Jose Luis Castillo vs. Ivan Popoca
2012-07-13 : Jose Luis Castillo 146 lbs beat Ivan Popoca 147 lbs by RTD at 3:00 in round 8 of 10
- Location: UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Referee: Pete Podgorski
- Judge: Ken Corcoran
- Judge: Jerry Jakubco
- Judge: John McCarthy
- Aired On: ESPN Friday Night Fights
Jose Luis Castillo, 38, returned to the United States for the first time since his 2010 loss to Alfonso Gomez (21-4-2) and overcame an injury to his left hand to score a hard-fought, eighth-round TKO over Ivan Popoca of Chicago.
It appeared it may be an easy, early night for Castillo, who hurt Popoca in the opening round and dropped him with a left hook to the chin in the first 30 seconds of Round 2. Popoca found that by switching to the southpaw stance he negated Castillo's signature left hook which allowed him to gain momentum and, at times, take the fight to the former world champion.
In round four a cut opened up near Popoca's right eye, confirmed by the referee, that it was caused by a punch. By the end of Round five, Popoca had some swelling to his right cheek and his face was covered with blood from cuts to both his left (accidental headbutt) and right (punch) eyes. In the sixth, Castillo landed with a left hand and immediately winced in pain. From that point, he worked exclusively with his right hand. Action was paused late in the round to allow two ringside physicians to view the cuts to which the doctor replied, "He's a bloody mess, but I think he's fine."
Following the eighth round, the referee came to Popoca's corner and announced that he was stopping the fight. Popoca was disappointed with the stoppage, but the corner had been unable to stop the bleeding from either cut and their fighter had significant facial swelling.
- Jose Luis Castillo 63-11-1 (54 KOs) vs. Ivan Popoca 15-1-1 (10 KOs)
- Fight was on the undercard of Andrzej Fonfara vs. Glen Johnson.
- Popoca entered having not fought in 15 months following the first loss of his professional careeer, a televised fifth round knockout to Ruslan Provodnikov (18-1).
- Popoca was fighting at his heaviest since June of 2007.