Juanma stops Lontchi!
Arce destroys Lumacad!
Kurt Wolfheimer and Rick Scharmberg at Ringside
Photography by Marty Rosengarten / RingsidePhotos.com
One of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (26-0, 24 KOs) successfully defended his WBO junior featherweight title with a convincing ninth round stoppage of Olivier Lontchi (18-0-3, 8 KOs) in the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City New Jersey on Saturday night.
Lopez, known for his destructive knockouts, dropped Lontchi twice, but had to go a different route to solve the unique defense of the Canadian contender and force the stoppage.
Lontchi, the NABA super featherweight champion came out very defensively in the opening round, as he attempted to get a feel for the style and power of Lopez.
It looked like it was going to be an early night and another one of impressive knockout for “Juanma” in the second round as he floored Lontchi in the corner with a huge right hook up top. Lontchi immediately rose to his feet though and dropped down low and weaved out of trouble as several big shots from Lopez just whistled over his head. Lontchi showed poise as he got on the bicycle and finished the round without getting caught with another big shot.
Lontchi continued to duck under the arm of Lopez in the third round which gave “Juanma” a difficult time landing his normally accurate hooks. Lopez began to push down on the head of Lontchi whenever he clinched while under his arm, in an effort to tire him and stop him from the constant ducking.
Lopez began to settle down towards the end of round three and caught Lontchi off balance with a right and followed up with a left up top but Lontchi ducked and weaved his way out of trouble again.
In round four, Lontchi began to lunge with a couple of good right hands which connected on the chin of the champ, but he just shook them off and continued to press the attack. Lopez seemed to get frustrated by the constant holding of Lontchi.
Lopez had trouble landing multiple shots in round five so he changed his tactics to attack the body in round six. Lopez landed a couple of heavy shots that slowed down Lontchi in the sixth. Late in the round seven, Juan Manuel caught him in the corner and unloaded with several punches, but Lontchi escaped and landed a counter right. The heavy shots of “Juanma” began to find their mark more consistently which began to wear down Lontchi.
It become a classic bull and matador fight as Lopez attacked in round eight, while the fading Canadian tried to evade the pulverizing shots from the champ. Though Lopez wasn’t cleanly connecting, the shots were doing their damage as Lontchi became more defensive, throwing little in return as the round came to a close.
The crowd shouted “Juanma! Juanma!” as Lopez went in for the kill in round nine. Finally, Lopez saw an opening and uncorked a patented straight left which caught Lontchi flush on the chin as he crumbled to the canvas. Lontchi rose to his feet and tried to hold as Lopez continued to rain down heavy shots. Lontchi was able to survive the round but his steps were heavy as he walked to his corner.
Badly behind on the cards and barely surviving, Lontchi’s corner did the appropriate thing and waved the fight off in the corner at 3:00 minute mark of round nine.
“It was good fight for me, I am satisfied with my performance,” said the world champion Lopez afterward. “I was aggressive, but I was chasing him more because he didn’t look like he wanted to fight but to run.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum reiterated on the maturation of the new Juan Manuel Lopez; “He is becoming a complete fighter. I can’t see anybody with the possible exception of Gamboa in junior featherweight or featherweight division who would be able to stand up to him.
“I am bringing him back in September or early October in a show with Gamboa fighting on the card as well,” said Arum.
One thing for sure is a fight against Gamboa could come down as one of the most exciting fights in boxing today.---Kurt Wolfheimer
ARCE DESTROYS LUMACAD
Former two-time world champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce, of Los Mochis, Mexico breathed new life into his illustrious career with a one punch knockout of unheralded Fernando “Poe” Lumacad, of General Santos City, Philippines, at 35 seconds of round three of their scheduled twelve round WBC super flyweight elimination bout.
Arce ranked #3 in the WBC and in everyone else’s top-10, was coming back from a brutal eleventh round stoppage at the hands of super flyweight world champion Vic Darchinyan.
Arce (52-5-1, 40 KOs) measured Lumacad (19-2-2, 7 KOs) in the opening round, using his jab as a range finder, while Lumacad circled the ring.
In round two, Lumacad worked the body of Arce with single shots, while Arce continued working his jab. Midway through the round, Arce emerged from an inside exchange with a cut on his left eye, which he pawed at several times before the round ended. The cut was ruled to be caused by an accidental clash of heads.
Arce wasted little time in round three. He trapped Lumacad in a neutral corner, and landed a perfect overhand right on the chin that sent Lumacad to his knees. Lumacad assumed a sitting position in the corner as referee Wayne Hedgepeth counted him out.
“This was my first fight with Nacho Beristain. My game plan was to box, but when I saw the opening, I threw the right hand with everything I had. I feinted him, and then I hit him with the right. I normally knock them out with my left, but tonight it was the right,” said the Arce.---Rick Scharmberg
BUNDRAGE-FOREMAN: NO DECISION
A scheduled twelve round IBF super welterweight title eliminator between IBF #2- ranked Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage and #3-ranked Yuri Foreman ended in a “no decision” after Foreman suffered a nasty cut on his right eye from an accidental head butt in the third round.
