Puerto Rico earned yet another world champion this year as Alberto "Explosivo" Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) knocked out Jezreel "El Invisible" Corrales (22-2, 8 KOs) in the eighth round of a scheduled 12-round fight to become the WBA World Super Featherweight Champion at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. Along with Miguel Cotto and Jesus Rojas, Machado is the third boxer from Puerto Rico to win a world title within the past two months. Photo by Matthew Heasley/Hoganphotos.
In what was a hard-fought battle between two southpaws, Corrales earned an early advantage by being much quicker and skillful. The native of San Miguelito, Panama also landed hard overhand lefts repeatedly, eventually dropping Machado with that same punch in the fifth round.
Little by little, though, Machado's size and strength advantages began taking a toll on Corrales, who was hurt by a right hook in round six.
Then, in the eighth round, Machado ended matters abruptly after the two exchanged left hands that had only one man hit the canvas: Corrales. After barely making the count, the fight was stopped at 2:18 of the eighth-round, making Machado, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a world champion. At the time of the stoppage, the judges had Corrales winning with two scores of 68-64 and one score of 67-65.
"I am over the moon. I can't believe this and I am so proud of this accomplishment," said Machado.
"We knew that the fight would be complicated, and that we would be dealing with a dangerous style. We knew moving forward after Corrales' weight issues that there would be a gigantic risk since he came in heavy, and it was a risk we were willing to take. He hurt me a couple of times throughout the bout, but in the end my hands were powerful and we got that one punch we needed. These past four months have been tough being away from home, and I am ready to spend some much need time with my newborn son and wife."
"I want to tell my people of Puerto Rico that we are a strong and resilient people who have much hope. We will come back. We will rebuild. Just like tonight, you can hit the canvas and rise up victorious."