Puerto Rican Ivan Calderon (35-3-1, 6) was unsuccessful in his attempt to regain the WBO Minimumweight title as he was stopped in the fifth round against Mexican Moises Fuentes (16-1, 8).
The bout started amazingly well for Calderon who dominated the opening round with his speed, movement and unbelievable slipperiness as he landed shots at will whilst avoiding pretty much everything thrown his way.
If the opening round was impressive by the challenger then the second round was even more amazing as Calderon put on a boxing clinic and appeared to have rolled back the clock as he landed time and time again on Fuentes. Calderon was in and out in a flash and tied up Fuentes when ever the two fighters were close. This was looking like vintage Calderon and it was hard to believe that the challenger was 37!
Calderon continued to embarrass Fuentes in the third round again using his much superior skills and movement to completely neutralise the champion who was mostly looking clueless. In the third however Fuentes managed his first notable success as he let his hands go in the centre of the ring and managed to connect with one or two shots. Up to this point he had struggled to land anything at all.
Over the first 3 rounds it had all been Calderon, however the bout took a massive change at the end of the fourth round as Calderon was caught in the corner and Fuentes took full advantages letting his hands go none stop for around 20 seconds. Although Calderon avoided taking many shots clean he did take several hard, punishing blows that seemed to turn the fight in the way of the champion who came out for the fifth round with the same intention he had finished the fourth.
Building on his momentum from round 4, Fuentes set off at a hectic pace in the fifth round and swiftly had Calderon back in corner before unleashing another series of hurtful blows dropping Calderon for an 8 count. Although Calderon recovered to his feet, the fight had been beaten out of him, and he'd be own for a second time soon afterwards before retiring himself in the middle of the round by taking a knee with what looked to be a badly damaged right arm.
Despite looking sensational for 3 rounds Caleron really is a fighter showing his age, and probably does need to hand them up before he takes permanent damage. He still has more skills than most fighters out there, sadly however the combination of age, injuries and tough bouts has caught up with him. Hopefully he hangs them up now, before he ends up really badly beaten.
Fuentes may have scored the win but I can't help but think a prime Calderon would seriously have embarrassed him for all 12 rounds. He got through this more the basis of his youth and energy rather than his skills, and this could be a problem against a number of the other top guys at 105lbs. Saying that however, Fuentes does hit hard, he is aggressive, he's tough and he's detimed all great ingredients for any top fighter.