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New Usyk Opponent Chazz Witherspoon Had a Good Story Spoiled by Harsh Reality

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New Usyk Opponent Chazz Witherspoon Had a Good Story Spoiled by Harsh Reality

All other things being more or less equal, if pressed every writer or columnist would admit that their professional instinct is to pull for the story.

Once upon a time, heavyweight prospect Chazz Witherspoon had a very good and marketable story. He is the second cousin of two-time former alphabet heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon and, in contradiction to all those wrong-side-of-the-tracks tales of boxers trying to rise above the impoverished circumstances of their upbringing, he was bright, polite and well-educated, so much so that the former star basketball player at Paulsboro, N.J., forsook the opportunity to walk on in that sport at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to concentrate on academics. His classroom performance at Paulsboro High earned him a full scholarship at St. Joe’s where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical marketing. Even his ring nickname, “The Gentleman,” set him apart from the trash-talking, profanity-spewing street guys who might have had genuine talent in the ring but sometimes got publicity for all the wrong reasons.

“Chazz Witherspoon was a good story,” admitted Teddy Atlas, the longtime ESPN boxing analyst who is now on Witherspoon’s old turf (Chazz was born in Philadelphia, as well as having gone to college there), where he is readying WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk  for his Oct. 18 unification matchup with IBF titlist Artur Beterbiev at the 2300 Arena in South Philly. “He was a nice kid, someone you root for. But that doesn’t mean every good story has a happy ending.”

It has been at least seven years since those who pay attention to the sport of boxing, and those who write about it, took much notice of the gentlemanly Chazz Witherspoon and his story. That, however, changed – at least temporarily – when he was named the replacement for a replacement as the opponent for former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs), who makes his heavyweight debut against Witherspoon (38-3, 29 KOs) Saturday night at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena. The scheduled 12-rounder will be streamed by DAZN.

“I can’t wait to face Usyk,” said Witherspoon (pictured at yesterday’s open workout in Chicago). “I have been in training, ready for a big fight, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this.” Selected from a reported field of five fighters on standby in case of still another main-event adjustment, Witherspoon took the bout on four days’ notice after another designated victim, Tyrone Spong (14-0, 13 KOs), failed a test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and was scratched from his slot by the Illinois State Athletic Commission.

“Oleksandr is stepping up to heavyweight – and he’s going to find out it’s a totally different game. I’ve won my last eight fights, and I really feel that I’ve been waiting in the wings for a huge opportunity like this. I am going to put every ounce of myself into the fight on this massive stage.”

All well and good, and boxing doesn’t always follow the expected script, as demonstrated by such previous heavyweight longshot winners as Buster Douglas and Andy Ruiz Jr. Atlas expects Witherspoon, now 38 and likely facing his final opportunity to restore the career momentum blunted by past failures when stepping up in class, to dutifully play the same role assigned to Non-Power Five college football teams tasked with playing the Alabama Crimson Tide. Someone does periodically beat overwhelming odds to win the Powerball Lottery, right? But even Witherspoon has to realize that he was chosen for this dream shot not because he is the same reasonably hot prospect he once was, but because he is an aging trial horse with some residual name value and a story that can be milked of its last few drops of relevancy.

“He’s a competitive guy, so he’s going to go in there thinking he at least has a chance to win,” Atlas continued. “He’s a fighter, a real fighter, and real fighters always believe they can win. He wants to challenge himself, and I give him credit for that.

“But let’s be realistic. We live in the real world, not the world we wish it to be. This is Usyk’s first time putting his toe into the heavyweight pool. His handlers want him to make a big and impressive splash, and they want to be as certain as possible that they can control the result.

“This is not a learning experience for Usyk. They figure he’s learned enough. He’s undefeated, an Olympic gold medalist and the undisputed cruiserweight champion. This is not a Sherlock Holmes mystery that has to be solved. It’s pretty solvable. The butler didn’t do it. The proof is in the pudding. The pudding here is that three times Witherspoon stepped up and three times he lost convincingly.”

You want to compare odds? Douglas shocked Mike Tyson as a 42-to-1 underdog. Ruiz was a mere 11-1 outsider when he took down Joshua.  At this time there are no odds posted regarding Witherspoon’s chances of upsetting Usyk, who, it should be noted, was 2018’s Fighter of the Year as selected by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Sweet Science. If you want to surmise that “The Gentleman” is a 100-1 longshot, that might not be too much of a stretch. The plan always has been for Usyk, arguably the greatest cruiserweight of all time, to take just a few fights against Witherspoon-level opponents before testing himself against the heavyweight division’s major players, be it Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Ruiz, Joshua or whomever else might fit that description a bit down the road.