The bout was stopped by the ringside physician between the third and fourth rounds. The rules dictate that four rounds must be completed in order to go to the scorecards, so the bout was declared a “no decision.”
The bout started extremely slow, with Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs) of Detroit, Michigan assuming the role of counter puncher against the natural counter punching Foreman, in an attempt the get Foreman to fight his fight.
This strategy of Bundrage forced Foreman (27-0, 8 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York into the role of the aggressor. You could tell that Foreman was not used to leading, because he would throw shots from the outside and then tie up Bundrage and force a clinch. Bundrage refused to buy into the clinching and kept his hands moving on the inside.
At 5’6”, Bundrage was at a distinct height disadvantage against the 5’11” Foreman, but he held a one inch advantage in reach, which allowed him to out jab Foreman while in counterpunching mode in round two. Foreman continued to land a blow, and then tie Bundrage up.
Bundrage came out more aggressively in round three which played into Foreman’s hands. Foreman landed a nice left hook in the opening minute of the round, but he continued to hit and then hold. Bundrage landed a nice counter right, but Foreman came back with a hard overhand right over a Bundrage jab.
Foreman’s momentum carried him inside with his head down, in an attempt to tie Bundrage up once again. This time, Foreman and Bundrage collided heads, and Foreman was badly cut on his right eye near the end of the round. Foreman won the round, but the cut was too deep, and the bout was stopped between rounds.---Rick Scharmberg
MARTIROSYAN PUMMELS TSURKAN
2004 Olympian and #12 ranked IBF junior middleweight contender Vanes “The Destroyer” Martirosyan moved one step closer to his hopes of winning a world title with a six round pummeling of hardcore veteran Andrey Tsurkan.
Martirosyan set the terms of the fight early as he kept the advancing Tsurkan on the outside with constant pinpoint left jabs.
Tsurkan continued to plod forward though, taking several combinations, mixed in with uppercuts during rounds two and three.
With his face severely reddened and puffed out from the various shots, Tsurkan finally got Vanes to trade in round four. Vanes though was just too quick and after the wild exchange, he stepped back and continued his mastery of getting in and out of punching rage with heavy shots behind the constant jabs. Late in the round, Vanes wobbled the Russian with over hand right. Tsurkan however had the heart of a warrior and continued to press forward, desperately trying to turn the tide as Martirosyan rained down various combinations.
A huge welt had formed under the eye of Tsurkan by round five from the constant attack that he no answer for.
By round six the straight rights from the Martirosyan opened a cut over the right eye of Tsurkan. The game and bleeding Tsurkan continued to press forward with hopes of landing that one big shot that would never come.
As Tsurkan returned to the corner in round six, he looked battered and beaten. With little argument from the corner of Tsurkan, the referee stopped the contest at the advice of the ringside physician.
Vanes Martirosyan averaged 46 jabs thrown per round, landing over 89 jabs in the fight. He was also extremely accurate with his power punches, landing 46% of his power shots (78 of 171) compared to just 31 of 83 landed by Tsurkan.
Martirosyan kept his record perfect at 25-0 with 16 knockouts while Tsurkan drops to 26-5 with 17 knockouts.---Kurt Wolfheimer
NEGRON DEMOLISHES GEORGE
Cruiserweight prospect Carlos Negron of San Juan, Puerto Rico dropped a completely overmatched Kenneth George twice en-route to a one sided first round TKO.
The 21 year old Negron - standing at six foot-six - almost immediately dropped the much smaller (6’ 1”) 35 year old George with a left hook around the ear in the opening stanza. George of Elkins Park West Virginia, rose to his feet, but looked scared as he threw a wild shot that missed badly while looking away. Negron calmly stepped forward and finished the job sending George back on the seat of his pants with a big right hand on the button. George attempted to rise to his feet but referee Steve Smoger knew the end was inevitable so he immediately waived the bout off at 1:18 of the first round mercifully saving him further damage.
Negron moves 3-0 with 3 knockouts while Kenneth George drops to 9-3-1 with 1 knockout.---Kurt Wolfheimer
SANTIAGO OUTPOINTS SANCHEZ-LEON
Sharp shooting featherweight contender Mario Santiago scored a workmanlike eight round unanimous decision victory over Gilbert Sanchez-Leon. Santiago got back into the winning side of the ledger, rebounding from a draw with Steven Luevano (June 2008) in his unsuccessful attempt to capture the WBO Lightweight title.
Santiago ranked #10 by the WBO and #12 by the IBF showed his poise though and eventually solved the distance in capturing the unanimous decision victory.
It was a hard fight early on for the sharpshooting southpaw from Ponce Puerto Rico, who had to solve the five inch height disadvantage and the long gangly arms of Sanchez-Leon.
The first few rounds were close as Santiago just couldn’t get inside consistently enough to mount an attack as Sanchez-Leon countered well on the outside and clinched when on the inside. Santiago was still the busier boxer though.
Santiago stepped up the pressure in round three as the tough Sanchez-Leon spent more time on the retreat from the heavy punch output. Sanchez-Leon was forced to the ropes late in the round with a right hook up top, followed by a Santiago left to the ribs which forced him to hold and clinch.
