Riot in Argentina as Johnriel Casimero beats Luis Lazarte

We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing action, including Johnriel Casimero's defeat of Luis Lazarte

By Mike Pope

Boxer of the weekend

Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. In just his 15 professional fight, 21-year-old Sanchez Jr beat IBF junior bantamweight titlist Rodrigo Guerrero by unanimous decision on Saturday night in Los Mochis, Mexico. The feat is even more impressive when you consider that Sanchez Jr only fought once last year. The judges scored the fight 119-109, 116-112 and 115-113 in Sanchez Jr’s favour as the southpaw dominated his opponent for much of the bout. Guerrero started the fight at a relentless pace in an attempt to catch the young fighter out early – but Sanchez Jr used his southpaw stance to his advantage and ride out the early onslaught. As the fight progressed, the 21-year-old started to find his range, especially with his left hook, and began to build up a telling lead on the judges’ score-cards. By the end of the bout, Guerrero’s face was bloodied and swollen and it was clear that Sanchez Jr had just catapulted himself into the junior bantamweight rankings. The victory improved his record to 13 wins, seven coming by the way of knockout with one draw and one defeat.

Fight of the weekend

Kevin Mitchell v Felix Lora. In front of a sold-out York Hall on Friday night, Londoner Kevin Mitchell won an easy 10- round decision over stepping stone Felix Lora. The fight was entertaining enough, with Mitchell dropping his opponent in the second and dominating for most of the bout. The win improved Mitchell’s record to 33 wins, 24 by the way of knockout and one defeat. Most importantly, it was good to see such a historic venue like the York Hall without an empty seat; it was a stark reminder that if promoted correctly, boxing is still a sporting event people want to see. The victory also showed some of Mitchell’s talents and hopefully it was an indication that he is mentally prepared to step up to the highest level. A proposed fight against Scotland’s immensely popular and steadily improving WBO lightweight title holder Ricky Burns would be a huge event on either side of the border. It would also provide Mitchell with an opportunity for redemption after he massively underperformed against Australia’s Michael Katsidis in his only other world title fight and sole career loss.

Knockout of the weekend

Demetrius Andrade. The undefeated American junior-middleweight prospect declared that he would soon be ready to fight the division’s best contenders on Friday night in Uncasville, Connecticut. Against former title challenger and late replacement Angel Hernandez, Andrade asserted his dominance early on, flooring his opponent in the second with a left cross before finishing the bout with a left hook to the body. The victory improved Andrade’s perfect record to 16 wins, 11 coming by the way of knockout. However, the former Olympian is far from ready to face the calibre of opponents he mentioned after his victory. Despite having a smooth and rangy southpaw stance, Andrade would likely be bullied by Saul Alvarez, while James Kirkland Erislandy Lara have too much experience at this stage. The American needs to step up his level of opposition before he starts thinking of becoming a contender or a world titlist.

Decision of the weekend

Luis Lazarte v Johnriel Casimero It is worth watching this fight simply to see what transpired afterwards. Home favourite Luis Lazarte retired in his corner before the start of the 10th round, giving the victory to Johnriel Casimero of The Philippines. Immediately the home crowd were incensed and began throwing objects into the ring. Water bottles can be seen hitting Casimero’s team and several chairs are also thrown into the ring as the venue’s security was over run. Some spectators even managed to get into the ring and tried to attack Casimero and his corner men. It was a shambolic end to a fight that was littered with controversy; both men using low blows and rough house tactics throughout. Yet, Casimero was the better fighter and rocked Lazarte in the ninth which is the most likely reason why the 40-year-old did not come out for the next round. However, events like these are not acceptable on any occasion and Argentinian boxing authorities should come under international scrutiny and punishment after Friday night.

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