By Francisco Salazar
INDIO, Calif. - Something had to give. Jayson Velez and Rene Alvarado both entered their fight Friday night having lost their last two bouts.
After being down early in the fight, Alvarado was able to grind out the win and likely earn one more meaningful bout.
Alvarado won a 10 round split decision over Velez before an almost-sold out crowd at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. With the win, Alvarado goes to 24-7, 16 KOs, while Velez drops to 23-3-1, 16 KOs.
The Velez-Alvarado fight was elevated to main event status after the 10 round welterweight bout between Alfonso Gomez and Pablo Cesar Cano was postponed due to Gomez hurting his right elbow almost two weeks ago.
Velez landed the more-telling blows during the first half of the fight, utilizing his height and reach to rain punches down on Alvarado.
Sending he was down, Alvarado pressed the action, finding success whenever he was on the inside of Velez's guard.
Alvarado was able to connect to the head and body, finding more success when he had Velez against the ropes.
Both fighters had their moments in the 10th and final round.
One judge scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Velez, but the other two judges scored the bout 96-94 and 97-93 for Alvarado.
Junior middleweight Rashidi Ellis survived a knockdown in the fourth round to win an eight round unanimous decision over Luis Hernandez. Ellis (16-0, 11 KOs) utilized his quickness to counter Hernandez effectively during the first three rounds. During an exchange in the opening minute of the fourth round, Hernandez (12-2, 7 KOs) dropped Ellis with a left hook to the head. Ellis was able to gather himself and returned to dictating the pace, countering Hernandez during the second half of the fight. All three judges scored the bout 78-73 in favor of Ellis, who was originally scheduled to fight on the July 30 Golden Boy Promotions card in Indio.
Junior featherweight Azat Hovhannisyan (9-2, 8 KOs) stopped Mario Ayala in the fifth round. Hovhannisyan battered Ayala (4-3-1, 1 KO) throughout the fight, eventually dropping him with a right to the head midway through round five. Hovhannisyan went in for the kill, pinning Ayala against the ropes and battering him until referee Ray Corona stopped the bout at 2:18.
Lightweight Marco Magdaleno, the younger brother of Diego and Jessie Magdaleno, won a four round decision over Hugo Padilla(3-7, 2 KOs). All three judges scored the bout in favor of Magdaleno (4-0, 2 KOs), 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, welterweight Jhon Leon, who was making his pro debut, battered Jose Huerta (0-1-1) until referee David Mendoza stopped the bout at 2:12.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing