Four years after Felix Alvarado failed in two attempts to win a world title, he has finally achieved his dream of becoming a world champion with a career-best performance.
Traveling to the Philippines, Alvarado stopped Randy Petalcorin to win the vacant IBF light flyweight title. The stoppage came after Alvarado knocked Petalcorin down three times in the seventh round alone. The fight was streamed in the United States on ESPN+.
The fight was an action-packed fun that had both men throw hundreds of power punches in just the span of the first few rounds. Petalcorin had arguably his best punches in the first round when he landed a pair of right hooks that stunned Alvarado. Alvarado recovered and threw a flurry of punches to Petalcorin’s ribs to end the round.
Alvarado continued attacking the body throughout the fight while Petalcorin tried to counter. Alvarado’s body punches would continue breaking down Petalcorin until he started going down in the seventh round. The first knockdown came with a combination of punches to the body that ended with a right hook upstairs. The second knockdown came in seconds after Petalcorin got back up. Alvarado ended the fight with a third knockdown thanks to another combination of punches.
The title was originally held by unified champion Hekkie Budler, but after a purse bid between Budler and Alvarado produced an abysmal winning bid of $25,000. This meant that Budler was only getting an $18,750 purse while Alvarado would only get $6,250.
As the new IBF champion, Alvarado joins Budler (WBA “super”), Carlos Canizales (WBA “regular”), Angel Acosta (WBO) and Ken Shiro (WBC) as world champions at 108 pounds. Alvarado previously challenged for the WBA light flyweight and flyweight titles in 2014, losing to Kazuto Ioka and Juan Carlos Reveco, respectively. Alvarado is now the fourth different IBF world champion at 108 pounds since the start of 2017.