Terence Crawford KOs John Molina, Jr. in the 8th
In a dominating performance in front of his hometown Nebraska fans, unbeaten world champion Terence "Bud" Crawford stopped John Molina in the eighth round in a world-class performance on Saturday night.
Crawford (30-0) retained his WBO and WBC junior welterweight titles and fueled his campaign to fight Manny Pacquiao in 2017. Crawford was in command all the way, using his technical prowess and signature power to control Molina throughout the night. Compubox stats showed that Crawford delivered a 44% landing rate, connecting on 184 punches out of 419 thrown. Molina landed only 41 out of 287 for a connect rate of only 14%.
“Bud” finished him off in the corner during the eighth round, punishing him with unrelenting right and left hooks to the head and body, causing Molina to go down. Referee Mark Nelson stepped in to stop the fight at the 2:32 mark.
Molina (29-7), who didn't make the 140-pound weight on Friday, did land a hard right to the head in the third round but from there, Crawford mixed in his jab while connecting often with punches to the head and body. Had Crawford been upset, the titles would have been vacated.
Abner Mares Defeats Jesus Cuellar via Split Decision to Take the WBA featherweight world title
Abner Mares scored an impressive, upset 12-round split decision over defending champion Jesus Cuellar to capture the WBA Featherweight World Championship and become a four-time boxing titlist on Saturday from the Galen Center on USC’s campus in Los Angeles.
Mares (33-2-1) had already won three world titles in three weight divisions, but after two fight cancellations earlier this year and a change in fight camps to Robert Garcia’s gym in Oxnard, CA, he was solely focused on the task at hand -- winning a fourth belt and his second at featherweight.
Mares brilliantly out-boxed the hard-charging Jesus Cuellar (30-2-1) over the second half of their fight. Mares knocked down Cuellar in the 11th round to win a well-deserved split decision.
Originally scheduled for June 25 in Brooklyn, the fight was cancelled because Mares, who had successful surgery to repair a detached retina in his left eye in 2008, failed his pre-fight eye exam. The notoriously stringent New York State Athletic Commission would not license him because his uncorrected vision did not meet the state's minimum standard. But he later passed the California State Athletic Commission's test and the fight was rescheduled.
Two judges scored the fight for Mares, 117-110 and 116-111, and one judge scored the fight for Cuellar, 115-112 allowing Mares to rebound from his last fight, a loss to Leo Santa Cruz back in August 2015. The fight was promoted by Ringstar Sports, the new entity founded by Richard Schaefer, former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions and Premier Boxing Champions.
Max Holloway KOs Anthony Pettis to claim UFC featherweight interim title
After the injury of Daniel Cormier eliminated the main event for UFC 206, the event in Toronto still delivered crowd pleasing action as Max Holloway cashed his 10 straight wins into gold.
Holloway (17-3) withstood former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis’ (19-6) lethal kicks and attacked with his own to stop him at the 4:50 mark of the third round and move onward to his forthcoming title unification fight, which will likely take place at UFC 208.
Just two weeks before the fight, Conor McGregor reportedly vacated his featherweight title to keep his lightweight belt. Holloway and Pettis’ became the main event and an interim belt was put on the line, as Jose Aldo’s title was bumped up from interim. Had Pettis won, he would not have gained the title after missing weight in what was described as a brutal weight cut. After the loss, Pettis announced his return to the lightweight division.
Early on, Pettis looked impressive coming forward with a flashy and unpredictable kicking attack that left Holloway guessing. Initially, the Hawaiian struggled to get inside and took plenty of shots to the legs and torso. But as the opening frame wound down, he began to find his range with a straight right that opened a cut under Pettis’ right eye. Also, between the second and third rounds is when Pettis possibly had broken his hand.
Pettis focused his energy on his kicking attack, testing the defense of Holloway, yet Holloway responded again with his right hand, knocking the ex-champ to the mat. Pettis immediately began chasing down a counter and instead took shots to the body as Holloway smelled blood.
Holloway widened his lead in the third, sweeping Pettis to the mat with kicks and stuffing a takedown attempt with hard elbows. Holloway then landed a body kick that stunned Pettis and after closing the distance, fired away with short punches to the head and body, causing Pettis to slump to the canvas.