A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Dortmund, Germany
Mairis Briedis W12 Marco Huck -- Full recap
Wins a vacant cruiserweight title
Scores: 118-109, 117-110, 116-111
Records: Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs); Huck (40-4-1, 27 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: On paper, it shaped up as a tremendous battle between crowd-pleasers. It did not turn out that way. The fight was a mess from the outset. Referee Jay Nady had a busy night trying to separate these guys as they grappled a lot. There were few clean punches and a lot of holding, much of it initiated by Huck, 32, of Germany, who held a world title from 2009 to 2015 and tied the division record for defenses (13) but is obviously no longer the force he once was. Briedis, 32, of Latvia, much fresher than Huck, who has had tons of wars, won round after unsatisfying round as he dictated the pace with his jab. Even when Huck, in his first bout with trainer Oktay Urkal, tried to pressure Briedis he had little success in a very disappointing bout.
Saturday at Las Vegas
Antonio "Relentless" Orozco TKO4 KeAndre Gibson -- Full recap
Records: Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs); Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Orozco, 29, of San Diego, reignited his march to a world title shot with a tremendous performance, perhaps the most impressive of his career, as he took out Gibson, 26, of St. Louis, in impressive fashion in the main event of the "Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN" card. Orozco had been in line for a title eliminator or a shot at unified world champion Terence Crawford until he passed out trying to make weight for a Dec. 16 fight against Fidel Maldonado Jr. He came back strong, however, as he made weight and was in tremendous shape. He stalked Gibson from the outset and relentlessly banged him to the body. In the fourth round, he found his target upstairs as he cracked Gibson near the temple with a nice right hand to knock him down. Although Gibson made it to his feet he was not in position to continue and referee Russell Mora waved off the fight at 1 minute, 31 seconds. Orozco is back in business in a big way.
Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta W10 Gilberto Gonzalez -- Full recap
Scores: 99-91, 98-92, 96-93
Records: Gesta (30-1-2, 16 KOs); Gonzalez (27-4, 22 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Coming off an 18-month layoff, mainly because of a shoulder injury, former lightweight world title challenger Gesta, 29, a Philippines native based in San Diego, did not look rusty in this excellent slugfest against Gonzalez, 29, of Mexico, who was fighting for the first time in precisely one year. Gesta maintained control for most of the fight but it was a highly entertaining battle. Gonzalez had one big moment, which came when he dropped Gesta with a left uppercut in the third round. But Gesta bloodied Gonzalez's nose early in the fight, swelled his left eye and beat his slower opponent to the punch time and again to earn the hard-fought decision -- though the 99-91 scorecard did seem a bit too generous.
Saturday at Managua, Nicaragua
Ricardo Mayorga TKO3 Jaudiel Zepeda
Records: Mayorga (32-9-1, 26 KO); Zepeda (12-18-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: At one time, Mayorga, 44, of Nicaragua, the chain-smoking beer guzzler, was one of the most exciting fighters in boxing with one of the biggest personalities. He still has the personality but his days as a quality fighter are long gone. The former welterweight world champion (and junior middleweight titlist) became boxing's best-known B-side who could hype up a fight against a top opponent and then get destroyed (such as against Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, all of whom knocked him out). Mayorga, who had not fought since Mosley knocked him out for the second time in August 2015, returned to the ring at home to face surefire loser Zepeda, 34, of Mexico, who dropped to 0-15 with two no contests in his last 17 fights dating to 2010. Mayorga, boxing at a plump 174 pounds -- the heaviest of his career -- looked awful. He got hit with several shots from Zepeda, who also took some big blows. With 10 seconds left in the third round, Mayorga landed a solid right hand that wobbled Zepeda and the referee, shockingly and inexcusably, waved off the fight far too prematurely.
Saturday at Tijuana, Mexico
Cesar Juarez KO3 Eugene Lagos
Records: Juarez (20-5, 15 KOs); Lagos (19-4, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In December 2015, Juarez, 25, of Mexico, gave Nonito Donaire a life-and-death fight for a vacant junior featherweight world title but lost a unanimous decision, and then lost a split decision him is next bout three months later. But Juarez has now won three fights in a row, including this one in devastating fashion. He turned out the lights on Lagos with a crushing left hand to the chin that knocked the Filipino out cold a tick before the bell ended the third round. Lagos, 21, has lost two fights in a row, but was KO'd for the first time. The win positions Juarez for a mandatory shot at the winner of the April 22 fight between world titlist Jessie Magdaleno and Adeilson Dos Santos.
Jose Zepeda Tech. Dec. 5 Jesus Silveira
Scores: 49-45, 49-46, 49-48
Records: Zepeda (26-1, 21 KOs); Silveira (8-4-2, 3 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former lightweight title challenger Zepeda, 27, of La Puente, California, was in control against Mexico's Silveira when their heads collided with about 15 seconds left in the fifth round. It was a horrendous accidental head-butt that left Silveira slumped over the top ring rope with blood pouring from a cut in the middle of his forehead as he received medical attention. With Silveira unable to continue, referee Christian Curiel stopped the fight and sent it to the scorecards for a technical decision.
Also on the card, former flyweight world titleholder Hernan "Tyson" Marquez (41-8-2, 29 KOs) and Jose Quirino Jr. (14-2-1, 5 KOs), both Mexican southpaws, battled to an eight-round draw in what appeared to be a bad decision as Marquez scored knockdowns in the first and fifth rounds and was in control of the action-packed fight. The judges scored it 76-75 for Marquez, 76-74 for Quirino and 76-76.