A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at New York
Erislandy Lara W12 Terrell Gausha -- Full recap
Retains a junior middleweight title
Scores: 117-110 (twice), 116-111
Records: Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs); Gausha (20-1, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Lara retained his title for the sixth time against but did so in a Showtime main event devoid of action against an absolutely overmatched and undeserving challenger in Gausha, who had never faced a remotely quality opponent. It showed as Lara toyed with him in an unawatchable fight that sent most of the 7,643 in the Barclays Center crowd fleeing to the exits during the bout and left those who remained booing. It was that bad. Lara, a 34-year-old Cuban southpaw, who defected and fights out of Houston, has feasted on soft opposition and did so again against Gausha, 29, of Cleveland, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, whom he dropped in the fourth round with a right-left combination for the only interesting moment of the fight.
Santa Cruz pleases fans with TKO over Avalos
Leo Santa Cruz connects on 52 percent of his punches by the fourth round, punishing Chris Avalos with a TKO stoppage in the eighth round of their main event at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Jermell Charlo KO1 Erickson Lubin -- Full recap
Retains a junior middleweight title
Records: Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs); Lubin (18-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Well, that was quick! In what was expected to be the most competitive fight of Showtime's 154-pound world title tripleheader, Charlo, 27, of Houston, overwhelmed Lubin, 22, of Orlando, Florida, who was on everyone's short list as one of boxing's future stars. But the 2016 ESPN.com prospect of the year got blown out as Charlo retained his title for the second time. After Lubin did so much talking in the lead up to the fight, Charlo, who stayed quiet, spoke with his fists, specifically his right hand. He landed a clean one on Lubin's chin in the first round. It was a punch Lubin never saw. He dropped the canvas and was gone as referee Harvey Dock began the count and then didn't both to finish it, waving off the bout at 2 minutes, 41 seconds. It was massively disappointing performance from Lubin and a great one from Charlo, who made the kind of statement that will not go unnoticed.
Jarrett Hurd TKO10 Austin Trout -- Full recap
Retains a junior middleweight title
Records: Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs); Trout (30-4, 17 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: As horrendous as the Erislandy Lara-Terrell Gausha main event was, this fight was incredible. Hurd and Trout put on a bona fide fight of the year candidate as they battled toe to toe in a fantastic slugfest. In the end, however, it was the bigger, younger, sturdier and more powerful Hurd, 26, of Accokeek, Maryland, who got the job done in his first defense. Former titleholder Trout, a 31-year-old southpaw from Las Cruces, New Mexico, was returning from a 17-month layoff and has nothing to be ashamed of in his performance. He won some early rounds and gave it everything he had but could not stand up to the constant pressure and heavier punches from Hurd, who shook off a bad cut over his left eye in the seventh round. But Trout continued to weaken, took enormous punishment and finally, after the 10th round, referee Eddie Claudio stopped it upon advice of the ringside doctor.
Saturday at Carson, California
Mares bloodies Gutierrez for unanimous victory
After nearly a year off of fighting, Abner Mares dominates Andres Gutierrez and halts the fight in the 10th round due a deep cut to Gutierrez.
Leo Santa Cruz TKO8 Chris Avalos -- Full recap
Retains a featherweight title
Records: Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs); Avalos (27-6, 20 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Santa Cruz, 29, of Los Angeles, a three-division titleholder, returned to the ring for the first time since regaining his featherweight belt in a January rematch with Carl Frampton, but delayed a rematch with Abner Mares that was supposed to be on this date and instead faced Avalos in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox. He laid a beating on Avalos, 27, of Lancaster, California, who dropped to 2-4 with four KO losses in his last six fights. It was a huge mismatch on paper and as bad in the ring. Avalos was game but outclassed as he took heavy punishment. Santa Cruz continued to land at will in the eighth round when referee Thomas Taylor decided he'd seen enough and intervened at 1 minute, 34 seconds. Santa Cruz, who outlasted Avalos 282-169, now will move on to the rematch with Mares in March.
Barroso stops Maldonado Jr. with body punch
Ismael Barroso sends Fidel Maldonado Jr. to the canvas with a short left body punch, resulting in a sixth-round stoppage.
Abner Mares Tech. Dec. 10 Andres Gutierrez -- Full recap
Retains a featherweight title
Scores: 100-90, 99-91 (twice)
Records: Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs); Gutierrez (35-2-1, 25 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Mares, 31, of Los Angeles, who has won world titles in three divisions, hoped to face titleholder Leo Santa Cruz in a rematch of their terrific 2015 battle that Mares won by majority decision but Santa Cruz elected to put it off for one more fight. So they faced separate opponents on this card and cruised. Mares ran roughshod over the game Gutierrez, 24, of Mexico, as expected. He dished out enormous punishment, landing 283 of 808 punches (35 percent), according to CompuBox. Of his 283 landed blows an astonishing 210 were power shots. It was a thoroughly dominant win for Mares, who can look forward to seeing Santa Cruz in a March rematch.
