By: Sean Crose
Boxing returned to Showtime on Saturday as the premium cable outlet broadcast a live Premiere Boxing Champions’ card at the Toyota Center in Houston featuring Jermall Charlo and Juan Macias Montiel battling for the WBC middleweight title. First, however, the 25-1 super bantamweight Angelo Leo faced the 25-1 Aaron Alameda in a scheduled 10 rounder.
Each man had lost his previous fight, which meant these fighters had a lot on the line. As both men were 27 years of age, it was clear they were young enough to still do well for themselves in the sport – another reason why this fight was quite important for both.
The first round was a fairly fast paced affair. Alameda landed hard in the second. Leo fought aggressively in the third, but Alameda appeared to be the stronger of the two fighters. Leo was effectively able to control the range throughout much of the fourth. Surprisingly enough, Leo began to employ aggression in the fifth. Both fighters traded leather in the sixth.
The seventh saw Leo once again pushing forward. The eighth was an exciting, back and forth affair. Alameda put his punches together well in the ninth. The tenth and final round saw both men looking fresh and firing crisp shots. Ultimately, it was Leo who won via a majority decision. It was a fun, intriguing bout, although one judge ruled the fight too wide for Leo, causing boos to rain down from the crowd.
Next up, popular 27-2-2 vet Francisco Vargas, who unsuccessfully challenged Miguel Berchelt for the WBC super featherweight crown twice, battled the 21-1-1 Isaac Cruz in a scheduled lightweight ten rounder. Although Vargas was the more well-known of the two, Cruz hadn’t lost since his sixth fight, which had gone down five years and fourteen bouts earlier. Vargas’ previous fight had been a November stoppage of Otto Gamez. Cruz had last been seen in the ring back in March, when he won via unanimous decision against Jose Matias Romero.
Cruz came forward aggressively in the first. Things were relatively close in the second. Vargas got nailed hard in the third. He stayed on his feet, but Cruz was clearly looking to keep the fight from going the distance. Cruz continued to bang away in the fourth. Although he had been throwing with bad intentions, Vargas was able to keep Cruz from completely dominating in the fifth.
Cruz kept on the attack in the sixth. Vargas held strong in the seventh and eighth, but was clearly falling way behind on points. By the ninth, Vargas looked strong enough to last to the final bell. The tenth saw Cruz once again simply being the stronger fighter…until a head butt caused a serious cut on Vargas’ face and the referee halted the action. The fight was resumed, and Vargas went down. He got up, but looked horrible. Thankfully, the bell sounded moments later. Needless to say, Cruz walked out with a UD win.