The Ring16:20
The Bible of Boxing

 
 
1. Daniel Dubois takes aim at Kyotaro Fujimoto: Im gonna go in there, as I always do, to seek and destroy14:18[−]

Terrified!

When unbeaten British heavyweight star Daniel Dubois entered the ring at the famous Royal Albert Hall in September his opponent, Ebenezer Tetteh, looked like hed rather be anywhere else in the world. The 31-year-old Ghanaian refused to make eye contact and his body language oozed reluctance. Tetteh was a first-round knockout victim waiting to happen.

The opening bell rang and 130 seconds later Dubois had added the vacant Commonwealth title to his British heavyweight championship in brutal fashion.

I cant say too much, it was bang, bang all over, said Dubois in a recent interview with The Ring. You dont get paid overtime, so I was in and out quick and I look to do that in every fight. Im sure the boxing world is watching, so I need to make every performance count. Im just focused on doing my best every time I go out there.

Dubois, 22, is a man of few words, which in a game that’s loaded with promotional hype and hyperbole is seen as a major negative. However, the colossal Londoner is making this persona work for him because hes performing when it matters most. Dubois is an exciting and authentic knockout artist whose fists cause mass destruction, and the quiet approach just adds to the intrigue.

Whoever he hits, hell take them out, said Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren. And if he doesnt get you quick, he can go back to boxing. Weve seen so often with big punchers, suddenly someone doesnt go over. What do you do? You have to box, and he has the ability to do that. If he catches you, youre gone. I could make a world title fight for him tomorrow, and if he catches any of the (titleholders), hell take them out theres no doubt about it.

Hed only had seven senior (amateur) fights when I signed him, and I said at the time that hes the most exciting young heavyweight Id ever seen. That was the case then and thats the case now. Hes got the power, he can box, and I love it. I love being involved and I love working with him. Hes got a great work ethic, and I honestly think hes the future of heavyweight boxing.

Id mentioned promotional hype, but Warrens excitement is justified here. Dubois is 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and hes knocked out 12 of his 13 professional opponents inside five rounds. Its not just Warren whos convinced, there are many within the trade that view Dubois as a heavyweight champion in waiting.

Next up, however, is Japanese heavyweight Kyotaro Fujimoto at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday. The 33-year-old has a more than respectable record of 21-1 (13 knockouts), but while he can match Dubois for weight, he’s five inches shorter, and theres nothing in his resume to suggest that he can spring the upset.

Id never heard of a Japanese heavyweight before, revealed Dubois. Im just going to see how it goes because I havent really studied him. Im gonna go in there, as I always do, to seek and destroy.

To be honest, I dont really go lookin for the knockout. Ill be lookin to box, but if the knockout comes Ill take it. They call it boxing for a reason and its all about timing. I try to remember that, and I work hard to be the best fighter I can possibly be. So far so good.

Due to his rapid and eye-catching ascent, Dubois is already being mentioned as a possible opponent for world titleholders Deontay Wilder (WBC) and Anthony Joshua (IBF, WBA and WBO). With his fierce reputation and promotional backing, a heavyweight title bout against either man would be an enormous event.

My team take care of that and when they say Im ready, Im ready, said Dubois matter-of-factly. Right now, its one fight at a time and theres no rush. Im just concentrating on winning each fight and climbing the ranks. When my time comes, Ive just got to go for it.

Theres plenty of challenges out there. Ive got the British and the Commonwealth, so maybe I go for the European. Thats an option, but theres lots of different routes. Frank has set the path for me, and Ive just got to walk the road.

Daniel just needs a bit more education, offered Warren. This guy (Fujimoto) is perfect in two ways. One, he has a WBA rating, which Daniel, for some reason, doesnt have. And second, I believe he has a WBO ranking because hes their Asian Pacific titleholder.

Joshua has mandatories, (Tyson) Fury fights Wilder in February and theyre likely to fight again at the end of the year. All the titles are tied up, so I want my man to be working. I want him to be gaining experience, so that by next Christmas hes rated No 1 by one or more of the governing bodies and hes mandatory challenger. No one will be able to duck him, and we can make a world title fight on a straight-forward purse bid or Ill make a deal. Thats the long-term plan, were just positioning him right now.

So, will Fujimoto go the way of all flesh?

Im not looking to hang about, said Dubois. Im definitely looking to knock this guy out. One, two, maybe three rounds of working behind the jab and the knockout will come.

Dubois vs. Fujimoto will be broadcast on BT Sport in the U.K. and ESPN+ in the U.S.

Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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2. Mikey Garcia signs promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, returns in February11:23[−]

Mikey Garcia has signed a one-fight promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA, it was announced Sunday.

Garcia will make his ring return on Feb. 29, with an opponent and venue still to be determined. The fight will stream live on DAZN.

A likely candidate to land the Garcia fight is former two-division titleholder and welterweight contender Jessie Vargas. But regardless of who Garcia faces, he is just glad to be returning to the ring.

I am eager to make my return and grow my legacy, said Garcia, who last fought on March 16, losing a one-sided decision to IBF titleholder Errol Spence Jr. I look forward to working with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN, and I want to thank all my fans for the continued support. Fight details will be announced soon.

Ive been talking to Mikey for over a year now, and Im so happy to welcome him to the team, said promoter Eddie Hearn. Mikey is a standout star and Im looking forward to working with him on big fights moving forward.

Garcia (39-1, 30 knockouts), who grew up in the boxing hotbed of Oxnard and now resides in Moreno Valley, California, has fought under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner for the last several months after beginning his career with Top Rank.

