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Thurman stops Diaz; Matthysse wins epic knockdown-filled war against Molina

By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda

WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) scored a third round TKO over ex-lightweight champ Julio Diaz (40-10-1, 29 KOs) on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Thurman was impressive in taking apart Diaz in round one. Diaz took a knee after being rocked in round two. Things heated up in round three, which had good two-way action with both fighters having their moments. Surprisingly Julio Diaz’ corner stopped the fight after round three citing a rib injury.

In a war, former WBC interim 140lb titleholder Lucas Matthysse (35-3, 33 KOs) bounced back from his loss to world champion Danny Garcia with a spectacular twelfth round KO over the super game John Molina (27-4, 22 KOs). Molina got off to a great start, momentarily buzzed Matthysse in round one. Molina then dropped Matthysse in round two. Matthysse was cut over the left eye after a third round head clash and Molina was cut on the left side of his head. Good two-way action in round four with Matthysse starting to turn the tide. Molina dropped Matthysse again in round five. Matthysse claimed it was a rabbit punch. Matthysse pummeled Molina in round six. Matthysse continued winning the exchanges in round seven and floored Molina in round eight. Matthysse continued to unload in the ninth. Matthysse battered Molina in the tenth, flooring him late. Matthysse finally knocked out the still hurt Molina in the eleventh. Time was :22.

WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 KOs) retained his belt against former amateur rival Jerry Belmontes (19-4, 5 KOs) with a rather tame twelve round split decision. Figueroa, coming off an all out war against Nihito Arakawa last July, never exhibited the punching power or aggressiveness he displayed in amassing his 17 KOs. Very much a tactical fight with Figueroa’s workrate carrying two cards 116-112, 118-110. Belmontes won 115-113 on the third card. Figueroa was reportedly 0-5 against Belmontes in the unpaid ranks.

2012 Brazilian Olympian middleweight Yamaguchi Falcao won a four round unanimous decision over Fernando Najera. All three judges scored the bout 40-36. Falcao now stands at 1-0. His first pro bout ended in a no contest.

He didn’t get the KO he was looking for, but 2012 Olympian super bantamweight Joseph “JoJo” Diaz (10-0, 7 KOs) dominated every minute of his six round clash with former world title challenger Luis “Titi” Maldonado (36-13-1, 27 KOs). Scores were 60-54 across the board. Maldonado has now lost 10 of his last 11.

Unbeaten IBF #10 jr middleweight Jermall Charlo (18-0, 14 KOs) pummeled welterweight journeyman Hector Munoz (22-13-1, 14 KOs) until the ring doctor called a halt at the end of round four. The super tough Munoz complained about the stoppage. Charlo was supposed to challenge IBF champion Carlos Molina last month, but that bout was cancelled when Molina was arrested on a variety of charges.

2012 Olympian jr middleweight Terrell Gausha (9-0, 5 KOs) won an eight round unanimous decision over savvy veteran Charles Whittaker (40-15-2, 24 KOs). Gausha dropped Whittaker in round six and went on to win by scores of 80-71 on all three cards.

East LA’s Frankie Gomez scored a second round KO against Orlando Vasquez of Puerto Rico in a scheduled ten round welterweight bout. Gomez knockdown Vasquez twice in round two as referee reached a ten count at 1:54. Gomez keeps his perfect record as he improves to 17-0, 13 KOs. Vasquez drops to 12-4-1, 6 KOs.

In the opening bout from the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California. Ugandan lightweight Sharif “The Lion” Bogere returned to the ring with a TKO over Arturo Urena of Mazatlan, Mexico. Referee Ray Corona stopped the contest 50 seconds into the sixth round as the corner threw in the towel. Bogere rebounds as he improves to 24-1, 15 KOs. Urena goes to 26-17-1, 22 KOs.

In a scheduled four round junior middleweight bout, Bryant Perella of Lehigh Acres, Florida made quick work of Brooklyn’s Roberto Crespo in scoring a first round knockout. The referee stopped the contest at 2:30 of round one. Perella improves to 4-0, 3 KOs and Crespo falls to 4-4.




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