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Will Adamek-Cunningham II Float As Network TV Test Balloon?

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Adamek is a 4 to 1 favorite, as the oddsmakers figure he is more natural at heavyweight than Cunningham is. Readers, who do you like in this rumble? (photo by Kubikfoto)

Boxing on free, over-the-air network television is going back to the future for the second consecutive weekend. This past Saturday afternoon, CBS floated a 235¼ -pound test balloon – that would be the combined weights of IBF bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz and challenger Alberto Guevara, who duked it out in the Los Angeles Sports Arena — with Santa Cruz retaining his title on a wide unanimous decision.

This Saturday afternoon, at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., heavyweights Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham collectively are a 430-pound balloon attempting to lift off in what might be an even more consequential experiment to see if fights and fighters still have a place in the non-cable and non-satellite sports universe.

If the NBC ratings are reasonably favorable – and they just might be, if Adamek and Cunningham generate anything close to the heat of their scintillating Dec. 11, 2008, slugfest, in which Adamek claimed Cunningham’s IBF cruiserweight title on a split decision — boxing on Saturday afternoons may again be revived after long years of being almost exclusively consigned to cable, premium cable and pay-per-view.

Not that anyone would care to admit it, but the future of an increasingly marginalized sport could well hinge on whether those potentially larger audiences have their appetites whetted by the sight of gloved boxers pounding away at one another on a roped-off swatch of canvas.

“It’s a great matchup,” co-promoter Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, said of Adamek-Cunningham II. “When their first fight (which was staged at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and televised by Versus) ended, I remember saying, `We just promoted the two best cruiserweight bouts of all time,’ the other, in her opinion, being the first meeting of Evander Holyfield and Dwight Muhammad Qawi, in which Holyfield claimed Qawi’s WBA crown on a rousing split decision on July 12, 1986, in Atlanta.

Any list of all-time great cruiser wars would have to include the April 26, 2003, pairing of Vassiliy Jirov and James Toney in Mashantucket, Conn., in which Toney wrested Jirov’s IBF strap on a unanimous decision – but Duva’s point is basically well taken. It wouldn’t just be a good thing if Adamek and Cunningham recreate some of the magic they made four years earlier; it is almost essential if the seed they, Santa Cruz and Guevara planted is to grow and flourish.

“This fight, we hope, is a bridge from the NBC Sports Network cable series to regular NBC dates,” Duva continued. “It’s a natural progression. Hopefully, it’ll be the first of many such shows. There are 129 million TV homes in the United States that can get NBC. You can’t say that about anything that’s on the cable systems. HBO is in about – and forgive me if I’m a little off on the numbers – 25 to 30 million homes. Showtime is in 22 million homes. Even ESPN, which has the widest distribution of any cable network that does boxing, is only in about 90 million U.S. homes.

“We have an opportunity here to reach almost everyone in the country. There are a lot of people who can’t watch boxing because they don’t have cable or don’t subscribe to HBO or Showtime. For those people, it’s like the sport doesn’t even exist. That’s why we chose (Adamek-Cunningham II) – because it figures to be all-action, like the last one. When people are flipping through the channels on Saturday afternoon, we want them to stop when they come across this fight. We want them to keep watching and to get excited about what they’re seeing. Not to overstate the case or anything, but we can build a new generation of fans if this catches on like I think it can.”

While Duva’s assessment might be dismissed as typical public-relations hype – she started out in the boxing business as a flack for Main Events in the early 1980s when her now-deceased husband, Dan Duva, was the company’s CEO – it is more or less seconded by legions of increasingly disenchanted fight fans who remember the way it used to be, when big names like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and others helped build their reputations and immense followings with Saturday afternoon network appearances.

On theboxingpalace.forumotion.com, a web site which allows John Q. Public to respond to boxing-related questions, one such query wondered which as-of-yet-unmade fights might benefit from the sort of over-the-air network exposure provided to Santa Cruz-Guevara and Adamek-Cunningham II.

One poster wrote: What boxing matches on Network TV would succeed? Promoters lost track of the fact that you need to build an audience before people will care enough to buy a major fight on PPV. So, the level of what’s considered a “major” fight is so diluted that anything better than all right is buried on PPV where casual and potential new fans will never see it.

So you, the fight-loving everyman, have spoken, and the powers-that-be, those with the wherewithal to effect meaningful change, are listening, or so it would seem.

