By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
It was a big night of boxing on Saturday, December 10, 2016 with bouts featured on both HBO and Showtime.
On HBO – from the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska – WBC/WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford (30-0 / 21 by KO) stopped John Molina Jr. (29-7 / 23 by KO) in the eighth round. The bout was as one-sided as they come with Crawford winning every round up to the end when referee Mark Nelson stepped in to stop further punishment at 2:32 of the round. Crawford’s title was not at stake because Molina didn’t make weight.
The undercard from Omaha featured lightweights Ray Beltran (32-7-1 / 20 by KO) vs. Mason Menard (32-2 / 24 by KO). After barely losing the first round, Beltran was brilliant winning every round and scoring a seventh round knockout with a counter left hook at 51 seconds of the round.
Earlier in the day, on Showtime’s broadcast from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK,
unbeaten IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0 / 18 by KO) completely walked through challenger Eric Molina (25-4 / 19 by KO) in three rounds. Joshua dropped Molina in third round with a combination of vicious punches before finishing him off by knockout at 2:02 of the round.
After the fight, former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko stepped up on to the ring apron to formally announce a match with Joshua that will take place on April 29, 2017 at London’s 80,000-seating capacity Wembley Stadium. The fight will be for Joshua’s IBF belt, plus the vacant WBA title.
Also on Showtime, from the Galen Center on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, California, former three-division champion Abner Mares (29-2-1 / 15 by KO) defeated WBA featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar (28-2 / 21 by KO) by split decision to capture that title.
Mares fought a hard, workman-like fight and was in control throughout; he dropped Cuellar in round eleven. The scorecards were 117-110, 116-111 for Mares, and 115-112 for Cuellar … my score was 117-110, nine rounds to three for the winner Mares.
The undercard from Los Angeles featured IBF super welterweight champion Jermall Charlo (25-0 / 19 by KO) scoring a fifth round knockout over challenger Julian Williams (22-1-1 / 14 by KO). Charlo dropped the game Williams in round two and dropped him twice in the fifth round; that ended the fight. The time was 2:06
After the fight, Williams walked across the ring to congratulate Charlo, but Charlo refused causing some disturbance in the ring. Charlo later on TV apologized for his rude actions.
The bout that Charlo is now seeking is with 154 pound WBO champion Canelo Alvarez.
A fight that took place in Auckland, New Zealand and shown delayed on HBO was for the vacant WBO heavyweight championship. Andy Ruiz’ (29-1 / 19 by KO) quest was to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion when he faced Joseph Parker (22-0 / 18 by KO).
The bout started with Ruiz taking control early and shaking up Parker in round two, but as the fight progressed Parker took control and won those close rounds. Ruiz was content to land one big punch, but his lack of landing effective punches propelled his downfall as the fight continued.
The scorecards were a 114-114 draw, and 115-113 , 115-113 for Parker … my score was 116-112, eight rounds to four for the winner Parker. Harold Lederman of HBO World Championship Boxing had Parker winning seven rounds to five, 115-113.