by Rick Reeno
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas - Fighting at a catch-weight of 143-pounds, Joel Casamayor (38-5, 22KOs) won a ten round split decision over Manuel Leyva (21-2, 12KOs). The scores were 97-93 for Casamayor, 95-94 for Leyva and 96-93. Casamayor controlled at least the first seven rounds, and scored a knockdown in the closing seconds of the fifth. Around the eight round, Casamayor began to tire and the fight became slugfest for the last three rounds with Leyva giving as good as he got.
Aaron Williams (21-3, 14KOs) destroyed Shane Steele (7-4, 5KOs) in the first round to capture the interim WBC USNBC cruiserweight title. Williams caught Steele with an inside hook as he walked forward and it nearly put him out cold. Steele beat the count, but Williams pounced on him with a series of combinations that sent him back down, and referee Joe Cortez jumped in to stop the fight.
Heavyweight journeyman Alvaro Morales (6-9, 5KOs) upset debuting heavyweight giant Razvan Cojanu (0-1) with a four round majority decision. The scores were 38-38, 39-37 and 39-37. The obese looking Morales, 6'0, outworked the much bigger Romanian prospect, who appeared to be at least 6'6-6'8 in height.