In an interview with RingTV.com’s Joseph Santoliquito, Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network, ruminated on the long absence of boxing from the broadcast networks. Santa Cruz-Guevara, with a Showtime boxing crew calling the action (CBS and Showtime both are owned by Viacom), was the first fight on CBS since Bernard Hopkins retained his IBF middleweight championship on an 11th-round stoppage of Glen Johnson on July 20, 1997, in Indio Springs, Calif.

“I think network boxing disappeared because the promoters, and quite honestly, the fighters, were more concerned about a payday than growing their fights and growing their sport,” Miller told Santoliquito. “Boxing just migrated to cable from there, then eventually to pay cable, choking off any kind of development for a good, young fighter to build a fan base.”

Miller had reason to be at least a bit skeptical that his company’s most recent foray into the fight game would be any more successful than the last. Adamek-Cunningham II is the first boxing match on NBC since 2004, and the first hint at anything resembling regular dates since the sport began being phased out in the late 1990s for the reasons Miller has already outlined. Even the first smaller test balloon tossed up by the fledgling NBC Sports Network nearly a year ago was blown a bit off-course by the unfavorable winds of change that can come out of nowhere, and frequently do.

The NBC Sports Group had acquired the ratings-poor Versus and 12 of Comcast’s regional sports networks when the decision was made, with a goal of helping fill all those programming hours, to launch the four-bout “Fight Night” series on the former Versus, now renamed NBC Sports Network. The first main event, on Jan. 21, 2012, was to have been an attractive matchup of heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers and former WBO heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich at the Asylum Arena in South Philadelphia.

But Chambers pulled out on short notice with an injury, and Liakhovich also withdrew, leaving Kathy Duva and matchmaker J Russell Peltz scrambling to come up with at least a semi-attractive bout to headline. What they finagled was an all-Philly showdown of undefeated but below-the-radar young heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Maurice Byarm, which, on paper, didn’t appear to be nearly as appealing as Chambers-Liakhovich.

What could have proved a disaster turned out to be an unexpected gem when Jennings outpointed Byarm in a crowd-pleaser. Jennings then stopped Liakhovich, also on the NBC Sports Network, and on the strength of three more victories – the most recent a fifth-round, one-punch knockout of Bowie Tupou on Dec. 8, which, natch, was televised by the NBC Sports Network – he has moved up to No. 5 in the IBF heavyweight ratings. Five-time Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, who has ties to Jennings, went so far as to proclaim the onetime standout high school defensive end as this country’s top heavyweight prospect.

Hey, when presented with lemons, the resourceful person makes lemonade. And Duva is nothing if not resourceful.

Which brings us back to Adamek-Cunningham II, and the differences between where they were then and where they are now. It is a tale of opportunities presented and capitalized upon, which is, after all, the basis for virtually every boxing success story.

“I’m not going to underestimate him this time,” Cunningham said of how he expects this second go-round to transpire. “I didn’t underestimate him a lot in the first fight, but my trainer at the time, Anthony Chase (his chief second is now Naazim Richardson), thought he saw things we could turn to our advantage. We didn’t think he could outbox us, and I do think for the most part we won the boxing end of it. But Adamek was durable – more durable than we thought. We didn’t realize he’s as strong as he is, and that he had such a good chin.

“I made mistakes. I know that now. One was that I wanted to be a star. I wanted to put on a big splash. I wanted to put a big hurt on the dude. When Adamek knocked me down the first time, my strategy went out the window. I just fought harder. A lot of people applauded my heart, but what else was I going to do? Lay down and quit?”

What’s different this time is that Adamek (47-2, 29 KOs) and Cunningham (25-4, 12 KOs) are heavyweights, toiling in the most traditional glamor division, instead of on the cruiserweight back streets. That seemingly is to the disadvantage of Cunningham, who was a taut and trim 207 pounds for his only previous bout as a heavy, and isn’t expected to be much higher when he enters the ring on Saturday. Adamek, on the other hand, has come in as high as 225 pounds, with 10 outings as a heavyweight, including a 10th-round TKO loss to WBC champ Vitali Klitschko on Sept. 10, 2011. He has a size, strength and experience advantage in the division over Cunningham, which helps explain why he’s a 4-1 favorite.

But Duva, who now has a promotional interest in both fighters, believes a lot of that magic from 2008 will carry over. That might be a case of wishful thinking, but who could blame her for feeling that way? So much is on the line this time around, not only for the fighters but maybe for the sport of boxing itself.

