The PPV undercards for this event have been heavily criticized leading up to tonight. Did they fall short or were they a pleasant surprise? Here is my recap.
Robert Guerrero (36-6-1) vs. Victor Ortiz (32-6-3)
Although both men are past their prime, most fans thought that these two would give the type of performance that would steal the thunder of the main event. Well, not quite—as the action lasted only but a few rounds until it turned into a hug fest.
Guerrero was sharp in the beginning rounds and in the second, lifted Ortiz' head with a left uppercut. Ortiz took the shot well and kept pressing. Ortiz landed a few straight lefts of his own in the first half of the fight. The second half is where it became a few punches landed and then hold.
That brought on the boo birds as both men fought until the final bell. All three judges were in agreement and saw this one 96-94 for Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.
Mark Magsayo (22-0) vs. Julio Ceja (32-4-1)
This fight was supposed to be a showcase one for Mark Magsayo as he is gaining momentum under the MP Promotions banner. It started to look that way when he scored a first round knockdown with a left hook to the chin of Julio Ceja. Magsayo ended up letting Ceja off the hook and I thought he made a mistake by doing that. After that knockdown and into the third round, it was Ceja landing the flush right hands and in the fifth, he connected with a left hook sending Magsayo to the canvas.
Things started to look ugly for the Filipino, but he made it out of the round. Rounds six through nine, Magsayo was landing flashy combinations but was being broken down by the Ceja left hook. Then the tenth round came and Magsayo delivered a devastating one punch knockout of Julio Ceja, sending this crowd into a frenzy.
Mark Magsayo has certainly capitalized off this opportunity and will soon be a Filipino favorite.
After the crowd-pleasing knockout, Magsayo had this to say: “I got knocked down and was surprised, but I focused my mind on what I wanted, a world championship shot. It’s my dream today and now it’s coming true. Hopefully my next fight is a world title shot.”
Carlos Castro (26-0) vs. Oscar Escandon (26-5)
This fight started the PPV card and almost turned into an upset. Begining in the first round, Escandon hurt Castro at the end with a big right hand. During rounds two and three, it was Escandon applying a ton of pressure and Castro fighting on the inside, which seemed like a mistake given his natural height and reach.
It was the fourth round where Castro finally got into a rhythm and started to work his jab. Fast forward to the sixth round where Castro hurt Escandon at the end of the round and thought it would end shortly after.
At the end of the ninth round, I saw Escandon walk to his corner, but he was on shaky legs and did not look right. As soon as the tenth round started, Castro jumped on him knocked him down with a barrage of punches. After the referee counted, Escandon got up and then took a knee once again, which signaled to the referee that he was done for the night. Carlos Castro earned a tough tenth round TKO victory.
Castro had this to say about his victory: “Escandon has been in there with the best. He’s gone a lot of rounds with world champions. But it was just a matter of time, picking our punches. I sat down a little more on my shots. I’ve been with Manny Robles for only four months. With a little more time, I think we’ll be able to dominate the division.”
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