LAS VEGAS — Junior welterweight Anthony Crolla of England scored an eight-round split-decision over a rugged Juan Manuel Montiel on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena.
The 24-year-old Crolla (22-2, 9 KOs) won for the ninth straight time with four knockouts during that run. Crolla had scored three consecutive stoppages entering the fight with Montiel (5-5-3, 2 KOs).
Judges Tim Cheatham and Duane Ford had it 77-75, and, 78-74, respectively for Crolla, while Patricia Morse Jarman had it 77-75 for Montiel, who bled from a cut over his right eye from a fifth-round punch.
Crolla-Montiel took place as the second bout on Saturday night’s undercard of the HBO Pay Per View televised main event featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr.-(41-0, 25 KOs) against Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs).
Crolla had been considered as a replacement when Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs) cited a viral infection as his reason for pulling out of a clash with three-division titleholder Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) for the WBC’s vacant “regular” championship belt.
Matthysse, instead, was replaced last week by Pablo Cesar Cano (22-0-1, 17 KOs) of Mexico City.
The night’s fourth bout featured 25-year-old welterweight Carson Jones (32-8-2, 22 KOs) of Oklahoma City dropping Said Ouali (28-4, 20 KOs) of Las Vegas in the fourth round of an eventual seventh-round stoppage.
With a severe cut over his right eye, Ouali was advised by a ringside doctor to retire on his stool between the seventh and eighth rounds of the scheduled 10-rounder with Jones,.
Jones earned his sixth straight knockout win over the course of as many consecutive victories since losing a 10-round split-decision to Rogerio Pereria in September of last year.
The victory was considered an upset against Ouali, a winner of three straight, all by knockouts, since losing a split-decision to Selcuk Aydin (22-0, 17 KOs) in April of 2009.
In the evening’s third bout, 33-year-old super middleweight Adonis Stevenson of Canada dropped Dion Savage of Flint, Mich., with a left-uppercut, and then cornered him and fired several unanswered blows on the way to a first-round knockout.
Stevenson (15-1, 12 KOs) trapped Savage (10-2, 6 KOs) and repeatedly landed to the head and body, forcing referee Tony Weeks to wave an end to the bout at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the round.
The victory was the second straight, with as many knockouts, for Stevenson since being stopped in the second round by Darnell Boone in April of last year.
In the opening bout, 26-year-old super middleweight Marco Antonio Periban (15-0, 10 KOs), of Mexico City, came up with an eight-round unanimous decision over Dhafir Smith (24-22,-7, 4 KOs), winning, 79-73, on the cards of Dick Houck and Robert Hoyle, and 80-72, on that of CJ Ross.
Smith lost for the third straight time since scoring an upset, 12-round unanimous decision over ex-titleholder Jeff Lacy in December of last year.
In a four-round lightweight battle of Las Vegas fighters who were making their professional debuts, Kyrone Butler pitched a shutout over Cassius Clay, winning, 40-36, on the cards of Cheatham, Ross and Hoyle.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com