Eddie Alvarez uses superior boxing to defend title against Curran

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Midnight came a few minutes early in Connecticut, but Cinderalla hung around for 25 minutes.

Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez retained his belt with a five-round boxing clinic over perennial underdog Pat Curran in a fight that lasted far longer than most MMA pundits expected.

The bout served as the featured attraction of Saturday’s MTV2-broadcast Bellator 39 event, which took place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

In the opening round, Alvarez flashed his speed advantage with crisp head movement and lighting-quick jabs and straight right hands. Curran was unfazed by the work and stood firm in the pocket while defending a few earnest takedown attempts, but his counters weren’t enough to overcome Alvarez’s control of the exchanges.

The second round played out in similar fashion. Curran was happy to counterpunch, though it was Alvarez’s volume that likely took the round. Nevertheless, Curran again flashed impressive takedown defense while mixing in a few counter knees, as well. Alvarez was cruising, working the body and creating angles, but Curran was not overwhelmed.

In the third, Alvarez appeared to turn it up a notch. The combinations were thrown with more frequency and ferocity, and the accumulation of shots to the torso began to show on the face of Curran. The challenger’s takedown defense remained strong, though Alvarez did finally score one quick trip to the floor.

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