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- Vazquez victorious in Fort Worth
- Live at Leeds: Hall-Malinga Undercard
- Roy Jones Jr. wins fringe cruiserweight belt in Moscow; Chudinov wins WBA interim middleweight title
- Shindo, Rodriguez to square off tomorrow
- Ty Coleman's Biggest Fight
- Tupou defeats Lakopo in Aussie return
- Weights from Broomall, PA
- Imam, Diaz blow away foes in one
- Jose Sulaiman Update
- Narvaez and Carmona make weight
Ringside by Byron Spurlock & Jose Reyes
Photography by Chris Cozzone
Houston fans might not have been happy, but fight fans outside Texas witnessed a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate, and the best doubleheader televised in years, last night at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The bouts, televised on HBO and promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, were witnessed by 14,571 fans who were rooting for hometown favorites Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez.
In the main event, proving himself the new king of lightweights, Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) scored a spectacular ninth round knockout over former unified champ Diaz (34-2, 17 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA, WBO and IBO lightweight titles while retaining his Ring Magazine honors . . . . Click here for full report and a giant photo gallery
Mayweather, Pacquiao or Hatton targeted;
Juarez vs. John—Rematch imminent
Postfight press report & photos by Chris Cozzone
Having solidified his claim at lightweight—if not pound-for-pound—supremacy last night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tex., Juan Manuel Marquez, after knocking out Juan Diaz, says he wants to fight “only the best.” The “best,” as Marquez sees it, means Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, with Ricky Hatton a third choice, pending the outcome of his showdown against Pacquiao on May 2. “I’ve never ducked anybody,” proclaimed Marquez, taking a dig at his Filipino nemesis. “I’ve been trying to get a third fight with Manny Pacquiao but he does not want to fight me.” . . . . Click here for more
Story by Chris Cozzone
For several years now, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine has been one or two fights away from a shot at UFC’s most glamorous title, the light-heavyweight championship. First, he upsets Forrest Griffin, at UFC 66, in December 2006, by knocking out the future champion in just under a round . . . Click here for more
Former UFC® Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was at his devastating best last December as he settled his score with Wanderlei Silva via a chilling first round knockout. On Saturday, March 7, Jackson will look to move one step closer to regaining his title when he takes on the man who beat both Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine. For the third year in a row, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® is heading back to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 96: JACKSON vs. JARDINE, live from the Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 7, 2009. Click here to visit the official UFC 96 website!
Story by Anthony Springer Jr.
When pushing your body to its limits via the Xtreme Games gets old, what do you do?
If your name is Mike Budnik (8-1), the answer is mixed martial arts.
After twelve years as a successful inline skater, the New Yorker put his skates in the closet and looked for life’s next challenge. After a humbling experience with a jiu-jitsu instructor, Budnik—who says he hates to lose—was off on his second career of sorts . . . . Click here for more
Amir Khan admits even his own friends expect him to lose to Marco Antonio Barrera . . . Click here for more on Sky Sports
Blackpool boxer Mathew Ellis is to appear on the under-card of the Amir Khan/Marco Antonio Barrera bill at the MEN Arena next month . . . Click here for more from Blackpool Gazette
Integrated Sports will distribute a world-class pay-per-view card, headlined by Amir Khan versus “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, Saturday, March 14 live from The M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom . . . Click here for more
From the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas for tonight’s WEC 39 card on VERSUS:
Main Event – WEC Featherweight Title
Mike Brown (144.25) vs Leonard Garcia (145)
Ricardo Lamas (154.5) vs Bart Palaszewski (155.5)
Chris Mickle (145) vs Jose Aldo (145.5)
Rob McCullough (156) vs Marcus Hicks (155.5)
Phil Cardella (155.5) vs Danny Castillo (156)
Damacio Page (136) vs Marcos Galvao (136)
Alex Serdyukov (171) vs Johny Hendricks (171)
Rafael Rebello (135.25) vs Kenji Osawa (135.25)
Greg McIntyre (155) vs Alex Karalexis (156)
John Franchi (145) vs Mike Budnik (145.25)
Mike Pierce (170) vs Justin Haskins (170.25)
Hundreds of Filipino fans awaited Manny Pacquiao’s arrival at the famous Westminster Cathedral in London for Sunday services. Following mass, Pacquiao went to a crowded meet-and-greet with hundreds more Filipino fans at a local hotel. He took pictures and signed autographs for over 2 hours. There is a large Filipino population in the greater London area.