“So much in our business rides on what the heavyweights do,” Duva acknowledged. “That’s always been so. Part of our mission on the NBC Sports Network, and now on NBC, is to exhibit the heavyweights.

“I can’t predict the number of eyeballs that are going to watch this fight, but it will be exponentially higher than the first time. I will be very pleased if we get something equal or close to what we got from these guys before. The electricity that night was incredible. We need more of that. Boxing needs more of that.”

 

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Amanda Serrano and Jake Paul Vanquish Overmatched Foes in Tampa

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Amanda “the Real Deal” Serrano mowed through knockout puncher Stevie Morgan in less than two rounds on Saturday and Jake Paul soundly defeated bare knuckle champion Mike Perry by knockout too.

Paul and Serrano move on to bigger things.

“It’s feels great, it feels amazing. My 50th fight, my 31st knockout, I’m super blessed,” said Serrano.

Despite jumping up three weight divisions Serrano (47-2-1, 31 KOs) showed more than 17,000 fans and Morgan (14-2, 13 KOs) at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, how she was able to win seven weight divisions.

Fans and perhaps Katie Taylor breathed a sigh of relief that Serrano is truly back. In Serrano’s last fight she was forced to withdraw back in March due to an accident to her eye moments before a fight. Now the Puerto Rican and Irish super stars will meet in Texas on November 15.

Fans can expect a rematch of one of the greatest fights of all time.

Tonight, before walking into the boxing ring, Morgan had commented that of all the top female fighters Serrano was low hanging fruit. The Puerto Rican legend merely shrugged her shoulders and replied that she lets her fists do the talking.

Both fighters hesitated touching gloves but did. After that, Serrano immediately went into assassin’s mode and moved forward while punching like a finely tuned hemi-engine. Morgan tried to keep up but discovered Serrano was not easy to hit.

Serrano moved forward smoothly while slipping and punching. A stiff looking Morgan, whose legs seemed unbent, tried to fend off the Puerto Rican champion’s blows but was smacked repeatedly in the first round with lefts and rights.

When the bell rang to end the first round, it was obvious that Morgan was overmatched.

As the second round commenced Serrano immediately slipped into attack gear behind her southpaw defensive guard. Once again, she fired combinations while moving quickly forward against the taller Morgan.

It was even worse than the first round as Serrano unloaded a dozen unanswered blows forcing the referee to stop the fight at 38 seconds of the second round.

“I think these girls were mistaking my kindness for weakness,” said Serrano. “If you’re not on my level that’s what happens.”

Morgan quickly learned she’s not on the championship level.

“Stevie Morgan just started a little while ago. I knew it would have been a little too much for her,” said Serrano. “My hat goes off to her. It’s not easy.”

Now it’s on to Katie Taylor.

Jake Paul KOs Mike Perry

In the co-main event Jake Paul (10-1, 7 KOs) floored Mike Perry (6-1) the Bare Knuckle Champion in the first and second round of the cruiserweight fight. And then battered the smaller fighter with a jolting jab to the body and head that opened up cuts on the former MMA fighter.

Paul continued to show improvement and proved once again that whether its MMA or Bare Knuckle fighting, his boxing skills are superior to their combat champions.

“Man, he’s tough as nails. I’m sorry it took so long. Respect man. He’s the king of violence,” said Paul about his fallen foe whose nickname is the “King of Violence.”

Paul attacked the body with a strong left jab while circling slowly left and right. Perry stood straight up with a low guard and his chin up. Paul hit that chin repeatedly and eventually cracked it in the fifth round.

Perry survived.

In the sixth round the bigger blonde fighter Paul bludgeoned Perry with another left jab and then opened with a barrage of blows that blasted the bare knuckle fighter to the canvas. Though he beat the count, he stumbled and the referee stopped the fight at 1:12 of the sixth round.

“I kind of expected that,” said Paul.

Perry was honest about the outcome.

“I tried man, but the kid hit me hard,” said Perry.

Now it’s on to Mike Tyson on November 15 in Arlington, Texas.

“Mike. I love you. But this is my sport now. I’m so honored but I’m going to take your throne.”

Other Bouts

A lightweight battle between undefeated fighters saw Canada’s Lucas Bahdi (17-0, 15 KOs) lose every round until he unloaded a three-punch combination that rendered Ashton Sylve (11-1, 9 KOs) unconscious before he hit the canvas.

Sylve utilized his speed and counters for five rounds and seemed to cruise for five years. But Bahdi showed a good chin especially against lightning uppercuts that sneaked through the guard.

