Monday, December 11, 2023  |



Pacquiao-Cotto undercard report

Fighters Network

Yuri Foreman (left) exchanges with Daniel Santos en route to lifting the Puerto Rican veteran's junior middleweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision on the Pacquiao-Cotto undercard. Foreman, the first Israel citizen to win a major title, scored the most significant victory on the undercard. Photo / Chris Farina-Top Rank

LAS VEGAS — In the main support to the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. scored a unanimous decision over Troy Rowland in a 10-round middleweight bout.

Chavez (41-0-1, 30 knockouts), of Culiacan, Mexico, won by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 in what was an largely uneventful fight that was booed by the fans in the MGM Grand’s Garden Arena when it was finally over.

Rowland (25-3, 7 KOs), of Grand Rapids, Mich., boxed effectively in spots, but Chavez walked him down and landed the heavier blows for most of the fight. Although Rowland stood his ground and traded punches with Chavez in the final rounds of the bout, he simply lacked the power and physical strength to move the son of the Mexican great.

In one of the main undercard bouts of the pay-per-view broadcast, junior middleweight contender Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) dropped Daniel Santos (32-4-1, 23 KOs) twice en route to lifting the Puerto Rican veteran’s 154-pound title belt by unanimous 12-round decision.

Foreman, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based orthodox Jew from Israel by way of Belarus, became the first Israel citizen to win a major world title when he out-hustled Santos to scores of 116-110 and 117-109 (twice).

The bout was a tactical one between two technical fighters. Foreman employed his usual stick-and-move strategy with sporadic attacks led my lead right hands. Santos, who was dropped in rounds two and 12, laid back and counter punched for much of the fight, but alternately stalked and backpedaled away from Foreman down the stretch.

Alfonzo Gomez (21-4-2, 10 KOs) scored a technical unanimous decision over Jesus Soto-Karass (24-4-3, 16 KOs) after their welterweight bout was stopped in the sixth round due to an awful-looking cut over Gomez’s right eye that was the result of an accidental headbutt.

Gomez, a participant in the first season of The Contender unscripted television series, snapped Soto-Karass’s 15-bout unbeaten streak that stretched back to early 2005 (when the Mexican fringe contender lost an eight rounder to Yuri Foreman).

Aided by two points that were deducted from Soto-Karass for low blows (in rounds three and four), Gomez won by scores of 59-55 and 57-55 (twice). Because Gomez’s cut was caused by a headbutt and more than four rounds had transpired the fight went to the scorecards.

On the non-televised (in the U.S.) undercard:

Junior middleweight prospect Roddrigo Garcia (5-0, 4 KOs) scored a unanimous four-round decision over Martin Vierra (5-3-1, 2 KOs). Garcia, of Los Angeles, won by unanimous scores of 40-36.

Bantamweight prospect Eden Sonsona (14-3, 3 KOs) scored a second-round knockout of Eilon Kedem (9-2-4, 6 KOs). Sonsona, a southpaw from General Santos, Philippines, dropped Kedem, of New York, N.Y,, by way of Israel, with a left cross.

Middleweight prospect Matt Korobov (8-0, 6 KOs) scored a unanimous six-round decision over James Winchester. Korobov, a 2008 Olympian from Russia, won by unanimous scores of 60-54.

Flyweight prospect Richie Mepranum (15-2-1, 3 KOs) scored a split six-round decision over Ernie Marquez (9-6-2, 3 KOs). Mepranum, of Sarangani, Philippines, won by scores of 58-55 and 57-56. The third judge scored it 57-56 for Marquez, of Ft. Morgan, Col.

Lightweight prospect Abner Cotto (5-0, 3 KOs) scored a unanimous six-round decision over Lupe Guzman (3-5, 2 KOs). Cotto, a second cousin of Miguel Cotto, won by scores of 58-54 and 57-55 (twice).