LIVE UPDATES: Charlo destroys Cota, Rigondeaux defeats Ceja

Former WBC junior middleweight belt holder Jermell ‘Iron Man’ Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) beat replacement opponent Jorge Cota (28-4, 25 KOs) by a third round knockout in a scheduled 12 round fight on Sunday night on FOX PBC Fight Night live on FOX and FOX Deportes at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Charlo flattened Cota hard with a right to the head in the third. The badly hurt Cota barely got back to his feet, and surprisingly referee Jay Nady allowed the fight to continue. Charlo then dropped Cota for the second and final time. The fight was then halted at 2:14 by referee Nady.

In round one, Charlo took his time, boxing and looking to setup Cota with one of his big rights. Charlo had to be careful with Cota, because he’s a big puncher. He’s got a resumed filled with knockouts, but he’s struggled when he’s been put in with better opposition.

Charlo waited until the second round to finally open up with a vicious right hand that knocked Cota flat. You’ve got to give Cota a tremendous amount of credit for getting back to his feet, because a lot of fighters wouldn’t have been able to do so after taking that shot.

Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Julio Ceja

Former WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux (19-1, 13 KOs) defeated Julio Ceja (32-3, 28 KOs) by an eighth round knockout to rally for an incredible career saving victory in a WBC 122 pound title eliminator to lock himself in as the mandatory.

The 38-year-old Rigondeaux was on his way to losing the fight in the eighth round. He and Ceja both were penalized for low blows by the referee Russell Mora. The point deduction seemed to wake-up Rigondeaux, who stepped forward and knocked Ceja down with a left to the head.

Ceja got back to his feet in time, but the referee stopped the fight anyway. The time of the stoppage was at 2:59 of round eight. Even if the referee had let Ceja survive the round, he looked too hurt to come back from it in the ninth.

Ceja had fought well, but he wasn’t going to be able to come back to win it. Rigondeaux changed things up in the eighth, and that was the difference in the fight. In seven previous rounds, Rigondeaux was standing flat footed directly in front of Ceja, exchanging with him, and not being able to get maximum power on his shots.

Rigondeaux had never fought like that before in his career, and he wasn’t very good at it. Rigondeaux is a much better fighter when he’s on the outside, boxing, moving and loading up on shots when he could come forward. Tonight, Rigondeaux used a different flat-footed style of fighting for the first seven rounds.

In the eighth, Rigondeaux briefly went back to his old style of fighting, and immediately knocked out Ceja. Like I said, Rigondeaux would have knocked out Ceja in the ninth of the referee had allowed the fight to continue.

Rigondeaux wasn’t playing around anymore at that point in the fight, and he wan’t going to continue to fight in the same flat-footed style on the inside that he in the first seven rounds.

What we learned from this fight is Rigondeaux doesn’t fight well on the inside, and he’s a better fighter when he’s moving and putting everything on his shots. He’s not an inside fighter. For Rigondeaux’s sake, he shouldn’t experiment any longer by fighting in a new style at this point in his career. He’s too old to be fighting flat-footed against guys that are younger, bigger and stronger than him like Ceja.

Joey Spencer vs. Akeem Black

Undefeated junior middleweight Joey Spencer (8-0, 6 kOs) defeated a motivated journeyman Akeem Black (5-3, 2 KOs) by a six round unanimous decision. The scores were 59-54, 59-54 and 59-54.

Chris Colbert vs. Alberto Mercado

Undefeated lightweight prospect Chris Colbert (12-0, 4 KOs) defeated Alberto Mercado (16-3-1, 3 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The scores were 80-72, 80-72 and 80-72.

Jesus Ramos vs. Kevin Shacks

Undefeated welterweight prospect Jesus Ramos (10-0, 9 KOs) defeated Kevin Shacks (3-4-3, 3 KOs) by a four round unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36, 40-36, 40-36.

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