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Slight Return: Andre Ward Crushes Paul Smith In the Ninth

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It’s Christmas of 2011 and as he sits down to pray before the Christmas turkey, Andre Ward is First in Line to The Throne. Manny Pacquiao has been dispatched by nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez and it is now Ward who is able to gaze at Floyd Mayweather’s star unfettered. No other pugilist stands between him and the undisputed #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He has a style that is reminiscent of Mayweather’s too, the sportsman’s parody of hit-and-don’t-be-hit; he was fast of hand, foot and mind, and he is armed with the nickname “Son of God”, the type of moniker that radiates the same arrogance as “Money” Mayweather.

Eight days earlier, Son of God had thrashed Carl Froch in Atlantic City to become the lineal champion at 168lbs. Froch, who has only recently been stripped from pound-for-pound lists himself for inactivity, was as world-class an opponent as could be found for Ward in his division and he beat the Englishman out of sight. I gave only one of the twelve rounds to Froch, who was as brave and game as always but who was stripped of his defence and robbed of his offence by a fighter who was a class removed from him.

It wasn’t that he just out-jabbed and out-boxed Froch – this, everyone had expected – he out-muscled him. He bullied him. He out-fought him up close where Froch’s superior strength and size were meant to buy him points. Instead, he was roughed up badly by the stronger, dirtier American who mixed his otherworldly left-hook, right uppercut, left hook type combinations with a healthy dose of forearm and head when challenged in a like manner. The fight was not close. The fight, a meeting between two of the ten best super-middleweights of all time, was embarrassingly one-sided. It may be the best performance of the decade.

He was twenty-seven years old and entering his physical prime; he was heir apparent; my opinion was that we were looking at an all-time great talent who would mop up the leftovers at 168lbs, probe for superfights at 160lbs before moving up to dominate at 175lbs. I thought we were seeing the man who would move Floyd Mayweather over.

Four years later:

Andre Ward has just boxed his first contest in little over nineteen months and has been almost universally stripped of any pound-for-pound recognition at all, because, as the man said, how can you be the best at something if you don’t do it? A short rest on the laurels seemed reasonable; after all, there wasn’t a lot left at the weight for him to do – but that short rest turned into a difficult dispute over promotional rights (now resolved). Since, opposition has emerged which is so good that not only would an unbeaten Ward have risen to the pound-for-pound #1 slot, still one of the most affluent position in all of sports, questions have arisen as to whether or not Ward could emerge triumphant. One down there is Gennady Golovkin, a pure stalker of lethal intent, as terrifying a spectre as can be seen in the ring currently. One up, there is Sergey Kovalev, perhaps not quite as special as Golovkin, but in real terms the harder assignment due to his size. Ward, who remains the legitimate king of the super-middles, even if he tarnishes the crown he wears with inactivity, has spent time flirting with light-heavyweight just recently.

His last fight at 168lbs was fought almost three years ago – a liftetime in boxing terms. It was against the reigning 175lbs champion Chad Dawson, who volunteered to dip down to super-middle where Ward happily obliged and then obliterated him. Next up was Edwin Rodriguez, in an over-the-weight super-middle contest, Ward a happy winner on points; finally, tonight, Ward weighed in as a light-heavyweight, coming in at just under the agreed 172lbs. His opponent, Paul Smith, out of Liverpool, England, didn’t make the 172lb limit; he didn’t even manage the 175lb limit; Paul Smith, now 35-6, weighed in at 176lbs. Worse still, when an additional weight limit of 181lbs was introduced for 11 am on the day of the fight, Smith decided not to bother with that one, either, weighing in at 184lbs. Mutters began to circulate that Smith, who was rumoured to have weighed around 180lbs just two days before, had turned up in the States out of shape, in attendance just to pick up his paycheck. For a limited but brave fighter like Smith, looking at Ward and trying to figure out a way to win must be the same as you or I trying to launch ourselves up Mount Everest without oxygen. Of course Smith took the fight, but once he and his team settled down to uncovering a strategy that might defeat Ward, it is possible none could be found. Whatever the truth of the mater it was clear: something had gone wrong in Smith’s camp.

Still, as a come-back opponent, Smith was probably just the right side of acceptable for any super-middleweight other than Ward. Although he must now be regarded as a professional loser at the absolute elite level, Smith, in his two fights with Arthur Abraham, looked like a real test for a world-class fighter. Their first fight, especially, was close and exciting for all that cries of robbery at the decision in favour of Abraham were a little hysterical. The Englishman fought a very good fight and was probably deserving of the rematch he was granted – a fight he clearly lost. Fellow Brit George Groves dusted him in just two back in 2011, a sharp right hand over the ear discombobulating him and another almost identical one ending proceedings. James Degale did the same job with the left in the ninth round a year before. The point is that there are many British super-middleweights that Ward could have called upon to welcome him back that are considerably better than Smith. The joke, at least on the British side of the Atlantic, is that Andre Ward has decided to take on the second best super-middleweight in Paul Smith’s family. On these shores, brother Callum is held to be the best of the four boxing Smith brothers.