The 32-year-old boxer-puncher won his first world title by defeating then-WBO featherweight belt holder Orlando Salido in February 2013. Almost 10 months later, he overcame a second-round knockdown to halt Roman Martinez, earning himself the WBO junior lightweight title. A well-publicized legal battle with Top Rank led to two-and-a-half years of inactivity, but Garcia returned in January 2017 to capture the WBC lightweight belt by knocking out Dejan Zlaticanin in two rounds. In March of last year, Garcia added his fourth divisional title, outpointing Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF junior welterweight strap. And in his most recent title victory, last July, he returned to lightweight for a unification clash against IBF titleholder Robert Easter, who he defeated by unanimous decision.

Garcia is trained by older brother Robert Garcia.

Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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3. Dougies Monday mailbag (Crawford-Mean Machine, Teofimo Lopez, Buds top 10 potential opponents)10:33[−]

TERENCE CRAWFORD THE MAN

Dougie,

Thats what a champ looks like. Bud never seemed out of control. He wasnt disrespectful but he was clear. You trained hard, you are a worthy challenger, you came to win but Im the man. When he decided it was time for Mean Machine to go he got him out of there. Reminded me of the Lennox Lewis-Shannon Briggs fight. Lennox respected the mans effort, patted him on the butt for it then got rid of him when play time was over. Bud showed me why I had such a problem with Anthony Joshua who did none of that.

Whats the story with Errol Spence? Want to see that fight with Bud. I know Keith Thurman has injuries. I wouldnt waste Buds time with the old man circuit (Pacman, Floyd). We know Floyd only faced one prime killer in his career and he was having weight problems at the time and wasnt nearly the fighter Bud is (Chico). Whos really out there? Mike Howza

Theres Shawn Porter, who I thought battled the pound-for-pound rated Spence on even terms for 12 rounds in September. Thats a real fight for Crawford, who isnt Floyd Mayweather in terms of the future hall of famers noted unwillingness to face beasts (once at 147 pounds) and close the show, but he also lacks Moneys defensive slickness, so hed be there for Porters awkward haymakers. And the Ohioan is every bit as experienced/battle tested (more so, in fact, at welterweight) as the Nebraskan. Count me in if that Top Rank-PBC co-promotion can be worked out.

Whats the story with Spence? Isnt it obvious? Hes healing up. And its going to take some time. Hes not in a mood or place to be out in public because of facial lacerations, restricted mobility and legal issues over his DUI. We may not see him at a boxing event until after the holidays, and we may not see him in the ring until the second half of 2020. When he returns, we cant expect him to share the ring with a top-rated fighter, so we may not see Spence vs. an elite fighter until 2021. Of course, boxing fans and media being the way they are, Im certain that everyone will obsess over Spence and pontificate on his next move and potential all next year.

Kavaliauskas put heavy hands on Crawford in Rounds 2, 3 and 4. Photo by Mikey Williams for Top Rank

Thats what a champ looks like. Bud never seemed out of control. Yeah, but he didnt seem IN control in the first four rounds. I think the welterweights were vying for control on even ground early the bout because, as Tim Bradley noted (and Andre Ward concurred, so you know it was the truth), Kavaliauskas patience threw Crawford off his game. I dont think Bud was expecting omebody nicknamed Mean Machine to lay back, work a smart jab and counter punch. I thought Kavaliauskas looked just as much in control as Bud through the first three rounds. I thought he got the better of the exchanges in Round 3 (and I believe he shouldve been credited with a knockdown in that round) and went tit-for-tat with the elite American in Round 4.

He wasnt disrespectful but he was clear. You trained hard, you are a worthy challenger, you came to win but Im the man. When he decided it was time for Mean Machine to go he got him out of there. It was an impressive finish to an entertaining fight, but lets not go crazy and add Bud to the pantheon of all-time greats based on this welterweight title defense against the WBOs mandatory challenger. Crawford did what he was supposed to do against a huge underdog who was lucky get a draw in his previous fight.

Reminded me of the Lennox Lewis-Shannon Briggs fight. Lennox respected the mans effort, patted him on the butt for it then got rid of him when play time was over. Again, that was a fun heavyweight shootout, I remember it well, but Lewis did what he was supposed to do vs. Briggs, who was lucky to have received a majority decision vs. a 48-year-old George Foreman in his previous bout.

Bud showed me why I had such a problem with Anthony Joshua who did none of that. Geez, #SaltySeason continues! Enough with the AJ spite, folks! Joshua was facing a man who had demolished and humiliated him six months earlier. Thats a much different situation from what Crawford had in front of him on Saturday.

CRAWFORDS POTENTIAL OPPONENTS

Hey Dougie,

Was at the Garden this Saturday for the fights, and it was a hell of a card. Lopez obviously stole the show with his KO, and I can’t wait for Loma/Lopez (LoLo!).

With that said, Crawford’s fight was very entertaining, and I think most of us were pretty surprised that it proved the more competitive bout. So with that said … what do you see happening next with Crawford?

This was one of his better fights against an opponent who proved game and skilled, so now the obvious question is how he performs against the cream of the crop. How much credence do you lend to these Crawford/Porter rumors? Except for Pac, Porter has fought all the major welterweight players in the PBC stable at this point, so if he wants a quick route to another title shot, this does make a lot of sense.

I imagine everyone else in PBC will remain on that welterweight merry-go-round for the time being, so if Crawford is gonna fight anyone worthwhile from the PBC anytime soon, Porter does seem like the likeliest candidate.

Barring that, I’d like to see him fight one of the studs at junior welterweight. I’d imagine Ramirez and Taylor will lock horns before either of them moves up, but perhaps a match-up with Regis Prograis could be made? I would even tune in for a Kell Brook match up, but he’s damaged goods at this point. I can’t really think of another direction for Crawford to go … thoughts? Best. Doug

I have no desire to see Kell Brook get his face broken again. Lets leave that guy alone.

