I have a submission pending at Boxing News 24 for my summary and thoughts on tonight’s main event from Texas between young sensation Ryan Garcia and veteran Luke Campbell. I may post in more depth later on about the main event but am taking time to post here on the results of tonight’s undercard matches. While the main event was a good one and a solid start to 2021, the undercard had some great supporting bouts. Rene and Felix Alvarado are identical twins from Nicaragua who put their titles on the line in Dallas, Texas tonight and one came home with a sensational TKO victory and the other dropped a close decision.
Rene Alvarado falls by decision to Roger Gutierrez
WBA 130 lb. titlist Rene Alvarado lost a close decision to Roger Gutierrez with all three scores coming in at 113-112. Rene Alvarado has been a tough fighter over the years and has had one of the most difficult schedules of any active fighter in boxing. Since 2013 he has faced numerous titleholders and title challengers like Andrew Cancio, Dennis Shafikov, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jayson Velez, Robinson Castellenos, Rocky Juarez, and Jezreel Corralles where he won some and lost some. With 8 losses on his record he still managed to earn a title shot with the WBA and made the most of it last November with a stoppage win and revenge over Andrew Cancio who was a tough fighter who redefined himself by winning a title. Much like Cancio he lost his title to a man he stopped several years ago in Roger Gutierrez. Twenty-five year-old Gutierrez has had his own ups and downs in his career as a Venezuelan puncher who has registered 20 knockouts in his 25 victories. He lost his US debut to Alvarado in 2017 when his corner threw in the towel after he had fallen well behind on points and suffered a cut. His rebuild was hindered by back to back losses to undefeated foes in 2018 before winning 5 in a row with 4 KO’s heading into tonight’s title shot.
Gutierrez displayed his heavy hands when he rocked Alvarado at the end of the first round and in the third. In round three the challenger dropped the champion twice when a right uppercut caught the crouched Alvarado clean and he fell to the canvas. On unsteady legs he was put down again by a left hook that had him stumble across the ring into the opposite corner. Still wobbly, Alvarado stumbled from a left hook and nearly fell again. He also fell into the champion in close as his legs remained uneasy. Oddly enough Alvarado was landing blows including three hard left hooks to close the round in a great recovery. In the following nine rounds there is a case to be made that Alvarado won eight of those rounds but a 10-7 is tough to make up. Alvarado was able to slow the pace of the fight and Gutierrez never put Alvarado in any real danger until the twelfth round when a quick left hook had Alvarado fall briefly to a knee and pop up again. Even then Gutierrez did not successfully capitalize on the moment and Alvarado survived without any further damage. I had the fight scored 115-110 for Alvarado but it was Gutierrez who saw his hand raised in a one point verdict in a unanimous decision from the judges at ringside. I scored every round that did not have a knockdown in favor of Alvarado who I felt did the cleaner and more effective work. According to the stats Gutierrez out landed Alvarado by sixty punches but I did not find those numbers to be accurate unless they counted gloves and forearms as scoring punches. Alvarado was out worked but consistently landed the cleaner and harder punches. I see people scoring the first to Gutierrez for rocking Alvarado but I disagree with that. I have seen seven and eight go to Gutierrez on other cards though I don’t agree with that either. All in all I would like to see a third fight to settle the score
|Bout WBA 130 lbs.||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||Final|
|Rene Alvarado Champion||10||10||7||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||8||115|
|Roger Gutierrez Challenger||9||9||10||9||9||9||9||9||9||9||9||10||110|
Felix Alvarado over powers DeeJay Kriel in tenth round TKO
Preceding his brother’s defeat, smaller Felix successfully defended his IBF 108 lb. title by stopping the IBF champion in weight class just below his own. South Africa’s DeeJay Kriel was riding a sixteen fight unbeaten streak into this title challenge in the weight just above his own. Despite a very game showing the challenger just did not have the snap to fend off the high pressure of Alvarado. While Rene fought a very precise and measured pace, Felix bashed through the front door with non stop three minute assaults. He bobbed and weaved his way in as he took his head off the center line and generated power on his punches through shifting. The shifts of weight also masked the delivery of his punches which constantly caught Kriel by surprise. The first round set the tone of the fight as Alvarado went right after Kriel and cornered him, backed him up and never stopped throwing punches. The constant pressure resumed in the second round as Kriel visited the canvas. DeeJay tried to hook with Felix but did not move his head or raise a glove for defense and found himself on the canvas. In the third round Kriel listened to his corner and stayed off the ropes and was able to limit the exchanges. He moved well and countered with his right cross and jabbed effectively. Kriel also kept his right glove raised to protect from the left hook and he blocked one along the ropes.
