Tim Bradley, Juan Carlos Burgos, Mike Alvarado claim victories
The pay-per-view portion of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez card opened with a 10-round junior-lightweight bout between Tijuana’s Juan Carlos Burgos (27-1, 19 KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Luis Cruz (19-0, 15 KOs).
Burgos is the nephew of Victor Burgos, the flyweight who was nearly killed after losing a 2007 title fight to Vic Darchinyan because of a blood clot in his brain that forced him into a coma.
Alex Camponovo, the promoter for both Burgoses, reports Victor has “fully recovered,” and is living in Tijuana.
There was good news Saturday for Juan Carlos Burgos as well as he backed up Cruz in the second and third rounds, and had caused the Puerto Rican’s right eye to swell excessively by the seventh round, when Burgos ducked a right and unloaded a hard left to Cruz’s side.
The only loss for Juan Carlos was a unanimous-decision road defeat to Hozumi Hasegawa last November in Japan for the vacant World Boxing Council featherweight title.
Burgos added two hard lefts in the ninth, then eased through the 10th round, winning by scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 95-95, to improve to 28-1.
“I was concentrating on getting my rhythm early and to control pace of the fight,” Burgos said. “I gained more confidence every time I would land a left hook. This was an opportunity I could not throw away on such a big stage as a Manny Pacquiao fight.”
Alvarado defeats Prescott by knockout
Mike Alvarado was about to become another unbeaten trophy of Colombia’s Breidis Prescott when he found a resolve that could make the Denver fighter a champion.
“My best rounds are always the late rounds,” Alvarado said.
This was about as late as it gets.
In the final round of the junior-welterweight bout, Alvarado launched an all-out attack against the tiring Prescott, belting him with two hard rights that forced Prescott to try a desperate hug.
A hard right and left uppercut knocked Prescott down with 1:43 left in the bout, but Prescott got back to his feet.
Alvarado –- his mother yelling “Come in, Mike!” throughout the bout –- charged and struck his opponent with two hard rights that caused a flailing Prescott to find his head between the ropes.
Alvarado then came forward with three more hard right uppercuts, rocking Prescott’s head back and causing referee Jay Nady to stop the fight at the 1:53 mark.
“Late in the fight, [Prescott] was tired, he started leaning forward, and once he did that, I could catch him,'' Alvarado said.
Prescott, the only man to defeat current world junior-welterweight champion Amir Khan, was the aggressor from the start, out-boxing the brawler Alvarado.
By the fourth round, a Prescott barrage had bloodied Alvarado’s face.
Coming off a decision loss to Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey in September that heightened the stakes Saturday, Prescott took an Alvarado left to the face late in the fourth and answered with a barrage at the bell.
Alvarado’s chin was bleeding badly in the fifth, and even when his rugged nature would produce a hard right that round, it was Prescott’s skill with the jab and fighting inside that proved more impressive.
Prescott started wilting as Alvarado became more aggressive by fighting inside in the eighth round, and it forced the Colombian to hug more as fatigue set in.
Bradley stops Casamayor with TKO
Coachella Valley's Tim Bradley scored an eighth-round technical knockout of Joel Casamayor, when Casamayor's corner threw in the towel after he received a few rounds of extended abuse.
Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) dropped Casamayor (38-6-1) in the fifth and sixth rounds before the eighth-round stoppage.
The World Boxing Organization junior-welterweight champion returned to the ring for the first time since promotional disputes in January set up an extended absence before he joined promoter Bob Arum's Top Rank company.
Arum has said Bradley could be first in line to fight Manny Pacquiao if talks fail again to stage a super-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boos rained on Bradley's early lethargy, but he said he began getting "my punches together" against the veteran Casamayor, pounding his body to score the knockdown in the fifth.
The fight was stopped with one second remaining in the eighth.
Photo: Juan Carlos Burgos lands a left to the head of Luis Cruz during their junior-lightweight bout on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images