A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Houston
Jermell Charlo TKO6 Joachim Alcine
Records: Charlo (27-0, 12 KOs); Alcine (35-8-2, 21 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: This looked like a mismatch on paper, and that's exactly what it turned out to be in reality, as Charlo, 25, fighting in a main event in his hometown for the first time, dominated Alcine in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on NBCSN.
Alcine, the 39-year-old former junior middleweight titlist from Montreal, was coming off a 17-month layoff and a draw with Delvin Rodriguez and was given no shot to even be competitive with Charlo, much less come out with a win.
Charlo came into the fight working with trainer Derrick James for the first time following what Charlo said was an amicable split with Ronnie Shields, who continues to train Jermell Charlo's twin brother Jermall Charlo, who's the junior middleweight world titleholder.
Jermell Charlo was much too fast and accurate with his punches for Alcine to do anything of consequence in a fight that went according to script. After dominating the entire fight with an assortment of power punches, Charlo connected with a right uppercut to knock Alcine down along the ropes in the sixth round. He hurt him again with a right hand and finished him with a left hook that sent him reeling into the ropes as referee Jon Schorle intervened at 1 minute, 21 seconds. Overall, Charlo landed 110 of 233 punches (47 percent) while Charlo connected on only 22 of 157 blows (14 percent).
"I established my jab early, and once I was comfortable with my jab, the right hand started landing," Charlo said. "I wanted to load up and show that I have power. I knew I was getting to him and wearing him down. It felt great to get the knockout. I knew after the knockdown in the sixth round it was over, but he was a strong fighter."
Since an upset majority decision against Montreal rival David Lemieux (who later won a middleweight world title) in December 2011, Alcine is just 2-6-1 and been knocked out in three of the losses.
Charlo, who has been waiting for a title opportunity -- and lost out on one in December when then-titlist Demetrius Andrade pulled out of a fight -- called out former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who retired in September but still holds two junior middleweight (and two welterweight) world titles because he has yet to vacate them or be stripped by the sanctioning bodies. Charlo's position is that Mayweather should either vacate the junior middleweight belts or, if he's going to hold them hostage, give Charlo a title shot.
Tony Harrison W10 Cecil McCalla
Scores: 100-90, 98-92 (twice)
Records: Harrison (22-1, 18 KOs); McCalla (20-3, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Harrison, 25, of Detroit, a protégé of the late Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, was getting a lot of hype and considered one of boxing's rising young fighters. And then he ran into experienced underdog Willie Nelson -- an excellent fighter in his own right -- on July 11 and got knocked out in the ninth round of a fight he was winning on the scorecards. Looking to shake off his first defeat, Harrison returned to face Cecil McCalla, 30, of Baltimore, who came into the fight having lost two fights in a row, one to former 154-pound world titleholder Ishe Smith in April and the other to South Africa's Chris van Heerden in a 10-round split decision in January. Now McCalla has lost three in a row as Harrison rebounded nicely from his loss.
Harrison easily outboxed McCalla through the first eight rounds and was in total control against a befuddled McCalla, whose punch output was weak. However, McCalla made the fight interesting in the ninth round when he rocked Harrison with a right hand and clearly had him wobbly. Harrison hung on and took a few more shots. His legs were awfully shaky, but he made it out of the round and then steadied himself as he closed out the fight in the 10th round to get the decision. But Harrison has now shown in two fights in a row that he's not the best in the world at taking punches, so he'll have to pay more attention to defense or it could spell doom for his promising career.
"I wanted to stay focused and get in my rhythm. The whole point is to hit and not get hit, and I thought I did a great job of that through eight rounds. I just need to stay focused for the whole fight," Harrison said. "I got kind of careless in the ninth round and the same thing happened tonight that happened against Willie Nelson, but thankfully I had the experience this time to pull it out. I wanted to show the fans that I can take a punch, and I definitely showed that tonight.
"I'm back! Next time I want to fight someone that's a little more offensive. [McCalla] was throwing so few punches that it was actually hard to get down the timing against him."
Harrison said he would like to fight main event winner Jermell Charlo, along with one other fighter.
"I also want Willie Nelson again, though. If he can do it twice, he'll make me a believer," Harrison said.
Also on the card, super middleweight prospect Caleb Plant (12-0, 8 KOs), 23, of Nashville, Tennessee, got in eight solid rounds in a good performance against Tyrone Brunson (22-6-1, 21 KOs), 25, of Philadelphia, and won a unanimous eight-round decision on scores of 79-73, 79-73 and 78-74. Brunson's career has been in free fall since he ended his streak of 19 consecutive first-round knockouts against low-level opponents. He is 3-6-1 since, including losing his fourth fight in a row and sixth of his last seven.
Saturday at Mexicali, Mexico
Jose Zepeda 1-round no contest Jose Alfaro
Records: Zepeda (23-1, 20 KOs); Alfaro (28-9-1, 24 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: On July 11, Zepeda, 26, of Long Beach, California, traveled to Manchester, England, to take on hometown contender Terry Flanagan for a vacant lightweight world title (the one relinquished by Terence Crawford). During the second round, Zepeda dislocated his left shoulder in a freak incident and could not continue after the second round, giving Flanagan the title by an official second-round knockout.
