Last Saturday night, October 3rd, had a bit of everything. HBO and Showtime broadcasts fights on the same night. Four fights with four different results. Will the results have a long-lasting effect on their divisions or on the sport? That is left to see but by the end of Saturday night, boxing fans were treated to a pretty solid evening of the sweet science.
In the first fight of the night, Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza retained his IBF junior lightweight title with a controversial decision over veteran Edner Cherry from Cincinnati, Ohio, and on Showtime. The twelve round bout was the opening salvo of the night for the Showtime network. From all accounts and purposes, Cherry pushed the fight in the second half, scoring more often and harder but at the end Pedraza walked away with the win and his belt via a split decision. If anything Cherry deserves the rematch but it would be hard pressed for him to get it since Pedroza is with Haymon and if there is something that man knows how to do is to protect his fighters.
In the first fight of the HBO telecast from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, “Relentless” Antonio Orozco proved at times to be just that as he took a runaway, in the eyes of the judges, unanimous decision over veteran Humberto “Zorrita” Soto in a junior welterweight ten rounder. Soto as expected was the more accurate one with Orozco busier. Orozco’s attack to the body early in the fight proved to pay dividends in the second half as Soto slowed down considerably and was pushed towards the ropes by the younger fighter. Soto proved he still had some tricks up his sleeve though as he would finish rounds strong looking to sway the judges towards his column. With the tenth up for grabs and believed to be crucial to the scorecard, Soto looked re-energized as he took to it the young man but it was not to be since all three judges saw Orozco winning by a wide margin. Public opinion had the fight much closer with Orozco perhaps winning by one round or even a draw.
In the main event from Cincy, Adrien Broner made history as he became the youngest fighter, behind Oscar De La Hoya, to win four titles in as many divisions when he captured the vacant WBA light welterweight title with a twelve round TKO of Khabib Allakhverdiev. Broner was in command the whole fight using everything in his tool kit to land on Allakhverdiev. It was expected but it might have given Broner’s career the boost he needed after a horrible showing against Shawn Porter in his last fight.
The surprise of the night came at the StubHub Center where Freddie Roach-trained Viktor Postol did the unthinkable and stopped “The Machine” Lucas Matthysse with a solid right hand in the tenth. Matthysse had trouble all night getting past Postol’s jab but it didn’t seem the punch will end Matthysse’s night. Turned out it did since Lucas mentioned that he felt a pop and that his orbital bone was broken. With the win Postol captured the vacant WBC lightweight title fight. What he didn’t get was what was tentatively promised to Matthysse, a fight with Manny Pacquiao, since both are trained by the same man.