NEW YORK -- Junior lightweight world titlist Alberto Machado's nickname is "Explosivo" -- Spanish for explosive -- and he delivered on it big time on Saturday.
Machado dropped Yuandale Evans three times, including for a tremendous first-round knockout, to retain his 130-pound belt for the second time on the Daniel Jacobs-Sergiy Derevyanchenko undercard at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Machado, a southpaw, wasted no time, as he blasted Evans with a straight left hand that dropped him to his rear end.
Although Evans (20-2, 14 KOs), 29, of Cleveland, responded immediately by wobbling the Freddie Roach-trained Machado, he could not follow it up.
Machado (21-0, 17 KOs), 28, of Puerto Rico, landed a huge right hand that badly hurt Evans, and he put together a flurry of about a dozen unanswered punches before sending Machado to the canvas for good with another right hand. Referee Ricky Gonzalez called off the fight without a count at 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
"Right from the start, I knew he couldn't hurt me," Machado said. "I was very confident, and all my punches were working. Freddie and I work on so many things in camp, and I'm learning every day, getting better every day. My jab sets up my power shots, and I just let my power shots go, especially once my opponent is hurt like tonight."
Machado, who earned $175,000 to Evans' $75,000, won the belt in October 2017 by eighth-round knockout of Jezreel Corrales and retained it July 21 by shutout decision against mandatory challenger Rafael Mensah.
"I want all the big fights," Machado said. "I will fight anyone and want to fight again very soon."
Hardy wins vacant featherweight title
Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent picked up where their rematch left off two years ago, as they produced another action-packed fight that had the same result: Hardy winning a decision.
The key difference this time was that Hardy collected a vacant women's featherweight world title and did so in front of a hometown crowd.
Hardy won by scores of 99-91, 97-93 and 97-93. ESPN.com scored it 98-92 for Hardy, who defeated Vincent by majority decision the first time they met on Aug. 21, 2016, in Coney Island, New York, on an NBC Sports Net-televised undercard fight that stole the show.
In the rematch, they once again went straight to the center of the ring and began winging punches from the opening bell.
"Thanks to everyone on my team. It's an unbelievable feeling to be a world champion," Hardy said. "This time my technique was so much better. She wasn't able to just run into me and attack. I moved, gave her angles. My jab was so much better. I felt in control the whole fight.
"I was in much better shape for this fight. Our camp was longer, and we were able to work on so much more."
Hardy suffered a small cut over her right eye in the second round as they continued to throw wildly. Hardy seemed like she wanted to keep the fight on the outside, but Vincent smashed her way forward throughout the fight.
Hardy (22-0, 4 KOs), 36, of Brooklyn, New York, launched right uppercuts to try to keep the onrushing Vincent at bay and connected with several. Vincent continued to pressure her, but it was not overly effective. Hardy landed the much clearer and cleaner shots.
A brutal accidental head-butt opened a cut over Hardy's left eye in the seventh round, and the ringside doctor took a long look at her between rounds.
Hardy rocked Vincent (23-2, 1 KO), 39, of Providence, Rhode Island, with a right uppercut in the ninth round and was firmly in control.
According to CompuBox, Hardy landed 206 of 622 punches (33 percent), and Vincent landed 148 of 683 (22 percent). Hardy also had an edge in body punching, landing 62 to Vincent's 15.
They each earned $16,500, but Hardy got a win bonus of $2,500 added to her purse.
The bout was only the second women's fight in HBO's 45-year history of televising boxing. It aired the first one on May 5, when undisputed welterweight world champion and No.1 pound-for-pound Cecilia Braekhus made her American television debut in a hard-fought decision victory over Kali Reis on the Gennady Golovkin-Vanes Martirosyan undercard.
Brooklyn, New York, welterweight Reshat Mati (2-0, 1 KO), who turned pro with a third-round knockout win on Oct. 6, had the crowd cheering him on as he won a shutout decision over against Juan Carlos Sepulveda (0-2-1), 23, of Puerto Rico, in a brawl. He won 40-35 on all three scorecards. Mati got hit a lot more than would be expected as such a touted amateur, but he also landed many punches and knocked Sepulveda down with a left uppercut in the third round.
Russian welterweight prospect Radzhab Butaev (10-0, 8 KOs), known as "The Python," laid a beating on Azael Cosio (21-8-2, 18 KOs), 37, of Panama, until the fight was waved off in his corner after the third round.
Butaev, who is trained by Joel Diaz and was 304-12 as a standout amateur, started fast by blasting Cosio repeatedly with overhand rights in the first round, and he never relented. He looked sharp, even though it was only his second fight of the year because of a shoulder injury. He wobbled with Cosio with another wicked right hand in the second round and continued to pound him until the fight was stopped.
Junior middleweight Patrick Day (16-2-1, 6 KOs), 26, of Freeport, New York, was tested but won a virtual shutout decision over battle-tested former middleweight world title challenger Elvin Ayala (29-12-1, 13 KOs), 37, of New Haven, Connecticut. Two judges had it 100-90, and one had it 99-91 for Day, who won his fifth fight in a row.
Ayala, who challenged for a middleweight world title against Arthur Abraham in 2008 and suffered a 12th-round knockout loss, lost his fourth fight in a row and for the sixth time in his past seven but made Day work round in and round out.
Lightweight David Oliver Joyce (9-0, 7 KOs), 31, of Ireland, and Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl (4-5-1, 2 KOs), 28, of Mexico, exchanged knockdowns, but Joyce prevailed by unanimous decision in a hard-fought battle. Joyce got dropped in the first round but came back to score a knockdown in the second round. He had Rojas Zacazontetl in terrible trouble late in the fifth round and wound up winning 58-54, 58-53 and 58-53 to hand Rojas Zacazontetl his fourth defeat in a row.
Heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov (3-0, 3 KOs), 24, a 2016 Olympian from Uzbekistan now fighting out of Indio, California, stopped Tyrell Wright (9-2-2, ), 31, of Jersey City, New Jersey, at the end of the fourth round.
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Jalolov, a southpaw who was 84-13 as an amateur and lost to eventual silver medalist Joe Joyce in the Olympic semifinals, dominated Wright. He attacked Wright with hard hooks to the head and body and dropped him in the fourth round with a left hand. He had him very wobbly from more shots as the round ended, and referee Harvey Dock waved it off in the corner at the conclusion of the round.
Junior middleweight Steven Donnelly (4-0, 0 KOs), 30, of Northern Ireland, scored three knockdowns and cruised to a shutout decision over Ray Cervera (0-3), 27, of Fresno, California, winning 40-33 on all three scorecards of the opening bout of the card.