(May 4, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Ponce De Leon [red gloves] and Abner Mares during [blue gloves] their featherweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
This Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero undercard is on the upper end of pay-per-view undercards, so keep coming back here Saturday for continually updated results right after each bout ends. We've got action stars Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz and Gabriel Rosado in action. For a full preview, click here. Mayweather-Guerrero fight time is probably closer to midnight, but if you're coming back frequently to figure out when the fight is about to start, you can expect it shortly after the third undercard bout results are reported below. We'll go in chronological order.
Middleweight prospect J'Leon Love got the kind of test he needed and many thought he would get from Gabriel Rosado, including suffering a knockdown, but he took a narrow split decision victory. I had it narrowly — 95-94 — for Love, but the 97-92 card for Love was BS. This was a very close fight. Rosado gave away the early rounds inexplicably, trying to box with a technically superior, faster and more nimble guy, but he began to work his way into the bout in the 3rd, finally winning the 4th. Love rebounded admirably in the 5th, but in the 6th Rosado finally caught him with a big right hand that knocked him down. Love again rebounded admirably in the 7th, and fought well in the 8th, but Rosado was again catching him well in the 9th and 10th and Love might've been hurt at the end of the 9th and that kept him on the defensive in the 10th. The crowd seemed to think Rosado deserved it, but, sorry, it was a toss-up fight and Rosado didn't do what he should've so whatever argument he had, he helped neutralize. Love said he would be willing to do it again, and I wouldn't mind it.
Leo Santa Cruz made a very successful 122-pound debut, albeit against a naturally smaller man, stopping Alexander Munoz in the 5th. Santa Cruz is huge, physically, for the smaller weight classes, so if anyone can succeed by moving up in weight a fair amount, it's him. Munoz gave him all he had, and it was admirable shit, but it didn't work out for him in terms of not taking abuse. Santa Cruz threw so many punches, like always, and all of them make you grunt watching them, especially the body punches. He scored a knockdown in the 3rd, off of a combo, and nearly had Munoz out in the 4th. Munoz appeared to try to quit between the 4th and 5th, but his corner talked him into coming out one more round and he did, but got dropped again on another combo. His corner wisely came in and stopped it after the knockdown. Santa Cruz should be a threat at 122, but we won't know for absolute sure until he faces a true 122-pounder.
Abner Mares benefited from a shit stoppage by referee Jay Nady in the 9th round of what was an otherwise close, hard-fought, back-and-forth brawl. Mares was moving up to 126 and facing a huge hitter, and Ponce De Leon was coming on late in the bout, despite suffering a knockdown in the 2nd. There were a lot of see-saw rounds with Mares landing the cleaner shots and De leon landing the heavier blows, but Mares was ultimately in control even though things were moving in De Leon's direction. In the 9th, Mares landed a huge right hand that knocked down De Leon, then when Ponce got back up Mares kept the pressure on and put De Leon on the ropes. Nady got concerned despite how much De Leon was blocking shots and punching back, and while 90% of the time I favor a ref stopping a bout early, this was a horrible decision, based on every standard of when refs ought to stop bouts. Mares showed he could hang with a 126-pounder, so we'll see who he fights next at featherweight.