Rene Alvarado earns hard-fought unanimous decision to defeat Carlos Morales
Junior lightweight contender Rene Alvarado won a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Carlos Morales late Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. With the win, Alvarado becomes the mandatory challenger to face WBA “regular” titleholder Alberto Machado. (Note: The Ring recognizes the WBA’s “super” title, which is held by Gervonta Davis.)
Morales fought from a distance, but did stand in the pocket to trade with Alvarado, producing decent exchanges between the two. The 29-year-old Alvarado had to deal with an open cut along his left eye from an accidental clash of heads in Round 3. Despite blood seeping out of the cut during the fight, Alvarado used his experience and ring generalship to outbox his younger foe. He was able to effectively counter Morales, momentarily stunning him with a barrage of punches towards the end of Round 5.
Alvarado grew more confident and aggressive with each passing round, connecting with counter lefts to the head and body. A few rounds were close during the second half of the fight, but Alvarado landed the more effective punches.
Scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113 for Alvarado, who improves to 30-8 (20 knockouts).
Alvarado, who is the twin brother of IBF junior flyweight titleholder Felix Alvarado, has become a legit contender after being used as a gatekeeper for the likes of Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andrew Cancio and Manuel “Tino” Avila. He has now won his last six fights and hopes Machado is next for him in 2019.
“I’m going to work harder on getting better and improving my technique,” said Alvarado, who resides in Managua, Nicaragua. “I work hard and I throw a lot of punches. I want (Alberto) Machado.”
Morales, who lost to Machado by unanimous decision on August 18 of last year, was coming off a close decision loss to Ryan Garcia on September 1.
“I thought the fight was a lot closer than scorecards suggested,” said Morales, who resides in the Los Angeles area. “I felt (the fight) could have gone either way. Rene fought a good fight, and I’m happy he will fight for a world title.”
Junior welterweight Jonathan Navarro held off a late rally by Manuel Mendez to win a majority decision over 10 rounds. One judge scored the bout 95-95, while the other two judges scored the bout 97-93 for Navarro, who improves to 16-0 (8 KOs).
Navarro is trained by Robert Garcia.
Mendez drops to 16-4-3 (11 KOs).
Another fighter trained by Robert Garcia suffered his first knockdown as a pro, but was able to grind out a victory. Lightweight Hector Tanajara won a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Roberto Manzanarez.
Tanajara was dropped in the second round by a left uppercut from Manzanarez (36-3, 29 KOs). Tanajara was not visibly hurt by the knockdown, but was the more effective fighter throughout the rest of the fight.
Tanajara was credited with a knockdown in Round 8 when both fighters tripped over their feet, but referee Ray Corona ruled Manzanarez threw a punch in the process.
Scores were 95-92, 95-92, and 97-90 for Tanajara, who goes to 16-0 (5 KOs).
Featherweight Joet Gonzalez (21-0, 12 KOs) knocked out veteran Javier Gallo (25-17-1, 13 KOs) at 1:17 of the second round.
Transgender fighter Patricio Manuel was successful in his pro debut, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Hugo Aguilar (0-6) of Mexico. All three judges scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Manuel, who resides in Los Angeles.
“My hat is off to my opponent,” said Manuel after the fight. “He fought me as a man. I have so much respect for him. It took me so much to get here. I’m not one with this sport.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, Boxingscene, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.