March 17, 2000
Magness Arena, University of Denver
JOHNSTON DEFENDS AT HOME
Stevie Johnston's long-awaited return to his hometown March 17 was short
but memorable. Caught up in the excitement generated by 8,000 screaming
supporters, Johnston, 134.5, was sloppy in the first round against Mexico
City's Julio Alvarez, 135, and came out of an exchange with a nasty gash over
the left eye. Referee Vic Draculich ruled that cut was from a punch, so the
situation became critical for Johnston. Between rounds, trainer Miguel Diaz
urged Johnston to settle down. Apparently, Johnston's a good listener. He
came out for the second firing to the body and head, scoring heavily. A left
hook backed Alvarez to the ropes, where Johnston wailed away with about two
dozen unanswered punches until Draculich rescued Alvarez at 2:35. Johnston
improved to 30-1, 15 KOs. Alvarez slipped to 21-6-1, 17 KOs. Ranked 10th by
the WBC, Alvarez had earned the shot with his KO of Israel "Pito" Cardona in
Johnston said he came out for the second with a sense of desperation, but
he didn't panic. However, cuts are nothing new for Johnston; for him, they
have become a regular occurrence.
"If I am going to worry about cuts, I shouldn't be in boxing," Johnston
The wound, stitched the following day, will sideline Johnston for about
six weeks. According to Top Rank boss Bob Arum, Johnston may fight on ABC in
June and on HBO in September. IBF lightweight champ Paul Spadafora is a
possible opponent. Johnston also would love to defend against WBC 130-lb.
title-holder Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Friday's win was Johnston's fourth defense in his second reign as WBC
champ. He originally won the title from Jean Baptiste Mendy in March 1996,
made three defenses before losing a close decision to Cesar Bazan in June
1998. He decisioned Bazan in a rematch 13 months ago, and kept busy during
the remainder of 1999, defending against Aldo Rios, Angel Manfredy and Billy
Schwer, all via decision.
The main prelim provided a surprise as J.C. Candelo, 154, Barranquilla,
Colombia, ended the unbeaten run of Gary Jones, 156, Washington, D.C. Jones,
managed by Sugar Ray Leonard, had won 16 in a row and was well on the way to
his 17th until Candelo's right stretched him face-first at 2:59 of the ninth
round of a scheduled 10. Jones stayed down for a couple of minutes but left
the ring under his own power. A CAT scan taken at a nearby hospital later in
the evening proved negative.
For Candelo (18-3-3, 15 KOs), an Atlanta resident who has lived in the U.S.
for nine years, the win could not have come at a better time. He was coming
off a pair of decision losses. Jones' record dropped to 16-1 (8 KOs).
Welterweight Larry Mosley, Shane's cousin, successfully turned professional,
posting a four-round decision over Edgar Pedraza (1-3), Tijuana, Mexico. Both
Jesus Lopez, 120, Denver, earned a six-round unanimous decision Leonard
Martinez, 119, Omaha, Neb. Lopez is 3-0 against Martinez, but all three bouts
have been entertaining. After a close first round, Lopez took control,
dropping Martinez in the second and third. Martinez, however, remained
competitive despite being wobbled on several occasions. Lopez improved to
13-8 (6 KOs); Martinez dropped to 17-8-1 (6 KOs).
Prospect Cleveland Corder, 155, Kuna, Idaho, won a comfortable six-round
decision over Juan Soberanes, 155, Mexico. No problems here for Corder as he
improved to 18-0 with 13 KOs. Soberanes fell to 44-23-2.
Denver's Manuel Lopez won an easy six-round decision over well-traveled Rob
Bleakley, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lopez, 164, improved to 20-1, 10 KOs. Bleakley
dropped to 75-25-1, 19 KOs.
After getting jolted early in the second round, Jeremy Morrison, 172,
stormed back to cut and drop longtime Denver favorite Donny Giron, 174.
Referee Steve Blea stopped the contest at 2:28 of round two as Giron was
bleeding and unable to focus upon arising from the deck. Morrison improved to
10-2 (8 KOs). The 32-year-old Giron, at 17-6-2, may have reached the end of
the line. This was the second straight TKO loss for him on a three-fight
comeback that started last September. Previously, he had been off for five
and a half years.
Manuel Lopez, 164, Denver, W-UD-6 Rob Bleakley, 165, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Lopez (20-1, 10 KOs), Bleakley (75-25-1, 20 KOs)
Juan Carlos Candelo, 154, Atlanta/Barranquilla, Colombia, W-KO-9 (2:59) Gary Jones, 156, Washington, D.C.
Candelo (18-3-3, 15), Jones (16-1, 8)
Larry Mosley, 147, Los Angeles, W-UD-4 Edgar Pedraza, 147, Tijuana, Mexico.
Mosley (1-0, 0), Pedraza (1-3)
Stevie Johnston, 134.5, Denver, W-TKO-2 Julio Alvarez, 135, Mexico City
Johnston Retains WBC Lightweight Title
Johnston (30-1, 15), Alvarez (21-6-1, 17)
Cleveland Corder, 155, Kuna, Idaho, W-UD-6, Juan Soberanes, 155, Mexico
Corder (18-0, 13), Soberanes (44-23-2)
Jesus Lopez, 120, Denver, W-UD-6 Leonard Martinez, 119, Omaha, Neb.
Lopez (13-8, 6), Martinez (17-8-1, 6)
Jeremy Morrison, 172, St. George, Utah, W-TKO-2 (2:28) Donny Giron, 174, Denver
Morrison (10-2, 8), Giron (17-6-2, 13)
Promoter: Top Rank Inc./Barry Fey
Televised By: ESPN2
Matchmaker: Bruce Trampler
Referees: Steve Blea, Curtis Thrasher, Ed Walsh
WBC Referee: Vic Draculich
Judges: Mario Garcia, Ed Kugler, John Maydan, Tyrone Short, Steve Waldman, Ed
WBC Judges: Jose Manzur, Joe Mason, Harold Laurence
Commissioner in Charge: Ed Avila, Nebraska State Athletic Commission
Supervised by: Nebraska Athletic Commission in association with the Colorado
CBA Executive Administrator: Woody Kislowski
Physician: Dr. Gentry Dunlap, Dr. Peter Schmid, Dr. Russell Simpson
Inspectors: Mario Garcia, Steve Waldman, John Maydan, Lee Peters, Carlos de
Timekeeper: John Ulibarri
Knockdowns: Margarito Berzoza
Tally Judge: Jim Donahue
Announcer: Mike Buffer
Attendance: 8,000 (sell-out)