“Mighty” Melligen marks his mark on welter division with pounding of Gonzalez; Magdaleno puts on clinic
Report by Chris Cozzone
Photos courtesy of Chris Cozzone/Top Rank
Mexican welterweight champ Norberto “Demonio” Gonzalez had promised to exact vengeance for the many losses Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao had wreaked upon his fellow countrymen. But last night at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Gonzalez was forced to eat, both, his words, and an unhealthy serving of “Melligen stew.”
Making his mark upon the welterweight division, and his iron-chinned opponent, “Mighty” Mark Melligen grilled, double-baked and roasted Gonzalez through ten rounds for a shutout decision.
In his first televised main event, Melligen headlined the Top Rank Live! card televised on Fox Sports Espanol before a slim crowd outnumbered by the cast and crew working the show.
Going up against the Evander Holyfield-Frans Botha card, just a quarter mile away, the “Mighty” Mark Melligen show might’ve lacked a knockdown ending, but the performance was, nonetheless, impressive.
Both fighters looked to establish range in round one, though the Filipino southpaw had the edge with his straight lefts. In the second, Melligen had found his mark, and was able to establish a game plan that worked the entire duration.
Measuring his lefts, he continually caught Gonzalez coming. Controlling the fight from round three on, Melligen let his Mexican challenger lead, for the first half of the fight, anyway, but hammered him with lefts. Gonzalez was able to land in spots, mainly in the pocket, but by the end of the fourth, the fight was one-sided – especially after a punch from Melligen floored Gonzalez at the end of the round, though no knockdown was ruled.
Melligen continued to outbox Gonzalez and, by the sixth, was starting to get to his game foe. Gonzalez showed a set of whiskers, though was on the verge of a knockdown at the end of the eighth. A cut under the Mexican’s right eye, possibly from a clash of noggins, added to his misery.
Gonzalez was in survival mode in the last two rounds, when he, again, was on the verge of a stoppage as the final bell rang.
All three judges ruled it a shutout for Melligen, 100-90.
Melligen rises to 18-2, 13 KOs while Gonzalez falls to 18-2, 12 KOs.
Magdaleno puts on clinic
Fighting his first televised co-main – against his scrappiest opponent to date – Las Vegas super featherweight Diego Magdaleno outhustled, outboxed and, for much of the fight, outclassed Denver’s Manny Perez through ten rounds.
For the first half of the fight, Perez did, virtually, nothing but watch Magdaleno zip in and out of range, pockmarking points and putting rounds in the bank with a sharp jab, stiff left hand and a lead right hook.
In the third, Perez tried to counter Magdaleno coming in but was gun shy until the fifth. Even when he opened up on Magdaleno, Perez found himself outclassed, at least until the seventh, when desperation won out.
Perez fought his most aggressive rounds in the seventh and eighth, but was still outboxed by Magdaleno. In the ninth, Magdaleno was forced to move back for the first time, losing out to Perez’s aggression and, in the final round, weathered three solid rights by Perez in the first minute.
The last sally by Perez came too late and all three judges saw a one-sided fight for Magdaleno, 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93.
Fightnews had it for Magdaleno, 99-91.
The Las Vegas attraction remains undefeated, 15-0, 3 KOs, while Perez dips to 14-6-1, 2 KOs.
Peterson closes show
Making his return to the ring following an unsuccessful title challenge to WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley, super lightweight Lamont Peterson (28-1, 14 KOs) took seven rounds to stop Detroit’s Damien Fuller (30-7-1, 14 KOs).
Peterson stalked for the first two rounds, Fuller jabbing and circling back. Cornering his smaller foe in the third, Peterson went to work on the body while Fuller played rope-a-dope.
In the fourth, the two traded, Peterson’s body shots making the difference. Cornering Fuller again in the fifth, Peterson continued to pound the ribs. Fuller started to show the wear and tear by the time the bell rang.
“Show me something,” was the request of Referee Joe Cortez in the sixth, to Fuller, who, again, eked out a survival game plan. In the seventh, however, Cortez, and Fuller’s corner, had seen enough pummeling, and the fight was stopped at 1:10.
Benavidez picks up fourth win
Phoenix amateur standout, 17-year-old Jose Benavidez (4-0, 4 KOs) needed a round-and-a-half to give Canadian Scott Paul (5-5, 1 KOs) his third straight loss.
Benavidez pursued Paul about the ring in the first, battering the body while the desperate Canadian sought to tie up.
At the end of the round, Paul hit the floor.
A patient finish for Benavidez came at 1:30 of the second round when Paul found himself studying the spit and blood marks on the canvas. After crawling to his knees, Referee Robert Byrd kept him from even trying to stand back up, waving off the fight.
Lenk stops Rivera
In a six-round super lightweight bout, Las Vegas’ Anthony Lenk (7-1, 4 KOs, stopped Wilson Rivera (3-4, 1 KO), of St. Paul, Minn., midway through round three.
Rivera was in survival mode from the opening bell, backtracking while Lenk, the fight already in his pocket, pursued and pummeled his prey.
Lenk picked up a knockdown in the second and, in the third, landed a crafty uppercut that deposited Rivera on the canvas like a broken doll.
Official time of Referee Joe Cortez’s stoppage was 1:19.
Opening up the show, Japanese cage fighter, light heavyweight Hiromitsu Miura (1-0) made his debut in the squared ring, decisioning Isaac Atencio (2-3-1, 2 KOs), of Denver.
Miura started slow while Atencio picked up the first by jabbing and moving. Outboxing the Japanese debuter, Atencio edged the second but was slowed down in the third when Miura let his right hand fly. The increased aggression continued for Miura through the third.
Judges’ scorecards ranged from 40-36 to 39-37 twice. Fightnews had it a draw, 38-38.
Tereshkin settles for decision
In a six-round heavyweight bout, Russian Vladimir Tereshkin (13-0-1, 7 Kos) had to settle for a decision victory over the wily Joseph Rabotte (7-12, 3 KOs), of Myrtle Beach, S.C..
Using his jab and going to the body, the Russian southpaw patiently stalked Rabotte. Countering well in spots, Rabotte proved crafty, evading any invasive encounters for several rounds, until the fourth, when he was wobbled by a straight left.
With his left eye closing, Rabotte weathered a couple more big lefts in the fifth and sixth, but cruised to the finish line in survival mode.
All three judges had it 60-54.
Herrera, Bey draw in sixer
In a six-round super lightweight bout, Cleveland’s Cortez Bey (8-1-1, 4 KOs), and Marcos Herrera (5-1-1, 1 KO), of Brighton, Colo., fought to a majority draw.
Herrera’s aggression and sharp rights picked up the first, third and fifth rounds while Bey’s precision and body shots won him alternative stanzas.
Judges had it 57-57 twice and 58-56 for Bey.
Fightnews, likewise, saw a draw, 57-57.