LAS VEGAS – Undefeated junior welterwieght titleholder Tim Bradley dropped former four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor for the third time in the fight with an eighth-round body shot, forcing his corner to throw in the towel, thus bringing Bradley’s defense of his WBO junior welterweight title to an end on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In victory, the 28-year-old Bradley rose to 28-0 with his 12th knockout, dropping the 40-year-old Casamayor to 38-6-1, with 22 KOs.
Bradley-Casamayor took place on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard as part of the HBO Pay Per View broadcast.
Casamayor was penalized for holding in the fourth round, dropped with a fifth-round body shot, ruled to have been knocked down in the sixth with a left that appeared to be more of a push, and battered from pillar to post over the course of the seventh and eighth.
Casamayor was stopped for only the second time in his career, having previously lost an 11th-round knockout to Marquez.
Bradley was in his first bout after having signed with Top Rank Inc., which also promotes Pacquiao, for whom Bradley is considered to be a viable opponent should Pacquiao get beyond Marquez.
In a scheduled 10-round junior welterweight bout, unbeaten 31-year-old “Mile High” Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs), of Denver, dropped his rival with a vicious left-right-left uppercut series, and then landed a similar series of blows after that which forced referee Jay Nady to wave an end to his knockout of Breidis Prescott (24-4, 19 KOs), of Colombia.
Alvarado required a knockout to win, since he trailed 87-84 on the cards of Patricia Morse Jarman and Lisa Giampa, and, 86-85, on that of Jerry Roth. Alvarado closed by landing 27 of 38 power shots thrown in the 10th.
The end came at 1 minute, 53 seconds of the 10th, as Alvarado scored his 10th stoppage over his past 12 bouts against the 28-year-old Prescott, who is best known for a 54-second knockout over RING No. 1-rated junior welterweight and current WBA/IBF beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) in September of 2008.
Prescott was stopped for the first time in his career by Alvarado, who survived a treacherous fourth round during which a nasty, right uppercut from Prescott opened a cut over his left eye which bled throughout the fight.
In the initial televised clash of junior lightweights, 23-year-old Juan Carlos Burgos (28-1, 19 KOs) of Mexico scored a 10-round majority decision over 26-year-old Luis Cruz (19-1, 15 KOs), of Puerto Rico.
Burgos earned his third straight win since losing by unanimous decision to Japan’s Hozumi Hasegawa in a failed bid to earn the WBC’s vacant featherweight belt in November.
A successful run ended for Cruz, who was after his seventh knockout in his previous eight fights and his second consecutive stoppage victory.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com