Disappointment In Puerto Rico, As Ivan Calderon-Hugo Cazares II Ends In Technical Decision

Ivan Calderonby James Slater - There was disappointment last night in Puerto Rico, as the highly anticipated rematch between light-flyweight's Ivan Calderon of Puerto Rico and Hugo Cazares of Mexico was cut short due to a head-butt. The clash of heads came in the 7th round of a fight that had been both engrossing and entertaining to watch, and defending WBO champion Calderon suffered a huge cut right in the middle of his forehead.

The doctor took one look at the savage cut and waved the fight off at 1 minute and 58 seconds of the round. The scorecards were sought, and 33-year-old southpaw Calderon retained his belt via a 68-65, 68-65 and 67-66 unanimous decision. Both fighters were badly disappointed at how the fight ended, as was the big crowd. Calderon improved to 32-0(6), while the 30-year-old Cazares fell to 26-5-1(19). A third fight is a distinct possibility.

The fight was shaping up as a very good one, one that "Iron Boy" Calderon was clearly winning. A superbly gifted defensive fighter who has amazing speed of both hand and foot, the Puerto Rican was at times looking like a master in there. Under pressure from the switch-hitting challenger and former champion, Calderon made his man miss with majestic skill.

"El Incredible's" aggression won him a couple of rounds, and one or two more were tough to score, but the ring general in there was definitely the 5'0" Calderon. Skipping around the ring with grace and fluidity, the champion was proving most awkward for the Mexican puncher to pin down. Countering with speedy lefts and rights to the head as he was under attack, the amazing 33-year-old was putting on a boxing master class at times. Frustration was surely setting in for the younger man by the 4th or 5th rounds, although to his credit Cazares didn't really show any.

The challenger, who switched stance a number of times throughout the six-and-a-half rounds the fight lasted, continually pressed forward and would have loved for Calderon to have stood and traded with him. No way was the champion going to do that, however. The 5th was an especially entertaining round. Cazares managed to get closer to his man and also got a few shots off to decent effect. Calderon also landed with some fast shots, getting home with some blurring lefts and rights to the head. Cazares also raised his hands and began to taunt the champion, bringing cheers and jeers from the crowd.

The 6th round was a tough one to score, with the challenger continuing to attack and alter his stance. It was a case of take your pick: do you like aggression or do you like ring generalship and defensive skill? As it turned out, one of the judges was at least a little undecided.

With a good fight warming up into what may have been a very good fight, the ending abruptly arrived in the 7th. With Calderon boxing well with his hands held low, the two men met in mid-ring and accidentally banged foreheads. Cazares was unharmed, but Calderon was badly injured. A quite horrific looking Y-shape cut bang in the middle of his forehead began to spout blood instantaneously, and the fight was called off.

An unfortunate ending to a fight the crowd was enjoying, a third meeting must surely be an option for the future. It all depends on how long Calderon's cut takes to heal. Cazares later said he felt he was winning and one judge almost agreed with him - scoring the fight with Calderon as a winner by a single point only. That seemed way too close to this writer, but aggression does impress a lot of judges, and Cazares was nothing if not aggressive.

Justice was done, however, as the gifted Calderon kept his world title. Now 2-0 over his Mexican rival, the 33-year-old is a fighter who deserves much more attention than he's had up until now.

Article posted on 01.09.2008

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