I agree that Porter is probably the most willing of the PBCs top welterweights to cross the street for a shot at Crawford. And he tops my list of Crawfords potential marquee opponents (outside of the PBC Welterweight Elite). My top 10 goes like this:

1. Porter The most rugged and ring savvy of Buds potential rivals.

2. Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez (or the winner of their showdown should it happen first) Taylor is the best 140 pounder. Ramirez just resigned with Top Rank, so hes the best matchup that can be made in-house. The Taylor-Ramirez winner would be the current undisputed junior welterweight champ vs. the former undisputed 140-pound boss. That would be exciting.

3. Regis Prograis Rougarou reminds me of Crawford more than any other active boxer. Theres no way that showdown wouldnt produce a Fight of the Year candidate.

4. Adrien Broner Dont laugh for scoff. Broner may have lost enough on the PBC side for Al to allow him to cross the street and the Cincinnati native still moves the needle. Hes tough, experienced, accomplished and could actually make for a strong PPV B-side. (In fact, Broners side would argue, correctly, that hes actually the PPV A-side in the matchup, even though Bud would be the odds and media favorite.)

5. Yordenis Ugas Another PBC standout but not one of the stars that Haymon has promised to deliver to Fox. The Cuban contender presents too much risk for too little reward for the big shots on that side of the street, so why not ship him over to ESPN/Top Rank and hope for an upset? Its not inconceivable, and Ugas would be a worthy challenger.

6. Ivan Baranchyk If the former IBF 140-pound beltholder can get another comeback win or two under his belt, he could make for a fun title defense for Crawford. Baranchyk is probably just as strong as Mean Machine but even more awkward with a little more power and he would likely be more aggressive.

7. Patrick Teixeira The rangy, cagey Brazilan southpaw just won the interim WBO 154-pound title with a gusty, bloody effort vs. Carlos Adames (and it will become the full title once Jaime Munguia officially vacates the belt to campaign at middleweight). The WBO will automatically install one of their champions as a No. 1 contender if he or she wants to challenge for the title in the weight class above them, so Bud could go for a fourth world title in a fourth weight class vs. Teixeira.

8. Vergil Ortiz Jr. Yes, I know hes still a prospect. Im not saying this fight should happen next or anytime in 2020. But who knows? Maybe by 2021. Ortiz is as precocious as he is powerful.

9. Jaron Ennis See Vergil Ortiz Jr. Same deal.

10. Maurice Hooker I know the former 140-pound beltholder is very cool with Crawford and the two have sparred and trained together, but hey, the Texan has eight kids to take care of and an extremely rangy frame (nearly 6-feet tall with an 80-inch wingspan) that seems better suited for welterweight than junior welter.

CRAWFORD, LOPEZ, RING RANKINGS

Hi Dougie,

We had enjoyable action at the weekend courtesy of Top Rank, probably the most interesting card that Bob has produced for a while.

Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez didnt turn into the classic match many of us had hoped, due to Lopez producing a sensational performance. I was impressed with the way he was fighting even before he exploded the shot that transported the defending champion to Queer Street! Im really pumped about seeing Lopez in the future as he is a major talent. How do you feel he would fare in matchups against fellow lightweight contenders, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia? For me, lightweight is potentially the most scintillating class in boxing right now.

Terrence Crawford showed his stuff again and looked brilliant at times. How much do you think his quality of opposition is hurting his future, profile and even development right now? I thought Crawford was neglecting his defence at times and got hit with more punches than necessary against (another) opponent that he knew was no real threat to him.

On another note, I was interested in the Rings updated rankings. I was surprised not to see Michael Hunter gate crash the heavyweight top 10 after being a little unlucky not to get the nod after his excellent clash with Povetkin. Im also a little surprised to see Luis Ortiz still remaining in the top 5; he has just suffered his second stoppage defeat against the same fighter and has not got a really credible win at world level for more than four years.

Like many others, I feel that Josh Taylor is being sadly overlooked in the mythical P4P ratings. The Rings own top ten 140lb list shows that, as well as being an undefeated unified champion, Taylor has wins over 3 of the top 4 ranked contenders. Im not sure anyone else can boast that!

Finally, I am curious as to The Rings position of ranking the same fighter in different weight classes. I see that after a couple of years and several meaningful bouts at 168, Chris Eubank Jr is now ranked at Middleweight after his recent win there – but has been dropped from the 168 rankings. Conversely, Canelo is currently ranked at Middle, Super Middle and Light Heavy. I have no argument with the fact that Canelo has proved himself world class at all of these weights, but is there a different rule for him than others?

Regards. Jeremy, UK

Thanks for sharing your many thoughts and questions, Jeremy. Ill try to get to all of them.

Canelo has earned quite a collection of world titles in various weight classes. Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

Alvarez is simultaneously ranked in three weight classes because he holds world titles at 160 pounds (where hes The Ring champ), 168 (even though we dont recognize the secondary WBA belt he holds) and 175 (WBO), and we have no idea which division he will chose to fight in next. Most fighters announce that they are leaving one division to campaign in a new one before they move up in weight (or down on those rare occasions). Eubank Jr. did that after defeating James DeGale in February. He said he would pursue a world title at middleweight. When he resurfaced this month against Matt Korobov, it was at middleweight and the WBAs interim 160-pound title was on the line. One never knows whats going to happen in boxing, but chances are very good that Eubanks next fight(s) will be at middleweight. Canelos next bout could be at middleweight (where his rival Gennadiy Golovkin and potential nemesis Demetrius Andrade reside), super middleweight (where WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders currently calls home and rumor has it this matchup is in the works) or light heavyweight (where fellow beltholders Artur Beterbiev and Dimitry Bivol beckon).

Im in full agreement that The Ring junior welterweight champ Josh Taylor deserves to be in the magazines pound-for-pound rankings. Hes one of the most battle-tested and accomplished champs in boxing and hes achieved it all within 16 pro bouts and 4? years. The Scotsman is truly impressive and I along with fellow Ring editors Tom Gray and Brian Harty pushed for him to at least crack the P4P rankings, but the Ratings Panel saw Manny Pacquiao in that No. 10 spot and would not allow a newbie to knock an aging all-time great from that perch. Sucks for Taylor, I know, but I think hes the type to continue to take on the best and its only a matter of time before he forces his way into our mythical rankings.

