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Fast Results from Las Vegas: Wilder Knocks out Ortiz Emphatically

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Tonight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder made the 10th defense of the title he won in 2015 in a wide decision over Bermane Stiverne here at the MGM Grand Garden. In the opposite corner was former opponent Luis “King Kong” Ortiz whose only loss in 32 pro bouts came at the hands of the “Bronze Bomber.”

In common with the first meeting, the bout started slowly as both were wary of each other’s power. The first four rounds were very much a carbon of the first meeting. The pace picked up slightly in round five but yet there was no intimation of the thunderclap that would bring the fight to a sudden and dramatic conclusion. In fact, through the six completed rounds, Ortiz was ahead by two points on one of the cards and by four points on the others.

The moment of truth for Luis Ortiz came in the final minute of round seven when Wilder landed a straight right hand that hit Ortiz flush in the forehead. Down he went on his backside. It appeared that he beat the count by a fraction of a second but his legs were unsteady and referee Kenny Bayless wisely stopped the fight.

Wilder improved to 42-0-1 with his 41st knockout and built a strong case that he is the top dog of all the active heavyweights.

TV Undercard

In a bout for a vacant WBA 130-pound title, Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1) became a title-holder in a fourth weight class with a unanimous decision over Tex-Mex challenger Miguel Flores (24-3). The scores were 115-112 and 117-110 twice. There were no knockdowns but Flores had a point deducted for holding in round eight.

There were no indelible moments, but things became a bit dicey for Santa Cruz in round 10 when an accidental clash of heads opened a gash on his left eyelid. After the fight, Santa Cruz stated that he hoped 2020 would bring a fight with Gervonta Davis and/or Gary Russell Jr. He would be willing to move to 135 to fight Gervonta, or so he said.

In a good action fight fought at close quarters, Brandon Figueroa and Julio Ceja battled to a 12-round draw. At stake was Figueroa’s WBA super bantamweight title. However, Ceja came in four pounds overweight, so he could not claim the title if he had won.

The 22-year-old Figueroa, from Weslaco, Texas, remained undefeated at 20-0-1. His older brother Omar Figueroa Jr., a former WBC lightweight title-holder, suffered his first pro loss in this building four months ago. Mexico’s Ceja, who came in having lost three of his previous five, declined to 32-4-1.

In a mild upset, Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10 KOs) scored a fourth-round stoppage of Leduan Barthelemy. A sweeping right hand followed by an overland left knocked Barthelemy on the seat of his pants near the end of the fourth round. He turned his back on the referee when he arose and the fight was waived off.

This was a rematch. They had previously fought to a draw. Ramirez was 2-2 in the interim. Leduan, the youngest of the three fighting Barthelemy brothers, fell to 15-1-1.

Other Bouts

In a welterweight contest, 17-year-old Vito Mielnicki Jr improved to 3-0 with a second- round stoppage of North Carolina’s Marklin Bailey (6-6). New Jersey’s Mielnicki, nicknamed White Magic, had knocked out his first two opponents in the opening round. Marklin had lost four straight coming in and while he had scant chance of winning when the fight was made, he got no break from referee Russell Mora who stopped it prematurely.

The Alejandro brothers from Dallas, 23-year-old Arnold (11-1) and 19-year-old Angel (8-0) had mixed results vs. their Filipino opponents. In a shocker, Arnold, a super featherweight, suffered his first pro loss when John Cermino (21-12-1, 11 KOs) unhinged him from his senses in the fifth round with a devastating right hand. The referee didn’t bother to count. Angel (8-0) fared better in a 6-round contest with Mark John Yap (30-15), winning a unanimous decision.

Cruiserweight Marsellos Wilder, a former Arena League football standout and the younger brother of Deontay, was knocked out for the second time in seven pro fights. Dustin Long, a 37-year-old Tennessean, turned the trick with a sweeping left hook in the fourth round. Long improved to 3-1-2.

Twenty-year-old Brownsville welterweight Omar Juarez improved to 6-0 with a sixth-round stoppage of Michigan’s Kevin Shacks (3-5-3). Juarez had Shacks down twice in the first round but the Michigander lasted into the sixth.

In a battle of southpaws, LA-based Ukrainian Viktor Slavinskyi (11-0-1) won a six-round decision over Alejandro Hermosillo (11-2-1). The scores were 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel  

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In a Shocker, Ryan Garcia Confounds the Experts and Upsets Devin Haney

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Its good to be crazy. Like a fox.

Ryan “KingRy” Garcia knocked down WBC super lightweight titlist Devin Haney three times to remind everyone of his fighting abilities in winning by majority decision on Saturday.

