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Cut Shuts Down Fight Early and Herrera Wins by Majority Decision

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LOS ANGELES-A junior welterweight showdown between Mauricio Herrera and Hank Lundy was stopped short by accidental head butts and cuts and went to the score cards with the Riverside fighter winning by technical majority decision on Saturday.

The crowd of 4,672 saw Golden Boy Promotions pull out all the stops at the L.A. Sports Arena and Herrera (22-5, 7 Kos) pull out a struggle against Philadelphia’s Lundy (25-5-1, 12 Kos) to win the NABF junior welterweight title. The shortened fight left some with an unfulfilled taste in mouth.

Lundy looked sharp and when the two engaged, Herrera emerged from the exchange with a welt and looked woozy as he kind of staggered around the ring in the first round. He immediately indicated that he was hit by Lundy’s head and referee Jack Reiss agreed.

“I kind of lost focus,” Herrera said. “I started finding my momentum and range later on.”

In the second round Lundy was able to connect with a couple of big shots as Herrera still seemed stunned from the initial clash of heads. He tried to fight his way out but Lundy was sharper and landed. Another exchange saw Herrera connect but he emerged with yet another cut alongside the left eye. Now both eyes were cut.

Lundy was hit with a double left hook but countered with a big left hand that snapped Herrera’s head back. The two exchanged again and Herrera began to bleed once more. The crispness in Herrera’s punches began to show.

“He couldn’t handle my speed, my power or my skills,” said Lundy.

In between rounds it looked like the fight might be stopped but it was allowed to proceed. Herrera’s jab began to connect and the combinations began to flow. The Riverside fighter began to look like his old self. Lundy was still in the fight but seemed a little puzzled.

Herrera moved inside and out and fired to the body and head. Lundy was on full defense but still dangerous. A body shot by Herrera landed flush and suddenly the referee stepped in and halted the action. He motioned to the doctor who looked at the cut closely and told referee Reiss to stop the fight at 2:09 of the fifth round. It went to the score cards where one judge ruled it 48-48 and the other two had it 48-47 for Herrera.

“I can’t see how deep the cut is but I physically feel fine,” Herrera said. “I can keep going. I feel like I was landing my body shots and wearing him down.”

Other bouts

South El Monte’s Jojo Diaz was smothered with blows and pressure from Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado from the second round on. Diaz scored a knockdown in the first round and that proved the difference on one judge’s score card. Alvarado forced Diaz to fight on his heels and against the ropes. Though the Nicaraguan didn’t punch hard he never stopped firing. Diaz landed left uppercuts but kept giving up ground to Alvarado. After 10 rounds the featherweight fight ended in a wide range of scores 98-91, 96-93, 95-94 for Diaz. Fans booed the decision.

“I felt great. I knew Alvarado was going to bring it and we fought ten hard rounds. But, I landed the bigger shots, the harder shots, and that made the difference,” said Diaz.

Alvarado didn’t agree.

“I think it was an exciting fight, a fight for the people. I was his first big test and he did a good job. But, I feel that I dominated the fight and the win should have been mine,” said Nicaragua’s Alvarado. “This fight should have been for Nicaragua.” [Regarding the second round]: “It wasn’t a knockdown. I tripped. I wasn’t hurt. This fight should have been mine.”

New Jersey’s Mike Perez (23-1-2, 11 Kos) fought past the head butts and holding and scored a knockout at 1:20 of the sixth round over Mexico’s Luis Sanchez (17-4-1, 5 Kos). Perez was cut on the head at least three times and had blood streaming down his head for at least three rounds. A short, stiff left jab sent Sanchez to the ground and he couldn’t recover. Referee Raul Caiz counted him out. Overall it was not a fan pleasing fight as Sanchez continued to hold most of the fight.

Ireland’s Jason Quigley (7-0, 7 Kos) walked into the ring against Michigan’s Tom Howard (8-4, 4 Kos) with but a peep of fanfare. But after two knockdowns and a sizzling combination in the second round the crowd cheered wildly for the Irish middleweight’s knockout win.

Quigley walked forward at the sound of the opening bell with offense on his mind and quickly snapped Howard’s head back with a stiff jab. The Irish slugger moved in carefully with his guard up, not too high, and calmly picked apart Howard’s defense in the first round.

Quigley opened up the second round a little more aggressively as Howard seemed to try and gain respect with a few well intentioned punches. Quigley retaliated with an overhand right that turned Howard around and down to the floor. The force of the blow was fierce and when Howard rose up to his feet the crowd seemed a little surprised. Quigley moved in to attack and fired an overhand right, left and right that sent Howard tumbling down for the count again. He got up. Quigley moved in with a three-punch combination that turned Howard around and the referee stepped in a waved the fight over at 1:21 of the second round. Quigley won his seventh consecutive fight by knockout.

“I always prepare to go to the scorecard at every fight. But, once I see a weakness and opportunity, I have to take him out,” said Quigley of Donegal, Ireland. “Boxing is one of those sports where there are no second chances. No do-overs. You just gotta take that chance. And, it’s a good feeling to know that you can take that chance over the course of a fight with one shot.”

