By Jake Donovan
Librado Andrade’s first fight in his birth country couldn’t have ended any better.
The three-time super middleweight title challenger found his way back to the win column with a third round stoppage of Matt O’Brien on Saturday evening at Centro de Espectaculos de la Feria in Leon, Mexico.
The bout served as the main event of a Televisa-aired show that was also simulcast live on AT&T/Un-Verse’s website.
Andrade was his usual relentless self from the outset, never giving O’Brien a false sense of security that his recent slide should be interpreted as his being at the end of his career. O’Brien was never a tough target to find, which made for an enjoyable night’s work for the Mexican.
Power punches landed at will for Andrade, who never has anything other than knockout on the mind. A left hook early in the fight set the tone for more of what to expect for the hapless challenger.
It was that very same weapon that would ultimately spell the end of the night, but not before Andrade landed an alarming number of shots on O’Brien’s chin. A left uppercut had the Canadian on rubber legs, and Andrade went in for the kill. A battered and bloodied O’Brien finally gave in, hitting the deck twice before being rescued by the referee.
Andrade advances to 30-4 (23KO) with the win; O’Brien loses his second straight in falling to 18-3 (7KO).
The win was Andrade’s first in more than a year. Much like his half-brother Enrique Ornelas, the past several years has seen the free-swinging Mexican alternate wins and losses, having not won at least two in a row in more than three years.
A week shy of his 33rd birthday, there was fear of Andrade being on the slide, as suggested in a shocking points loss to Aaron Pryor Jr earlier this year on Telefutura. Previous losses to Mikkel Kessler (UD12) and Lucian Bute (UD12, KO by 4) were forgiven as they came on the top level, but falling short in an intended tune-up against Pryor set off major alarms.
The win over O’Brien doesn’t reveal much in the way of what the future holds in store for Andrade. At the very least, the evening served another purpose for Andrade, as it was the first time he and Ornelas were able to perform in their native Mexico – a suprising statistic considering they’ve traveled the world yet somehow missed their birth nation
Ornelas’ evening didn’t go quite as easy as was the case for his older brother, but he gets to enjoy an extended win streak for the first time in three years. The fringe super middleweight contender surged past Alfredo Contreras en route to a 10-round unanimous decision win in their televised co-feature.
Ornelas led every step of the way, but not in the type of fight to suggest a dominant performance. Contreras stood toe-to-toe throughout the night, never allowing Ornelas a moment to coast.
It wasn’t quite what was expected out of a journeyman opponent who only boasts one win in his past nine fights. Then again, Ornelas or his brother Librado Andrade (who fights in the main event) tend to make all of their fights tougher than needs to be the case.
Nevertheless, it’s the second straight win for Ornelas, who improves to 32-7 (20KO). Such a streak is the first time since July 2008 where he can claim to have won that many in a row, going win-one-lose-one over the stretch of his past several fights, including losses to Bernard Hopkins and Robert Steiglitz.
Contreras dips below .500 as his record falls to 11-12-2 (5KO).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]