times, taking risks while looking to connect with the best shots. And from the fourth round, he fully dominated Petalcorin, who was sent to the canvas three times in the seventh round before the contest was waved off.
In the seventh, the Filipino veteran was badly beaten and barely got to his feet, so the referee made a wise decision to end the bout - and declared Alvarado the victor at 2:04. The big puncher is crowned in his third world title attempt after failing in his previous challenges against Kazuto Ioka of Japan and Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina.
With this victory, Alvarado becomes world champion number 14 in the history of Nicaragua, which currently also has Cristofer Rosales as a flyweight titlist under the World Council Boxing (WBC).
The list of Nicaraguan champions is led by Alexis Arguello and Román "Chocolatito" González, with Rosendo Alvarez, Eddy Gazo, Adonis Rivas, Luis Perez, Ricardo Mayorga, Eduardo Marquez, Juan Palacios, Randy Caballero, Jose "Bankruptcy Jícara" Alfaro, Byron Rojas, Cristofer Felix Rosales and now Alvarado.
This bout for the vacant flyweight IBF crown, which was held by South African Hekkie Budler, started with a very strong first round, with Petalcorin taking the better of the first half, but Alvarado pressed everything down as he shortened distances to look better in the second part. There was a slight advantage for the Asian fighter at the start of bout.
By the seventh, Petalcorin was broken down from the punishing blows to the head and body. After a hard body attack, Alvarado sent him down to the canvas for the first time. Alvarado pressed and would not allow him to rest, which created the second knockdown. Exhausted, Petalcorin stood up and managed to respond, but he was sent right back on the canvas for the third time for the end.
Alvarado raised his record to 34-2, with 30 knockouts, while Petalcorin fell to 29-3-1, 22 knockouts.