By Matt Richardson, Mariano A. Agmi and Alex Dombroff at ringside
Unbeaten WBO jr featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (27-0, 24 KOs) overcame the toughest challenge of his career, winning a narrow twelve round unanimous decision over Rogers Mtagwa (26-13-2, 18 KOs) on Saturday night inside the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, New York City. “Juanma” had all he could handle with the rugged brawler Mtagwa as the bout contained many spectacular exchanges. Lopez was credited with a knockdown in round five but every round was a war. Mtagwa had a lot more at the end and Lopez had to dig deep to survive the twelfth. Scores were 116-111, 114-113 and 115-111. The 116-111 score was erroneously announced as 116-116.
WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (16-0, 14 KOs) ended the night of Whyber Garcia (22-7, 15 KOs) in round four with a big right hand that dropped Garcia face first. Garcia beat the count, but it was only a matter of moments before referee Steve Smoger waved off Gamboa’s brutal assault. Time was :58.
Unbeaten 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Odlanier Solis (15-0, 11 KOs) dropped late sub Monte Barrett (34-8, 20 KOs) with a big left hook in round two and finished him moments later. Time was 1:54. Solis was originally to face Kevin Johnson, then Fres Oquendo, but both pulled out.
Super welterweight Pawel Wolak (25-1, 17 KOs) scored a fifth round TKO over Carlos Nascimento (24-2, 20 KOs). Wolak dropped Nascimento at the end of round five and the Brazilian prospect didn’t come out for round six.
Middleweight John Duddy (27-1, 17 KOs) returned to the win column with an eight round unanimous decision over Jorge Munoz (21-4, 13 KOs). Scores were 80-73 and 79-73 twice. Duddy had a bloodied nose early on in the fight. There were no knockdowns.
Super bantamweight Jorge Diaz (10-0, 6 KOs) scored a sixth round TKO over 2004 Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yan Barthelemy (8-2, 1 KO). Time was 1:07.
PR Olympian cruiserweight Carlos Negron (5-0, 4 KOs) went the distance for the first time, topping Larry Pryor (4-5) by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice over four.
Super lightweight “Son of the Legend” Omar Chavez (18-0-1, 13 KOs) outpointed James Ventry (7-10-1, 4 KOs) over six rounds by scores of 59-54 and 58-55 twice. Ventry went down from a right in the first round.
Lightweight Martin Tucker (7-4, 3 KOs) won an upset six round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Michael Torres (13-1, 7 KOs) by scores of 57-56 all on three judges’ cards. Torres was dropped in both the fifth and sixth rounds.