South Central L.A.’s Ivan Delgado (6-0-1, 2 Kos) and Puerto Rico’s Angel Albelo (4-8-3) put on a good show for the fans with their willingness to give and take. Delgado eventually found the range in the last four rounds and pulled away with more effectiveness.

Brooklyn’s Zach Ochoa (12-0, 5 Kos) walked into a West Coast arena for the first time in his pro career knowing he had the speed advantage but Oxnard’s David Rodela (17-11-4) showed his experience and ability in their eight round welterweight tumble. The match went the entire eight rounds with Ochoa speed proving the difference on all three score cards 79-73.

L.A. fighter Nick Arce (4-0, 4 Kos) poured on the punches against San Antonio’s Ricardo Alvarado (7-7, 6 KOs) in the second round. And when a left uppercut and two more blows connected, referee Wayne Hegdepeth stopped the fight at 1:20 to the surprise and anger of the crowd. Fans booed the early stoppage and cheered Alvarado.

“I was ready to fight. I had prepared for this moment but you got to respect the referee’s decision,” Arce said. “The guy wasn’t throwing back so the referee decided to stop the fight. He is the third man in the ring and you have to do what he tells you to keep this sport safe.”

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Tanaka vs. Kimora: A Monday Morning Treat For Serious Fight Fans

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Kosei Tanaka was just 4-0 the first time he was appraised on The Sweet Science back in 2015; the question then was, is Tanaka the world’s brightest boxing prospect? The question now is whether or not Tanaka is about to add a strap at a third weight to an already glittering career that has seen him annex belts at 105 and 108lbs in just his first eight fights.

Now 11-0 with seven knockouts he prepares, this coming Monday, to duel Sho Kimura in Nagoya, Japan and with a lot more than just the WBO trinket on the line.

Hearts and minds, as always, translate into dollars and yen. The winner of this all-Japanese contest will find himself buoyed in fame, glory and gold in his home country, which also happens to be one of the few places on the planet where a boxer can collect a small fortune without ever leaving his native shores. Should the winner dare to dream a wider dream, then that too can be facilitated by the win.  Even fistic denizens of boxing strongholds in Japan and Britain feel a shiver run down their spines when the words “Las Vegas headliner” are whispered into their ear.

The favored man among the hardcore in the west is Tanaka. He is still very young at just twenty-three years old and is slick and quick, what the west expects of a Japanese force. Interestingly enough, however, the Japanese seem to be leaning towards Kimura: older, at twenty-nine, armed with a superb work-rate, good power, limited technique but the conqueror of Chinese superstar Shiming Zou who he stopped in the summer of 2017. Zou may have had his bubble burst by the Thai brawler Amnat Ruenroeng in 2015, but it was Kimura who sent him stumbling into retirement and at a time when the talk was of China stealing Japan’s thunder as boxing’s home in the east.

Kimura was indeed impressive that night in Shanghai. He maintained pressure with wonderful variety, eschewing the jab, perhaps, for spells, but filling those gaps with an assortment of wonderful punches, most of all his body attack, which was persistent, withering, and apparently went unscored by two of the three judges who somehow had the Chinese ahead at the time of the eleventh round stoppage. Zou had shown a skill for flurrying while fleeing and Kimura had shown him how to fight.

Now a strapholder at 112lbs, Kimura staged two defenses in the following twelve months. The first was against Toshiyuki Igarashi, the man who beat Sonny Boy Jaro, the man who had beaten the superb champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam before a softer fight against Froilan Saludar. He won both by stoppage.

Kimura, then, rather came from nowhere but made the most of his arrival. What he displayed in all three of these fights was a determination to offer pressure and footwork educated enough to do it while taking many fewer steps than his harried opponent. A tad overrated as a puncher, I suspect, he places himself in hitting position often enough that his default fight plan – chase, harass, throw – makes him capable of hurting his opponents by way of persistence and pressure.

He left Zou, Igarashi and Saludar, broken in his wake.

In short, he is the type of opponent Kosei Tanaka has been waiting for.

There have been calls for Tanaka to be considered a pound-for-pound talent should he overcome Kimura this Monday. I understand the impulse. Tanaka, were he to triumph, would become a three-weight world champion and he hails from a boxing territory which has little direct control over the meaningful pound-for-pound lists, if such a statement is not a contradiction in terms.

In short, it is felt he would be undervalued.

Tempering these calls is the fact that he has never beaten a divisional number one and that Kimura would be, by far, the best opponent he would have bested, and the most proven. Some Tanaka opponents have come good after he defeated them, some were ranked in the lower reaches of their respective divisional top tens when he matched them, but none are scalps as impressive as those dangled by the likes of Errol Spence or Anthony Joshua, who populate the nine, ten and eleven spots in reputable lists.

But this is neither here nor there; the key is not what Kimura does not represent, it is what he does represent. He is the best that Tanaka has met and, I would argue, the first truly elite fighter that Tanaka has met. He is the litmus test and he is one with a stylistic advantage.

