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By Nick Giongco
US challenger Raul Martinez and Mexican champion Ulises Solis have arrived in Manila in time for their April 19 fights at the Araneta Coliseum. Martinez challenges Nonito Donaire for the IBF flyweight title, while Solis defends his IBF light-fly belt against Brian Viloria. The two fighters were on board the Philippine Airlines jet that took off from Los Angeles. They touched down in the Philippines at 6 am of Monday. Solar Sports will put up the double world title fight in partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
By Robert Coster
When he dominated then-unbeaten IBF Jr Featherweight Champion Steve Molitor last November, WBA Super-Champion Celestino”Pelenchin” Caballero became only the second boxer from Panama -since Roberto Duran- to unify titles. Prior to the Molitor fight, an underdog Celestino had travelled to Thailand to win the WBA crown with an explosive knockout. But the lanky monarch hasn’t let his success go to his head and he is back in the gym training as hard as ever for the first defense of his unified crown against Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa. Celestino is one champion that knows too well that you just cannot rest upon your laurels and that defeat can be as sudden as victory. As an unbeaten boxer, he suffered a dramatic kayo loss to Jose Rojas of Venezuela in front of his fans. Yet, four months after, “Pelenchin” showed his metal by stepping back into the ring. Caballero was also the victim of a near fatal car accident. Many predicted he would never fight again, not counting on Celestino’s iron will and grit. Taking time off from his training, the always gracious “Pelenchin” answered a few pointed questions by Fightnews. (more…)
By Lee Bates
Its been nearly a month since WBO interim cruiserweight champion Ola Afolabi (14-1-3, 6 KOs) pulled off his huge upset in England against heavily favored local Enzo Maccarinelli by ninth round TKO to win the vacant title. Though Afolabi resides near Los Angeles, California, he sadly hasn’t been home since his title victory to celebrate with friends and fans who are awaiting him. Apparently Afolabi hasn’t even left the country where he won his title. Word also has it due to some issues that have to be attended to regarding his visa, Afolabi is still in England where fortunately he has family he’s staying with until these visa matters are taken care of. A detailed update on Afolabi, his visa situation, and his next fight will be reported soon. Stay tuned.
By Nick Giongco
Challenger Raul ‘Cobra’ Martinez of the US strongly feels he needs a knockout to win Nonito Donaire’s IBF flyweight crown on April 19 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines. “When you fight in the champion’s territory, it’s going to be very hard to win the title (on points),” Martinez told fightnews and Manila Bulletin just before he boarded a Philippine Airlines jet from Los Angeles early Sunday afternoon (Saturday night in the US). Martinez is expected to arrive in Manila at around 6 a.m. of Monday and he will immediately be brought to his official residence, The Manila Hotel, a famous landmark in Manila. (more…)
By Andreas Hale
In an interesting post-fight press conference, two-division champ Paul “The Punisher” Williams says Winky Wright brought out his best, Wright gave Williams his due and stated that he’s not retiring, Williams’ promoter Dan Goossen commented that Williams will seek a matchup with WBA welterweight champ Shane Mosley, and heavyweight Chris Arreola, who was impressive in the co-feature, says just bring it on! (more…)
On Wednesday, the day before the New York Yankees make their debut in their new home in the Bronx, two of boxing’s heaviest hitters – WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto and IBF junior welterweight champion Juan Urango – will enter the new Yankee Stadium to officially announce their May 30th clash at the Seminole Hard Rock LIVE Arena in Hollywood, FL. (more…)
FightNews feature writer Antonio Castro is the host of the “KNR2 BOXING SHOW” which airs each SATURDAY from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST on Cleveland’s AM 1540 KNR2 in the Cleveland and Northern Ohio area (plus online at www.ESPNCLEVELAND.com). This Saturday morning Antonio will talk with Shawn Porter, fresh off a 1st rd TKO on ESPN2’s Friday night fights last week. You can e-mail your questions for Antonio and his guests at email@example.com
Friday night in Tampa, Florida, Jamaican born heavyweight prospect Lenroy Thomas thrilled the huge “HOMECOMING” crowd with a vicious second round knockout of Wes Taylor at the Sun Dome arena. The Thomas/Taylor bout was the co-main event to the Jeff Lacy/Otis Griffin headliner . . . Click here for more
Since the reigning UFC middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, did not put on his usual spectacular performance in his last appearance against Patrick Coté at UFC 90, critics have been saying that the champion is not the same fighter anymore . . . Click here for more by Martins Denis, UFC
UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva returns to the Octagon on Saturday, April 18th to defend his crown against No. 1 contender Thales Leites in the main event of UFC 97. Also featured in the UFC’s return to Canada is the light heavyweight showdown fans have waited for years to see, as UFC legend Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell squares off against Brazilian superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC 97: REDEMPTION is live on Pay-Per-View Saturday, April 18 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Check out 97.ufc.com for more info.