Michael Hunter should be No. 9 in our rankings. Thats where the Ratings Panel wanted him after the Povetkin draw. His not being there is simply an oversight on the part of the editors. Hell be added soon (in fact, I think the heavyweight top 10 has been updated). Tell Hunter hes a Ring-rated contender if you follow him on social media. Regarding Luis Ortiz, what can I say? Its gonna take a lot for him to drop. Nobody on the Panel will admit to it but I think its what I call the Cuban Mystique. Guillermo Rigondeaux is STILL in the junior featherweight top 5. It doesnt matter that he went life and death with an unrated fighter in his last bout, or that he hasnt defeated a Ring-rated contender since 2013. (Maybe Josh Taylor should start telling the boxing media that his grandfather was from Cuba.)

Commey, who had never been stopped, was quickly overwhelmed by Lopez. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez didnt turn into the classic match many of us had hoped, due to Lopez producing a sensational performance. That was a statement. If you had forgotten about Lopez or were caught up in the family soap opera (that ESPN loves to play up) or you still viewed him as an untested prospect, Teofio reminded you (or proved to you) that hes an ultra-talent with world-beater potential. Its not so much that he won, it was the WAY he won.

I was impressed with the way he was fighting even before he exploded the shot that transported the defending champion to Queer Street! Are we still allowed to use that term in boxing? Serious question.

Im really pumped about seeing Lopez in the future as he is a major talent. If youre not excited about Lopez, youve probably suffered a minor stroke and youre unaware of it.

How do you feel he would fare in matchups against fellow lightweight contenders, Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia? Id consider him a slight favorite. Hes more aggressive/explosive than Haney and a more complete boxer (at least right now) than Garcia.

For me, lightweight is potentially the most scintillating class in boxing right now. Agreed, but Im not sure how long Lopez and Haney will be at 135 pounds. I think both will make their 140-pound debuts in 2020. Robert Easter Jr. already got his feet wet at junior welterweight and will likely stay there. I think Ryan can remain at lightweight through 2020 but given his height and frame hell probably grow into a solid junior welterweight by the end of 2021. Still, the division welcomes Gervonta Davis later this month and pound-for-pound player Vasiliy Lomachenko holds The Ring Magazine, WBO and WBA 135-pound titles, so it will remain hot for a while.

Terrence Crawford showed his stuff again and looked brilliant at times. How much do you think his quality of opposition is hurting his future, profile and even development right now? I dont think its hurting his development or his fan appeal (at least according to my Twitter timeline, which was on fire with approval immediately after he broke down the Mean Machine), but it is beginning to jeopardize his pound-for-pound placement (hes currently No. 4 in the mythical rankings of The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board) and it will hurt his future if the situation doesnt change. Bud is in his prime RIGHT NOW. He may begin to experience diminishing returns after 2020.

I thought Crawford was neglecting his defence at times and got hit with more punches than necessary against (another) opponent that he knew was no real threat to him. Yup, that was pretty much the case. Not all that different from when Golovkin fought Willie Monroe Jr., Kell Brook, Vanes Martirosyan and Steve Rolls (only some factions of Boxing Twitter didnt rip Crawford as hard as they did GGG).

ONE QUICK QUESTION

Hello, Dougie.
If Terrance Crawford were to retire today, would he have your vote for the hall of fame? Thanks. Dennis, El Centro, CA

Hes accomplished enough to get on the International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot but as of right now Id consider him a borderline candidate. He wouldnt get my vote on the first go-around. I think Crawford still needs a defining fight (or two) vs. legend or a fellow elite boxer in his prime (who also has hall-of-fame potential). Thats what the legacies of two of Buds biggest fans over at the Worldwide Leader of Sports have.

Tim Bradley has Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, which helped get him on the ballot and will likely get him inducted one day. Andre Ward has Carl Froch (and to a lesser extent Sergey Kovalev and Mikkel Kessler) on his resume. And we all know that Mr. Cant Do Wrong will be a first-ballot inductee.

THE TEOFIMO EXPRESS HAS ARRIVED

Hey Dougie,Wow, what a way to win a championship! It reminded me of Tito Trinidad and Oscar de la Hoya destroying Maurice Blocker and Rafael Ruelas in their first true championship tests, with an exclamation point!

That punch landed like a bomb and Commey never recovered. Now theres a good reason to think Lopez has a chance against Lomachenko. I hope they do make the fight as I think this next year to year and a half window will feature them both near their best or at their best. I would let Lopez make a defense of his title first though, hes still young and maybe needs a fight or two to get a little bit more experienced.

Crawford looked vulnerable and may have opened himself up to a potential matchup with one of the PBCs guys. I do think Crawford thought he was going to make easy work of Mean Machine (I honestly cant spell his name) and never expected him to have that good of a plan. He had him studied and timed him really well. He got caught and shouldve lost a point for a clear knockdown.

Do you think he looked vulnerable enough for the Haymon clan to finally start looking at him? I think a Shawn Porter fight would be intriguing. Porter is really tough and big and can make it a tough fight for anyone. How do you see Crawford against the best welterweights? I still favor him over Spence (if hes healthy), believe it or not. I think styles make fights.

Very good fights overall on ESPN last night. Good end to this magnificent year. Thanks Doug, hope you have a nice holiday! Juan Valverde

Yo, 2019 aint over yet, JV! We still got Danny Jacobs-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (dont even front and try to act like youre not rooting for Junior) this Friday, the Tony Harrison-Jermell Charlo rematch on Saturday and the return of Tank Davis after X-mas.

