Diaz-Pacquiao Undercard LiveBlog: Luevano vs. Santiago, Fields vs. Barrett, Soto vs. Lorenzo

We had some technical difficulties getting started tonight, but we're good to go now for some live thoughts on the David Diaz-Manny Pacquiao undercard. The first fight features Steven Luevano and Mario Santiago facing off for the WBO featherweight title. HBO says Luevano looked good for the first four rounds, then Santiago started coming on. Both men were down in the second. I'm picking it up in the seventh round, which was an ugly one that I'd give to Santiago.

Santiago peppers Luevano with left hands for most of the eighth round, but Luevano looked like he still had a little fire in him at the end of the round. This could get interesting down the stretch.
Speaking of interesting, Jim Lampley just made a comment about how the economy has definitely impacted business in Las Vegas. I was just there a few weeks ago and it did seem a little slow. Back to the action, Santiago comes out firing in the tenth round, then halfway through the round he has Luevano backed up against the ropes and is just teeing off. But Mario may have punched himself out, because he's looking wobbly himself as the round winds down.

Harold Lederman has the fight even after ten. Strangely both guys look willing to box in the eleventh after slugging away for the last few rounds. Luevano is having trouble keeping his mouthpiece in. Slowing the pace definitely helped the champ; we'll see if they go for it in the final round.

Both men are game, but until the final 15 seconds, no one lands much of consequence. Santiago finishes with a final flurry and we'll go to the scorecards. The scores are 117-111 Luevano, 115-113 Santiago and 114-114, meaning it's a draw and Luevano keeps his belt. CompuBox shows they landed almost the exact same number of punches, and they each suffered one knockdown, so I suppose that's fitting.

Nice footage from the Diaz-Pacquiao weigh-in; both guys look like they are in great shape, but Diaz is definitely bigger and thicker. Next up is a heavyweight clash between Tye Fields and Monte Barrett. I've seen Fields look good against questionable opposition and Barrett look questionable against good opposition, so something's got to give.

And it looks like what's going to give is Fields' chin. Though Fields comes out aggressive, the first time Barrett digs in and throws, Tye gets caught. Two big right hands start the damage, and a third sends the big man down. The ref calls a stop to it, and Barrett gets a first-round KO in just 57 seconds. That's what happens when you fight real competition.

Last but not least is an intriguing junior lightweight scrap between Humberto Soto and Francisco Lorenzo. Soto looks good in the first round and really starts landing left hooks and straight rights in combination in the second. Jorge Arce is in the crowd enjoying the action. Our own Spartan117 gives both of the first two rounds to Soto.

Action pauses in the third round for an accidental clash of heads, and Lorenzo begins to have some success going to the body. Soto lands some mean right hands in the fourth, and a combination sends Lorenzo to the canvas. He beats the count, but he's a bloody mess and soon takes a knee in the corner. Referee Joe Cortez apparently calls time because Soto hit Lorenzo when he was already down, and we may have some controversy brewing.

After a really long conference with the ringside doctor and other officials, Cortez gives his decision to Michael Buffer. It's a disqualification win for Lorenzo, and that's simply one of the worst calls I've seen in this sport! Cortez looked like he was about to call the fight, changed his mind, then said Soto hit Lorenzo after he took a knee. One problem: Lorenzo was getting punched silly, he took a knee on his own, and replays showed he never hit Lorenzo on the mat.

Soto tells Lampley the ref never told him to stop, and that if he glanced a blow off the head he should not have been disqualified. Watching the replay, Soto says Cortez only told him to stop after the supposed disqualifying blow had been thrown. To his credit, Soto thanks the fans even though he suffered from some very bad luck tonight. Emanuel Steward is so angry he's threatening to curse on TV.

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