Alberto Machado KO’s Yuandale Evans in opening round at Madison Square Garden

Alberto Machado made a blistering defence of his WBA super-featherweight title, blasting Yuandale Evans away inside the opening round.

The Puerto Rican southpaw, managed by Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto, had Evans down twice before he finished him off 2mins 25secs in, at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Machado towered over his challenger from the start and with little more than a minute gone, a right-hook teed up a hard overhand left that put the American down.

Evans made it up and somehow withstood a six-punch barrage only to touch down again and was in all sorts of trouble before it ended.

Again Machado’s left did the damage, this time a cracking uppercut left the American on his back and referee Ricky Gonzalez called it off without needing another count.

It was only Machado’s second defence but ‘El Explosivo’ immediately called for a unification fight with WBC holder, Miguel Berchelt.

“I can be the best and I want to be the champion and be the No 1 in the world, but Miguel Berchelt could be the one,” he told HBO.

“Why not make a Mexico-Puerto Rico fight?”

The first of three world-title fights at the MSG saw Heather Hardy fulfil a dream and out-point Shelly Vincent to win the WBO Female featherweight title.

The unbeaten Brooklynite looked bigger, stronger and sharper in a bustling 10-round scrap, and took it comfortably 97-93, 97-93, 99-91.

Watch Usyk vs Bellew for the undisputed cruiserweight title, at Manchester Arena, on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it online here.

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