“He’s very twitchy and very quick. I was trying to get to his body early on,” said Bahdi. “He’s very fast and has good counter punches.

In the sixth round Sylve was opening up a little more with his hands down and Bahdi saw the opening and quickly launched a right followed by a left hook that knocked out Sylve before he hit the floor at 2:27 of the sixth round.

“I knew his head’s there in the center all the time,” said Bahdi. “I think I stole the show tonight.”

Prelim Bouts

A rematch between lightweights saw Corey Marksman (10-0-1) win by majority decision against Tony Aguilar (12-1-1) in a back-and-forth battle. Marksman out-worked Aguilar with an especially effective counter-right that scored repeatedly. Their first encounter last February ended in a draw.

Shadasia Green (14-1, 11 KOs) stumbled a bit but got the win against Natasha Spence (8-5-2) to win by unanimous decision in a super middleweight. It was her first fight since losing to Franchon Crews-Dezurn for the world title.

Green was cruising for most of the fight behind a sharp jab and rights to the body but during an offensive out burst Spence caught her with a counter right and floored her in the seventh. It was half punch and half slip, but she was knocked down.

Though Green did not get a knockout she emerged with the win 78-73, 77-74 twice.

“I had fun in there tonight,” said Green. “I belong at the top with the best.”

Alexis Chaparro (2-0) knocked out Kevin Hill (1-2) with a five-punch combination at 2:01 of the second round in a middleweight fight.

Angel Barrientes (12-1) defeated Edwin Rodriguez (12-9-2) by majority decision after six rounds in a super bantamweight fight. The scores were 57-57, 60-54 twice for Barrientes who resides in Las Vegas.

Photo credit: Esther Lin / MVP Promotions

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Nakatani Strengthens his Pound-for-Pound Credentials: Blasts Out Astrolabio

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Junto Nakatani is the best 118-pound boxer in the world. Tonight, in Tokyo, he reinforced that judgment with a first-round knockout of Vincent Astrolabio at Japan’s national sumo arena. A short left to the solar plexus left the Filipino writhing on the canvas. He tried to rise but fell back down, forcing referee Tom Taylor to waive it off. It was all over in less than three minutes, 2:37 to be precise. Nakatani (28-0, 21 KOs) was making the first defense of his WBO bantamweight title after previously winning title belts at 112 and 115.

Tall for the weight class at five-foot-seven-and-a-half, the 26-year-old Japanese southpaw produced his second highlight reel knockout in his last four fights. The first come in May of last year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas where he scored a frightening, 12th-round one-punch knockout of Andrew Moloney.

Nakatani won’t have to travel far to unify the belt. The other three current bantamweight champions are also Japanese. Down the road, potentially, is a showdown with countryman Naoya Inoue. That match, should it transpire, would be the biggest domestic fight in Japanese boxing history. Astrolabio, who had been stopped only once previously and was making his second stab at a world title, declined to 18-5.

Other Title Fight

LA’s Anthony Olascuaga, a stablemate of Nakatani (both train in LA under the tutelage of Rudy Hernandez), won the vacant WBO flyweight title with a third-round stoppage of Riku Kanu. A left uppercut put Kano (22-5) on the deck for the full count. The official time was 2:50 of round three.

Olascuaga (7-1, 5 KOs) was rucked out of obscurity in April of last year when he dropped down a weight class and performed far better than expected, albeit in a losing effort, against Kenshiro Teraji, a fight that he took on 10 days’ notice. Despite his inexperience and the locale, the LA fighter entered the ring a consensus 3/1 favorite over Kanu.

Also

In his first 10-rounder, ever-improving Tenshin Nasukawa (4-0, 2 KOs) stopped U.S. invader Jonathan Rodriguez in the third round. Five unanswered punches climaxed by a straight left ended matters at the 1:49 mark. The bout was contested at a catchweight of 120 pounds.

Nasukawa, a baby-faced, 25-year-old southpaw, transitioned to boxing after becoming famous in Japan for his kickboxing exploits. His first foray into boxing was an exhibition with Floyd Mayweather who knocked him out in the opening round, but he’s made considerable progress since then.

Against Rodriguez, Nasakawa was dominant from the get-go. Rodriguez was in dire straits as the second round ended. The first fighter from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to fight in Japan, Rodriguez (17-3-1) joins the ranks of one-hit wonders. He scored a shocking first-round KO of former title-holder Khalid Yafai, but then lost his very next fight en route to this affair.

