For the second time in as many months, a world champion was stripped of his title for failing to make weight, thus giving a chance for the challenger to walk away with the title.
Francisco Fonseca put up a great fight against Gervonta Davis on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but succumbed to an eighth-round knockout.
Puerto Rican junior lightweight prospect Alberto Machado was given the same opportunity when Jezreel Corrales missed weight by more than three pounds on Friday afternoon. However, he capitalized and rallied to stop the former world champion in the eighth-round in the main event of an HBO “Boxing After Dark” broadcast on Saturday at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.
With the victory, Machado is the new WBA super featherweight world champion.
Machado (19-0, 16 KO’s), a 27-year-old southpaw, was getting outclassed early and was dropped in the fifth round. However, he recovered to badly hurt Corrales in the sixth round, and should have been credited with a knockdown in the seventh when Corrales’ glove touched the canvas. But referee Mark Nelson, who also missed a clear knockdown in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn fight in July, when the Filipino superstar floored the Australian with a straight left hand, missed it.
It did not end up becoming a factor as Machado, who carries an 84 percent knockout percentage, caught the champion with a massive left hand that dropped him to both knees. Corrales (22-2, 8 KO’s), 26, of Panama, who had never been previously stopped, was deemed unable to continue by Nelson, who called a halt to the action at 2:18 of the round.
The victory for Machado, who has gone 3-0 with three knockouts in 2017, could potentially lead to a significant fight with Miguel Berchelt, the WBC 130-pound champion, who is coming off a one-sided points victory over former world champion Takashi Miura in July.
However, the WBC announced at their 55th annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan, that Berchelt will be facing Orlando Salido in his second title defense.