In his first fight since, a healed Zepeda was heavily favored to win against Alfaro, 31, of Nicaragua, a very experienced opponent who briefly held a lightweight world title from December 2007 until May 2008, when he lost it in his first defense, and who faced (and lost to) many notable opponents, including Erik Morales, Humberto Soto, Cesar Cuenca, Miguel Acosta, Antonio DeMarco and Yoshihiro Kamegai.
Once again, Zepeda's fight ended oddly. Late in the first round, Zepeda and Alfaro accidentally collided heads. Alfaro was unmarked, but Zepeda suffered a bloody cut under his left eye. It did not seem particularly bad or deep -- we have all seen fights continue despite a fighter getting much worse cuts than this one. Yet for unclear reasons, this fight was stopped between rounds and declared a no contest, even though the cut was below Zepeda's eye and so not dripping blood into his field of vision. In any event, it was another wasted outing for the talented Zepeda, who hoped to parlay a victory into a possible rematch with Flanagan in early 2016.
Also on the beIN Sports Espanol-televised card, junior lightweight prospect Carlos "Chuko" Diaz (18-0, 10 KOs), 20, of Mexico, stopped Marcos Cardenas (16-6-1, 12 KOs), 25, of Mexico, in the third round of the co-feature.
Friday at Orlando, Fla.
Malik Scott W10 Tony Thompson
Scores: 98-91, 96-93, 95-94
Records: Scott (38-2-1, 13 KOs); Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: The next time Scott is in a decent fight will be the first time. Throughout his career, Scott, 35, of Philadelphia, has been involved in boring bouts. Thompson, of Washington, D.C., is 44 and clearly past his prime, and he has also been in his share of stinkers. So when they were matched in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Bounce TV, Scott and Thompson combined to turn in a boring dance. Scott boxed and, as usual, rarely tried to engage, even though he was more or less doing as he pleased against a lumbering, out-of-shape Thompson, who looked even slower than usual.
Scott won because of his speed advantage, not because he put any hurt on Thompson, a former two-time world title challenger, who got knocked out twice by Wladimir Klitschko in mandatory fights in 2008 and 2012. After Thompson got knocked out by Klitschko the second time, he rebounded to score back-to-back upset knockouts, both of top British prospect David Price, but he is still just 4-4 in his last eight bouts, including the Klitschko fight. He showed very little against Scott, except for once in the ninth round when Thompson caught Scott with a right hand to knock him down. Scott survived the scare and hung on for the victory.
Going into the fight, the word was that a Thompson victory would pave the way for a shot at world titleholder Deontay Wilder in January. Wilder was ringside to sit in with the Bounce TV broadcast team and watched the fight go down the drain. There is virtually no chance of Scott getting the assignment since Wilder already disposed of him in the first round last year two fights before he won a belt. Scott has won two fights since, but a title shot seems like a massive reach.
"I was hurt in the ninth, definitely. But I'm in great shape and I wasn't worried about it," Scott said. "I got through it and let him know he'd have to do it again to win this fight. Tony's legs are very slow, so I was just losing him with the feet all night long."
Said Thompson, "He was just too fast. If I were younger, I would have caught him. A prime Tony would have kicked his ass, but I'm 44 and the years are starting to pile up. Malik did a great job of staying away until I was able to catch him with one good shot [in the ninth round]. He just pitty-patted his way to victory. It was an outstanding performance by Malik. He did what he's supposed to do to an older fighter."
Gervonta "Tank" Davis TKO3 Cristobal Cruz
Scores: 100-90 (three times)
Records: Davis (13-0, 12 KOs); Cruz (40-19-4, 24 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Davis, a 20-year-old prospect from Baltimore, has gotten raves from his promoter, retired former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who made the trip to watch Davis perform from ringside. Mayweather got what he hoped to see as Davis destroyed long-in-the-tooth former featherweight world titleholder Cruz, 38, of Mexico.
Davis -- faster, stronger, much younger and bigger -- made it look easy as he dropped Cruz with a left-right combination in the first round and then floored him with an uppercut in the third round, after which referee Frank Santore Jr. waved off the fight at 1 minute, 31 seconds. Cruz dropped to 0-5-1 in his last six fights and is 1-7-1 in his last nine outings dating to 2012.
"I did well. I need to work on some things," Davis said. "I listened to my corner and to Floyd."
Said Mayweather: "Gervonta is a young kid from Baltimore who comes from a rough background, like myself. He works hard and is dedicated to the sport of boxing. Mayweather Promotions wants to take him to the next level. The ultimate goal is to see him break all of my records."
Also on the card, junior welterweight Sergey Lipinets (8-0, 6 KOs), 26, of Kazakhstan, handed Haskell Lydell Rhodes (23-1-1, 11 KOs), 28, of Las Vegas, his first defeat. Lipinets stalked Rhodes, wore him down, and manhandled him in the late rounds en route to a decision win on scores of 98-91, 98-91 and 96-93.