Photos: Rafael Soto/Zanfer
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Unbeaten IBF minimumweight champion Raul “Rayito” Garcia (26-0-1, 16 KOs) rertained his title with a sixth round TKO over Ronal Barrera (26-6-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at the Stadio Arturo C. Nahl in La Paz, Mexico. The bout was waved off by referee Rafael Ramos due to a cut over Barrara’s right eye.
By Andreas Hale at ringside
In a battle of two boxers billed as boxing’s most avoided fighters, two-division world champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) punished former unified junior middleweight world champion Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) on over twelve one-sided rounds Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight was fought at middleweight poundage. Williams’ punch output and pressure easily overwhelmed the defensive skills of Wright from the opening bell. Scores were 119-109, 119-109, 120-108. Williams, currently holds the WBO interim jr middleweight belt.
In the co-feature, unbeaten heavyweight Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola (27-0, 24 KOs) impressively outslugged former world title challenger Jameel “Big Time” McCline (39-10-3, 23 KOs), winning by fourth round knockout. A big right hand finished the job at 2:01. Tony Weeks counted McCline out. Arreola retains the NABF heavyweight title. (more…)
By Joe Koizumi
WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro (13-1, 8 KOs), 115, Japan, came off the canvas twice in the first and sixth, and finally retaliated to score a come-from-behind TKO win over compatriot Konosuke Tomiyama (18-2, 6 KOs), 115, a taller boxer-puncher from Tokyo, at 1:22 of the eighth round to retain his WBA belt and have the spectators in frenzy on Saturday in Osaka, Japan. (more…)
Villarreal Shocks Roman to Claim WBC Youth Title!
Ringside Report and Photos by Rocco Morales
This past Wednesday night a sell out crowd turned out to witness the hugely popular “Battle in The Ballroom” show at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, CA. Instead California fight fans were treated to a surprising upset as Anthony Villarreal (9-2, 4 KOs) won an eight round split decision victory over the previously undefeated Manny Roman (14-1, 5 KOs). The show, promoted by Roy Englebrecht Events, was their 26th consecutive sellout and featured a main event with no less than a WBC title at stake. Click here for the entire ringside report and photo gallery.
Will he stay or will he go? Fight fans will have a chance to learn the answer the same time the press does on Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles when 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist and future boxing hall of famer, “Golden Boy” Oscar de la Hoya holds a press conference to announce his future in the ring. The press conference takes place at noon at the Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE, across from STAPLES Center. The event will be open to the public.
