The biggest star in boxing took care of an obligation as Canelo Alvarez retained his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles with a ridiculously easy stoppage of Avni Yildirim after three rounds when Yildirim's corner ended the fight.
Alvarez was barely touched in the three rounds (Yildirim landed four power punches) and the only drama in the WBC-mandated bout (Yildirim had been promised the fight for two years after a controversial loss to Anthony Dirrell) was this- could Canelo escape without getting cut on a headbutt or a stray elbow?
Alvarez knocked Yildirim down with a straight right in the third and went on the attack and even though Yildirim didn't seem to be in extreme danger, one could see that the end was near.
However, the spectacular ending would be lacking as just as Yildirim's trainer Joel Diaz told him he was going to give him one more round, a member of the corner could be seen motioning for his surrender.
With the promised defense out of the way, Alvarez moves on and will take another step toward the goal of a unified super-middleweight title with an announced May fight against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders.
The winner of that event will own three of the four titles in the division.
Saunders may not make an exciting fight or even a winning one, but I have a feeling that Saunders will fight better than many expect against Alvarez.
Much like his cousin, Tyson Fury, Saunders is one of those fighters that fights best when he is motivated by strong competition, and against the brightest star in boxing, he better be motivated.
Earlier in the day, the fight of the century in New Zealand had more than only national impact as amateur heavyweight rivals Joseph Parker and Junior Fa squared off with the winner staying in the title picture.
Fa landed the bigger punches and wobbled Parker in the first and seventh, but Parker threw more and was the rougher fighter in close and won a unanimous decision.
My 115-113 card for Parker matched one judge with the other two were more than a bit too wide at 117-111 and a hideous 119-108.
The fight picked up in the late rounds and I wouldn't be surprised to see a rematch eventually, but for now, it seems Parker will face Dereck Chisora next with the winner likely to see the Oleksandr Usyk-Joe Joyce winner as a possible 2022 title challenger or positioned for the also likely vacating of the WBO title by the Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury winner.
The PBC/Fox main event between super middleweights Anthony Dirrell and Kyrone Davis ended in a draw, but I haven't watched it as of this writing.
Editor's Note: I thought Dirrell pulled this out close (115-113), but considering Davis had never fought at the weight and lacked experience against top ten competition, Dirrell looked a bit shopworn.
Dirrell will move on and could fight a rematch against David Benavidez, who dominated him in their first battle, but I expect the fight to be one-sided and it's one that I don't need to see.
Dirrell's problem is that he isn't going to beat champions or contenders, but fighting fights such as this one isn't going to add much to the bank account.
In the boxing challenge, Ramon Malpica and I each scored four points to move the overall total to 20-19.