Crawford struggled a little bit vs. a legit (albeit lower top-10) welterweight contender. No big deal. I still view him as the best and most well-rounded/versatile welterweight in the game (and Id favor him to beat the other elite 147 pounders). Others disagree and view Spence as the No. 1-rated welterweight (including the ratings panels of Ring Magazine and the Transnational Boxing Rankings, which also has Senator Pacquiao ahead of Bud). However, while Im sure the PBC agrees with Ring and TBRB, I doubt anybody over there suddenly views Crawford as a mark just because Egidijus Kavaliauskas clocked him a few times (and was maybe robbed of a knockdown). The PBC knows Bud is a major f__king badass and would be 100% dialed in for one of their top welterweight dogs, so I dont think theyre going to be eager to send anybody across the street to ESPN. I hope Im wrong about this and the two sides can do business in the welterweight division (as they are with their heavyweight stars in February). Like you (and thousands of other boxing fans) Id love to see Crawford vs. Porter.

Wow, what a way to win a championship! It reminded me of Tito Trinidad and Oscar de la Hoya destroying Maurice Blocker and Rafael Ruelas in their first true championship tests, with an exclamation point! Thats incredibly high praise for young master Lopez. If he can accomplish HALF of what Tito and The Golden Boy accomplished during their hall-of-fame careers hell be a superstar in this standout-starved era.

That punch landed like a bomb and Commey never recovered. I thought the Ghanaian veteran got up too quick (didnt take a breath to gather his wits and his legs were definitely not under him) and Lopez, to his credit, did not allow him to recover.

Now theres a good reason to think Lopez has a chance against Lomachenko. Hes a threat to any lightweight and I think its more than a punchers threat, but I still favor the reigning Ring champ in that excellent matchup.

I hope they do make the fight as I think this next year to year and a half window will feature them both near their best or at their best. I believe the plan is to stage the lightweight title unification bout as soon as possible in 2020.

I would let Lopez make a defense of his title first though, hes still young and maybe needs a fight or two to get a little bit more experienced. You might be right, but Team Lopez believes hes ready NOW, plus theyre not sure how long he can safely make 135 pounds. (Also, I seriously doubt Lopez would be up for fighting anyone other than Loma or one of the young guns from the other sides of the streets (Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, Tank), which aint gonna happen. The biggest name in the IBFs top-10 is Lee Selby. Nuff said.)

Crawford looked vulnerable and may have opened himself up to a potential matchup with one of the PBCs guys. From your lips to Gods (and Al Hayons) ears.

I do think Crawford thought he was going to make easy work of Mean Machine (I honestly cant spell his name) and never expected him to have that good of a plan. Same here. I was never that impressed with the Mean Machine (last name spelled K-A-V-A-L-I-A-U-S-K-A-S), but he showed patience, control and good counter-punching ability in the early going with Crawford. Then again, we should all know by now that Bud is a slow starter. Its not impossible to put hands on him during the early rounds. Lasting the distance is not so easy. (And the last three opponents to go the championship distance with Crawford Burns, Beltran and Postol were totally outclassed.)

Shout out to Omaha, Nebraskaaaaaaaa!

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.

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4. Tyson Fury and trainer Ben Davison split amicably, Fury now working with Sugar Hill02:03[−]

In what will come as a surprise to many within the boxing world, former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and trainer Ben Davison have elected to part ways.

Over the past two years, Davison has produced near-miracle work with Fury and his contribution cannot be understated. Beginning in late 2017, the 27-year-old coach took a 400-pound, inactive version of the Englishman, who was suffering from mental health problems, and whipped him into excellent fighting shape at roughly 260 pounds.

Two tune-up bouts later, Fury would challenge WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder and for many he was robbed of glory by a contentious split decision draw in December 2018. In recognition of his work, Davison received a Trainer of the Year nomination from The Ring.

Tyson and myself had to both make decisions for our careers, which resulted in our working relationship coming to an end, said Davison via his official Twitter account, HOWEVER, we remain friends and he will SMASH the DOSSER!!

The DOSSER for the uninitiated is Wilder.

Fury, who is scheduled to face Wilder in a rematch on February 22, will now work with Sugar Hill, nephew of Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward. Hill cut his teeth under Steward at the Kronk gym in Detroit. He has worked with former light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and former IBF heavyweight titleholder Charles Martin, among others.

Getting the old team back up and running, kronksugarhill, said Fury, who trained briefly at the famed gym in 2010. LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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5. Terence Crawford patiently dismantles Mean Machine in nine, 15 [−]

NEW YORK, NY Terence Bud Crawford finds himself in this netherworld. These last few years, hes been relegated to doing the perfunctory thing: A mundane title defense in which he looks absolutely impervious against a lesser opponent, then complains afterward why he cant get a shot at Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter or Keith Thurmansomething he deserves.

Its been a case of rinse, and repeat, and rinse again, and repeat.

Egidijus Mean Machine Kavaliauskas wasnt thought of as any more than an entertaining, stay-busy opponentand he fit the bill Saturday night before 10,101 at Madison Square Garden on ESPN.

Crawford, the 32-year-old southpaw from Omaha, Nebraska, did the perfunctory thing, blasting out Kavaliauskas, the 31-year-old Lithuanian, rather easily, winning his third title defense by TKO at :44 of the ninth round.

I thought I had to entertain yall for a little bit, Crawford said. Hes a strong fighter, durable, and I thought Id give the crowd something to cheer for. Ill fight anybody. Ive been saying that for I dont know how long. Im not ducking anyone on the PBC side or Top Rank platform.

I want to fight all the top guys.

Over the nine-round mostly tactical tussle, Crawford landed a total of 128 (20)/382 (33.5%) punches, 24 (1)/165 (14.5%) and a big key was his 104 (19)/217 (47.9%) power punches. Mean Machine landed 90 (10)/269 (33.5%) power shots, 28 (5)/122 (23%) jabs and 118 (15)/391 (30.2%) total shots.