Round four was another good round for Santiago, who stunned the tough Mexican with three successive overhand lefts.
After a couple of tough back and forth rounds, the fight got a little dirty in round seven as referee Brian O’Melia warned Sanchez-Leon twice for hitting Mario Santiago in the back of the head.
Santiago actually showed his poise as he continued his methodical attack with pinpoint combinations in the eighth and final round. Sanchez-Leon fought hard and actually pressed the attack at certain points in the final round, but one more punch behind the head of Santiago forced the referee to take a point and left little doubt of whom the victor was in this fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Santiago by scores of 77-74, 78-74 and 79-71.
Santiago moves to 20-1-1 with 14 knockouts while Gilbert Sanchez-Leon slides to 21-7-2 with 7 knockouts.---Kurt Wolfheimer
KOROBOV KNOCKOUTS DIAZ IN 82 SECONDS!
Hard hitting Russian middleweight prospect Matt Korobov made quick work of Maywood, California’s Benjamin Diaz, finishing him off at 1:22 seconds of the first round of their scheduled four round clash.
The former 2005 and 2007 world amateur champion Korobov surprised Diaz with his very first right jab, planting him on his back just seconds into the fight. It was more of a flash knockdown though and Diaz smiled as he rose to his feet. However that smile wouldn’t last long as just moments later, Korobov trapped him in the corner and unleashed two lethal hooks to the body, which dropped Diaz to his knees. Diaz reached his feet at the count of six, but was in serious pain, holding his right side and immediately kneeled back down for the ten count at 1:22 of the opening round.
It was the sixth knockout in seven for heavy handed southpaw Korobov as he upped his record to 7-0 with 6 knockouts. Diaz drops to a respectable 9-3-2 with 6 knockouts.---Kurt Wolfheimer
BRYAN OUTPOINTS BEEMAN!
Former 2004 and 2005 National Golden Gloves junior welterweight champion Jeremy “Hollywood” Bryan raised his record to 11-0 with 4 knockouts with a one sided six round unanimous decision victory over Providence Rhode Island’s Josh “Steamin’” Beeman (4-3-2, 2 KOs).
Bryan, from nearby Patterson, New Jersey established his dominance in the ring early as he kept Beeman at a distance with his precision like left jabs, which allowed him to follow up with couple of sharp combinations with little coming back in return.
The superior hand speed of Bryan kept the punch output of Beeman to just a few overhand rights in the early rounds.
In round three Beeman connected with several big overhand rights on the button, but Bryan showed he grit and walked right through the shots as he continued to box well from the outside.
Bryan stunned his opponent in round six with a left hook which pushed him to the ropes. Beeman covered against the ropes as Bryan unloaded a quick four punch combination. Beeman kept his guard up and was able to slide his way across the ring and out of trouble.
Knowing the victory was well in hand; Bryan easily moved and boxed his way until the final bell, taking little chances in the sixth round.
All three judges saw the bout in easily favor of Jeremy Bryan, by scores of 60-53, 60-54 and 59-55.---Kurt Wolfheimer
TORRES DECISIONS TAPIA
Michael “Sweet T” Torres, of Piscataway, New Jersey remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Humberto Tapia, of Tijuana, Mexico in a six round super lightweight bout.
Torres (13-0, 7 KOs), a three-time New Jersey Golden Gloves champion, held the edge in class over Tapia (13-11-1, 7 KOs), as he continually thwarted the pressure of his opponent with movement and his faster hands.
Torres had a big opening round, as he landed his right hand from a variety of angles to the head and body of Tapia. Torres landed some nice left hooks in round two, and continued to throw the pressing Tapia off track with angles and combination punching in round three.
Tapia continued to chase Torres, and near the end of the fifth, he caught up with him and landed a hard right that stunned Torres.
Torres turned southpaw in the opening minute of round six and scored with some nice lefts. He turned back to orthodox and sealed things with a big right to the head of Tapia near the end of the round.
All three judges favored Torres by 60-54 scores.---Rick Scharmberg
MARENGO AND RODRIGUEZ DRAW AGAIN
The opening bout featured a rematch between lightweights Hector Marengo (5-0-3, 3 KOs) of Arecibo, Puerto Rico and Angel Rodriguez (3-3-2, 2 KOs) of Houston, Texas and like their first bout, they fought to a draw.
Marengo won the opening round with some nice combination punching, while Rodriguez started slow, jabbing to Marengo’s body. Round two was closer, and both fighters landed hard left hooks in the final seconds.
Both fighters had success in round three, with Rodriguez landing a right-left to the head followed by a right to the body, while Marengo landed a three-punch combination to the body at the beginning of the round.
Marengo took the fourth and fifth rounds, but Rodriguez won round six in a big way. Rodriguez found the key – the right uppercut – and landed it at will to win the final round.
Their first bout, last February, ended in a majority draw. This time the scoring was split. One judge scored 58-56 for Marengo while another had it for Rodriguez by the same score. The third judge had it even at 57-57.---Rick Scharmberg