So it can come as no surprise that what we saw tonight in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California was Paul Smith defeated without resistance in a one-sided fight that qualifies, basically, as a workout for Ward; a chance for him to get the meat back on his gristle, so to speak.

He certainly found his jab quickly enough, crackling it out throug the first round as Smith moved around the ring getting hit, Ward’s golden gloves ablur. The Oakland man remained standing between the first and second rounds and padded back out to jab Smith to the ropes in the opening moments of the second; Smith didn’t seem to panic outwardly, but he also appeared hypnotised by the jabs snaking into and between his high guard. Bereft of a meaningful plan, he likely had won no ten second spell of the fight by the end of the third, although he had managed to take away Ward’s left-hook with his high guard. Still, Ward was finding him with the late punches in combinations and with that jab.

Ward flirted with a guard-splitting uppercut in the fourth and began to relax into the fluidity of his offence, spared the vague possibility of any rust gumming up the works by the fact that Smith wasn’t really bothering to fight. Ward went to the body in the fifth but was twice warned to keep them up by the referee, sending him back to the head, but hurtful jabs to the body were his preferred flavour at the opening of the sixth. Pegged to the canvas by his own limitations and Ward’s brilliance, Smith looked a well-worn punching bag and as the round wound down as Ward’s right handsbegan to creep in.

Finally Smith’s moment came – and went – in the seventh as he landed a stinging right hand over the top, winging a left behind it, catching Ward near flush. This punch, if nothing else, reminded us that Ward had a solid chin. Ward celebrated this news with surgical precision, opening Smith up with punches, cracking him with rights of his own at bell. That such a one-sided fight had been allowed to reach the eighth seemed both strange and explicable in the light of Smith’s safety-first strategy. He bled freely from the left-eye but seemed determined to take his beating like a man, walking in, dipping and jabbing for openings, generally finding a punch for his trouble, a left uppercut up the middle the pick of the bunch. Smith, his face now a mask of red, looked a little sorry for himself in his corner between the eighth and ninth.

The advice dished out to Ward in his corner, meanwhile, was chilling – Ward was to “stop fooling around” and “ice” Smith. Generally, Ward doesn’t take corner advice well. Like his friend and mentor Bernard Hopkins he has the look of a man who may be content to listen politely but knows his own mind. On this occasion, he seemed happy to oblige. Ward beat Smith to a standstill, chucking rights over the top and into Smith’s seemingly unprotected face; suddenly Smith’s guard was meaningless and Ward was free to do what he wanted. Smith never quit – he was front and centre throughout – but when the towel came fluttering from Smith’s corner I felt relief rather than disappointment. The glorified spar was at an end.

Smith, who embarrassed himself with his inability to make an agreed weight well above the 168lbs limit he favours, will return to the UK and have success at British and European level. He will deserve that success. He’s a heart-fuelled fighter, for all that he never really showed that in Oakland this evening. And Ward? What does this victory mean for him?

Something and nothing, I would suggest. I suspect that Ward will re-emerge on a handful of pound-for-pound lists over coming weeks but don’t believe the hype. Beating Smith does not make Ward one of the ten most accomplished fighters in the world and wouldn’t even if he had out-boxed Godzilla back in 2013. Ward has a long way to go to claim his likely birthright, that of the best fighter in the world and his destruction of Paul Smith brings him no closer than Odysseus blinding the Cyclops brought him closer to home. There is an ocean to cross and suitors to best before he ascends to that throne, if he ever does.

It must also be uncertain whether his future even lies at super-middleweight. Ward hasn’t made 168lbs since the end of 2013 and the 172lb figure was Ward’s idea. Smith, ironically, favoured 170lbs but Ward declined – what was it about making 170lbs that Ward disliked? If he can still make super-middleweight with ease, German Robert Stieglitz and Brit James DeGale will be keen opposition, but are far from being marquee names. Arthur Abraham is ranked #1 in the division currently but Ward beat him twelve rounds to zero four years ago; it is unlikely that there will be public appetite for a rematch. Despite the one-sided nature of their contest, a rematch with Froch would be valid given Froch’s form since their first match, but the Englishman speaks of meeting Ward again only on the condition that they box in his hometown of Nottingham. This will not happen.

So perhaps Ward’s future lies with the twin moons of Golovkin and Kovalev still. Certainly nobody will be complaining about the opposition on the night of those meetings.

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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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