Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Christopher Pearson inflicts first loss to Yamaguchi Falcao, wins decision in Vegas

Junior middleweight Christopher Pearson. File photo by Stephanie Trapp/Trapp Photos/Showtime

Middleweight Christopher Pearson outboxed and battered Yamaguchi Falcao late to win a unanimous decision Thursday night inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Scores were 96-94, 96-94, and 97-93 for Pearson, who claimed a regional title belt with the win.

Falcao, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and older brother of unbeaten Esquiva Falcao, had not fought since July 21 in a fight which also took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Pearson was victorious twice in 2018 after losing by knockout to Justin DeLoach in February of 2017.

The taller Falcao was the aggressor during the first half of the fight, connecting with several left crosses after initiating exchanges between the two southpaws. By the midway point of the fight, Pearson became frustrated, talking to Falcao during several instances, which brought a stern warning from referee Kenny Bayless.

“He was trying to push me (mentally),” said Pearson after the fight. “I just wanted to let him know I was here.”

That seemed to motivate Pearson (17-2, 12 knockouts), who became the more-effective of the two fighters, connecting with straight lefts after peppering Falcao with consistent jabs. Pearson, who resides in Trotwood, Ohio, began to let his hands go more by round seven, forcing Falcao fight defensively.

Pearson battered a tiring Falcao several times during the last two rounds. Falcao, whose face looked worse for wear, was stunned at least twice during the 10th round and was fortunate to make it to the final bell.

“This fight took me to another level,” said Pearson, who claims he does not have a promoter. “I started with Golden Boy. I might finish with them.”

Falcao (16-1, 7 KOs), who resides in Sao Paolo, Brazil and is ranked No. 9 by the WBC, thought he did enough to win.

“I don’t like to lose. I thought I did enough to win. The judges didn’t see it that way.”

Middleweight contender Steven Butler overcame a knockdown to defeat Vitalii Kopylenko by unanimous decision.

Butler, who recently signed a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions, landed the more-telling blows during the first half of the fight. Sensing he was down on the scorecards, Kopylenko was aggressor, throwing more punches with each passing round.

Kopylenko, who fought in the 2014 ESPN Boxcino tournament, dropped Butler with a left hook to the body within the first minute of the opening round. Kopylenko continued to batter Butler, but was unable to drop Butler again.

Butler got a second-wind during the ninth round, landing the more-telling blows, but Kopylenko mounted a final rally during the final minute of the 10th round.

One judge scored the bout 95-94 for Kopylenko, while the other two judges scored the bout 96-93 for Butler, who improves to 27-1-1, 23 KOs.

“It was a tough fight,” said Butler, who resides in Montreal and is ranked No. 5 by the WBO. “My opponent came to fight. I showed my skills. I thought I won the fight. It was a good fight for my experience. I’m 23 and these are the fights I need.”

Fringe super middleweight contender Erik Bazinyan, another Montreal-based fighter who was singed a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy, defeated Alan Campa by unanimous decision over 10 rounds.

After repeated warnings, referee Jay Nady deducted a point from Bazinyan (23-0, 17 KOs) for hitting below the belt line of Campa. Scores were 99-90, 99-90, and 97-92 for Bazinyan.

Campa, who resides in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, has now lost three of his last four bouts and drops to 17-5, 11 KOs.

In a battle of middleweights from Guadalajara, Mexico, Alexis Salazar defeated Abraham Cordero (13-4-2, 7 KOs) by unanimous decision. Scores were 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73 for Salazar, who improves to 22-3, 9 KOs.

Junior middleweight Richard Acevedo (5-0, 5 KOs) knocked out Reynosa, Mexico’s Mario Sosa (3-2, 3 KOs) in the opening round.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing