By Ryan Burton
Las Vegas - Pablo Cesar Cano (30-7-1) defeated Ruslan Madiev (12-0) via technical decision in the ESPN televised main event.
Instead of a traditional feel out round to begin the fight, Cano and Madiev went right to work throwing punches in bunches. The battle tested Cano, who has been in the rings with the likes of Shane Mosley, Erik Morales and Paulie Malignaggi, stalked his opponent and had a higher punch output but lacked the precision of Madiev.
Cano closed the the third round well after the Kazakh started out strong. Blood began to trickle from outside of the left eye of Cano midway through the round.
The Abel Sanchez trained Madiev had more success in the 4th to slow down the ultra aggressive Mexican but Cano went right back to work in the 5th drawing blood from his opponent's nose.
Just before the round ended Madiev opened up a huge gash over the left eye of Cano with a head butt and follow up with a punch. Blood was flowing profusely which caused the fight to be stopped by referee Russell Mora. The final scores after 5 rounds were 49-47 on all three cards.
Franchon Crews-Dezurn (4-1) captured the vacant WBC super middleweight title with a majority decision victory over Maricela Cornejo (12-3) to open up the ESPN telecast.
Crews-Dezurn was considerably thicker and used her weight advantage early in the second with an MMA style takedown of Cornejo in the second round which drew a warning from referee Jay Nady. Cornejo, who was in a lot better shape than her opponent, had the faster hands and had a lot of success when she circled to her left but had trouble when would stand in the center of ring and exchange. That was the theme of the fight as Cornejo couldn't keep her opponent off of her for long stretches.
A big right hand stunned Cornejo late in the 4th round. which sent the California backwards as she tried to recover. Crews-Dezurn continued to have success overpowering and mauling her opponent which continued to set up her right hand which was thrown with power throughout the night. Cornejo was stunned again in the 7th and Crews-Dezurn really poured it on in the 8th, hurting her opponent several times.
She continued to stalk in the 9th round but Cornejo had better success evaded the incoming fire but didn't offer much offensive output of her own. The 10th round was more success for Crews-Dezurn who landed more than she received. The final scores were 99-91 twice and a head scratching 95-95.
In another competitive fight, Guadalajara native Horacio Garcia (34-5) suffered a mild upset against Isaac Zarate (17-3-3) in their featherweight battle. Both fighters had moments of success but Zarate did better when he stayed off the ropes to win the close decision. The final tallies read 77-75, 75-77, 78-74
Xu Can (9-0) of China won a split decision against a very game Enrique Bernache (24-10) in their featherweight battle. Can was considerably taller and had a big reach advantage against Bernanche but that didn't stop the Mexican from continuing to come forward even though he absorbed a lot of punishment in the process. He still was able to land his share of punches even though they weren't as hard as his Chinese opponent. 77-75, 75-77 and 78-74 were the final scores.
One of Canelo Alvarez's main sparring partners, Bilal Akkawy (18-0-1) won a dominant decision in the second fight of the night against Cristian Olivas (16-3-3). The 8 round fight was a route from the beginning and all three scorecards read 80-71.
Opening up the card local Las Vegan Francisco Esparza improved his record to 9-0-1 with a unanimous decision victory over Dihul Olguin (13-12-3) in their super featherweight bout.