“I just knew what I could do,” Garcia said.

Fans will not forget the lanky kid from Victorville, California now.

Garcia (25-1, 20 KOs) fooled everyone in playing crazy weeks before the fight, then showed shocking power to hand Haney (30-1, 15 KOs) his first loss as a professional at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Haney’s WBC super lightweight title was not at stake for Garcia because he weighed three pounds over the limit.

After Garcia seemingly acting out of control on social media, Haney’s guard must have slipped in the first round during the first few seconds as Garcia connected with that hellish left hook and Haney, with a look of shock in his eyes, almost went down. He barely survived the first round.

“He caught me with it,” said Haney.

During the next few rounds, Haney proceeded to advance toward Garcia seemingly fully aware of the lethal left hook. He used feints and rights to score with a busier approach as Garcia seemed cocked and ready to counter with a left hook.

In the fourth round it seemed Haney was confident he had regained control of the fight, but every time he opened up with more than a two-punch combination Garcia reminded him whose hands were faster and more dangerous.

Though Garcia seldom jabbed he seemed bent on looking for the right moment to unleash his deadly left hook. And every time the Southern California fighter opened up with a combination he scored and Haney dare not exchange.

A few times Haney smiled as if signifying he escaped.

In the seventh round Haney looked to punish Garcia’s body and instead was met with a three-punch combination included a left hook to the chin and down went Haney slumped on the ground. He managed to beat the count and as soon as Garcia came within reach Haney wrapped his arms around him with a python grip. Despite the warnings by referee Harvey Dock, the fallen fighter would not release and Garcia impatiently fired a weak punch during the break. The referee deducted a point from Garcia though he could have deducted a point from Haney for not obeying his instructions to release his hold. Haney actually went down three times in the round but only one was counted by the referee.

From that point on Haney was very cautious but still looking to win by decision.

Though Garcia kept using a shoulder-roll defense that left his body exposed, he would retaliate with three and four punch combinations that usually Haney could defend against other fighters.. But Garcia’s blazing combinations were too fast to defend.

In the 10th round Haney looked to attack and was countered by Garcia’s right and a blinding left hook to the chin and another two blows that sent the former undisputed lightweight champion to the floor again.

It didn’t look good for Haney to survive.

Garcia walked into the 11th round still composed and never out-of-control He dared Haney to exchange and when within striking distance Garcia unleashed another lightning combination and down went Haney again with a defeated look.

Both fighters had fought each other as amateurs six times so there were no surprises between them. But Garcia’s power and speed were superior and that was the difference in a professional fight.

In the final round both were cautious with Garcia’s combination punching proving too dangerous for Haney to open up. Garcia celebrated early as the round ended confident of victory.

After 12 rounds Garcia was seen the victor by majority decision 112-112, 114-110, 115-109.

“You really thought I was crazy,” Garcia told the interviewer and the crowd. “You guys hated on me.”

Other Bouts

Arnold Barboza (30-0) won a curious split decision victory over United Kingdom’s Sean McComb (18-2) in a 10-round super lightweight fight. McComb’s long reach and busy southpaw style gave Barboza trouble. But he managed to win the fight though the crowd was not pleased.

Bektemir Melikuziev (14-1, 10 KOs) defeated France’s Pierre Dibombe (22-1-1) by technical decision after eight rounds due to a cut on his eye from an accidental head butt. It was a very competitive super middleweight fight.

Costa Rica’s David Jimenez (16-1, 11 KOs) outworked John “Scrappy Ramirez (13-1, 9 KOs) in a 12-round scrap to upset the Los Angeles based fighter. After a few close rounds Jimenez simply bullied his way inside and forced Ramirez against the ropes and unloaded his guns.

After 12 rounds two judges saw it 117-111 and 116-114 all for Jimenez.

“I’m a hard-working man from Cartago I come from nothing,” said Jimenez. “My corner told me I had to work inside.”

Charles Conwell (19-0, 14 KOs) stepped on the gas early with vicious body shots and uppercuts and blasted through the resilient Nathaniel Gallimore (22-8-1, 17 KOs) for several rounds. After a brutal fifth and sixth round the referee halted the one-side beating in favor of Conwell who was fighting for the first time under the Golden Boy banner.

Another winner was Sergiy Derevyanchenko (15-5) by decision over Vaughn Alexander (18-11-1) in a super middleweight match.

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Haney and Garcia: Bipolar Opposites

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Haney and Garcia: Bipolar Opposites

One young man flew halfway around the world to take on a world champion in his own living room; not once, but twice. The other young man quit prior to one fight, and then again during another one.