Kavaliauskas now falls in place with Crawfords first-loss club, which also includes Yuriorkis Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo and Jose Benavidez Jr., who lost for the first time at Crawford’s skillful, fast hands.

Dressed in black with glittering silver trim, Crawford (36-0, 27 knockouts) entered the ring like a man walking to work with a lunch pail. Eyes down, bouncing on his toes, there was a calm that exuded confidence, as if he was telling himself, I have this.

Nether fighter did much of anything in the first. If anything, Kavaliauskas may have gotten the better of Crawford in the first landing a few lefts to the body, and a shot to the face.

In the second, poked at Mean Machine with his right, working to establish distance. Each time Crawford hopped forward, Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) stepped back. With less than :40 left in the round, Crawford did open up slightly to tag Mean Machine with a quick left to the face, which Mean Machine countered with a right.

But after two, it was a tactical waiting game, with either fighter willing to commit to anything.

With 2:06 left in the third, there was uneasiness among the crowd, and a trickle of boos. Then, with 1:30 left in the round, Mean Machine appeared to knock down Crawford with a right to Crawfords left cheek, followed by a barrage of punches, of which most didnt land.

But Crawford fell to the canvas. Referee Ricky Gonzalez, however, called the fall a slip.

I wasnt hurt at all, Crawford claimed. I got up and went straight to him. I wasnt hurt by no means, I walked through everything he threw all night.

The round before that, my coaches kept telling me stop loading up. I was loading up a lot because the first couple clean shots I landed, I knew I hurt him. I wanted to give the crowd a knockout. When I started letting my hands go, I started landing more fatal shots.

Either way, it was a strong round for Mean Machine, the kind of round that could have filled him with some confidence.

Whether it was a slip or knockdown, it appeared to wake Crawford up. Bud found a rhythm and distance, attacking Kavaliauskas with straight lefts and left counters.

Bud Crawford arrived.

In the opening :30 of the fifth, Kavaliauskas got a little brave. He attacked Crawford with a body shot, and plowed him with a straight right to the face. With 1:20, Crawford dropped a right to the body that seemed to slow Kavaliauskas. Mean Machine lowered his right the last minute of the round.

After five, it was possible to see Crawford up, 3-2.

Crawford was patient in the sixth, playing the waiting game. But Kavaliauskas was cautious, too. It was a nondescript that was hard to judge, though Crawford did land a looping right to Mean Machines head.

With less than 2:00 left in the seventh, Kavaliauskas bounced a few shots off of Crawford, who calmly took them and came forward. In the last minute of the round, everything changed.

Terence Crawford blasts Egidijus Kavaliauskas with a right (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Crawford landed a right hook, and down went Kavaliauskas. For the last :30, Mean Machine was in a place he never inhabited before in his pro careerdesperation land.

Kavaliauskas started the eighth on wobbly legs from the punishment he took in the seventh. He could do little to keep Crawford off of him. With 1:08 left in the eighth, a chant of Crawford, Crawford, Crawford sprung up. It did little to stir Bud, who methodically came forward, then jumped Kavaliauskas in the last :10 of the round.

By now, Kavaliauskas right eye was beginning to show signs of punishment.

More was to come.

Crawford put his fists and foot down in the ninth. He started the round with left to the chin that had Kavaliauskas reeling backward. Crawford used a right uppercut that dropped Mean Machine the first time.

After Gonzalez reached eight, Crawford got at Kavaliauskas again.

This time, it was quick.

Crawford walked across the ring and dropped Kavaliauskas with a looping right. Mean Machine went down a third time, and Gonzalez didnt bother counting, waving it over at :44 of the ninth round.

Whats still missing is Crawfords signature fight.

The clock is ticking. Hes 32. Spence, Porter and Thurman arent running to him. They have their own sandbox to play in.

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6. Teofimo Lopez blows away Richard Commey in two rounds, wins IBF lightweight belt, 15 [−]

NEW YORK — Any talk about Teofimo Lopez being thrown in too deep too early were erased with one right hand. And so too was Richard Commey.

The Brooklyn-born Lopez silenced many of his doubters Saturday, blowing away the highly-regarded Richard Commey in two rounds at Madison Square Garden to lift the IBF lightweight title. The time of stoppage was 1:13, as referee David Fields stepped in to rescue the defenseless Commey from Lopez’s nonstop barrage along the ropes.

“Anything is possible!,” Lopez (15-0, 12 knockouts) shouted from mid-ring after his victory. It was the sort of performance that the 22-year-old needed to build anticipation for a fight with Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), the Ukrainian star who holds the WBO, WBC and WBA titles at 135 pounds.

Both Lopez and Lomachenko are promoted by Top Rank, meaning a showdown for the undisputed championship is far more manageable to make. Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti says that fight is being targeted for April 2020.

“You all know who I want to fight next. 2020 is going to be a big year,” Lopez said, without mentioning Lomachenko’s name specifically. “‘The Takeover has arrived, and you havent seen anything yet.”

Lomachenko, who was at ringside, didn’t appear overawed by the knockout as he voiced his interest in bringing all of the belts together.

We want to unificate all four titles,” said Lomachenko, 31.

Now [Lopez is] a world champion and now hes in position to fight me.”

After a quiet first round, Lopez began the quick descent into the bout’s conclusion with a right hand that sent Commey down hard to a knee, and then stumbling face-forward into the back of the referee’s legs. Commey, who was making the second defense of the belt he won in February with a similar result against Isa Chaniev, was essentially done at that moment, and would have likely not been allowed to continue had he not been the incumbent.

But the proud Ghanaian Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) rose up in vain, and absorbed several more punches before the fight was waived off.

Afterwards, Lopez donned the jersey of LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow, who had won the Heisman trophy as college football’s top player earlier in the night, and then hit his trademark running backflip before striking the Heisman pose.

