By joshua broom
Miguel Cotto helped bring ESPN boxing to Puerto Rico after a 16-year absence
In conjunction with Golden Boy on ESPN, Friday night marked the Puerto Rican debut of Cotto Promotions before a buzzing Complejo Ferial, Ponce crowd.
The card’s main attraction saw rising-star Alberto Machado of Puerto Rico defeat Mexican-contender Carlos Morales by unanimous decision in a battle for organizational rating.
Though, unlike many wars in the storied Mexico-Puerto Rican rivalry, Friday’s edition was mostly subdued. The fight’s two defining moments came as Machado scored a second-round knockdown of Rivera, and Rivera’s gritty final-round effort.
While 26-year-old Machado (18-0 15KO) accomplished enough to halt Morales’ (17-2-3 6KO) 16-fight unbeaten run, and become the WBA’s #3 ranked 130 lb campaigner, the touted 26-year-old’s performance belied his hype.
As Machado’s competition level increases, power alone will not guarantee wins, as shown against his latest top-ten alphabet soup opponent. A pair of tune-ups may well serve the one-speed power-puncher before he vies for a world championship.
Undercard action featured a controversial decision between still unbeaten 28-year-old Nate Green (9-0 2KO) and Puerto Rican Emanuel Rivera (17-2 11KO).
Many felt Rivera controlled this encounter after exposing Green’s 27-month layoff early with a second round knockdown. And though Green did recover and exhibit skill as the fight progressed, the 77-74 tally in his favor met a mixture of scoffs and boos.
Commentators Bernardo Osuna and Bernard Hopkins each scored six of the contest’s eight rounds in Rivera’s favor.
Bad judging notwithstanding, Rivera’s twelve-fight win streak is now halted.
During the night’s televised opener, former enchanted isle sparring partners Edwin Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Camacho Jr. put on a show.
In what became a bit of an upset record-wise, Rodriguez (8-4-1 4KO) mastered 20-year-old prospect Camacho (6-1 4KO) en route to a majority decision victory.
Non-ESPN 2 televised results include:
- Lightweights: Christian Tapia (3-0 3KO) defeats Jose Carmona (1-7 1KO) via 4th round TKO
- Featherweights: Jose Bartolomei (4-0, 4 KO) defeats Giovanny Rivera (1-9, 1 KO) via 1st round TKO
- Super Featherweights: Edwin Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) defeats Franklin Torres (0-1) via 1st round TKO
- Super Lightweights: Luis Feliciano (3-0) defeats Jimmy Rosario (2-5, 1 KO) via 6th round unanimous decision
- Bantamweights: Josean Serra (10-1, 7 KO) defeats Manuel Galaviz (7-20, 3 KO) via 4th round unanimous decision
Source:: Bad Left Hook