The promotion lost a bit of luster when the title fight between WBO 115-pound belt-holder Kosei Tanaka and Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Rodriguez (no relation to Nasukawa’s opponent of the same name) fell out when Rodriguez weighed a staggering six pounds over the limit.

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Results and Recaps from Fantasy Springs where Rocha Topped Dominguez

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Ringside Report by TSS Special Correspondent Raymundo Dioses…INDIO, CA – Alexis Rocha faced off against undefeated Santiago Dominguez and earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win for the NABO welterweight title on July 19, 2024 at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in a live event presented by DAZN.  The 10-round fight featured plenty of action on a hot night where temperature hit 111 degrees in the Southern California desert.

Rocha, (25-2, 16 KOs) looked to time Dominguez early on and began to throw in combinations leading to his impressive win. Dominguez would press Rocha against the ropes seeking some shots of his own in a fight which swayed back and forth until Rocha was able to find a late rhythm towards the end of the bout.

Rocha began to back up Dominguez, (27-1, 20 KOs) with shots and catch openings while on the inside, with Dominguez steadily slowing from the effects of Rocha’s shots. Rocha kept his hands busy and would catch Dominguez when he would step outside of range, and he began to control the middle of the ring and the terms of the fight as the bout progressed.

Judge Fernando Villareal had it 98-92 while Carla Caiz and Pat Russell scored the bout 99-91 for Rocha, who now finds himself in title contention in the 147-pound division.

“I wanted to show everyone that I’m not just a banger, I can use my IQ in there and that’s what I needed,” said  Rocha. “I knew Dominguez was going to come forward, he just keeps coming, so that’s what I wanted to show. It’s more about my brains from now on. I want to be very aware in the ring, and I want to use my brains. That’s all you’re going to see moving forward. I have a great team behind me, Golden Boy, and we’re just going to see what’s next. I’m right there. I’m knocking on the door still. The belts are gonna be open anytime soon, so I’m just knocking on the door right now.”

The fighters utilized combinations effectively and often, landing on even terms until Rocha found his timing in the second half of the fight and sealed the win.  A solid left hook from Rocha paused Dominguez in his tracks as Rocha began to close in and slow the return fire from Dominguez.

A one-two combination to the chin landed for Dominguez to begin the seventh round. The action moved to center ring with the fighter’s trading shots which got the fans cheering.  Rocha threw a combination and landed a straight-right hand which was effective throughout the contest.

A combination of punches nearly had Dominguez down in the later rounds yet Dominguez would bounce back and punch Rocha to the ropes. There was more middle ring trading as the fight unfolded and both fighters would find offense with Rocha getting the better of the action.

Rocha often fought through a jab to the head and body of Dominguez.  A head-body combination worked for Rocha, and one-two combinations followed by body shots came from Rocha who was making headway as the more offensively scoring fighter.

Time was called by referee Ray Corona in the final round as Dominguez was punched on the leg, and once the action resumed a series of trading resulted in Rocha landing the last punch. Rocha not only landed at will in the last half of the fight, he began to make Dominguez miss and matters ended after ten completed rounds with the fighters throwing as the ten second bell ticked.

Rocha, the youngest fighter to win a gold medal at the junior Olympics at age 14, began his pro career in 2016 fighting under the Golden Boy Promotions banner and the Californian went 16-0 before losing to Rashidi Ellis in October 2020.  Rocha would not lose again until three years later in an all-California match-up against Giovani Santillan in October 2023.  He is the younger brother of former world title challenger Ronny Rios.

Rocha would lose the Santillan fight via knockout loss, yet the new NABO titleholder had a bounce-back win in March 2024 over Frederick Lawson leading into the Dominguez fight.

CO-FEATURE

The nights co-main event saw Gregory Morales, (17-1, 9 KOs) defeat Jayvon Garnett over 10 rounds after a fast start, slow ending type fight in the featherweight division.

Round one was a feeler type affair for both combatants with each fighter seeking to gain ground. The pot-shotting continued into the second round until Morales, who last fought to a decision win on the January 2024 Jaime Munguia-John Ryder tilt in Arizona, was able to put his punches together via combinations.

Garnett landed a combination of his own to begin rounds two and three, and Cincinnati, Ohio’s Garnett proceeded to let his hands go as round three wore on. Busy hands lead to good things in the boxing ring. The fight then swung slightly in Morales’ favor at the 10-second mark of the round with a few punches followed by an audible body shot.

