Canelo-Golovkin Non-Televised Undercard Results

By Caryn A. Tate on September 16, 2017
Canelo-Golovkin Non-Televised Undercard Results
Marlen Esparza faced Aracely Palacios in a six-round flyweight bout. (Photo: Courtesy)

The experienced Palacios displayed a lot of heart and effort, but she just wasn’t in the same league as Esparza…

LAS VEGAS, Nevada—In the first fight of the evening, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (3-0) faced Aracely Palacios (8-8, 1 KO) in a 6-round flyweight bout. In Nevada, largely thanks to living legend Layla McCarter’s work with the commission, female fighters have the option to fight in 3-minute rounds rather than the typical two minutes that are standard elsewhere. Esparza chose the longer rounds and she used them to good effect, though the stoppage didn’t come.

Esparza boxed very well, putting in a much better showing than in her first two fights (where she did well, but this time she looked dramatically better). She landed a good clean right hand and hooking well off the jab to keep Palacios wary. She used her feet well, pivoting to keep her opponent guessing and throwing a nice variety of punches. She also used varied modes of defense, ear muffs at times, stiff arming her Palacios to keep her at bay, and lots of slipping shots.

The experienced Palacios displayed a lot of heart and effort, but her skillset just wasn’t in the same league as Esparza’s. Esparza won a well-deserved unanimous decision, sweeping all rounds on the judges’ cards, under the guidance of top level trainer Virgil Hunter.

Said Esparza after the bout, “Even though my opponent, on paper, looked like she had more ring experience, I’ve been in the ring way more than she had. Because I had 3-minute rounds, I was able to think a lot more in the ring and was even told by my trainer I had to slow down. I couldn’t research much about my opponent, but we knew she was going to be throwing her right often. I’m satisfied with my performance because this was my first 6-round fight.”

Afterwards, super lightweights Vergil Ortiz (7-0, 7 KOs) and Cesar Valenzuela (7-2, 2 KOs) faced off in a 6-round fight. In the second round, Ortiz dropped Valenzuela with a hook to the body that clearly hurt him. He beat the count, but when Ortiz came after him, Valenzuela’s legs weren’t good and as soon as he was hit he went down again. This time, referee Robert Byrd began to count but waved it off when he didn’t like the look of Valenzuela. Ortiz obviously carries a lot of power, with all of his wins coming by stoppage, which is a bit uncommon for 140 pounds. It’ll be interesting to watch where he goes from here.

Following his win, Ortiz stated, “I just do what my coaches tell me to do. They knew how this fight was going to end, and kept reminding me to go towards the body. I’m super happy to get the win, and this is just another fight on the way.”

The final bout before the pay-per-view began was a 4-rounder between super welterweights Serhii Bohachuk (4-0, 4 KOs) and Joan Valenzuela (5-8-1, 5 KOs). Bohachuk, trained by main event champion Golovkin’s long-time coach Abel Sanchez, started out a bit slow. Valenzuela’s game plan seemed to be to be the aggressor, and though his hands were on the slow side and his technique left a bit to be desired, it was a good game plan—it did seem to throw Bohachuk for a loop early on. But then Bohachuk seemed to gain confidence as he got a feel for Valenzuela’s odd timing and movements and Bohachuk began to catch his opponent more often. Late in round 1, Bohachuk landed a couple of solid right hands to Valenzuela’s chin and the shots appeared to shake him.

Early in round 2, Bohachuk dropped Valenzuela. Though he beat the count and continued to fight, he was clearly hurt. As the round progressed Valenzuela was just taking too many punches and seemed to be in survival mode, despite throwing shots of his own. At the end of the round, Bohachuk landed more and referee Jay Nady correctly waved it off.

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