LAS VEGAS -- Naoya Inoue stepped back for a split-second in the third round, extending his arms out wide almost as if to wonder what else might be coming. To that point, Michael Dasmarinas hadn't shown or done much inside the ring.
Inoue had been dominant, already knocking him down once in the second round -- and almost again moments later. It was clear Inoue, nicknamed "The Monster," was showing all of his monster capabilities.
It wasn't much longer that Inoue's hands answered the question. He landed a body shot to knock down Dasmarinas in the second round, then landed two more to secure two more knockdowns and finish the fight in the third. It was a clear win for one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world to retain his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles.
It was a dominant performance from the start for Inoue (21-0, 18 KO), who chased Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20 KO) around the ring, using half of the first round to size up his opponent before landing punch after punch. Inoue almost got him in the first round, too, turning Dasmarinas around, but it was a punch that didn't quite connect.
After it was all over, Inoue raised his fist to the crowd and those who remained in the audience gave him yet another cheer.
After each knockdown, Dasmarinas clutched his sides because there -- not his head -- was where Inoue continued to do the most damage. Inoue has long shown he is one of the best fighters in the world, and while Dasmarinas wasn't a headline opponent, it was still a title defense -- one the Zarna, Japan native handled with ease.
Dasmarinas barely landed any punches in the final two rounds of the fight. The onslaught just kept coming at the Philippines native, one he couldn't stop and his body couldn't contain for all too long, giving Inoue another highlight and another win.
MMA Silva upsets Chavez Jr. in boxing match
Anderson Silva made a career in MMA out of making the impossible look possible.
Now, he's done the same thing in boxing.
The middle-aged UFC legend defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision (75-77, 77-75, 77-75) in a shockingly impressive boxing performance Saturday night at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. Silva, a heavy underdog, had not competed in boxing since 2005 and had just two pro boxing matches coming in. Chavez Jr., the son and namesake of Mexico's most popular boxing superstar, is a former WBC middleweight champion.
"I love fighting," Silva said in his postfight interview. "Boxing was my dream for many years. I needed to show my respect for boxing. I need to come here and do my best."
The bout was contested at 182 pounds with eight three-minute rounds. Chavez Jr. missed weight by 2.4 pounds Friday, forfeiting $100,000 of his purse to Silva. The event was dubbed "Tribute to the Kings" with the headliner pitting Chavez Sr. against Hector Camacho Jr., the son of his biggest rival, in an exhibition boxing match.
In Houston: Charlo defeats Montiel, retains his WBC middleweight title
Jermall Charlo accomplished something on Saturday night that isn't easy to do.
The WBC middleweight champion had an unknown but very game challenger in Juan Macias Montiel, whose awkwardness and stubbornness decreased the likelihood of a Charlo showcase in front of a hometown crowd in Houston.
It wasn't as easy as it looked on paper, but Charlo still shined. Despite Montiel's late push, Charlo dominated in a 118-109, 119-109, 120-108 victory at the Toyota Center to remain undefeated and retain his belt in the 160-pound division.
In Las Vegas: Mayer shines and retains WBO title
Mikaela Mayer battles Erica Farias to retain title
Mikaela Mayer goes the distance to successfully fend off Erica Farias and defend her WBO junior lightweight championship.
Mikaela Mayer stepped down from the ring, shook some hands and had a now-familiar piece of hardware around her waist -- a championship belt. Mayer defended her WBO junior lightweight title on Saturday night, defeating Erica Farias by unanimous decision, 97-93; 98-92; 98-92. It's the first time she walked both into-and-out of the ring with her belt.
The win now puts the 30-year-old Los Angeles native in a collision course for a unification bout with Maiva Hamadouche, which should happen this fall.
To get there, though, she had to beat Farias, and it was a bit of a trickier fight early on for Mayer, who appeared to struggle. Mayer landed 118 of 439 punches (26.9 percent) and 37.6 percent of her power punches. Farias landed 86 of 400 punches (21.5 percent) and 28.1 percent of her power punches. Both landed 21 jabs.
In Mexico: Ramon Alvarez defeats Omar Chavez by unanimous decision in their trilogy fight in Guadalajara, Mexico. Ramon Alvarez is the older brother of super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, and Omar Chavez is the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
In Las Vegas: Dogboe outslugs Lopez for majority decision victory
Adam Lopez and Isaac Dogboe clearly know how to put on a fast-paced, entertaining fight. The two featherweights created a show in their undercard fight Saturday night, with Dogboe controlling the pace early, and Lopez dominating late -- getting Dogboe in the corners in the eighth and ninth rounds and landing enough punches to where it looked like Dogboe might go down.
Dogboe (22-2, 15 KOs), from Accra, Ghana, did not go down, though, and instead continued to respond to Lopez's barrages by landing his own bigger blows in the final minute of the fight. And by not going down, it proved to be enough. Dogboe won a majority decision over Lopez, and he jumped to the middle rope in celebration after his 97-93, 96-94, 95-95 decision was announced.
It was a well-matched fight between two of the more active in-ring performers on Top Rank's stable, evidenced by the standing ovation they were given inside the Virgin Hotels Theater after the fight and the hug between the two of them after the bout concluded.
It took a round or so for Lopez, from Glendale, California, to settle into the fight, as Dogboe came out firing. But from there on out, Lopez and Dogboe went back and forth. The closest the fight came to being over before they reached the scorecards came in the later rounds, when Lopez (15-3, 6 KOs) went heavy into Dogboe.
Before the scores were announced they hugged multiple times and kept shaking hands -- big smiles on both of their faces, with the respect between the two fighters ringing clear.