In the fourth all the good work of the third seemed to go out the window as Kriel was trapped immediately along the ropes and put under heavy pressure. A short counter dropped Kriel again who seemed ok but he was again trapped in the corner taking punches. At space Kriel landed an effective left hook but Alvarado got back in and scored with multiple uppercuts. Kriel shoe shined to the bell with no real effect. and found himself in a deep hole after four rounds. Kriel started the fifth round effectively with a double jab, right cross followed by an inside uppercut and he turned Alvarado. Alvarado scored a left hook resembling the one that dropped Kriel in the third and though the challenger was shaken by the punch he stayed up. The sixth round began with Alvarado’s right eye showing damage from the preceding five rounds as he cornered Kriel. DeeJay languished in the corner until his trainer screamed at him to get out. Alvarado’s pace died off just a little in this round and Kriel kept the jab coming. Alvarado pressed with his feet but did not have a jab behind it and it seemed like he was just following his opponent around.
The eighth round was another good one for Kriel as he opened up with both hands shoe shining before ripping a hard left hook to the midsection. Kriel began to win the physical battle too as he leaned on Alvarado whenever he got low and started pushing the champion back in the clinch. Kriel capped off the later stages of the round with four consecutive jabs. As well as Kriel did in round eight it was round nine that would signify the end of the fight. Alvarado started the round with renewed vigor as he cornered Kriel and went to work with his uppercuts and overhand right. The action heated up as the two traded right hands and Alvarado sensed his man was hurt. For the remaining moments of the round Kriel was battered along the ropes with repeated right hands in a situation a lot of referees would have stopped. Prior to action resuming in the tenth round the ringside doctor took a moment to examine the battered challenger and allowed the fight to go on. Right away Alvarado seized on the advantage and cornered Kriel and scored with power punches. To his credit DeeJay never went down or quit he actually kept trying to score left hooks on the hard charging champion. At times it looked like it was all but over but Kriel hung in and kept punching. The fight ended when a right hand froze Kriel along the ropes and after a second blow the referee halted the action. Alvarado retained his title and reaches 36-2 with 31 KO’s and Kriel falls to 16-2 but hangs onto his 105 lb. title.
|Bout IBF 108 lbs.||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||Final|
|Felix Alvarado Champion||10||10||9||10||10||9||10||9||10||TKO||87|
|DeeJay Kriel Challenger||9||8||10||9||9||10||9||10||9||82|
Sean Garcia struggles to the finish line in majority decision
5-5 underdog Rene Marquez came off of a two year layoff and gave Ryan Garcia’s younger brother Sean all he could handle for four rounds. Garcia went out there trying to take out Marquez and to his credit he controlled the early rounds but by the end he was gassed. Garcia opened the first round with wide right hooks out of the southpaw stance and put everything he had into the shots. Marquez did not really push the pace in the first two rounds and let Garcia remain comfortable as the taller man inside. Eventually Marquez flipped a switch as Garcia faded and Marquez came on strong. He flung Garcia to the canvas, obviously not a scoring blow, but Garcia began to tire and Marquez started fighting more on the inside. Early on he accepted the clinches but now he worked the body inside and swung a good overhand right when he had the range. Garcia telegraphed his wide right hook even going as far to take a hard step on his lead leg like a batter in baseball. Sean is very young but he has a lot to work on. I had it 39-37 for Garcia but one judge had it 38-38 and that score is not crazy at all. In fact if this was six rounds he may have went home without his 0!