The body shots thrown with both hands continued from Morales in round four which Garnett taunted as non-effective. Morales marched forward and resumed his body attack. Garnett kept busy midway through the fight yet Morales kept composed and pressed forward despite the offense of Garnett. A big shot came from Garnett which did not faze Morales in the sixth round and Morales was able to answer as the round ended.

The action dulled in round seven with fighter fatigue setting in. Morales was finally able to back up Garnett (10-2, 5 KOs) in the eighth round with right hands and in the ninth Morales continued to press Garnett against the ropes. Shots were landed from both fighters near the end of the round.

The final frame was a ‘who wants it more’ type of three minutes with the fighters each wanting to either score a stoppage or win a pivotal round on the judge’s scorecards. The round ended with respect as the fighter’s traded pleasantries after trading blows for 10 rounds.

Scorecards were 96-94, 98-92 and 99-91 all for Morales.

COACHELLA’S FLORES REMAINS UNDEFEATED WITH KO OVER MEZA

The Coachella Valley’s hot prospect Grant Flores scored an impressive stoppage win over Juan Meza in a super welterweight fight.

At the outset Flores, (6-0, 5 KOs) timed Meza well, gauging the distance of his opponent which led to a stirring right hand to end the first round. Flores rocked Meza again in the second round and Meza showed signs of fatigue. Fiery right hands rocked Meza into the red corner and after a few more shots referee Ray Corona had seen enough and waved off the fight at 1:54 of round two.

At a ripe age of 19, Flores is trained by noted trainer Joel Diaz and impressively fought just three weeks ago at the same venue, registering a knockout over Josias Gonzalez on the June 27, 2024 Golden Boy Fight Night card.

CHAVEZ DEFEATS KITANI IN FIGHT OF THE NIGHT

In a tightly contested featherweight matchup Jorge Chavez, (12-0, 8 KOs) and Riku Kitani earned fight of the night honors in their entertaining six-round featherweight bout which resulted in a decision win for Chavez.

The fist throwers battled on even terms and lived up to the featherweight division way of punches in bunches. The action was mostly in the middle of the ring with each fighter connecting and trading.  Each three-minute round was used as a battleground for the fighters.

A clash of heads midway through the fight briefly stopped the action in round four. Chavez threw the classic one-two combination throughout the fight, yet Kitani, (8-3, 3 KOs) would answer with shots of his own.  Referee Raymond Armendariz had the fighters tap each other’s gloves to begin the final round which saw Chavez stalk and land, and Kitani counter-punch in a fight that ended with cheers from the crowd.

Scores were all for Chavez at 60-54.

HOMETOWN FAVORITE LUA WOWS CROWD WITH KO OVER OLGUIN

In the opening televised bout, Indio, California native Bryan Lua, (10-0, 5 KOs) dominated late notice opponent Diuhl Olguin with fast hands and solid ring generalship in what resulted in a knockout victory. The confident Desert product bruised his opponent up with lead right hands and uppercuts.

Lua cut the ring off well and landed at will against Olguin, who took the punishment well and even caught Lua with a right hand before the bell sounded to end round two. The ringside doctor took a look at a cut on Olguin before round three. The dominance continued in the third frame with Lua landing two straight body shots which slightly lifted Olguin off the canvas.

Another uppercut softened up Olguin late in round five which delighted the hometown crowd. Lua ran towards Olguin to begin the final round and pressed the action, ultimately scoring a stoppage win at 2:03 as Team Olguin decided to throw in the towel.

GUZMAN NOTCHES KNOCKOUT NO. 5 IN FIVE FIGHTS

Middleweight prospect Fabian Guzman, (5-0, 5 KOs) continued his knockout streak with a first-round stoppage over Las Vegas native Corey Cook.

Guzman started out tentative against his left-handed opponent, warmed up midway, then dropped Cook with a flush right hand which dropped Cook to a knee.  A 10-count ensued by referee Raymond Armendariz and Guzman was awarded the knockout at a recorded 2:14 of round one.

PHOENIX NATIVE IMPROVES TO 3-0

In the opening contest of the night Phoenix, Arizona native Juan Estrada impressed against opponent Dyllon Cervantes in a four-round fight.  Estrada, (3-0, 1 KO) threw effective combinations from the outset and worked both the body and the head throughout the bout.

End results of the fight were 40-36 all for Estrada.

DAZN commentators: Beto Duran, Sergio Mora

Fighters in Attendance: WBC Flyweight titlist Ricardo Sandoval, Bektemir Melikuziev  

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