By Scott Shaffer
Ivan Calderon remained the undefeated WBO 105-pound champion, defeating Gerardo Verde of Mexico City. The official scores were closer than usual for the Puerto Rican boxing specialist, but there was little doubt he deserved the decision. Calderon won by scores of 117-111 (twice) and 115-113 and also led Compubox's tally of punches landed, 162-120. Calderon staggered Verde a bit with a second-round body blow and in the eighth round he landed a solid hook that seemed to cause Verde's glove to touch the canvas. Referee Randy Neumann did not call it a knockdown. For an obscure boxer who may never get another world title opportunity, Verde was surprisingly unaggressive throughout the early rounds but he picked up his activity level during the second half of the bout and in one exchange just prior to the end of the eleventh round, he landed a flush hook that hurt Calderon. Verde won the last two rounds on all three judges' scorecards, but the rally wasn't enough to prevent Calderon from increasing his record to 23-0. Afterwards, Calderon said, "he was very strong but he took too long of a time to pressure me. I dominated the fight with my boxing." Dominating with his boxing skills is something Calderon always does, and it is a shame that there are so few interesting match-ups for Puerto Rico's 105-pound star.