Saul Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan, David Lemieux vs Glen Tapia, Frankie Gomez vs Herrera, Stevens vs Teixeira
BY KID HERSH
First up on the Oscar De La Hoya GBP PPV from the new T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20KO's) vs Patrick Teixeira (26-0, 22KO's). Tony Weeks was the referee and in the first round Stevens buzzed Teixeira pretty bad with a jab early in the round that he did not react well to at all. Stevens followed up but was relaxed and looking like a veteran. He got the one punch knockout in the second round when it looked "Golovkin-esque" as he took a left uppercut from Teixeira but landed a hard right hand himself that was the end of the fight. As Roy Jones Jr pointed out; a tall, long boxer should never be throwing uppercuts from a distance. Especially against a compact power puncher like Stevens. Perhaps his new trainer John David Jackson is helping him relax in there and be less tense. Great comeback win for him.
Next up was Frankie Gomez (20-0, 13KO's) vs Mauricio Herrera (22-5, 7KO's). Gomez has been reported to be supremely talented, which I would agree with, but has had dedication and training problems off and on. he has Freddie Roach in his corner still though so it makes me think that he will be ready for the big stage tonight. Gomez was catching Herrera with left hooks in the first round as Herrera looked like a guy that wanted to pull the trigger but just could not. Perhaps it is ring rust from the 301 day layoff that the announcers mentioned? In the second round Herrera looked much the same; a slower man that in the past that couldn't get his punches off. He got a marked up left eye in the second round and Gomez was looking like he was too fast and too tricky for him. This is interesting because Gomez is not known for being a great mover or tricky boxer but Herrera just looks flat tonight. In the fourth round Herrera told his corner to "calm down" as he was getting blasted by the Pit Bull in his corner. He simply looked his age for the first half of the fight; 35. Gomez looked very good in closing out the show as he was light on his feet and had tremendous energy in the ninth and tenth to close it out. He did not even look like he had been in a fight at the close of it as he won the shutout decision. Great showing here for Gomez - doubt he could have done any better. Now it is a question of if Gomez is this good at his best or if Herrera has fallen from the precipice.
Next up was David Lemieux (34-3, 31KO's) vs Glen Tapia (23-2, 15KO's). This is Lemieux's first fight after the big Gennady Golovkin fight at Madison Square Garden. Russell Mora was the referee and in the first round Lemieux was already walking down Tapia and landed what he wanted. Lemieux's shots were powerful and hurting Tapia as he pushed him around the ring. He hurt Tapia in the second round as Tapia was looking a bit lost and intimidated. The damage mounted up to a stoppage in the fourth round when Lemieux landed a brutal left hook that hit Tapias temple. Tapia rose and there will be controversy over this fight due to him jumping up so quickly and Mora was about to let the fight continue but Tapia's corner threw the towel in. Premature, no doubt, but he even said in the post fight that he just wanted to go for broke and go for a knockout even if it meant him getting knocked out, which surely it did.
Main event time featuring middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez (46-1, 32KO's) vs Amir Khan (31-3, 19KO's). In the first round Khan was lightning fast and landing 1-2's. Canelo was looking to counter and catching Khan with punches at times when he came inside. In the second round Canelo was looking surprisingly frozen in time from Khans speed. He was having some trouble cutting off the ring and getting his punches off. In the coming rounds Canelo started to try and cut the ring off more and land more body shots. The tactics were working, but Khan was still the flashier man and when he landed combinations they were very good punches to watch s the crowd reacted to them from the flash. There was a shift in momentum in the fifth round that you could really feel as Canelo got closer to Khan overall and was in range to catch him with more shots. Khan was not looking quite as elusive and was reacting to Canelo's punches - which he was not doing in the earlier rounds. In the final minute of the sixth round we got a contender for fight of the year as Canelo landed a right hand up top on Khan after bending low and looking like he was going to the body. Khan went down in pieces, completely out, and Canelo even came back immediately and went down on his knees to make sure his fallen foe was going to be ok. Quite the picture actually as you will see below. Definitely a contender for knockout of the year.
In the post fight Canelo made headlines by saying "we don't fuck around" in reference to if he will fight GGG. He said he invited GGG into the ring himself and that he fears no one and will fight him tonight. He really got the fans going with those statements!