By Nick Giongco
Fresh from overpowering Erik Ramirez of Mexico, Filipino WBO minimumweight king Donnie Nietes of the ALA Boxing Club of Cebu is being groomed to make the third defense of the championship against another Mexican, Manuel Vargas, by late-May, ALA big boss Tony Aldeguer told Fightnews.com. “We are looking at (staging Nietes-Vargas) within 90 days from now,” said Aldeguer, moments after he received word that Nietes had won by 12-round unanimous decision before a highly-partisan crowd in Oaxaca. Mexican press reports say that Nietes decked the gutsy Ramirez once each in the first, fifth, ninth and 12th rounds in a dominating display. Aldeguer plans to put up Nietes’ battle with Vargas in the Philippines in partnership with giant TV network ABS-CBN. Nietes is one of only three current Filipino world champions. The two others are IBF fly king Nonito Donaire and WBO bantam supermo Gerry Penalosa. Nietes hails from Murcia, Negros Occidental, but trains in the boxing hotbed of Cebu. Nietes had captured the then-vacant title in Sept. 2007 with a points win over Pornsawan Kratingdaeng-Gym and he made the initial defense last year, stopping Nicaraguan Eddy Castro.
Unbeaten heavyweight Martin Rogan (12-0, 6 KOs) shocked the second big name in a row on Saturday night at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England. Following his win over 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison, Rogan stopped former world title challenger Matt Skelton (22-3, 19 KOs) to claim the Commonwealth heavyweight title. The fight was waved off after Rogen dropped Skelton with a right hand in round eleven, then finished him with a follow-up barrage — the first stoppage defeat of the 42-year-old Skelton’s career. Time was 1:21. Prior to the Harrison bout, the previously little-known Rogan surfaced in a made-for-TV heavyweight tournament called “Prizefighter” presented by promoter Barry Hearn on SKY-TV in April 2008, in which he won three bouts in one night to claim a £25,000 prize.
By Gabriel F. Cordero at ringside
Two world minimumweight titles were on the line on Saturday night at the Auditorio Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, Mexico. WBA minimumweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (23-0, 20 KOs) of Nicaragua won a majority decision over Francisco “Chiquita” Rosas (20-6-2, 12 KOs). The fighters constantly exchanged blows for all twelve rounds, but Gonzalez had a little more than his courageous challenger and won by scores of 115-113, 116-112. The third card was 114-114. Gonzalez retained his WBA world crown in his first defense outside his country.
In the other championship battle, Filipino Donnie Nietes (24-1-3, 14 KOs) scored four knockdowns in a twelve round unanimous decision over brave Mexican Erik Ramirez (25-6-2). Scores were 115-109, 116-108 and 113-111. Nietes retained his WBO miniumweight world crown in his first bout on the American continent.
Unbeaten Simphiwe Nongqayi (15-0, 6 KOs) outpointed Francisco “Panchito” Arce (28-5, 19 KOs) over twelve rounds in an IBF super flyweight eliminator on Saturday night at the Gimnasio Polideportivo Centenario in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Arce was knocked down in round eleven. Scores were 116-111 on all cards. In other action, former world champion Eric Ortiz (31-8-2, 20 KOs) stopped José Alfredo “Galletas” Tirado (6-9, 4 KOs) in round five.
By Byron Spurlock & Jose Reyes at ringside
Lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) scored a spectacular ninth round KO over Juan Diaz (34-2, 17 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA super and WBO lightweight titles, as well as Diaz’ IBO belt on Saturday night at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was a fierce all out war in which Marquez absorbed Diaz’ heavy pressure early, then broke down the “Baby Bull,” dropping him twice in the ninth. Time was 2:40. A definite fight of the year candidate.
In his eleventh defense of his WBA featherweight title and first fight in the USA, unbeaten world featherweight champion Chris John (42-0-2, 22 KOs) and Rocky Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KOs) battled to a hard-fought twelve round draw. John mostly outworked a determined Juarez, although Rocky landed the harder punches. John cut Juarez over the left eye in round five and threw more than 100 punches in most rounds, while Juarez closed strong winning the last two rounds on all cards. All three judges scored it 114-114, thus John retains the title. John originally won the belt in an elimination bout with Oscar Leon in Indonesia back in 2003. (more…)
In the main event of Boxeo Boricua en Caguas, Luis Cruz TKO’d Carlos Díaz at 1:26 of the sixth round. “El Artesano” showed superior fighting skills over “Bam Bam” Díaz, who despite of having more experience on the ring, didn’t present significant opposition. “In the ring I tried to learn as much as I could from my opponent so I can use the experience as a tool for my development as a fighter,” Cruz commented as he improved his record to 8-0 with 7 KOs.
In a previous bout, Jayson Vélez TKO’d Luis Colón at 2:19 of the fourth round. “La Maravilla” Vélez improved his record to 6-0, 6 KOs. Miguel Cotto Promotions and H-2 Entertainment will return with their boxing series “Boxeo Boricua in Caguas on Friday, March 27 at Roger Mendoza Coliseum.
By Karl Freitag
Former middleweight world title challenger “Hurricane” Sebastian Sylvester (30-3, 15 KOs) returned to the ring with an explosive seventh round knockout of Gaetano Nespro (14-5, 2 KOs) to win the vacant IBF International middleweight title on Saturday night at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Sylvester dropped Nespro with a right hand at the end of round one and walked right through whatever resistance his opponent offered as he completely dominated the fight, finally laying out Nespro with a flush right hand in the seventh. Time was 2:39. It was Sylvester’s first fight since his unsuccessful WBA title challenge against Felix Sturm last November and also his first fight with trainer Karsten Röwer.