By Gary “Digital” Williams at ringside
Henry “Hurricane” Mayes captured the Maryland State Light Heavyweight championship with a 10th round TKO over fellow Baltimore boxer Willie “For Real” Williams in a Beltway Bout of the Year candidate at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore. The third bout in this trilogy looked like the first two bouts between these two warriors — even — during the first five rounds. Both men had advantages with Mayes using his ring generalship in the early going and Williams picking up the pace as the bout headed to the middle rounds. Mayes turned the tide of the bout for good late in the ninth round by landing a crushing left-right combination that dropped Williams to the canvas with 10 seconds remaining in the round. Williams barely beat referee Malik Waleed’s count. Mayes sealed the victory early in the 10th when he rocked the game Williams with lefts and rights, forcing the stoppage at 20 seconds of the round. With the win, Mayes raises his record to 8-6-3, five KO’s while Williams falls to 12-4-2, three KO’s. (more…)
By Chris Morris / rockymountainboxing.com
Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith and CC Edwards are teaming up to present an outdoor pro boxing show on May 30th at the Softball Country Outdoor Arena. The main event will see the next step for undefeated welterweight Brad Jackson as he takes on veteran Geoffrey Spruiell in a six rounder. The undercard has a preliminary line up including a set of four rounders featuring Josh Martinez vs Jacob Dominguez at super-featherweight. Anthony Wehr will return at light heavyweight and Alejandro Castillo at bantamweight with opponents to be announced. C.C. Edwards and Moonlight Productions are ‘importing’ New Mexican Arturo Crespin for a bout and local fan favorite Manuel Perez will see six rounds of action in a ‘rust shaker’ against journeyman Reginald Nash before seeking a rematch with Brandon Rios. Tickets and information are available at MileHighBoxing.com or by calling Jim Smith at 303-450-9763. Prices are $50 for ringside, $35 for reserved seating and $25 for general admission. There are also sponsorship opportunities, including ringside VIP tables, available.
By Joe Koizumi
WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro (13-1, 8 KOs), 115, came off the canvas twice in the first and sixth and finally retaliated to score a come-from-behind TKO win over compatriot Konosuke Tomiyama (18-2, 6 KOs), a taller boxer-puncher from Tokyo, at 1:22 of the eighth round to retain his WBA belt and have the spectators in frenzy on Saturday in Osaka, Japan. Also, unbeaten Etsuko Tada (5-0, 2 KOs), 104.75, captured the WBA female minimumweight belt by winning a nearly lopsided decision (99-91 and 98-92 twice) over previously unbeaten defending champ Cholong Son (10-1, 3 KOs), 104.5, Korea, over ten fast rounds. (More to come)
By Raymond Markarian & Johnny B’
Former promoter/boxer Sammy Merza is back in action. The hard hitting puncher from Chicago, Illinois will fight on April 16th in Podgorica, Montenegro. Merza’s boxing story is probably one of the more unique in the history of the sport. The proud Assyrian super middleweight went 14-1 with 11 knockouts in his first fifteen bouts, then hung up the boxing gloves for three years, and threw his hat into the promotional ranks from 2005 to 2008. In October, Merza returned to his knockout ways, destroying Michael Rush in the first round. Now 16-1 Merza’s looks to his next opponent, Thomas Hengstberger who has had 36 professional bouts, and fights out of Austria. If Merza is victorious, he is targeting Andy Lee and John Duddy.
By Joe Koizumi
Despite the nationwide and worldwide recession, Japan keeps staging world title bouts as regularly as previously, though our promoters complain of unsatisfactory ticket sales. A dual world title promotion will take place today (Saturday) in Osaka, Japan.
WBA super-fly champ Nobuo Nashiro (12-1, 7 KOs), 115, will put his title on the line against compatriot and ex-OPBF ruler Konosuke Tomiyama (18-1, 6 KOs), a taller boxer-puncher from Tokyo, over twelve rounds. Also, WBA female minimumweight champ Cholong Son (10-0, 3 KOs), 104.25, will risk her belt against unbeaten Japanese prospect Etsuko Tada (4-0, 2 KOs), 104.75, over ten two-minute rounds. (more…)
Tickets for UFC® 100 are SOLD OUT. The historic UFC 100 event, with three blockbuster fights already confirmed, receives a massive response from UFC® Fight Club™ and Newsletter members, creating a sellout in record time . . . Click here for more
For five grueling rounds on April 5, Japanese striker Takeya Mizugaki pushed WEC® bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres to the limit. Utilizing a strong clinch game and vicious stand-up, the 25-year-old traded leather with one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighters. And although Mizugaki ended up losing via narrow decision, much of the talk after the fight centered on the Japanese star’s outstanding performance . . . Click here for more
By William “Ski” Wilczewski at ringside
Photos: William Wilczewski
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Former middleweight contender and now WBC #4 rated super welterweight David “The Destroyer” Lopez (38-12, 25 KOs) pounded out a ten round unanimous decision over Ossie Duran (23-7-2, 9 KOs) on Friday night at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona. Lopez outworked Duran to win by scores of 97-93, 96-94, 96-94. The venue is Lopez’ home away from home as the bout marked the 12th time he has fought there.
