WBO Mini Flyweight Title Fight:
Ivan Calderon vs. Rodel Mayol;
Loren Myers Goes The Distance With Matt Korobov
& Other Notable Moments From Madison Square Garden

By Tim Donaldson
Photo: "Sugar" Ray Bailey

This was the first time that I had the good fortune to see a mini flyweight fight, and not just a mini flyweight fight but a mini flyweight title fight. It was an experience. If you are unfamiliar with the mini flyweight division, the fighters should weigh around 105 pounds. Ivan Calderon weighed in at 106 ¼, and Rodel Mayol weighed in at 106 ½. These are by no means big men. And they are not tall men either. Mayol stands at 5 feet 4 inches, while Calderon stands at 5 feet even. In fact, their heads are barely higher than the top rope on the ring. I had to wonder if they purposely brought in the shorter referee for their fight, or if it was simply luck of the draw.

But with that being said, what they lack in size they make up for in energy. It was a fast moving fight, with lots of punches being thrown. But this fight was one of the stranger ones of the evening. Maybe I should have known it would be from the moment Rodel Mayol walked into the ring to the music of Journey.

Mayol seemed like he should have the advantage for no other reason than his height. But Calderon never let that bother him, and Calderon used his hold effectively, holding just long enough to stop Mayol’s attack. In the third round, Calderon knocked down Mayol. This did not deter Mayol. He simply became more aggressive in the fourth, charging in and not backing off of Calderon. However, Calderon got the momentum back in the fifth round after Mayol and Calderon accidentally butted heads. Calderon, after this, landed a nice punch to the nose of Mayol. And Calderon did not stop punching, even when the bell rang.

But that was about all there was to the fight. Both fighters came out in the beginning of the sixth, but the fight was stopped because of the bleeding from the cut on Calderon’s head. The crowd booed, fearing that a TKO victory would go to Mayol. But the fight went to the score cards, which was no less strange and settled nothing. Two of the judges split between Calderon and Mayol, and the third judge had an even score for both. So nothing was truly settled between the two fighters. Calderon gets to keep his title because the fight ended in a draw.

The fight right before Cotto and Clottey belonged to Matt Korobov and Loren Myers. Now I have never seen Myers fight until last night, but I have seen every one of Korobov’s fights. And while I still really like Korobov and think he has a great future ahead of him, I have an appreciation for Myers. The reason I have that appreciation is because he is the first fighter in Korobov’s professional career to go the distance with Korobov.

It took Myers some time to really get into the fight. He spent much of the first round just looking for an opening. Korobov was much faster, landing many of his punches, and just keeping Myers from being able to land his. The second round was much the same as the first, although Myers was able to land a few more. But Korobov continually moved, giving Myers very few chances.

The third round, however, found Myers looking much more like a fighter on Korobov’s level. He kept Korobov on the defensive for most of the fight. Korobov would have short bursts, but he looked frustrated through most of the round. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Korobov has only once gone beyond the third round, or maybe Myers had found his rhythm. Unfortunately for Myers, this was short lived. By the fourth round, Korobov was back in control of the action. And the fight was now in the hands of the judges, who all scored in favor of Korobov 40-36.

Super Bantamweight Jorge Diaz kept his winning record, defeating Guadalupe DeLeon. Diaz is an all around fighter, using his left and right, as well as weaving back and forth to avoid punches. He also likes to land his punches all over the body and head of his opponent. Diaz knocked down DeLeon twice in the first round, once in the first few seconds of the round and once at the end of the round. DeLeon spent much of the fight pinned up against the ropes, trying to keep off the attack of Diaz, but DeLeon never backed down. The fight went to the score cards. Diaz won by unanimous decision.

Two fights on the undercard ended in TKO’s. The first was the lightweight fight between Alberto Cruz and Rudy Valdez. This was a relatively short fight. Although Valdez started the fight as the more aggressive fighter, Cruz picked up the pace around the two minute mark in the first round. His punches looked much cleaner than Valdez’s punches. In the second round, Cruz knocked down Valdez twice. The referee called time after the second knock down, and I thought that I had missed something, maybe a low blow or a slip. After seeing the replay, I am still not sure why the stoppage. It looked clean. Cruz threw a left, then right, to the body, and followed it with an uppercut to the chin. At the advice of his corner, Valdez did not continue the fight.

The second TKO was in the fight between Super Bantamweights Jayson Velez and Jesus Bayron. Like Valdez, Bayron started the fight as the more aggressive fighter and ended up losing the fight. Velez threw lots of jabs in the first round, but rarely followed them up with anything. Velez gained control of the fight at the end of the second round and was definitely in control by the third. He knocked down Bayron twice in the third. He would have knocked him down again in the fourth, but Bayron held on to Velez to avoid going down. The referee stopped the fight 33 seconds into the fourth round.

In the fight between Featherweights Rafael Guzman and Juan Carlos Martinez, Guzman won the fight. This was a close fight with neither fighter really leading the other. The one thing that was noticeable was their lack of body shots. Both fighters kept their attack to the head of their opponent. Guzman won by split decision

The first fight of the evening was between Middleweights David Lopez and Glen Tapia. A few things stood out in this fight. The first was that Lopez seemed surprised with how fast Tapia attacked him at the beginning of the first round. The second was that Lopez was having a lot of trouble with his clothing. He spent a lot of time adjusting his shorts, which left him open to Tapia’s punches, and in the fourth, he was having trouble with a shoe. All three judges scored in favor of Tapia. I guess Lopez could always blame the loss on a wardrobe malfunction.