WBO light flyweight champion Ivan Calderon was ebullient after scoring a unanimous decision over Jesus Iribe Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Calderon was knocked down by a right from Iribe in the second round and later suffered a cut on his left eyelid.
But after the second round, he was in command the rest of the way, zipping inside to beat Iribe to the punch with quick jabs and short rights and then dancing out of harm's way. By the ninth round, Calderon was like a matador dodging the charges of the Mexican bull and then swirling his cape with a flourish. The pro-Puerto Rican crowd took to shouting "Ole" every time Calderon made Iribe miss.
"That's part of my game," Calderon said with a big smile. "It started in Puerto Rico, and I brought it to New York."
Calderon's dominance was reflected in the scorecards. Judges Carlos Ortiz and Robin Taylor both scored it 118-109 for Calderon, and Bill Stewart had a 116-111 margin. Calderon was a 117-110 winner on Newsday's card.
Asked if he felt like he was just leading Iribe around the ring on a string, Calderon nodded in agreement. "He got me with that right hand, and I started changing my style," Calderon said of the second-round knockdown. "My boxing frustrated him. After seven rounds, that's when I got hot and started doing my dancing."