Highly touted junior welterweight prospect Hector Sanchez (18-0, 8 KOs) survived a third round knockdown en route to a controversial eight round unanimous decision over former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (33-11-1, 19 KOs). Scores were 77-74, 77-74, 77-74.
Jr welterweight Karl Dargan (4-0, 2 KOs) stopped Rudy Valdez (2-3, 1 KO) at 2:16 of the fourth and final round.
Update: In off-TV fights, 2004 United States Olympian welterweight Rock Allen (15-0, 7 KOs) took a workmanlike six round unanimous decision over Adan Hernandez (14-7, 5 KOs) by scores of 60-54, 58-56, 60-54.
Lightweight up and comer Hylon Williams (9-0, 3 KOs) swept past veteran Derrick Moon (12-27-1, 3 KOs) by a 40-36 count on all cards.
By Ryan Macalua at ringside
Light heavyweight contender Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (25-2, 17 KOs) won a close ten round majority decision over Otis Griffin (19-5-2, 7 KOs) on Friday night at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. It was a competitive fight throughout with former IBF super middleweight champion Lacy winning by scores of 95-95, 96-94, 97-93. After the bout, Lacy called out Roy Jones Jr., who was in attendance. (more…)
Winky Wright 159 vs. Paul Williams 157
Chris Arreola 255 vs. Jameel McCline 271
Danny Garcia 143 vs. Humberto Tapia 143.5
Shawn Estrada vs. 164.5 Omar Coffi 165.5
Jose Rodriguez 155 vs. Pablo Montes De Oca 155
Craig Mcewan 161 vs. Alexis Division 161
Michael Dallas 139 vs. Terrance Jett 139
Juan Dominguez 127 vs. Ramon Flores 128
Rico Ramos 123 vs. Gino Escamilla 123.5
Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas
Promoter: Golden Boy Promotions
By Alexey Sukachev
Donetsk-based WBA #3 Vyacheslav Senchenko (29-0, 20 KOs) outpointed WBA welterweight champion Yuri Nuzhnenko (28-1-1, 13 KOs) over twelve hard-fought crowd-pleasing rounds by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 in an all-Ukrainian superfight at the Sportpalace Drusba in Donetsk, Ukraine. After the even first round, Senchenko found his rhythm in the second round. He kept Kievan Nuzhnenko on the distance with his hard right jab and added a huge left hook to shake Yuri at the end of the round. The pattern of the game was the same for the next two rounds with Senchenko being effective on the outside and Nuzhnenko trying to enforce a brawl in close quarters. He was a bit more successful in the fifth stanza with his pressure tactics but Senchenko came back strong in the next two rounds. Nuzhnenko was cut over his left eye in the midst of the contest and had his usual facial swellings from the outset of the game. Nevertheless, the reigning champion increased the tempo and started to connect more in closing rounds while Senchenko did his best to find safety in clinches. However, Yuri’s final effort was too late and maybe too little to turn back the tide. Fightnews scored it closer than the official scores reflect with 115-113. Shane Mosley remains the WBA super champion in this weight class.