In Houston: Cruz outpunches Vargas in dominant win
The game plan for Isaac Cruz was pretty simple -- load up on power shots, and hope his gloves ran into Francisco Vargas' face.
Things worked out well for Cruz. The budding lightweight came at Vargas all night and ripped him with big punches. Cruz waltzed to a unanimous decision over the veteran -- judges scored the fight 97-92, 99-90, 100-89 -- and kept his stock rising in the 135-pound division.
Cruz, the shorter man from Mexico City, looked to wing power hooks around Vargas' guard. Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) connected on more than enough to dominate.
The most bizarre moment came in the final minute. Cruz and Vargas (27-3-2, 19 KOs) clashed heads, which caused a gory cut over Vargas' right eye. The ring doctor wanted to stop the fight, but after looking up at the clock and being talked into letting Vargas see the final bell, the doctor let Vargas continue.
Things eventually got worse for the damaged fighter when Cruz was awarded a knockdown despite Vargas contending he went down because of incidental contact. It didn't ultimately affect the outcome, but it was a very strange end that, again, was not a great look for how Texas governs combat sports.
In Houston: Leo outpoints Alameda for hard-fought victory
Angelo Leo and Aaron Alameda weren't afraid to let punches fly in what was a big crossroads bout for both junior featherweights Leo was pushed to the brink and had massive welts on both eyes, but escaped with a majority decision victory, by scores of 96-94, 95-95, 98-92.
Two of the scorecards described the fight accurately. Leo (21-1, 9 KOs) and Alameda (25-2, 13 KOs) fought on the inside for nearly the entire fight and traded punches and seemingly rounds. The third judge, Eva Zaragoza, somehow had Leo winning by six rounds on what looked like a questionable scorecard.
Leo, who originally hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, picks up a crucial victory after losing the WBO 122-pound belt to Stephen Fulton in January. Alameda, who is from the Mexican state of Sonora, dropped his second straight bout after losing a title fight to Luis Nery last September. Alameda also missed weight for Saturday's bout as he came in at around 123.5 pounds.
In Las Vegas: Delgado dominates Briceno to stay unbeaten
Lindolfo Delgado hadn't been in the ring since September 2019, and had never gone past six rounds in his pro career, with 11 knockouts in 11 pro fights.
Both of those streaks ended Thursday, as Delgado fought through all eight rounds of his junior welterweight bout against Salvador Briceno to earn a hard-fought, if one-sided decision victory.
One judge scored the fight between two 26-year-old fighters from Mexico a clean 80-72 sweep for Delgado, while the other two judges gave Briceno one round with a score of 79-73.
Delgado (12-0, 11 KOs) showed signs of ring rust early on, starting off slow, but once he got moving in the fourth round he started landing his combinations. Delgado seemed to stun Briceno (17-7, 11 KOs) several times in Round 5 with straight rights and lefts, but failed to knock Briceno down, who has only been stopped twice in 24 pro fights and has gone the distance with top prospects including Josue Vargas and Gabriel Flores.
Delgado spent most of Round 8 chasing Briceno, landing some big punches as Briceno was grabbing and doing whatever he could to try to make it to the final bell. With 50 seconds left, the referee asked Briceno to "show him something," and the action picked up in the final 30 seconds. Delgado made one last push with a big flurry, and Briceno showed a little bit of resistance with some counter punches in the closing moments.
The result, at that point, was just a formality.
In Mexico: Damian Sosa defeats Abel Mina by controversial split decision in a 10th-round junior middleweight bout.
In Mexico: Jorge Luis Melendez defeats Kevin Torres by unanimous decision in a hard-fought junior welterweight battle.
In Las Vegas: Puente gets up from the canvas to outpoint Meza
Eric Puente may not knock out fighters, but the San Diego native does do one thing -- he keeps winning.
Puente (6-0, 0 KOs) survived being knocked down in the first round against Jose Antonio Meza, who is from Mexico, to rally and beat Meza, 57-56, 58-55, 58-55 in a six-round lightweight fight. Meza (7-6, 2 KO) was a game fighter throughout the six rounds and looked to have a real shot at knocking off the 21-year-old prospect early on.
But it appeared as if the knockdown woke up Puente, because from that point in the fight, Puente largely controlled the action. He still is, however, seeking his first career knockout.
In Las Vegas: Rosario demolishes Mariano
Omar Rosario climbed up into the corner, jumped up on the rope and lifted his fist in the air. The hands, after all, had been busy all night. Rosario knocked down JJ Mariano three times in four rounds Saturday, the last one resulting in a KO of the Reno, Nevada-based Mariano in a junior welterweight bout.
Rosario (4-0, 2 KO), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, was dominant from the first bell, continually combining on flurries of punches to stagger and send Mariano to the canvas. Mariano (3-1, 2 KO) continued to get up, but was overmatched throughout the entire fight, suffering the first loss of his career.
A two-time Puerto Rican national champion as an amateur, Mariano is the second fighter in a row Rosario has handed a first loss to; he defeated Uriel Villanueva by second-round KO in February.
In El Paso, Texas: Former junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia defeats Kamil Szeremeta by sixth-round TKO in a middleweight bout.
In El Paso, Texas: Gabriel Rosado defeats Bektemir Melikuziev with a KO-of-the-year candidate in the third round. Rosado landed a right hand that dropped Melikuziev for good at 1:21 of the round.
In El Paso, Texas: Marlen Esparza defeats Ibeth Zamora by unanimous decision to win the WBC women's flyweight title.
In El Paso, Texas: Blair Cobbs defeats Brad Solomon by fifth-round TKO in a welterweight bout to stay unbeaten.