Antonio DeMarco TKO1 Eddie Ramirez -- Full recap
Records: DeMarco (33-6-1, 24 KOs); Ramirez (17-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: DeMarco, 31, a former lightweight world titleholder from Mexico, won his second fight in a row since exiting a 14-month retirement in February as he pulled the upset over Ramirez, 25, of Chicago. Ramirez was stepping up the level of his opposition and came out strong until DeMarco, a southpaw, connected with a hard left hand. Ramirez was stunned and DeMarco continued to bomb away. He forced him to a corner and buckled his knees, causing referee Gerard White to stop it at 1 minute, 56 seconds. Ramirez was throwing punches back, however, and complained of what looked like a quick stoppage.
Saturday at London
George Groves KO4 Jamie Cox -- Full recap
Retains a super middleweight title -- World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals
Records: Groves (27-3, 20 KOs); Cox (24-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In all-British scrap, No. 1 seed Groves, 29, retained his for the first time as he blasted out the unseeded Cox, a 31-year-old southpaw taking a dramatic step up in competition. Cox was very aggressive early, going right after Groves and catching him with a really good left hand in the first round of an exciting fight. Groves kept his composure and eventually landed a pinpoint body shot to Cox's gut in the fourth round and he collapsed to the mat, where referee Steve Gray counted him out at 1 minute, 42 seconds. Seated at ringside was fellow Brit Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs), who will get his wish to challenge Groves in the semifinals in early 2018.
Saturday at Buenos Aires, Argentina
Omar Narvaez TKO7 Nikolai Potapov
Bantamweight - Title eliminator
Records: Narvaez (47-2-2, 25 KOs); Potapov (17-1-1, 8 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former long-reigning flyweight and junior bantamweight titleholder Narvaez, a 42-year-old southpaw from Argentina, returned from a 16-month layoff and earned a mandatory shot at 118-pound titlist Zolani Tete (25-3, 20 KOs) of South Africa with an impressive win over Potapov, 27, a New York-based Russian. Narvaez won his fourth fight in a row since losing his junior bantamweight belt by second-round knockout to Naoya Inoue in December 2014. Narvaez systematically broke down Potapov, banging him to the body and backing him up before laying a beating on him in the seventh round, after which he retired on his stool.
Saturday at Paris
Tony Yoka W6 Jonathan Rice
Scores: 60-54, 59-56, 58-56
Records: Yoka (2-0, 1 KO); Rice (7-3-1, 4 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Yoka, 25, of France, won the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal and turned pro in June. That fight ended in a second-round knockout, but the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Yoka was forced to go the distance with Rice, 30, of Los Angeles, had a three-fight winning streak snapped. Yoka, who trained by Virgil Hunter outside of Oakland, California, took a couple of the early rounds to find his rhythm and then dominated the rest of the fight despite being outweighed by 35 pounds (277-242).
Friday at Indio, California
Ismael Barroso KO6 Fidel Maldonado Jr. -- Full recap
Records: Barroso (20-1-2, 19 KOs); Maldonado Jr. (24-4-1, 19 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Barroso, 34, of Venezuela, had not fought since a body-shot knockout loss to then-lightweight titlist Anthony Crolla in May 2016. He moved up in weight and returned to face fellow southpaw Maldonado, 26, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN main event. He won thanks to his enormous power. He dropped Maldonado in the third round, cut him and forced him to hold on so much that referee Rau Caiz Sr. docked him a point for holding and hitting in the fourth round. In the sixth round, Barroso knocked him out with a left hand to the body at 2 minutes, 23 seconds.
Marcelino Lopez TKO2 Pablo Cesar Cano -- Full recap
Records: Lopez (33-2-1, 18 KOs); Cano (30-7-1, 21 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Lopez, 31, of Argentina, rebounded from a split decision loss to Michael Perez in April to stop Cano, 28, of Mexico. It was a rough first round as both suffered cuts, Cano over his left eye and Lopez had one over his right eye. They continued to brawl in the second round and Lopez caught Cano with a solid overhand right and a left hook that dropped him hard. Cano beat the count but was badly dazed and referee Eddie Hernandez Sr. waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 27 seconds. Cano lost his second fight in a row and his third in his last four. It was a fun fight while it lasted.
Friday at Tampa, Florida
Teofimo Lopez TKO2 Josh Ross
Records: Lopez (7-0, 6 KOs); Ross (3-6-4, 0 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Lopez, 20, of Davie, Florida, came up through USA Boxing in the amateurs but when he controversially failed to make the U.S. team he represented his parents' birth country of Honduras. He is singed to Top Rank and is a tremendous prospect with speed and power. He blew out Ross, 26, of West Monroe, Louisiana. Lopez dropped him with a heavy combination in the final seconds of the first round. He went down again from a similar combination in the opening seconds of the second round and for a third lime later in the round from a body shot. When a right hand floored him for the fourth time the referee waved if off at 1 minute, 57 seconds.
Also on the card, bantamweight Antonio Vargas (4-0, 3 KOs), 21, of Kissimmee, Florida, who was a 2016 U.S. Olympian and Lopez's Top Rank stablemate, dropped Miguel Rebullosa twice en route to a knockout at 2 minutes, 11 seconds of the second round.