Egidijus “The Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas suffered a cut in the opening round, but he was not deterred, turning back Juan Carlos Abreu via unanimous decision by scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94 to retain the NABF welterweight title in the ESPN-televised main event Saturday evening at the Save Mart Center. (photos by Mikey Williams).
Kavaliauskas-Abreu was elevated to main event status on Friday after WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez’s opponent, Danny O’Connor, suffered a severe case of dehydration prior to the weigh-in.
Kavaliauskas (20-0, 16 KOs) keeps himself in line for a potential world title opportunity, while Abreu (21-4-1, 19 KOs) saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end.
In the co-main event, Andy "El Tiburon" Vences (21-0-1, 12 KOs) defended the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Frank De Alba. Vences dictated the pace and hurt DeAlba (22-4-2, 9 KOs) several times, but DeAlba was resilient in defeat. Vences now inches closer to a potential world title opportunity.
Puerto Rican prospect Joseph "Blessed Hands" Adorno (8-0, 8 KOs) continued his power streak with a third-round knockout over Guadalupe De Leon in a super featherweight clash. Time of the stoppage was 2:32, as Adorno was extended past the second round for the first time in his pro career.
"He was a tough and very experienced fighter. He came to fight. He caught me with a couple of shots, but as soon as I started landing my punches, I saw in his eyes that I was hurting him and it was just a matter of time. I went passed the second round for the first time in my career. This was a good learning experience for me," said Adorno.