Which is to say the Ukrainian southpaw would likely have been almost as overwhelming a choice to have won against his originally announced opponent, Carlos Takam (37-5-1, 28 KOs), or Spong, a former kickboxer whose pugilistic resume was crafted against a lineup of hand-picked opponents as soft as Spong’s six-pack abs are hard, which might owe in part to his now-verified use of clomiphene, a banned substance that can be used to increase testosterone. At least the 38-year-old Takam, at first glance, would appear to have posed a more legitimate test for Usyk than Spong or Witherspoon, in light of the fact that the veteran from Cameroon, now living in Las Vegas, lasted until the 10th round before being stopped by then-WBA/IBF champ Joshua on Oct. 28, 2017. His scheduled go at Usyk, originally scheduled for May 25, was scratched when Usyk suffered a torn bicep in training and had to withdraw.

Chazz Witherspoon might never have risen to the level of a Wilder, Fury or Joshua, or even that of cousin Tim, now 62, who has not been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and may never be, but who had quite a nice career in giving the great Larry Holmes one of his sternest tests in addition to having had separate and brief reigns as the WBC and WBA heavyweight titlist.

After a second-round knockout of Nigeria’s Innocent Otukwu on Sept. 16, 2006, that improved his record to 14-0 (8), Chazz was asked whether his “good family genes” were a contributing factor to his rising prominence.

“Oh, definitely,” he said. “You know you have it in your makeup when you got a champion’s blood running through your veins.”

Chazz remained a person of interest when he was paired against another young heavyweight with a hook of a story, Chris Arreola, whose stated goal was to become the first big man of Mexican heritage to win his sport’s most prestigious prize. When they squared off on June 23, 2008, a bout for the WBC Continental Americas belt that was televised by HBO, Witherspoon was 23-0 with 14 KOs and Arreola 23-0 with 21 wins inside the distance.

“Witherspoon and Arreola clearly are the two most advanced, relatively unknown American heavyweights,” veteran HBO analyst Larry Merchant opined before that bout. “The winner will emerge as the better of the two and immediately goes on the short list of U.S. contenders who could be in line to get a crack at one of the world titles in the relatively near future.”

Merchant’s words, as it turned out, were prophetic. Arreola – who, four bouts later challenged WBC champ Vitali Klitschko and would fight three times in all for heavyweight titles, losing each — had to settle for a third-round disqualification victory when Witherspoon’s corner team, having heard the bell, entered the ring while referee Randy Phillips was in the process of administering a count after Witherspoon had gone down a second time. Although Phillips’ decision to end the fight was a stunner, the outcome likely would have been the same; Witherspoon was wobbled in the first round and was decked twice in the third, lurching to his feet on shaky legs after the second knockdown.

There would be no title shots for Witherspoon, and an expected loss to Usyk likely would mean there never will be. In his two most important ring appearances after the Arreola disaster, ’Spoon was stopped in nine rounds by veteran contender Tony Thompson, then 38, on Dec. 5, 2009, and in three rounds by former Michigan State linebacker Seth Mitchell, a Golden Boy protégé, on April 28, 2012. Mitchell fought only three times after his stoppage of Witherspoon, sandwiching knockout losses at the hands of Johnathon Banks and, yes, Arreola, around a points nod over Banks, a onetime pupil of the late Emanuel Steward now best known as the trainer of Gennadiy Golovkin.

While it is true that Witherspoon has strung together an eight-fight winning streak, those outings were spread over five years and against suspect opposition. Raise your hand if you are familiar with the careers of the men defeated during that run by Witherspoon, a list that includes the non-celebrated likes of Tyyab Beale, Cory Phelps, Galen Brown, Nick Guivas, Michael Marrone, Carlos Sandoval, Lamont Capers and Santander Silgado.

Which is not to say that Witherspoon will not at least remind some people of the promise of better things that marked his emergence as a fighter to be tracked. If all the stars align just so, he could come away as a sort of Otto Wallin, who gave such a good, and surprising, account of himself in his recent points loss to Tyson Fury. Avoiding humiliation against a clearly superior fighter like Usyk in a high-visibility scrap might provide enough incentive for him to keep on keeping on. Even being on the wrong side of a rout might not be all bad.

“At least there should be some fairness in this because he’s going to get a decent payday,” Atlas, ever the pragmatist, noted. “I’m sure he’s getting paid pretty well because he had the promoter (Eddie Hearn) over a barrel at the 11th hour. I just hope he doesn’t get hurt too bad.”

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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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