In a rematch, European super middleweight champion Karo Murat (19-0, 12 KOs) scored a tenth round TKO over former WBC super middleweight titlist Cristian Sanavia (40-5-1, 12 KOs). Murat was deducted a point in round one for a low blow, but also punished Sanavia over the early rounds. The rugged former world champion continued to apply pressure, but Murat was extremely sharp and connected with hard, clean punches throughout the fight. The bout was finally stopped between rounds nine and ten. Official time was :05 of round ten. Murat had won a close decision over Sanavia to win the Euro belt last April. This time the result was clear and impressive. (more…)
By Alexey Sukachev
Lightweight Anthony Mezaache (15-5-3, 3 KOs) upset local favorite Jonathon Thaxton (34-9, 18 KOs) with his spirited performance after a disastrous first round, in which he was knocked down and deducted a point. The Frenchman used his superior technique and fighting ability to finish strong, taking a decision with the late rally: 115-111, 115-112, 114-113 – all in favor of Mezaache, who is now a new European lightweight champion. The bout took place at the Norwich Showground in Norwich, England.
By Alexey Sukachev
European welterweight champion Rafal Jackiewicz (34-8-1, 18 KOs) retained his belt for the second time with a spirited unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Italian contender Luciano Abis (25-1-1, 11 KOs) in front of a partisan crow moments ago in Lublin, Poland. Both boxers fought on even terms for the first three rounds but then the more active and consistent Pole started to build up a lead. Abis had his moments in middle rounds, however, Jackiewicz was a bit sharper finding a room for his trademark right uppercut – right hook combination. Both fighters gave everything they had in final two rounds with Jackiewicz being more precise, active and strong of two. All three judges had it in favor of the defending champion: 117-111, 116-112 and 118-112. Fightnews scored it almost the same 117-112 – for the WBO #5, WBC/IBF #6 and WBA #7 European welterweight champion.
Highly regarded Polish light heavyweight Dawid “Cygan” Kostecki (WBC #4 and WBA #7) moved to 30-1, with 21 KOs, after a hard-fought eight round decision over extremely tough Cameroonian journeyman Martial Bella Oleme (8-20-1, 1 KO), who is much better than his sub-par record suggests. Kostecki seemed to be lucky not to be stopped in the last round after a bad cut over his forehead near the left eye. However, replay revealed that the cut was caused by an accidental head-butt.
Rising Polish heavyweight prospect Andrzej Wawrzyk (14-0, 9 KOs) added a name of tough Latvian journeyman Edgars Kalnars (18-17, 9 KOs) to his resume with a third-round technical knockout.
Damian Jonak (20-0, 15 KOs) TKO 4 Janos Petrovics (15-23, 7 KOs); Lukasz Janik (13-0, 6 KOs) PTS 8 Remigijus Ziausus (7-20-1, 5 KOs);
Lukasz Maciec (5-0, 2 KOs) PTS 4 Jevgenijs Fedorovs (2-8-1); Artur Szpilka (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Victor Szalai (10-18-1, 3KOs)
By Alexey Sukachev
After a recent chain of setbacks (including 0-1-1 against losing journeyman Sergey Yurovskih), Kyrgyz top super flyweight Timur Shailezov (13-2-1, 1 KO) came back strong yesterday at Metro Bar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Shailezov scored his third win in a row and this time a sound one, convincingly outpointing experienced Argentinean Julio David Roque Ler (26-6, 15 KOs) over twelve rounds: 115-112, 115-113 and 118-110. Kyrgyz fighter seized a vacant WBA international belt with this victory. Roque Ler fought Jorge Arce in a WBC eliminator in 2007. The show was promoted by Akyl Beckbolotov.
By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Unbeaten Featherweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos (22-0, 15 KO’s) stopped Omar Lizarraga in the second round of a 10 round bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. Burgos dropped the game Lizarraga twice in the second round, both on left hooks. Burgos went in for the kill and landed a hard right hand that wobbled Lizarraga (16-7-1, 12 KO’s) prompting referee Dr. James Jen-Kin to step in and stop the bout at 2:19 of the round. With the victory, Burgos won two regional belts. Burgos is the nephew of former world champion, Victor Burgos, who was present at ringside. (more…)
The World Boxing Association Championship Committee has declared two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs), presently rated No. 3, as the mandatory challenger for the winner of this year’s Ruslan Chagaev-Nicolai Valuev WBA title fight.
As expected, Ricky Hatton was victorious over Manny Pacquiao in a game of darts on Saturday afternoon at the New Inn in Manchester, England. Playing a game of 501, “The Hitman” won in sixteen throws, nailing a double two to end it as the place went wild. Darts is a pro sport as well as a traditional pub game in the United Kingdom. After the match, Hatton presented Pacquiao with a Manchester City football jersey.
Later, trainers Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Freddie Roach met in a special challenge match: the first to get a bullseye wins. The match ended in a draw after fifteen shots each with no bullseyes for either side.
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