HBO Jaime Munguia vs Liam Smith and Alberto Machado vs Rafael Mensah
By Kid HershFrom the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas came HBO Boxing After Dark.
First up was Alberto Machado (19-0, 16 KO's) holder of the 130 pound title of the World Boxing Association (WBA) in his first title defense against number one ranked Rafael Mensah (31-0, 23 KO’s). In the first round, Mensah was having trouble finding his distance and Machado was landing powerful straight left hands. At the end of the first round, Machado manded a right hand hook that wobbled the legs of Mensah and put him down on the canvas. He rose and made it through the round, but in the second round he was looking scared of Machados power and backing up while being shy to throw. The rounds were all Machado and in the fourth round, he was again very hurt from the heavy hands of the champion. He made it not just through the fourth round, but he also made it through the fifth round with a potentially broken right cheekbone that was swelling up as he took more and more damage. As Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr were arguing over stopping the fight or not Mensah was taking a heck of a beating slowly but surely at the heavy hands of Machado. One had the feeling that Machado still has some big levels to climb, because while he looks quite a bit "technically" better than his last fights he really should have taken the broken fighter in front of him out sooner, in my opinion. Mensah showed some kind of heart going down the stretch, making it the full distance, but with Machado winning 120-107 across all three scorecards.
Main event time featuring Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25KO's) vs Liam Smith (26-1-1, 14KO's). In the first round, Smith had a decent round picking apart Munguias leaky defense. Then in the coming rounds, Munguia showed that he is still a very green prospect and very extremely slow as he is huge at the weight tonight - coming in at technically a cruiserweight poundage of 176lbs! Munguia was looking very one dimensional as Smith was picking him apart with timing and straight, quicker shots. Munguia was finally able to land some power shots with quickness in the fourth round, where it looked like he had more of a sense of urgency than in the previous rounds. In the fifth round you could see the size advantage really playing a role and then finally the pressure and size and power got to Smith in the sixth round as Munguia landed a left hook to the top of the head near the end of the sixth round that buckled Smiths legs and sent him to the canvas. He made it through the remaining seconds of the round and made a good comeback in the coming rounds as he showed that he is in great physical condition by recuperating and continuing to hang with the young, hungry, huge fighter in front of him. Munguia was looking fairly tired in the eighth round but I think part of his problem tonight - aside from being slow, predictable at times, and a bit one dimensional (not to load it on too much lol) is that his habit of bouncing on toes really seems like a nervous habit that is simply costing him energy that he should be conserving. He does it almost incessantly and it's only a negative - it can be timed out and is costing the big man tons of energy throughout the fight. By the time the tenth round rolled around Munguia was very sloppy with his punches, pretty much throwing defense out the window in favor of slugging it out - although rather sloppyily.