SUNRISE, Fla. -- Celestino Caballero, one of the top boxers in the world, had sought an opportunity to fight on the big stage of HBO for the past couple of years, and looked to impress when he got it.
He got his opportunity on Saturday night and indeed impressed.
The junior featherweight titleholder moved up to featherweight and pounded his way past Daud Yordan for a lopsided unanimous decision at the BankAtlantic Center in the co-featured bout on the Andre Berto-Carlos Quintana card.
You name it and Caballero nailed Indonesia's Yordan with it. He stayed busy with his jab, landed hard right uppercuts and worked the 22-year-old over with a withering body assault.
All the while the hard-headed Yordan kept coming forward, but with only occasional success. He landed some hard left hands, but they came only one at a time while Caballero threw punches in bunches all night.
In the end, Caballero landed 325 of 1,248 punches (26 percent), according to CompuBox statistics. That's the third-most punches ever thrown in a featherweight fight tracked by CompuBox over 25 years.
Yordan could muster landing only 105 of 379 shots (28 percent).
The disparity showed on the scorecards, which read 120-107, 119-108 and 118-108 for Caballero. ESPN.com also had it for Caballero, 118-109.
In the first round, Panama's Caballero, 33, threw 111 punches, 77 of which were jabs, and never stopped firing.
As the fight wore on, Yordan's face began to swell, his flanks were red from the body attack and he got a bloody nose in the sixth round.
Caballero (34-2, 23 KOs), whose nickname of "Towering Inferno" speaks to his 5-foot-11 frame -- huge for the weight class -- won a 122-pound title in 2006 and made eight defenses, including unifying belts when he knocked out Steve Molitor in the fourth round in 2008 in Molitor's native Canada.
But without any big fights at junior featherweight, Caballero, who is trained by Jeff Mayweather, made the move to the 126-pound division and rolled past Yordan (25-1,19 KOs), who had looked good in a March 2009 fight with Robert Guerrero in a junior lightweight bout on HBO. Yordan was giving the heavily favored Guerrero fits through the first round-plus until an accidental head butt opened a cut over Guerrero's right eye and he elected not to continue, forcing the fight to be ruled a no-decision.
Before Saturday's fight, there was talk among Caballero's handlers, Top Rank and HBO about matching him with featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa on July 24. Now that Caballero is safely through the fight with Yordan, expect that talk to heat up. However, money could be an issue. According to Sampson Lewkowicz, Caballero's co-promoter, they are far apart on the money.
Although Gamboa is the fight being prominently discussed, there was a small section of fans in the crowd chanting, "Juanma! Juanma!" in reference to their desire to see Caballero fight featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez, a former junior featherweight titlist who left the division without facing Caballero, who had called him out for the past year to no avail.
Smith scores body-shot knockout
Miami welterweight prospect Antwone Smith (18-1, 9 KOs) destroyed Franklin Gonzalez (13-6, 9 KOs) of the Dominican Republic by brutalizing his body before knocking him out with a crushing left hook to the ribs in the third round.
Smith, grunting like Monica Seles with every punch he threw, was dominating the fight when he ripped a wide open Gonzalez with the fight-ending shot. Gonzalez went down in obviously pain, was counted out by Tommy Kimmons at 2:40 and was down for several minutes while the ringside doctor examined him.
The victory could propel Smith into an HBO fight against fellow prospect Mike Jones on June 5 on the Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto undercard at Yankee Stadium. Jones, who has to win a fight next week on the Kelly Pavlik-Sergio Martinez undercard, is being discussed by HBO and Top Rank for the opening bout on the June 5 card with Smith in the mix to face him.
• Junior middleweight Yudel Jhonson (6-0, 4 KOs), a 2004 Cuban Olympic silver medalist who defected with teammates Guillermo Rigondeaux and Yordanis Despaigne in 2007, blew out Chris Grays (9-20, 2 KOs), dropping him twice in the first round for a knockout at 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
Jhonson, 28, dropped Grays early in the first with a straight left and then finished with another straight left that deposited him on his butt and unable to beat the count.
• Former Cuban amateur standout Yunier Dorticos (4-0, 4 KOs), 24, blasted out Zack Ziegler (3-1, 2 KOs) in the first round of a cruiserweight fight. Dorticos, who defected last year with other Cuban amateurs, stopped Ziegler with a left to the body at 1:24.
• Ithaca, N.Y., middleweight prospect Willie Monroe Jr. (8-0, 3 KOs), the son of former middleweight contender Willie "The Worm" Monroe Sr., shut out Miami's Ibaheim King (7-2, 2 KOs), easily outboxing him for the lopsided decision. All three judges had it 60-54.
• Middleweight Jonathan Cepeda (8-0, 7 KOs) of West Palm Beach knocked out Shadrack Kipruto (18-16-2, 10 KOs) of Canal Point, Fla., at 2:31 of the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder.
• Junior welterweight Joe Elegele (6-0, 4 KO), who is tight with Berto, stopped Mario Hayes (4-6, 0 KOs) at 2:51 of the third round. Elegele dropped Hayes twice, including a picture-perfect straight left hand to finish him.