Commentary

Weekend scorecard: Miguel Berchelt retains junior lightweight belt and shines doing it

Updated: February 12, 2018, 11:53 AM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Miguel Berchelt vs. Maxwell AwukuErick Marfil/Getty ImagesMiguel Berchelt, right, stopped Maxwell Awuku in Round 3 to retain his junior lightweight belt.

A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at Cancun, Mexico

Miguel Berchelt TKO3 Maxwell Awuku
Retains a junior lightweight title
Records: Berchelt (33-1, 29 KOs); Awuku (44-4-1, 30 KOs)

Rafael's remarks: Berchelt, 26, of Mexico, fought in his hometown for the first time since 2011 and for the second time retained the 130-pound world title that he won 13 months ago. It was easy work for Berchelt, who faced late replacement Awuku after two other opponents, former two-time junior bantamweight world titleholder and countryman Cristian Mijares and the Philippines' Carlo Magali, dropped out.

It was a fan-friendly bout, but Berchelt always was in control against Awuku, a southpaw from Ghana who took the fight on a week's notice and had his four-fight winning streak violently end. With a little over a minute left in the third round, Berchelt dropped Awuku with a clean right hand to the chin. Awuku seemed OK and easily beat the count. He fought back hard, but Berchelt eventually nailed him with a series of shots, including a clean left to the face that sent him to the deck again along the ropes. As Berchelt continued to pummel him in the follow-up attack, referee Hector Afu stepped in to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 46 seconds.

Jaime Munguia KO3 Jose Carlos Paz
Middleweight
Records: Munguia (27-0, 23 KOs); Paz (21-7-1, 12 KOs)

Rafael's remarks: Munguia, 21, of Mexico, is one of boxing's best prospects and had no trouble with Paz, 27, of Argentina, who came into the fight having won two in a row, including beating former prospect Jorge Paez Jr. by decision in October. But the bigger more powerful Munguia is a much better fighter, and Paz found that out early. He dropped Paz with a left hook to the body late in the first round and got dropped again with another hook to the body in the third round. This time he didn't try to beat the count and instead stayed down on a knee and shook his head no while referee Hector Afu counted him out at 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

Also on the card, junior welterweight Pedro Campa (28-1, 19 KOs), 26, of Mexico, rebounded from his first loss in October to win a tough unanimous decision over Ivan Alvarez (27-9, 17 KOs), 30, of Mexico. Referee Florentino Lopez docked a point from Alvarez for hitting Campa behind the head in the second round. Campa won by scores of 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93.


Saturday at Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Miguel "Mickey" Roman TKO4 Aristides Perez
Junior lightweight
Records: Roman (59-12, 46 KOs); Perez (31-11-2, 17 KOs)

Rafael's remarks: Following the biggest victory of his career, a ninth-round knockout of former two-division world titleholder Orlando Salido on HBO on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas, Roman, 32, of Mexico, returned for a hometown fight before a crowd of about 9,000 to take on former Salido knockout victim Perez, 36, of Colombia. Roman, who is the No. 1 contender for world titlist Miguel Berchelt, dominated to win his third fight in a row. Roman had Perez in trouble late in the third round and then finished him in the fourth. He backed Perez up with a left to the body and a right to the head and continued to punish him until referee Rocky Burke waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 26 seconds.


Saturday at Philadelphia

Hank Lundy W8 DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley
Lightweight
Scores: 79-72, 78-73 (twice)
Records: Lundy (29-6-1, 14 KOs); Corley (50-29-1, 28 KOs)

Rafael's remarks: In February 2016, Lundy, 34, of Philadelphia, got knocked out in the fifth round of a one-sided fight challenging then-lightweight world champion Terence Crawford. Since then Lundy has won three fights in a row in much lower-profile bouts, including this one against Corley, 43, of Washington, D.C., a former junior welterweight world titleholder (2001 to 2003) who was participating in his 80th career bout. Even with a ton of mileage on his boxing odometer, Corley, who came into the fight having won two in a row, can still handle himself and is capable of the upset from time to time. But not on this night, as Lundy knocked Corley down with a right hand to the head in the fourth round and went on to win a competitive decision in a fight streamed live on Facebook.


Saturday at Park City, Kansas

Nico Hernandez TO5 Victor Torres
Flyweight
Records: Hernandez (4-0, 3 KOs); Torres (2-8-1, 1 KO)

Rafael's remarks: Hernandez, 22, a 2016 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist fighting right outside of his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, had his first scheduled eight-round bout and took care of business against Torres, 23, of Modesto, California, who dropped his sixth fight in a row. He took the fight on short notice when Hungary's Jozsef Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) had a series of mishaps during fight week that prevented him from making it to Kansas, including a lost passport and other visa issues. In stepped the overmatched Torres, whom Hernandez tattooed with body shots and combinations until referee Steve Smoger had seen enough and stopped the fight at 55 seconds of the fifth round.


Friday at Dallas

Ray Ximenez W8 Eugene Lagos
Cruiserweight
Scores: 79-73, 78-74 (twice)
Records: Ximenez (17-1, 4 KOs); Lagos (12-5-2, 7 KOs)

Rafael's remarks: Ximenez, 25, of Dallas, limited to one ring appearance in 2017, returned with a good performance in the main event of the Roy Jones Jr.-promoted card. Lagos gave a good effort, but it was not good enough against Ximenez, whose right hand was a big problem for him. There was good action and Lagos made a solid run late in the fight but not enough to overcome the early deficit. Ximenez won his fourth fight in a row since an eight-round decision loss to up-and-comer Christopher Diaz in April 2016. Boxing in the United States for the first time, Lagos, 22, of the Philippines, dropped to 1-3 in his last four fights.

Dan Rafael

ESPN Senior Writer

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