PUERTO RICO earned yet another world champion this year as Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) knocked out Jezreel Corrales (22-2, 8 KOs) in the eighth round of a scheduled 12-round fight to become the WBA World Super Featherweight Champion at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. Along with Miguel Cotto and Jesus Rojas, Machado is the third boxer from Puerto Rico to win a world title within the past two months.
In what was a hard-fought battle between two southpaws, Corrales earned an early advantage by being much quicker and skillful. The native of San Miguelito, Panama also landed hard overhand lefts repeatedly, eventually dropping Machado with that same punch in the fifth round. Little by little, though, Machado’s size and strength advantages began taking a toll on Corrales, who was hurt by a right hook in round six.
Then, in the eighth round, Machado ended matters abruptly after the two exchanged left hands that had only one man hit the canvas: Corrales. After barely making the count, the fight was stopped at 2-18 of the eighth-round, making Machado, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a world champion. At the time of the stoppage, the judges had Corrales winning with two scores of 68-64 and one score of 67-65.
“I am over the moon. I can’t believe this and I am so proud of this accomplishment,” said Machado. “We knew that the fight would be complicated, and that we would be dealing with a dangerous style. We knew moving forward after Corrales’ weight issues that there would be a gigantic risk since he came in heavy, and it was a risk we were willing to take. He hurt me a couple of times throughout the bout, but in the end my hands were powerful and we got that one punch we needed. These past four months have been tough being away from home, and I am ready to spend some much need time with my newborn son and wife.”
“I want to tell my people of Puerto Rico that we are a strong and resilient people who have much hope. We will come back. We will rebuild. Just like tonight, you can hit the canvas and rise up victorious.”
“I want a rematch,” said Corrales. “At the end of the day, I know I was winning in the cards and that I gave a beautiful performance. We went head to head and both of us weren’t scared to exchange. It happens in this sport – one punch can take you out.”
Former WBO World Junior Middleweight Champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) moved up to 160 pounds to shut out Alantez “Slyaza” Fox (23-1-1, 11 KOs) over 12 rounds to win by unanimous decision in tonight’s co-main event. In the opening round, Andrade set the mood for the fight by landing an overhand left that hurt Fox. For the next few rounds, Fox boxed cautiously, while Andrade controlled the pace of the bout by landing more left hands to the head and body and short right hooks on the inside.
Andrade, who represented the United States in the 2008 Olympic games as a welterweight, was too skilled for Fox, who could not find the confidence nor the rhythm to land any significant offense. Though Andrade lost a point due to a slip that was ruled a knockdown in seventh round, the native of Providence, R.I. won with scores of 118-110, 118-109, and 116-111.
“It me time baby!” shouted Andrade. “This is a huge step up for me. Inside, I wanted to go early for the kill, but my dad and my corner told me to take my time and not to rush. I’ve been out of the ring for almost 7-8 months, and I was able to go 12 rounds at a higher weight class. That’s huge. Feel good, look good, win good. That’s what we did tonight.”
“He [Andrade] hurt me in the first round, and he took complete advantage of that,” said Fox. “I completely agree with the judges – he came in and played a good fight. I know I’m being hard on myself, but I need to go back to the gym and prove that I’m worth still being called up.”
Lamont Roach, Jr. (15-0, 16 KOs), the skilled super featherweight prospect of Washington D.C., won by first-round TKO in a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight after Luis Hinajosa (30-13, 17 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, rolled and injured his ankle to end the fight at 2-04.
“A win is a win, but honestly, I wanted this fight to end with him on the floor with a body punch or feeling his head swirl because I clipped him in the chin,” said Roach, Jr. “This week, my team has gone from hell and back after losing my cousin, trainer, and mentor, Coach Roach. This win symbolizes the victories that await us because of the hard work put in by him.”
D’Mitrius Ballard (18-0, 12 KOs), of Temple Hills, Md., fought Jamie Solorio (9-4-2, 6 KOs) through ten rounds of grueling action to win via unanimous decision in a fight contacted in the light heavyweight division. Ballard won with two scores of 99-91 and one score of 98-92
“I give myself a C+ for this performance,” said Ballard. “Solorio came to fight, and he wasn’t just going to lay down. He was aggressive, and I had moments where I had trouble adjusting to him. I need to go back to my gym and work on everything. This was a good test for me.”
Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) of Dallas, Texas scored an impressive second-round technical knockout victory against Steven Andrade (3-3, 2 KOs) of Cartersville, Ga. in a scheduled four-round middleweight bout.
“At first, I was a bit cautious because Andrade has a bit more range than most fighters,” said Rincon. “Once I knew he felt my power, I felt more confident to step forward and cut the ring off. I dedicate this fight to Coach Bernard Roach, who just passed away, and to my grandfather and best friend. I’m going to the top with them watching out for me every step of the way.”
Luis Feliciano (4-0, 1 KOs) of Milwaukie, Wis. defeated Istvan Dernanecz (10-7, 7 KOs) of Budapest, Hungary via second-round technical knockout in a super lightweight fight initially scheduled for six-rounds.
“This knockout win was so satisfying, and it goes to prove that all the hard work we have been putting in the gym is worth it,” said Feliciano. “I knew within the first moments of the fight I would win. It was only a matter of time. Right now, it’s a matter of perfecting my craft.”
Super Featherweight prospect Ruben Villa (8-0, 4 KOs) of Salinas Mexico scored six-round unanimous decision victory against Agua Prieta, Mexico’s German Meraz (54-45-1, 34 KOs). Villa won with three scores of 60-54.
“My opponent had more than 104 professional fights, so I knew I was going up against experience,” said Villa. “I had to be a little more cautious, and use my jab a lot more. I knew I couldn’t expect a knockout, but I am happy I was able to win against a guy like him.”
In the first bout of the evening, Micheal Dutchover (6-0, 5 KOs) of Midland, Texas scored a fourth-round technical knockout victory against Anthony De Jesus Ruiz (2-4, 2 KOs) of San Luis Potosi, Mexico in a scheduled six-round lightweight fight.
“We took this fight wanting to get more experience and rounds in,” said Dutchover. “It was my first six rounder, and I’m obviously very happy that our game plan let us finish him early. I wasn’t expecting him to move as much, but we adjusted.”