European featherweight titlist Oleg Yefimovich (16-1, 10 KOs), who is ranked #3 by the WBO, #12 by the WBC and WBA, and #15 by the IBF, retained his regalia for the second time with an easy twelve-round decision over Frenchman Osman Aktas (33-17-5, 6 KOs) with the scores: 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. Yefimovich used his superior technique and boxing wisdom to control the slow and light-hitting Aktas from the distance with his jab and powerful left hooks and right hands but was unable to stop his durable foe. Fightnews had it 119-109 for the local hero. (more…)
By Gary “Digital” Williams
The trilogy of bouts between Baltimore, MD light heavyweights Henry “Hurricane” Mayes and Willie “For Real” Williams probably will not join the list of great boxing trilogies. It may, however, be one of the more unique trilogies in recent boxing history. Unlike three-bout series like Patterson-Johannsen, Bowe-Holyfield and Gatti-Ward where each man carried one victory into the third bout, the Mayes-Williams series contains two draws – a six-rounder on October 3, 2008 in Salisbury, MD and an eight-rounder on January 23 in Woodlawn, MD. The third contest – a 10-round contest for the Maryland State Light Heavyweight championship — will headline the Baltimore Pro Boxing “Third Time’s The Charm” card tonight at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore. The obvious question going into the third bout: what can each man do to gain an actual victory in the third encounter? Not surprisingly, the two men have similar answers to that question. (more…)
The boxing drought is over in Southern Arizona as the Desert Diamond Casino, in partnership with Golden Boy Promotions, presents this week’s ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. In the main event, David “The Destroyer” Lopez (37-12, 25 KOs) will battle Ossie Duran (23-6-2, 9 KOs) in a ten-round middleweight contest. “It’s true, boxing is back,” said Treena Parvello, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise. “I am glad that the Desert Diamond can showcase David “The Destroyer” Lopez as he continues his rampage on the road to becoming a world champion!” The co-main event features the 2000 Junior Olympics bronze medalist Hector “El Flaco” Sanchez (17-0, 8 KOs) against former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (33-10-1, 19 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight bout. Also in action are 2004 Olympian Rock Allen (14-0, 7 KOs) and lightweight prospect Hylon Williams (8-0, 3 KOs). Several more bouts featuring top local talent from the Southwest are scheduled.
Below are the official weights of tonight’s participants:
David Lopez 154 1/2 vs. Ossie Duran 154 1/2
Hector Sanchez 140 1/4 vs. DeMarcus Corley 141
Rock Allen 141 3/4 vs. Adan Hernandez
Hylon Williams 135 1/2 vs. Derrick Moon 135 1/4
Eric Woods 245 1/2 vs. Andrae Carthron 220 1/2
Karl Dargan 136 1/2 vs. Rudy Valdez 139 1/2
Special guest Oscar De La Hoya will be at ringside. Doors open at 6pm with the first fight starting at 7pm. Select fights will be televised on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Tickets are at the Desert Diamond Casino box office.
The last time they met it was a pitch battle that many felt was the fight of the year in 2008. Now Hennessy Sports and Groupe Yvon Michel are pleased to announce that WBC Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch (24-0, 19 KO’s) and Montreal’s Jean Pascal (22-1, 15 KO’s) are working together for Froch’s title defense against former undisputed Middleweight champion of the world Jermain Taylor, set for April 25, at the MGM Theatre at The MGM Grand Foxwods. Call it round thirteen. “I know Jean is a class act, and a top-notch pro. I found that out last December,” Froch said of their grueling twelve round battle for the then-vacant WBC Super Middleweight title that Froch won via unanimous decision. “We both fought like our lives were on the line, and after going to war like we did, you get a real appreciation for a person. Besides, by the time camp with Jean is finished, I’ll be as ready as possible for Jermain Taylor.” Pascal is equally enthused about his new training partner. “After being in the same ring as Carl last December, I know first hand that he’s an elite warrior,” Pascal said. “And with a big fight of my own coming up in a few months, I know he’ll be great to help me prepare for battle.” Froch vs. Taylor, billed as “Continents Collide,” can be seen live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING beginning at 9 PM Eastern.
