By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
In the co-main event to Canelo-Smith and after a stellar amateur career, super featherweight Marc Castro (1-0, 1 KO) finally made his pro debut in the year of COVID. Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing snatched up the hot prospect Castro early this year, who is trained by his father, but had to push back his pro debut after getting COVID back in August.
Although he looked a little anxious in the opening frame, Castro settled down and didn’t disappoint as he took the fight right to the experienced Luis Javier Valdes (7-6-1. 2 KOs) from Tijuana, MX and scored a 3rd round knockout. Castro showed fast hands and dropped Valdes in the 2nd and the 3rd round before referee Mark Calo-oy waived it off as Valdes was slow to get back to his feet. Castro displayed his diverse arsenal on the final flurry that ended the fight as he landed a right, left to the body and then up to head where he unleashed a flurry of combos and back down to the body that finally dropped Valdes for the second and last time.
Castro, who won 17 national titles and two world titles as an amateur, gave himself a B- in a post-fight interview with DAZN Chris Mannix. He also said the following:
“I was happy with my performance but lots to improve and get back to the gym and start working. Keep working hard and repetition”
WBO/ NABO heavyweight champ Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez (17-0, 13 KOs) from Cuba squared off against Julian “Pit Bull Jr.” Fernandez (14-3, 11 KOs) from Tijuana, MX and scored a one-sided KO victory.
Sanchez came out strong from the opening bell landing big right hands and left hooks to the head of Fernandez and appeared the fight would be over soon. Sanchez stalked Fernandez throughout who did all he could to avoid the big shots from Sanchez. Sanchez was warned in the 2nd and 3rd rounds for rabbit punches by veteran referee Jon Schorle. In the 5th round, Sanchez had Fernandez against the ropes but could not close the deal as Fernandez began to taunt Sanchez begging him to hit on the chin. In the 7th round, Sanchez did exactly that, as he landed a straight right, that was soon followed by an overhand right that sent Fernandez through the ropes and on his backside. After a short moment, Schorle realized Fernandez was done and stopped the bout at 1:35 of round 7 of the scheduled ten as Sanchez remained undefeated and retained his WBO/NABO belt.
Sanchez is the stablemate of Canelo and is trained by Eddy Reynoso and at 6’4” was used as a sparring partner for Canelo to mirror the 6’3” Callum Smith. Sanchez had last fought November 7 on FOX at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles when he blasted out Brian Howard in the fourth round of the scheduled 10. This was Fernandez’s first fight in over a year when he was stopped by Russia’s Arslanbek Makhmudov.
Hot southpaw prospect middleweight Austin “Ammo” Williams (7-0, 6 KOs) out of Houston, TX landed a huge left hand in the center of the ring that sent Isiah “Swift Hands” Jones (9-4, 3 KOs), out of Detroit, MI, railing to the ropes, before he unleashed a full-throttle attack to the head and body. Jones was staggered by a left hook and although he tried to counter, Williams was firing away at will, before referee Mark Calo-oy waived it off. The fight was halted at 1:29 of the 1st round of the scheduled 6, as Williams remained undefeated with the TKO victory. Williams looks like a future world champ in the making and said the following about his promoter Eddie Hearn leading up to the fight, “I believe he’s grooming us all for world championship fights.” After tonight, he could very well be on his way.
Welterweight Christian Gomez (19-2-1, 16 KOs) out of Guadalajara, MX dropped Angel Hernandez (17-16-2, 11 KOs) fighting out of McAllen, TX in the 3rd round before referee Rafael Ramos quickly waved it off. The first round was slow for both fighters, but picked up in the 2nd round as Gomez started to push the action, before he ended it with the big shot in the 3rd of the scheduled 8. Time of stoppage 1:54.
In the opening bout at The Alamodome in San Antonio, TX for the the mega showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith for Smith’s WBA super middleweight belt and the vacant WBC strap and Ring Magazine title, undefeated super featherweights Alexis Molina (8-0-1, 5 KOs) out of Guadalajara, MX and Robert Greenwood (5-0-1, 2 KOs) from Frankfurt, IN went toe to toe over four rounds. The scores read 39-37 for Molina and 37-37 twice for a majority draw.