A year ago Lopez had paid similar tribute to Kyler Murray a year ago, after scoring a first round KO of Mason Menard at The Theater at MSG, when the quarterback won the Heisman.

Lopez, 22, was one of the sport’s fastest rising stars in the sport, but had lost some of his luster in a tough win over unheralded Japanese banger Masayoshi Nakatani in July. Commey, 32, had earned a lot of good will for his 2016 efforts against Robert Easter Jr. and Denis Shafikov, which ended in split decision losses that many felt could have gone Commey’s way.

[Commey] is a bad man. His shot couldve done the same to me if he hit me with that shot,” said Lopez.

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7. Knockout Sensation Edgar Berlanga Shines On Crawford-Kavaliauskas Undercard, 15 [−]

NEW YORK, NY He did it again! Edgar Berlanga, the 22-year-old Brooklyn knockout artist, stopped Cesar Nunez in the first round on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas WBO welterweight title fight undercard on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:45.

It was Nunez who charged out of the corner to confront Berlanga as the bout began and Berlanga (13-0, 13 knockouts) calmly landed a short, compact left-hook to the side of the head to drop Nunez, who was able to beat the count and rose on unsteady legs.

Berlanga never had to look for Nunez, who plowed right into the Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican fighter. With Nunez (16-2-1, 8 KOs) constantly ducking and keeping his head low, Berlanga landed a vicious overhand right to the top of Nunezs head, sending him down with authority. Referee Mike Ortega opted to not rule it a knockdown, which probably was to Nunezs disadvantage. He never recovered.

Nunez tried evading Berlanga to no avail. With 15 seconds to go the round, Berlanga landed a clean body shot, followed by a two-punch combination upstairs to drop the 34-year-old Nunez.

Ortega quickly waived the bout over.

In only his second bout at Madison Square Garden and his fourth overall of 2019, Berlanga had quite the following. Before the official decision was read, Berlanga dropped and reeled off 20 pushups, breaking more of a sweat than he had in the actual fight. Leading up to the bout, Berlanga said he intended to keep his opening-round knockout streak alive, but in his next appearance he will be content to get some rounds in.

Super lightweight prospect Josue Vargas (16-1, 9 KOs) defeated Noel Murphy (14-2-1, 2 KOs) by 10-round unanimous decision. The official scores were 98-92 (3).

In an entertaining, albeit one-sided beatdown, the Bronx-native Vargas, 21, continues to mature in the ring with each outing. He showed poise and patience, while counter-attacking the much slower Murphy, who displayed more heart than skill.

Josue Vargas hones in Noel Murphy (Photo by Mikey Williams)

Murphy hung in there for most of the bout, even landing some power shots of his own to bruise Vargas face. Vargas began to take over in the fifth, and by the seventh had Murphy relatively out on his feet, with a possible broken nose.

In the past, Vargas has been known to abandon his technique and showboat. This time out, Vargas stalked Murphy when he was hurt, and looked to finish.

Vargas, a southpaw who turned pro in 2015 at the age of 17, has now won 10-consecutive bouts since being disqualified against Samuel Santana in October 2016.

In super lightweight bout, Julian Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) defeated Manuel Mendez (16-7-3, 11 KOs) by an eight-round unanimous decision of 80-71 (2) and 79-72.

Rodriguez got off to an explosive start, dropping Mendez with a fast combination early in the opening round. Mendez beat the count, but had no answer for the barrage of punches that followed.

Rodriguez, 25, landed at will on the overmatched Mendez, but was unable to put Mendez away. Mendez came into the bout having lost four straight, but did fight back.

Rodriguez, Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., hit Mendez with everything he had, but was unable to get the game fighter out of there.

After missing 2018 with a shoulder injury, Rodriguez came back with three bouts in 2019, including a TKO victory over Leonardo Doronio last month in Philadelphia.

In the opening bout of the evening, Australias George Kambosos Jr. (18-0, 10 KOs) picked up a 10-round split decision victory over former world champion Mickey Bey (23-3-1, 11 KOs). Two judges saw it 97-92 and 96-93 for Kambosos, while Bey was up, 95-94, on the other.

The fight came down to Kambosos right uppercut against Beys razor-sharp left jab. It was a two-punch combination punctuated by a sizzling Kambosos uppercut that dropped Bey in the 10th.

Kambosos pounds Bey with a left (Photo by Mikey Williams)

Bey beat the count and seemed to regain his equilibrium. Moments later, it was another uppercut that sent Bey into the ropes and into survival mode.

The 26-year-old Kambosos, who has emerged as a chief sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao and appeared on Pacquiaos last two undercards, is coming off a TKO victory over Richard Pena in Greece this past June. The 36-year-old Bey did not fight for nearly two years since losing his title to Rances Barthelemy in a split decision.

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8. Michael Conlan avenges Olympic heartbreak, defeats Vladimir Nikitin in grudge match, 15 [−]

NEW YORK — Revenge was in the air before the first bell rang. Michael Conlan, the fan favorite from Belfast, walked to the ring to an a capella rendition of the Irish ballad “Grace,” before the tune switched to “The Payback” by James Brown.

Emotions were checked at ringside however, as Conlan boxed a disciplined fight to outpoint Vladimir Nikitin Saturday at Madison Square Garden, avenging his controversial defeat to the Russian brawler from the 2016 Olympics.

That night in Rio de Janeiro, Conlan became an international sensation when he flipped the double birds at the judges in a show of frustration. This time he’d raise both hands, winning the non-title featherweight bout by scores of 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90.

I needed to right this wrong. Full credit to Nikitin, who fought his heart out,” said Conlan (13-0, 7 knockouts). “Theres no bad blood. There was never was. Now, we can put this chapter of my career behind me.

I needed to right this wrong. Full credit to Nikitin, who fought his heart out. Theres no bad blood. There was never was. Now, we can put this chapter of my career behind me.

