Roger Gutierrez dropped Rene Alvarado in Round 12 to secure a narrow but unanimous decision victory to win the WBA "regular" junior lightweight title, on the Ryan Garcia-Luke Campbell co-main event at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday.
After seeing his twin brother, Felix Alvarado, score a 10th-round stoppage win to retain his IBF junior flyweight world title earlier on the card, Rene Alvarado went on to lose the title in his first defense by scores of 113-112 on all three scorecards.
Gutierrez -- who dedicated the victory to his mother, who died of cancer two months ago -- dropped Alvarado three times and, crucially, won the last round.
Alvarado (32-9, 21 KOs), 31, of Nicaragua, was almost stopped in the third round but recovered from two knockdowns to control most of the fight.
Gutierrez (24-3-1, 20 KOs), 25, of Venezuela, avenged a seventh-round stoppage loss to Alvarado in 2017, when his corner threw in the towel after he suffered a bad cut.
Alvarado could not stay upright in the third round when Gutierrez released a sweet right uppercut to the jaw. Alvarado took the count but was on unsteady feet, and Gutierrez capitalized to drop him for a second time with a straight right that sent the Nicaraguan crashing backward.
A left hand to the temple wobbled Alvarado again, but he recovered and went on the attack in the fifth, and cut Gutierrez badly around the left eye. The fight then seemed to drift away from Gutierrez as Alvarado forced the pace in the second half, until the last round, when Gutierrez dropped Alvarado for a third count with a glancing left hook to the chin.
F. Alvarado overpowers Kriel in TKO win
Felix Alvarado shone in his U.S. debut, as he scored two knockdowns in a 10th-round stoppage win over DeeJay Kriel to defend his IBF world light flyweight title.
After not boxing at all in 2020, Alvarado -- the twin brother of Rene, also in action on the same card -- showed that his power marks him out as one of the world's best at 108 pounds in his second world title defense.
Alvarado (36-2, 31 KOs), 31, from Nicaragua, served warning with a fast start, and then floored Kriel (15-2-1, 8 KOs), 25, with a left hook that landed flush on the chin in the second round. Kriel admirably survived a torrid minute and a half until the end of the second round, taking a big right hand to the chin in the process.
Alvarado landed an array of shots in the fourth round and deposited the South African on the canvas again with a left hook. But Kriel, a former strawweight titlist and a quality operator, gamely came back firing with fast hands.
Kriel narrowed the points margin in the middle rounds, but he was almost overwhelmed at the end of Round 9 as Alvarado increased the pressure. Alvarado sustained his attack in the 10th round and it was enough to force a stoppage after 1 minute and 39 seconds as he landed a series of unanswered punches.
"I knew this would be a tough fight," Alvarado said after the bout. "He was a mandatory challenger and a former world champion, so I knew it would be tough. I got a bit tired, but that was because of his experience. I also dropped him with a hook, and I didn't even expect for a punch like that to land. But rather than keep looking for that punch, I kept pushing him to the ropes to wear him down.
"I want any of the other world champions so I can show who is the best in the division."
Curiel overwhelms Agaton in TKO win
Raul Curiel came out of the gate fast and never relented, battering Ramses Agaton for four-plus minutes on his way to a one-sided, second-round TKO victory.
Curiel (9-0, 7 KOs) focused on the body early on, and a left hook to the liver buckled Agaton, who fell to his knee in frustration. The fight appeared to be on the brink of a stoppage at the end of Round 1 after a flurry of punches against the ropes, but Agaton (22-13-3, 12 KOs) lasted long enough to hear the bell at the end of the round.
The aggression didn't stop with the start of Round 2, though, as a perpetual barrage of right hooks and left uppercuts from Curiel landed consistently. Agaton, whose right eye swelled shut, was unable to protect himself and his corner threw in the towel at 1:16.
According to CompuBox data, Curiel outlanded Agaton 43-10 despite throwing virtually the same number of punches (108 for Curiel, 107 for Agaton).
Younger Garcia stays unbeaten with majority decision win
Lightweight Sean Garcia, Ryan Garcia's younger brother, stayed unbeaten with a hard-fought majority decision victory over Rene Marquez by scores of 38-38, 39-37 and 39-37.
Garcia (5-0, 2 KOs), had a more difficult time than anticipated against Marquez (5-5, 2 KOs). Marquez kept coming forward, landing body punches and throwing his right hand every time he had Garcia close. Garcia, 20, was able to land more punches in Round 3 but finished the fight fatigued -- a product of Marquez's body attack.
According to CompuBox data, Garcia landed 48 of 161 total punches, while Marquez, 31, was able to land only 30 of 185. Garcia also connected on 43 of his power punches, while Marquez landed only 22.