Mike Alvarado just couldn’t take the shots anymore in a step back up in competition.
Unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Arnold Barboza Jr may be in line for a shot at WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez following a win tonight in Los Angeles over badly faded veteran Mike Alvarado.
Barboza (21-0, 8 KO) had no trouble finding the target against the 38-year-old Alvarado (40-5, 28 KO), who was never anything remotely close to a defensive specialist but was just eating shot after shot here, and no longer had the resistance necessary to take them, even from a guy who’s not known as a puncher.
Barboza crushed Alvarado early in the third round with a straight right hand, putting the former titleholder on the canvas. Alvarado tried to pull himself up, attempting to use the ropes for assistance, but fell back down to the canvas, and referee Thomas Taylor stopped the fight, quite rightly.
The official time of the stoppage was 0:49 of round three.
For Barboza, it’s a win of some note, because Alvarado has a name in this world, but Alvarado also hadn’t fought anyone good since a rather sad beatdown loss in 2015 to rival Brandon Rios, a weak end to their trilogy after two really terrific fights in 2012 and 2013.
For Alvarado, this is pretty much it. He’d been taking lower-level fights on Top Rank cards since 2016, winning six in a row, but this pretty definitively answers the question of whether or not he had anything left. He gave it another shot, he did his best, but it’s just not there anymore. He’s had a 15-year pro career and been in some real wars over that time. He won a world title. It was a good run.
Janibek Alimkhanuly UD-10 Cristian Olivas
Janibek wants to be known simply as Janibek, so we will call him Janibek. Janibek (6-0, 2 KO) won on scores of 99-91, 100-90, and 100-90. A 26-year-old middleweight from Kazakhstan, Janibek is another Egis Klimas fighter, trained by Buddy McGirt. A 5’11” southpaw, he has clear skills, but not much power and his upside may be limited by that, as he’s not a crazy great slickster or anything.
Ruben Rodriguez MD-4 Ramel Snegur
22-year-old junior welterweight Rodriguez (6-0, 2 KO) landed some nasty shots in this fight, but Snegur (3-4-1, 2 KO) took them pretty well. Scores were 38-38, 39-37, and 40-36.
Guido Vianello TKO-1 Lawrence Gabriel
Heavyweight Vianello (3-0, 3 KO) dropped and stopped Gabriel (3-2-1, 2 KO) in 49 seconds. Vianello, 24, was one-and-done in the round of 16 at the 2016 Olympics, where he represented Italy, and is now working with famed trainer Abel Sanchez. He wears a gladiator outfit and enters the arena to Queen’s “Hammer to Fall,” so he definitely understands presentation.
Alexander Besputin UD-10 Alfredo Blanco
You might have liked to see Besputin (13-0, 9 KO) get the stoppage in this one, but Blanco (20-8, 11 KO) was awkward and effectively sloppy. Not effective in the sense that he won rounds — scores were 99-91, 100-90, 100-90 — but in that it keeps him from getting timed easily. And while he’s now lost eight times, he’s never been stopped. Besputin, a 27-year-old Russian, isn’t a super overwhelming prospect, but he has skills and fights in an entertaining style. I ask little more than that, honestly. Not everyone is gonna be a Mayweather or Lomachenko or whatever.