By Craig Watt
In the times of Eastern European domination in the heavyweight division, Australia is sending its top heavyweight prospect to the USA to enter the mix. Mark de Mori from Perth is an Australian with an Italian grandfather who is ready and willing to test himself on the world stage. In 2008 he signed up with Don King and has recently returned from Ohio from a two month training camp with King’s heavyweight team and he is now ready to pack his bags to appear on the under card of the April 24th IBF jr-middleweight championship fight between Cory Spinks and Deandre Latimore in St.Louis. The 27-year-old is just reaching his prime and has a record of 13-1-2 with eleven wins by knockout and is willing to travel anywhere and fight any of the top contenders to test himself in the heavyweight division. (more…)
By Kurt Wolfheimer
Rising junior middleweight contender Derek “Pooh” Ennis (17-2-1, 12 KOs), will once again make his move into the national spotlight when he tangles with Ishmail Arvin (15-1-4, 7 KOs) on Saturday night for the USBA light middleweight title at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fightnews had the opportunity to speak with Derek as he approaches quite possibly the biggest fight of his career. (more…)
Watch UFC® 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2 Free On Spike: Saturday Night at 9pm ET/PT on Spike. Event Site>
Get A Sneak Peak At Countdown To UFC® 97: Don’t miss Countdown to UFC 97, premiering Monday, April 13 at 11pm ET/PT on Spike. Watch Now>
Catch An All-New Episode of Real Quick w/ Mike Swick: Mike travels to THQ Headquarters to take on a familiar face. Watch Now>
Five Bouts Added to UFC® 100 Mega Card: Featuring the debut of an Asian superstar, a 205-pound phenom, a top judo black belt, an Ultimate Fighter finalist, and a lightweight showdown. Full Story>
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The big June 13 unification clash at Madison Square Garden in New York City between WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey will be officially announced at a press conference on Tuesday. For Cotto, it will be the fourth time in the last five years he has headlined a big card on the eve of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade at the “Mecca of Boxing.” In 2005 he faced Mohamad Abdulaev, in 2006 he took on Paul Malignaggi, and in 2007 it was Zab Judah.
By Alexey Sukachev and Alexey Uralets (Allboxing.ru) at ringside
German Titov, 2008 Russian promoter of the year, has staged another local show today at his Ural stronghold in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Headlining the show were two rising prospects from lighter weight classes. Uzbekistan native super featherweight Gayratjon Abdulhakimov moved to 9-0 with 6 KOs after a destructive second-round technical knockout of comebacking professional opponent Pavel ‘Macho’ Kubasov (4-32, 1 KO). Kubasov was down three times in the second stanza before the stoppage. Featherweight Georgi Kevilishvili (9-0, 3 KOs) floored his overmatched opponent Yuri Margaryan (0-2) with a vicious body-punch in the third round and finished him moments later with the same type of blow. (more…)
By Rick Scharmberg
Derek “Pooh” Ennis (17-2-1, 12 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA squares off against Ishmail “The Arsenal” Arvin (15-1-4, 7 KOs), of Baltimore, MD in the solid ten round junior middleweight main event at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Atlantic City, NY. Ennis will be defending his USBA junior middleweight title. The “Brawl at the Hall” will feature eight additional bouts. Dee Lee Promotions and GNP Boxing are promoting the show. (more…)
By William Wilczewski
Both are 31 years old and have had their share of wearing minor association title belts around their wastes. Now, both need an impressive performance to get a shot a major title belt. Problem is, only one can come out victorious when Nogales, Sonora, Mexico’s David “The Destroyer” Lopez and Accra, Ghana’s Ossie Duran headline ESPN’s Friday Night Fights card at Desert Diamond Casino near Sahuarita, Ariz. Duran (23-6-2, 9 KOs), who now calls Patterson, N.J., home, had his first big shot in the A-class ring when he laced ‘em against James Kirkland on June 1, 2007. After losing a 10-round unanimous decision, Duran took more than a year off before fighting to a draw with Eromosele Albert in September of the last year. Lopez (37-12, 25 KOs) will be his next test after nearly seven months of inactivity — but he says he’s prepared for it, despite Lopez’s home field advantage. (more…)
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