ARLINGTON, Texas — Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight title with a runaway unanimous decision at sold-out Cowboys Stadium, but Joshua Clottey could take some solace in becoming the world’s best boxer’s first opponent in two years to hear the final bell, as well as the only Pacquiao foe weighing more than 130 pounds to go the distance.
Although he didn’t get much respect on the scorecards of the ringside judges, Clottey gained the admiration of the crowd as well as his opponent.
Pacquiao ran his record to 51-3-2 with the win. Asked afterward about a possible Paquiao meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach replied, “It’s what the whole world wants to see.
“Just let the commission do its job,” said Roach of the drug-testing issue. “Just get in the ring and fight.”
Alfonso Gomez, who rose to prominence on ‘The Contender’ to become the boxer who retired that late Arturo Gatti, may have done the same favor for former world champion Jose Luis Castillo. After five rounds of a bout in which he had not been competitive, Castillo quit on his stool as his corner informed referee Kenny Bayless that he could not continue. Gomez is now 22-4-2, Castillo 60-10-1.
According to CompuBox stats, Gomez landed 92 punches to Castillo’s 47. The crowd of 50,994 was so worked up by Gomez-Castillo that they spend most of the fight between Humberto Soto and David Diaz attempting, with varying degrees of success, to perform The Wave.
Fighting with his back to the ropes, Soto caught Diaz with a solid left followed by a right to put him down in the first round, and then with ten seconds left in the fight, drove him to the canvas again like a man playing Whack-a-Mole. The Mexican rode those two knockdowns to a unanimous decision over former champion Diaz of Chicago in their bout for the vacant WBC title.
Both David Sutherland and Hubert Minn returned 117-109 scores for Soto, while Gale Van Hoy had it somewhat closer at 115-111. Soto in picking up a championship at his third different weight, is now 51-7-2. Diaz is now 35-3-1.
Although John Duddy had promised “fireworks” in his bout against Michael Medina, their bout quickly transformed itself into a technical battle in which Duddy was more boxer than brawler. After battling Medina on fairly even terms over the first half of the bout, Duddy began to assert himself over the next four, during which he repeatedly tattooed Medina. Although at this point the Mexican seemed to have had most of the fight beaten out of him, Duddy unaccountably took the final stanza off, apparently convinced that he could coast to victory. Only over the final few seconds, when Medina trapped Duddy in his own corner, did the two go toe-to-toe, and the Irishman very nearly got the worst of that when he was clocked by a roundhouse right literally seconds before the bell.
Duddy won by identical 95-93 scores on the cards of judges Mike Mitchell and Charles Phillips. (The SweetScience card favored Duddy by the same margin.) Arturo Velasquez' 96-93 score in Medina’s favor was particularly bewildering, since referee Robert Chapa had taken a point from the Mexican in the eighth round.
In other words, not only did Velasquez score only three rounds for Duddy (as opposed to the six of both of his colleagues), but in only one of those round was his score in accord with both Mitchell’s and Phillips’.
Duddy, in any case, improved his pro log to 29-1 with the victory, his third straight since last year’s upset loss to Billy Lyell. Medina is now 22-2-2.
Nineteen year-old Dallas 122-pounder Roberto Marroquin, a four-time US amateur champion and as fine a prospect as we’ve seen at this weight in nearly three decades, ran his professional mark to 13-0 and registered his 10th career stoppage when he dispatched another hometowner, Samuel Sanchez (4-2-1), at 1:36 of the second.
After knocking Sanchez down in the first round Marroquin had celebrated by kissing his right glove before the opponent had even landed. A hard chopping right in the second sent him barreling over backward. When Sanchez tried to get up only fall back over again, referee Kenny Bayless took him into protective custody, ruling the TKO.
Salvador Sanchez Jr., the nephew, and namesake — and doppelganger — of the late Mexican featherweight legend, improved to 19-3-2 with a sixth-round knockout of Texan Jaime Villa. Down once in the fifth and twice more in the sixth, Villa (8-8-2) failed to beat referee Neal Young’s ten-count after the last trip to the canvas and was counted out at 1:09 of the round.
Two earlier bouts involved a pair of Pacquiao’s Filipino countrymen. Junior bantamweight Eden Sonsona (19-5) scored an 8th-round kayo of former world title challenger Mauricio Pastrana (35-13-2). Floored by a straight left, Pastrana was counted out by Young at 1:33 of the round.
Featherweight Michael Farenas’ bout against San Antonio’s Joe Morales came to a premature conclusion when Morales was cut by a clash of heads in the second round, and the result declared no contest. Farenas remains 26-2-3, Morales 20-13.
In other action, California junior middle Rodrigo Garcia (6-0) scored a second-round TKO over Calvin Pitts (5-13-1) of Grand Prairie, Tex., while featherweights Isaac Hidalgo and Arthur Trevino battled to a majority draw in their four-round prelim. Although one judge, Mitchell, scored it a 40-36 shutout for Hidalgo, his card was overruled by the 38-38 tallies returned by Don Griffin and Valasquez. Hidalgo is now 6-5-2, Trevino 5-3-3.
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MARCH 13, 2010
WELTERWEIGHTS: Manny Pacquiao, 145 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines dec. Joshua Clottey, 147, Accra, Ghana (12) (Retains WBO title)
Alfonso Gomez, 145, Guadalajara, Mexico TKO’d Jose Luis Castillo, 144, Mexicali, Mexico (5)
LIGHTWEIGHTS: Umberto Solis, 134 1/4, Los Mochis, Mexico dec. David Diaz, 134, Chicago, Ill. (12) (Wins vacant WBC title)
MIDDLEWEIGHTS: John Duddy, 160, Derry, Northern Ireland dec. Michael Medina, 155 1/2, Monterrey, Mexico (10)
JUNIOR MIDDLES: Rodrigo Garcia, 149 3/4, Santa Ana, Calif. TKO’d Calvin Pitts, 149, Prairie View, Tex. (2)
FEATHERWEIGHTS: Salvador Sanchez, Jr., 125 3/4, Tianguistenco, Mexico KO’d Jaime Villa, 127, Midland, Tex. (6)
Arthur Trevino, 125 , Ft. Worth, Tex drew with Isaac Hidalgo, 125, Tucson, Ariz (4)
Michael Farenas, 127 1/4, Gubat, Philippines drew with Joe Morales, 126, San Antonio, Tex. (2)
JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHTS: Robert Morroquin, 122, Dallas,Tex. TKO’d Samuel Sanchez, 122, Dallas (2)
Eden Sonsona, 119 3/4, General Santos City, Philippines KO’d Mauricio Pastrana, 119 1/2, Monteria, Colombia (8)