Tanaka can punch. Here we will find out whether or not he punches hard enough to keep Kimura off him. Personally, I doubt it and that means that Kimura is going to hand him a serious gut check.

Interestingly, it will not be Tanaka’s first. The first time I wrote about him I stressed that his chin was essentially untested. That is no longer true. Tanaka, who is reasonably sound defensively, can be lazy in minding himself and foolish in pursuing the attack.

Thai puncher Rangsan Chayanram checked him in 2017, delivering a serious eye injury among other ignominies before succumbing in nine; puncher Angel Acosta, a ranked fighter if not a great one, hit and hurt Tanaka repeatedly late in their 2017 contest. If Tanaka has been learning these lessons, expectations concerning his potential may be realized. If he is not, he will fall short. Kimura is the man to test him.

Kimura’s experience and seemingly limitless twelve-round stamina are to be pitted against Tanaka’s skill, proven heart and taut footwork. It sees a superior technician – Tanaka – who has shown a propensity for being drawn into a cruder fighter’s wheelhouse matching an aggressive stalker – Kimura – who specializes in drawing technically superior foes into knockdown-drag-out scraps.

It is framed both as a fight that is likely to finish a future pound-for-pounder’s education and a fight where a young pretender is found out by a grizzled veteran.

Best of all, it is a fight that fight fans can watch for free, simply by clicking here.  The Asian Boxing website has secured exclusive international rights to the fight and will broadcasting it, free of charge, to anyone with an internet connection. As can be seen here, the fight is due to start at 4pm Japanese time.

All the reader has to do is find out what that means for timing in their own corner of the globe and a potential fight of the year will unfold before his or her eyes free of charge.

World class boxing being broadcast for free and including two of the best below 115lbs; a stylistic crossroads contest that opens up the on-ramp to pound-for-pound recognition for at least one of the combatants – on a Monday.  All facts worth keeping in mind the next time that someone tells you boxing’s prime was any number of decades ago.

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Fast Results From London: Joshua Takes Out Povetkin in the 7th

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UK sporting

It was a very wet night at Wembley Stadium, but the dampness didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the crowd which welcomed UK sporting hero Anthony Joshua into the ring with a thunderous ovation. And Joshua didn’t disappoint. After six relatively even rounds, he found his range in the seventh and became the first man to stop Alexander Povetkin. A three punch combo that began with an overhand right sent Povetkin sprawling into the ropes. The Russian beat the count, but Joshua smelled blood and as soon as the ref allowed the proceedings to continue he moved in for the kill. The official time was 1:59.

Povetkin started fast and in the eyes of many observers won the first three rounds. A sharp right hand in the waning seconds of round one reddened Joshua’s nose which leaked blood in the next round. The tide began to turn in round four when Povetkin suffered a cut above his left eye.

Povetkin (now 34-2), was the lighter man by 23 pounds. Joshua had a four inch height advantage and a seven inch reach advantage. And it mattered greatly that AJ was the younger man by 10-plus years. Povetkin wasn’t intimidated by Joshua and had several good moments but, at age 39, his reflexes betrayed him once the fight had crossed the midpoint.

Joshua, who owns three of the four meaningful heavyweight title belts, improved to 22-0 with his 21st stoppage. His next fight is penciled in for April 13 of next year against an opponent to be determined. His promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved that date at Wembley Stadium.

Other Bouts

In a 12-round lightweight bout, Joshua’s Olympic Games teammate and fellow gold medalist Luke Campbell (19-2) avenged the first loss of his career with a unanimous decision (119-109, 118-111,116-112) over France’s Yvan Mendy (40-5-1). This was Campbell’s second start since coming up short in a bid for Jorge Linares’s lightweight title and his first fight under his new trainer Shane McGuigan.

In their first meeting in December of 2015 at London’s O2 Arena, Mendy won a split decision that should have been unanimous. Campbell insisted that he had improved greatly in the interim and tonight’s fight bore witness. However, he needs to develop a harder punch to rank among the top lightweights in the world, a list headed by Mikey Garcia. As this fight was framed as a WBC title eliminator, Campbell is next in line to meet Garcia, but Mikey has indicated that he will pursue bigger game.

Lawrence Okolie, a 2016 Olympian who trains with Anthony Joshua, won a Lonsdale belt in only his 10th pro start with a 12-round decision over defending BBBofC cruiserweight champion Matty Askin in a messy fight. The undefeated Okolie had a point deducted in round five for leading with his head and had two more points deducted for holding, but banked enough rounds to get the nod on all three cards: 116-110, 114-112, and 114-113. Askin, who declined to 23-4-1, had won five straight heading in.

A 10-round heavyweight match between Sergey Kuzmin (13-0, 1 NC) and David Price (22-6) ended suddenly when Price retired on his stool after four relatively even rounds. The six-foot-eight, china-chinned Price claimed to have aggravated a biceps tear.

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

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Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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