Jorge Melendez met late Javier Maciel in a junior middle scrap which was enjoyed the the crowd at MSG. The Argentine underdog Maciel eked out a decision, via scores of 94-94, 96-92, 97-91, on June 7, before Cotto-Martinez, as he scored a knockdown and got love the judges despite being the less heralded man, arguably, entering.
The 29-3 Argentine took the fight on around a week notice, after Yuri Foreman pulled out.
Mel (now 28-4-1) came out looking to land power shots in one and two. In the third, Mel banged to the body. He was loading up, coming forward, banging in close on Maciel.
The ref took a point from melee for his seventh low blow in the fourth. It woke Maciel up, as he sent melee to the mat. He hopped right up, and the crowd sent their love. The right landed high on the head and sent the PR man to the mat.
Maciel had Mel backing up, on his heels. He came forward after they butted heads, though. Maciel was ripping low and hight to end the fifth.
In the sixth, Mel showed more zest and told the judges he wanted it more.
In the seventh, Maciel hurt him, bulled him to the ropes, and melee moved some to clear the cobwebs. The Argentine pursued, had him trapped in a corner to end the round.
In the eighth, Mel was the aggressor, taking the role of the grinder, moving forward, being first. Maciel did some nice suble work to the body, with both hands. A long right sent sweat spraying on Mel, but he landed a couple nasties to end the round.
In the tenth, Mel landed bombs and then they traded. Maciel ended the round flurrying and then raised his hands in exultation..as did Mel.
They went to the cards.
Andy Lee, the lefty from Ireland, took on John Jackson, in a junior middle scrap, and at 1:07, he unleashed a drop-n-stop right, a clipping shot which sent Jackson to the mat for the count at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
A right hand sent Lee down in the first. The Virgin Island-born JJ, working lefty, traded with Lee near the end. It was a long right, coming after Lee threw a left which did the damage. Now working righty, then lefty, as Lee was cautious in the second.
The 29-year-old Lee, entering at 32-2, got tagged with counter rights and was overly cautious in the third. The crowd wasn't digging all that much.
The 25-year-old JJ looked like the stronger guy from the start, and Lee wasn't fighting a strategy to get around that. Then again, JJ wasn't setting the world ablaze with his busyness.
Then, a counter right dropped and stopped JJ, after he sensed that he buzzed Lee. The clipping right, in tight, came as JJ was throwing his own. Lee's got there first, and down JJ went, face first, like he'd been tased, bro.
His dad, ex 154 and 160 champ Julian, was present and happy when his son got up. Dad was stopped in all six of his losses. Jackson's first loss came to Willie Nelson, back in 2012. "I ran into one, a bad one, a lucky punch..but a good one," the loser said. "My son will be back, and be a world champion," Julian said after.
Felix Verdejo got 'er done, taking out Engelberto Valenzuela in the first. It was filthy bunch of shots, but maybe Val deserved a bit more time to answer, before Arthur Mercante Jr. hoped in. The time was 1:17, and the 21-year-old Felix, now 13-0 (10 KOs) managed to land low and high on Val (8-2; age 30; from Mexico), with left and right, in that short span.
Matchmaker Brad Goodman said the stoppage was quick, and that Felix will be gloving up Aug. 9. They will be happy in the Los Gladiolas area of San Juan tonight...
This next fight took place before the main event, but got kicked down here because it was sort of excruciating to watch...
In the warmup to the main event, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr took on Marvin Sonsona in a featherweight scrap, a plug-ugly contest never to be replayed or even mentioned again. The judges saw it 96-92 (Sonsona), 96-92, 96-92 (Sonsona), and the crowd reacted with nothing. It was time for the main event, thank heavens...
Vaz came in at 23-3-1, to 18-1-1 for the Filipino.
In the first, down went Vazquez, off a body shot. Sonsona, who lost to Vazquez via KO4 back in 2010, looked the more energized boxer.
In the second, Sonsona, the lefty, landed straight lefts. He fought backing up, and then looked to land a couple combos, on his time.
The Puerto Rican Vaz, age 29, 3-3 in his last six, waited too much in the third. In the fourth, Sonsona grabbed some, because hooks were coming at his body. Vaz was a changed man, more aggressive. He'd had some sense slapped into him between rounds. In the fifth, Son grabbed more, looked tired, lost the round.
In the fifth Sonsona strayed low and had a point taken. In the sixth, a clash of heads had Sonson wincing, grabbing his nose. Vaz strayed low again, and Sonsona got a break in the seventh. The ref barked at Sonsona for an infraction, and this one just kept getting uglier.
In the eighth, Sonsona showed more zest, but got popped with a power shot. In the ninth, Vaz was waiting too much again. The Filipino's combos were decent at times, maybe giving him the round. The both tumbled to the mat to start the tenth. They hugged and grabbed, and then Sonsona landed a power shot to end it. The merciful powers that be sent us to the cards....
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?