By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
WBA super featherweight champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) scored a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision over Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday night at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Machado dropped Mensah with a right hook at the end of round one but the bell rang before he could follow up. Mensah staggered back to his corner after taking big shots from Machado in round four. Machado dealt more abuse to Mensah in a one-sided round five. But after that, the action slowed and Mensah made it to the final bell. Scores were 120-107 across the board.
“Though I couldn’t finish him, I’m happy I went all the rounds because it was an experience I hadn’t had before,” said Machado. “I hurt my left hand early, so that’s why I stopped throwing the left hand to the body. But I kept to the game plan that Freddie Roach had for me and used the jab and worked from a distance. I’d fight anyone. I have to talk with my promoter first, but I would like fight Francisco Vargas.”
“I got hurt early with a shot,” said Rafael Mensah. “It took four or five rounds for me to come back. He’s a tall and lanky fighter and made it tough to come back.”