In the sparsely populated arena of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA, Puerto Rico's Ivan 'Iron Boy' Calderon retained his WBO minimumweight championship with a slick display of movement and accurate counter punching against Nicaraguan challenger Carlos Fajardo. The opening bout of HBO's quadruple fight pay-per-view attraction was a relative formality as Calderon won a virtual shoutout over Fajardo who became increasingly frustrated at not being able to land clean shots on the quick and varied moving champion who peppered him in return with fast and authoritative shots. Calderon has only four stoppages to his credit now in over twenty fights and if he was a puncher, he would have disposed of Fajardo much earlier. Read on for the round by round report of this fight.
Round one: Both fighters southpaws and the opening round is littered with a lot of jabbing by both men. Calderon looks fluid in his movements and is looking for the right hooks to the head and body of Fajardo.
Round two: Calderon lands many of his quick counter hooks to Fajardo's head and the Puerto Rican champion is quick and evasive in defense. Fajardo misses a lot of punches and at one point he ends up on the canvas as a result of his own momentum after throwing himself into a shot.
Round three: More good hooks upstairs by Calderon and he mixes a good variety of body work and straight lefts into his work. Fajardo gets warned for a low blow and spent most of the round being shaken up by Calderon's snappy shots.
Round four: Left-right combinations from Calderon shake Fajardo up. Fajardo has to be warned once again for throwing low punches. Calderon is extremely mobile as he uses the ring well and is not an easy target for the challenger.
Round five: Both fighters land good straight left hands but Calderon steals himself the round with some great right hand shots mixed with some very clean landing left-right combinations. Every round so far scored to the champion.
Round six: Calderon's dominance is not making for a great fight but it is impressive nonetheless. Calderon is not a big puncher at the relief of Fajardo and seems so full of energy and so slippery that the challenger's frustration must be mounting.
Round seven: Calderon lands shots at will especially with a straight right hand that he steps into and catches Fajardo with many times, Fajardo just cannot get into the fight.
Round eight: The champion rarely sets himself except to capitalize on counter-punching opportunities and Fajardo's frustration finally gets the best of him; he stands and taunts Calderon, daring him to stand toe-to-toe and fight. Calderon is obviously offended by Fajardo's gesture and steps into a massive left hand that rocks Fajardo back.
Round nine: More taunting from Fajardo but it is pretty much a waste of time, not doing him any good as Calderon whips in with great combinations and gets away before the limited Nicaraguan can get anything going.
Round ten: More of the same, Calderon dominating impressively and not engaging Fajardo in a brawl as the challenger would like. It would be a surprise if Fajardo had won a single round to this point.
Round eleven: Fajardo finally gets a point deducted for his punches that have strayed south of the border; Referee Tony Weeks administers the deduction and the action resumes with more great shots coming from Calderon and going unanswered by Fajardo.
Round twelve: Calderon sees out the fight in the same domint fashion as the final bell sounds and the decision is tallied.
Ivan Calderon retains his WBO minimumweight title by scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 119-108.