Joshua Clottey’s win over New York’s Shamone Alvarez paves the way for a title shot against big-hitting IBF welterweight king Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron early next year.

Before a packed crowd at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino, Clottey (33-2, 19 KOs) bulldozed his way through Alvarez’s flailing punches on Thursday to set up the world title showdown.

It was like watching a howitzer versus a popgun.

After three rounds of feeling Alvarez’s punches on his arms, Clottey realized deadly force was not forthcoming and proceeded to unload power shots with little regard of counters for the rest of the fight.

Alvarez (19-1) is a good boxer, and takes a great shot, but his style is more amateur oriented. It just couldn’t match Clottey’s sonic booms.

Now the Ghanaian gets another title opportunity after losing the first one to former Antonio Margarito last year.

The big question is can Clottey withstand the hard shots Cintron is going to offer? And does Clottey have enough firepower to keep the deadly punching Cintron from lighting him up?

In other fights giant heavyweight Tye Fields (40-1, 36 KOs) walked through Chris Koval (28-4, 18 KOs) with a two-fisted attack including a left to the liver and a follow-through left hook for a knockout 43 seconds into the fight.

Fields is trained by Jesse Reid and that means aggressiveness is preferred. It works.

Glendale’s Vanes Martirosyan (17-0, 12 KOs), formerly trained by Freddie Roach, made his debut with trainer Ronnie Shields and looked sharp in stopping Dan Wallace (9-3) in the first round of their junior middleweight bout. A counter right hand set up the knockout that ended at 1:34 of the first round.

Las Vegas middleweight Donnie “Boy” Orr (11-0, 5 KOs) tried to end his fight in the first round but Oregon’s granite chinned Enrique Gallegos (6-3) laughed at the attempt and gave the former Canadian Olympian all he could handle. Though it didn’t reflect in the scorecards with all three judges giving it to Orr, Gallegos had his moments.

Boxing Chatter

Junior Lightweight showdown

Maywood’s Urbano Antillon (20-0, 13 KOs) is ranked in the top five in the lightweight division and close to a world title shot. He faces Adrian Valdez (18-5-3, 10 KOs) in Las Cruces, New Mexico at the Dickerson’s Events Center. Valdez is a southpaw slugger from Chihuahua, Mexico and has fought some tough opponents such as Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and former world champion Cesar Soto twice.

Montebello, Ca. Fights

Junior middleweight Eric Mitchell (20-4-1, 10 KOs) meets Russia’s Sergey Stepkin (17-2, 9 KOs) at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello on Friday Dec. 28. Mitchell, from Philadelphia, fought and lost a decision to Ricardo Mayorga a few years back at Madison Square Garden. Stepkin’s last fight was a 10-round decision loss to Miguel Espino. The fight card is promoted by All Star Boxing and Manny Cota’s Boxing Promotions. For more information call (323) 816-6200.

Malignaggi Defends IBF title

IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi (23-1, 5 KOs) makes his first title defense against Herman Ngoudjo (16-1, 9 KOs) on Jan. 5, 2008 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Malignaggi defeated South Africa’s Lovemore “Black Panther” N’Dou last June. Ngoudjo is also known as the “Black Panther” but is from Cameroon. Malignaggi will try to tame his second big cat.

Tickets on Sale for Pacquiao-Marquez

On Saturday tickets for the March 15 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez go on sale.

The rematch takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Call (702) 474-4000 for tickets.

Last Week’s Wins in Cancun

WBA junior lightweight titleholder Edwin Valero and WBA featherweight titleholder Jorge Linares both emerged with impressive knockout victories on Saturday. It was business as usual for the pair of Venezuelan knockout artists.

Linares landed one of the most dramatic knockout blows of the year when after missing a left hook, he quickly pivoted to his right and saw his opponent Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz do the same, then he fired a right cross that connected and sent the Mexican fighter in a heap. The referee began a count and stopped after realizing Diaz was still unconscious.

Later Valero kept his 23-fight knockout streak going with a third round demolition of Mexico’s Zaid Zavaleta. The southpaw puncher’s speed and awkwardness proved overwhelming for Zavaleta who tried to tire out the Venezuelan but was unsuccessful.

Valero wants to fight Philippine super star Manny Pacquiao in a battle of speedy southpaw sluggers.

Japan’s Naoki Matsuda repeated his victory over Rudy Lopez of Cancun when a cut over the Mexican’s left eye forced the ringside doctor to stop the fight in the eighth round for a technical knockout. The Japanese featherweight fighter was behind on points but had his moments and used them wisely. Lopez’s corner tried to convince the referee the cut was caused by a head butt. They failed. Matsuda had knocked out Lopez last March with a perfect left hook.

A couple of sons of former great fighters had bad nights: Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. fought to a draw against Mexico’s Jorge Cardenas and Pipino Cuevas Jr. was stopped in the third round by Antonio Fitch.