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Guerrero returns
"The Ghost" spooks Arrieta with eighth round TKO at Tropicana

Ringside by Andreas Hale and Francisco Salazar
Photos by Chris Cozzone

Robert Guerrero made a successful return to the ring after taking some time off to deal with his wife’s battle with a life threatening illness and scored a decisive 8th round TKO victory over Robert Arrieta in the main event at the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas. Guerrero’s lightweight debut proved that “The Ghost” is just as effective at 140 as he was at 135.

After a short feeling out session, Guerrero (25-1-1, 18 KOs) would find success with the jab and use it as a range finder for the straight left hand. In the second round a right jab, straight left combination dropped Arrieta (35-16-4) and another two punch combination sent the Argentinean to the seat of his pants again in the third. From that point on, Arrieta became a sitting duck for the Gilroy, Calif. fighter to score often with nearly anything put behind the jab. Arrieta offered nothing that would prevent Guerrero from coming forward as the former Jr. Lightweight champ continued to flash the jab in his face.

A dynamite straight left hand collapsed Arrieta in the 8th round and although he would make it up on shaky legs, Guerrero would finish the job as referee Jay Nady called a halt to the bout at :29 in the 8th round. “I feel great, I wanted to get some rounds in,” Guerrero said. “I worked my jab and got him out of there.”

With the victory, Guerrero is looking to immediately make an impression on the Lightweight division and is ready to fry the bigger fish in the division. “This sets me up for a bigger fight,” he continued. “I made a statement at 135 and I’m back now. I want the winner of Marquez/Diaz.”

Even with the victory, Guerrero sees the accomplishment minor compared to the fight his wife is currently winning against acute lymphocytic leukemia - a condition she’s had since 2007. A successful bone-marrow transplant in January has allowed Guerrero to focus on boxing again.

“This means a lot to me because Kasey’s fight is for her life. I just went out there and had fun." - AH

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Gomez racks up second win

Amateur standout Frankie Gomez stopped overmatched Ricardo Malfavon in the second round of a scheduled four round bout.

Gomez was just too quick and athletic for Malfavon. Although Gomez threw mostly arm punches, he was able to outland Malfavon by a substantial amount.

In the second round, Gomez landed a hard right hand to the head that at first staggered Malfavon, but eventually dropping him to the canvas.

Malfavon stood up, but Gomez went in for the kill. Malfavon backed up into a corner as Gomez went right at him, although he did not land anytimg flush. To protect Malfavon, referee Russell Mora stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:06.

Gomez, from East Los Angeles, CA, goes to 2-0, 2 KOs. Malfavon, from Santa Ana, CA, drops to 0-2. - FS

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Cotto decisions Sandoval

Lightweight Abner Cotto won a four round unanimous decision victory over Juan Sandoval.

Sandoval was an easy target for Cotto to hit as he went right at Cotto. With no head movement by Sandoval, Cotto consistently landed the more effective punches often in the fight.

Cotto was confident to throw the jab in the first half of the fight. It kept Sandoval away from him as Sandoval was effective at times on the inside.

Both fighters attempted to land with single hooks or crosses to the head in the final round, mostly missing or hitting each other s upper arms.

All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Cotto.

Cotto, from Caguas, Puerto Rico, improves to 7-0, 4 KO s. Sandoval, from San Bernardino, CA, falls to 1-3, a KO. - FS

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Wilder pushes way to win

In a bizarre ending, heavyweight Deontay Wilder stopped Alvaro Morales in the third round of a scheduled six-round bout.

The bout was highlighted by decent two-way action between the taller Wilder against the rotund Morales. Wilder may have landed more on the inside, but Morales was able to catch his opponent with right hands to the head.

At times, Morales would duck and avoid Wilder's telgraphed punches. As Morales initiated the exchanges, Wilder would have been served better to use his jab or go to the body more.

Both fighter tied up during an exchange in the third round. To create space, Wilder pushed Morales off of him. Morales fell backwards onto the canvas, hitting the back of his head. Morales stayed down on the canvas for about 30 seconds, eventually getting up on shaky legs. Morales corner got up on the canvas, waving a towel for referee Jay Nady to stop the fight, which he did at 1:23.

Wilder, from Tuscaloosa, AL, goes to 10-0, 10 KO s. Morales, from Las Vegas, NV, drops to 4-8-5. - FS

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Junior & Torres Battle To A Draw

In four round Jr. Lightweight action, Toddy Junior and Rene Torres battled to a majority draw. It was a close fight throughout with both fighters exchanging leather. Torres (0-1-1) had the upper hand on one judges’ scorecard 39-37, while the other two judges scored the fight 38-38. Junior’s record is now 2-0-1. - AH

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Velasquez Cruises Against Guillen

Juan Velasquez improved to 10-1 as he cruised to an easy unanimous victory over Robert Guillen in four round featherweight action. All three judges saw the fight 40-36. Guillen falls to 5-7-3 with the loss. - AH

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Ringside notes

- Former world champions Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, Erik Morales, Thomas Hearns, Fernando Vargas, Jorge Paez, lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, junior middleweight champion Alfredo Angulo, and former contender Ahmed Santos took in the action from ringside.

- De La Hoya and Tyson were mobbed by those in attendance. Both were gracious enough to sign autographs and take pictures with fight fans.

- Friday night's card marked the return of Solo Boxeo Tecate after a 16 month hiatus. Airing on Telefutura, Bernardo Osuna and Ricardo Celis called the action from ringside.

- Ring announcer was Joe Martinez.

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