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Gamboa outpoints Salido at Palms
Rios steals show with win over Peterson

Ringside report by Andreas Hale
Photos by Chris Cozzone

A calm, cool and collected Yuriorkis Gamboa boxed and remained relatively careful to keep his unbeaten record intact to defeat IBF featherweight champion Orlando Salido via unanimous decision in their 12 round battle. The WBA featherweight champ looked a lot different than the Gamboa of the past – even sedated at times – as he picked his shots wisely while outpointing Salido by scores of 116-109, 115-109 and 114-109.

The fight was televised on HBO’s Boxing After Dark series on a Top Rank-promoted show that took place at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

Normally, the Cuban rips into his foes from the opening bell. But this version of Gamboa (19-0, 15 KOs) resembled a more careful fighter who is aware that his opponents are becoming more and more dangerous every time he steps into the ring. The 28-year-old picked his spots and only briefly flashed those moments of unbridled fury in their title bout. It may have been much to the chagrin of those in attendance, but it proved that Gamboa can fight a more controlled fight than he has in the past. Either way, his speed and skill set was far too much for Salido (34-11-2, 22 KOs & 1 NC) to handle.

The first half of the fight saw Gamboa pluck away at Salido with a number of potshots and a few blazing combinations that moved but never seriously put Salido in danger. Perhaps surprised that he couldn’t put his foe away, Gamboa entered the seventh frame a house of fire, landing a few telling blows but eased off the gas and went back to sticking, moving and holding.

The eighth round looked as if Gamboa was going to go for the kill as he crowded Salido’s space with combinations but a counter right hand caught Gamboa and sent him down briefly.

That would be the only danger Gamboa would be in as he went back to his boxing ways for the rest of the fight. A strange 12th round saw the Cuban flash knockdown Salido with a right hand, left hook combination. Salido didn’t appear too hurt but Gamboa completely laid into him with more power shots until a three-punch combination dropped Salido. However, with referee Joe Cortez out of position to begin counting, Gamboa continued to swarm Salido and hit him while he was down. Rather than award Gamboa the knockdown, Cortez docked 2004 Olympic gold medalist two points for the foul.

It wouldn’t matter however, as Gamboa cruised to the victory and inches closer to a huge showdown with Juan Manuel Lopez. This night showcased another side of the Cuban with star potential and many are curious to see what comes next from Gamboa inside of the squared circle.

Rios Stellar But Low Blows End Peterson’s Night

The WBA World Lightweight Title Eliminator between Brandon Rios and Anthony Peterson had all the makings of a great fight with an exciting finish until Peterson was disqualified for excessive low blows at the end of round seven to give Rios his most significant victory to date.

While it was assumed that Peterson was the better boxer, Rios brought to the ring an even better game plan and turned their 12 round affair into a street brawl; which heavily favored the Oxnard, CA fighter.

Peterson (30-1) outworked Rios and established the jab in the first round, but Rios came out of the corner begging for all technical aspects be tossed out the window, and Peterson obliged. Rios (25-0-1, 17 KOs) quickly found his weapon of choice – the uppercut – and slammed it into Peterson when the two wailed at each other in close quarters.

An exciting 3rd and 4th round of phone booth fighting favored Rios and “Bam Bam” took that momentum into a huge 5th round. Peterson knew that standing in front of Rios had been bad news but his pride kept him brawling.

Rios certainly didn’t mind the contact and the two ripped each other with their Saturday night specials. Both connected with left hands, but Rios’ was the much more devastating and sent Peterson sprawling to the canvas with under 20 seconds left in the round.

The pendulum had completely swung in Rios favor and Peterson may have been looking for a bailout plan in the form of low blows. The youngest of the Peterson brothers began to cash out on that bailout plan as he landed several low blows in the sixth which prompted referee Russell Mora to dock Peterson two points.

Usually, when a fighter suffers a point deduction from low blows, that fighter completely refrains from punching anything below the shoulders. Not the case with Peterson as the lightweight continued to drill Rios with low blows throughout round seven until Mora had seen enough and promptly disqualified Peterson at the end of the round.

The victory puts Rios in a crowded 135-pound picture that features elite names such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Amir Khan, Humberto Soto, Robert Guerrero and others.

Magdaleno Pulverizes Oliveira

In his most impressive fight to date, Diego Magdaleno bullied, battered and beat up Carlos Oliveira for five rounds before referee Kenny Bayless rescued the Brazilian from a further beating and gave Magdaleno a resounding TKO victory.

The usually light-punching Magdaleno (16-0, 4 KOs) came out swinging like a knockout artist determined to get rid of his opponent as he throttled Oliveira from pillar to post. In the second round, Magdaleno unleashed a hellacious right hook that dropped Oliveira and was a sign of things to come.

The pounding never let up and Magdaleno scorched his opponent with vicious hooks and uppercuts with deadly intent. Oliveira (25-2) tried to weather the storm, but Magdaleno never relented and by round five the Brazilian was ripe for the taking. After another series of blows starched Oliveira, Bayless jumped in to rescue Oliveira from further damage and awarded Magdaleno the TKO victory at the 1:13 mark.

Notre Dame Alum Grounds Rivera In Two

Mike Lee scored his second professional victory with a second round TKO of Alex Rivera right as the bell rang in a scheduled four round light heavyweight matchup.

The former Notre Damer aggressively pushed forward early on and became dedicated to the body attack in the second round. Rivera – who falls to 2-3 - looked to weather the thudding body work but Lee sunk a left hook into Rivera’s rib cage and dropped him to one knee right as the bell sounded. Referee Tony Weeks started counting but Rivera had no intentions of getting up as Weeks halted the bout at 2:59 and Lee improved to 2-0 in his young career.

Benevidez Jr. still perfect with 2nd round TKO

Freddie Roach trained Jose Benevidez, Jr. ran his young professional record to 8-0 with an easy TKO victory over Manuel Del Cid in lightweight action. Benevidez whacked Del Cid at will early and had his opponent unwilling to engage – especially after a menacing left hook to the body nearly doubled Del Cid over. The salvo continued in the second round until referee Kenny Bayless stopped the bout at the :41 mark as the fans booed the stoppage.

Korobov Wins Rugged Unanimous Decision Victory

Russian Olympian Matt Korobov remained undefeated with a rugged 8 round unanimous decision victory over Anthony Greenidge.

Both fighters started off fast but Korobov (12-0) opened a cut above Greenidge’s left eye with a right hand in the first round and slowed the Florida fighter down considerably. Greenidge (14-5-1) would connect with some wide power shots but nothing substantial enough to break Korobov’s rhythm as the Russian scraped Greenidge with combinations to the body and head en route to a 79-73 score on all three scorecards.

Bonus pics

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