April got off to a good start with a number of notable fights, with some fighters taking a step forward and few others a step back...
Randall Bailey KO4 Francisco Figueroa (Light Welterweight) [ESPN2]
--Missed all but the aftermath of Bailey's picturesque nail-on-the-jawline of Figueroa, who really didn't see it coming and was out cold for a few minutes.
[C] WBC Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley UD WBO Light Welterweight Champion Kendall Holt [Showtime]
--Decent, but not wholly competitive, bout, which saw Bradley rally from a wonderfully-landed shot on the chin by Holt to pretty much coast through the rest of the fight. The WBO champion seemed tantalized by the spectacular Round 1 knockdown and kept constantly trying to recreate that great left hook and didn't commit to a more technical style (especially jabbing), which would become his primary undoing. Bradley was strong, and Holt was clearly bothered by his body shots, even getting wobbled by one in the 7th, but he could have staved him off with an employment of jabs and general boxing technique instead of trying to get lightning to strike twice (Holt's body looked good, but sort of soft, too). It worked whenever he did so, but it wasn't often enough and came too late in the match (after his corner berated him over it) to be effective. A rematch or a date with Ricardo Torres could be possible for either in the future, but I don't think a bout with those in the top three are, with the slight exception of Nate Campbell.
[C] (Vacent WBC Lightweight Championship) Edwin Valero TKO2 Antonio Pitalua
--25-for-25 KO wins for the hot Valero in his first U.S. fight since failing an MRI a few years ago (from an earlier motorcycle accident). Though he's popular, I'm still not entirely sold on him, based on seeing him fight a few times...
Alexander Povetkin UD(10) Jason Estrada (Heavyweight)
Michael Katsidis TKO8 Jesus Chavez (Lightweight)
Librado Andrade UD Vitali Tsypko (Super Middleweight) [Showtime]
--A good, though overall one-sided, fight between the more dominant Andrade and Tsypko, who fought hard and hung in there despite going down twice. In a serious canidate for round-of-the-year, Andrade almost had Tsypko out bad through the first half of the final round, but the latter mustered up enough strength to trade back despite being on the brink throughout and with his punches having not much zip on them. Tsypko showed a ton of tough heart as he willed himself to stand and both absorb and give back punches, though Andrade was ultimately the winner of the round and the match. The win places in a rematch with IBF titlist Lucian Bute, who defeated him in controversial fashion last October, in another "Battle of Montreal" (most likely location, given their popularity there).
[C] WBC Flyweight Champion Edgar Sosa TKO4 Pornsawan Porpranook
Rolando Reyes TKO5 Julio Diaz (Lightweight)
Vicente Escobedo UD(10) Carlos Hernandez (Lightweight)
[C] Brooke Dierdorff UD(10) WBC International Female Lightweight Champion Mia St. John
--And Dierdorff only had a 4-4-1 record, with a 4-match losing streak going into the bout...
Javier Castellejo MD(10) Pablo Navascues (Middleweight)
Guty Espadas Jr. SD(10) Juan Carlos Martinez (Featherweight)