The first guy mentioned is an obedient son of an ultra-streetwise father.  The type of parent where, if he doesn’t know the answer (and more times than not he most likely does), he will know where to find it. The second guy doesn’t appear to have that quality guidance scenario going on for him, which is probably for the best, because he believes he has all the answers.

The first guy is on record as saying he wants to go down in boxing history as an all-time great.  The other guy?  He decided not to continue in a fight while he was still sporting an undefeated record.  You may think to yourself if there was ever a time to soldier through, right?

Then yesterday, that same guy missed making weight by 3.2 pounds, and seemed to be more than fine with it, to the point where he actually appeared to be quite pleased with himself.

If you haven’t heard, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia are going to share a boxing ring in a twelve round go for God knows what will be at stake by the time they actually punch off.  The fact that no one from Garcia’s team has stepped in and rescued him from these unfolding events, his own personal well-being, and/or not to mention Devin Haney is, well, troubling in and of itself.

Back in the amateur days, the record shows they split six fights.  They were boys back then, so it means zero.  If anything, you’d want to be the older of the two, and Ryan had over a three-month age advantage.  If you’ve only been on the planet for a total of 120 months or so, every extra month could be a big enough difference in strength and development. Now as world class professionals in their prime?  That’s different.  Younger is always better.  Devin is that guy.

Haney and Garcia fought six times for free but will fight only once as professionals.  Then one of them will continue with their march for historic greatness, while the other will head back to Kamp Krazy, where he’s the current Mayor.

It’s never smart to lay 8-1, 9-1 in boxing.  And if you see taking Garcia as a value bet with +500 to +600 and beyond, you don’t understand value and you evidently don’t like money.

There is, however, a wagering opportunity here.

Total Rounds:  Fight doesn’t go 10.5 rounds.

Take anything over +125.  It’s worth a unit on a scale of 5.  Logically, there are a lot of ways to cash this ticket: legitimate victory, meltdown, catching lightning in a bottle, etc.  Or simply the exiting stage left of a guy who may be already plotting his next career move.

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In a Massive Upset, Dakota Linger TKOs Kurt Scoby on a Friday Night in Atlanta

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Although it was an 8-rounder on a show with two “tens,” Kurt Scoby’s match with Dakota Linger was accorded main event status on tonight’s card at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta. This had everything to do with Scoby (pronounced Scooby), a former record-setting college running back who was considered one of the brightest prospects in the 140-pound weight class. “[Scoby] works harder than almost anyone I’ve ever seen,” said veteran New York promoter Lou DIBella in a conversation with Keith Idec. “But he’s literally getting better after every fight and he’s got the hammer of Thor, man. He can punch through walls.”

The Duarte, California product who has relocated to Brooklyn and trains at Gleason’s Gym, was undefeated (13-0) heading in and was expected to make Linger his ninth straight knockout victim. But Linger, a 29-year-old Buckhannon, West Virginia policemen whose first ring engagements were in Toughman competitions, wasn’t intimidated by Scoby’s press clippings or by Scoby’s bodybuilder physique.

Linger, who improved to 14-6-3 with his tenth win inside the distance, took the fight right to Scoby and repeatedly found a home for his overhand right. In the sixth round, after Linger strafed the ever-retreating Scoby with a barrage of punches, referee Malik Walid determined that he had seen enough and waived it off. The decision seemed a tad premature, but neither Scoby nor his cornermen offered anything in the way of a protest.

Tournament results

In the first installment of an 8-man super welterweight tournament, Brandon Adams returned to boxing after his second three-year layoff and showed no ring rust whatsoever. Adams, a 34-year-old family-man who grew up in the Watts district of LA, dismissed Ismael Villareal with a wicked punch to the liver in the waning seconds of round three. The official time was 2:59.

A former wold title challenger, Adams who improved to 23-3 (16 KOs), has become the king of boxing tournaments. He first attracted notice in 2018 when he won the fifth edition of “The Contender” series, scoring a wide 10-round decision over Shane Mosley Jr in the championship round.

Villareal, a second-generation prizefighter from the Bronx whose dad fought the likes of Hector Camacho, declined to 13-3.

Adams next opponent will be Francisco Veron who will bring a record of 14-0-1 (10).

In an energetic 10-rounder, Veron, a Florida-based Argentine with a strong amateur pedigree, scored a unanimous decision over Mexico-born, LA southpaw Angel Ruiz (18-3-1). The judges had it 100-90, 99-91, and 96-94.

Ruiz certainly had his moments, but Veron launched and landed many more punches despite fighting the last six rounds with a damaged eye.

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