Conlan controlled the fight early on with his jab and movement, taking the drama out of the bout as Nikitin (3-1) struggled to keep up.

The 28-year-old Conlan became more stationary in the fifth, standing at range to target Nikitin’s body in the fifth. Nikitin took the invitation to land shots of his own upstairs. Nikitin, whose three prior pro fights had gone six rounds each, was entering unknown territory in the second half of the bout.

By round eight, Conlan’s respect for Nikitin’s power had disappeared as he stood and traded with Nikitin, taking a few shots but landing flush right hands that had Nikitin stunned by the end of the round. The following round, Conlan switched to southpaw and boxed a similar strategy on the other side, getting off to the outside and coming down with the left hand.

Conlan began to bleed in the ninth from above his right eye, but Conlan had a strong message to close the round with a right hook the body which took the wind out of Nikitin momentarily.

Who do I want? I want a Christmas dinner with ham and all the trimmings,” said Conlan. “I want to enjoy this.

The fight opened the ESPN-televised portion of the card, which is headlined by the WBO welterweight title fight between Terence Crawford and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

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9. Jose Ramirez Inks A Contract Extension With Top Rank, 15 [−]

NEW YORK, NY Jose Ramirez, the WBO and WBC super lightweight titlist, announced that hes signed a multi-year, minimum eight-fight contract promotional extension with Top Rank on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, before WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawfords defense against Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

Though the announcement was made on Saturday, Ramirez (25-0, 17 knockouts) actually signed the deal earlier this year before he unified the titles with his victory over Maurice Hooker in August.

Ramirez says the deal is for three years, with two fights per year.

Top Rank wanted me to wait for a fight to be on ESPN, Ramirez said. Its a minimum of two fights a year, and six fights over the (life) of the contract. Most contracts are based on who wins.

My contract says it doesnt matter who I fight, and it guarantees me a good amount. Even if I lose, Im guaranteed the minimum in the contract, which I think no other fighter gets. This makes me very secure. Some contracts with other fighters are based on who they fight.

Overall, with the security Ill have with this contract places me in a spot.

Ramirez is scheduled to former titlist Viktor Postol (31-2, 12 KOs) on Feb. 1 (ESPN/ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) at Mission Hills Haikou, in Haikou, China. The fight occurs after Ramirezs six-round unification victory over Maurice Hooker on July 27, which was followed by surgery on his left hand.

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10. Vergil Ortiz stops Brad Solomon in five, Alberto Machado halts Luis Porozo in three, 14 [−]

Brad Solomon was supposed to provide a stern test for Vergil Ortiz. Instead, the unbeaten welterweight prospect looked impressive in breaking down a slick fighter and winning again by knockout.

Ortiz dropped Solomon three times before ending matters in Round 5 on Friday at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The scheduled 12-round bout was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card streamed live on DAZN.

The 21-year-old Ortiz improved to 15-0, 15 knockouts.

It was another solid outing for Ortiz, who is quickly becoming a legit contender in a very competitive 147-pound division. In his last bout on August 10 in his hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas, Ortiz battered former world junior welterweight title challenger Antonio Orozco before stopping him in Round 6.

Despite not fighting in 18 months, Solomon was effective in the early rounds, utilizing distance and trying to box from behind a steady jab. That tactic worked for a few rounds as Ortiz closed the distance. By the third round, Ortiz began timing him, ripping two- and three-punch combinations to the head, prompting Solomon to back away and fight off the ropes.

Ortiz scored a knockdown in Round 4, dropping Solomon to the canvas with a jab.

I have to be honest, said Ortiz after the fight. I think he slipped and tripped over my foot.

One round later, Ortiz scored a more-legit knockdown, landing a combination followed by a right hand to the head. Solomon was game after beating the count, but the end was inevitable. Moments later, Ortiz trapped Solomon in a corner, ripping a barrage of punches that forced Solomon to take a knee.

Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. immediately stopped the bout at 2:22.

I give him credit, said Ortiz, who is trained by Robert Garcia. He was difficult to figure out. He made me think. I tried not to rush things. I had to utilize my jab. I just had to use my smarts. I knew he was going to be a tough cookie to break. I felt like I did a good job.

It will be interesting to see how Golden Boy Promotions matches Ortiz in 2020. He is already ranked in the top 10 by two of boxings sanctioning bodies, including a No. 5 ranking by the WBO.

Ortiz did tell The Ring earlier this week he would like to face the likes of Keith Thurman. Whether a fight against him or any of the top welterweights in boxing remains to be seen, especially with the current state of boxing politics.

As far as Fridays performance, Ortiz was diplomatic in assessing his performance.

I would rate my performance as a high B-(low) A, said Ortiz.

Solomon, who resides in Douglasville, Georgia, drops to 28-2, 9 KOs.

The lightweight debut of Alberto Machado, who was in the co-main event of the evening, was a success.

Machado dropped Luis Porozo three times before the fight was stopped at the end of the third round.

The 29-year-old Machado improves to 22-2, 18 knockouts.

The win over Porozo was Machados first fight since losing back-to-back fights to Andrew Cancio, the last of which occurred almost six months ago on June 21. Both fights also took place at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

Machado, who resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico, looked rusty from the opening bell, lunging in at times against the awkward Porozo. He settled down in round two, utilizing a jab to set up right hands, but it was left hooks to the body of Porozo that did the most damage.

A left hand to the stomach midway through the round dropped Porozo to the canvas. Porozo beat the count and was able to fight back, but a left hook to the body dropped Porozo a second time. Porozo was game, beating the count, but was dropped again near the round, prompting referee Thomas Taylor to stop the fight at 2:59.

We worked on landing that punch during training camp, said Machado after the fight. My corner was able to calm me down after the first roundand told me to work the jab, which worked well for us. Im glad we were able to get the victory.

Porozo, who resides in Quito, Ecuador, falls to 14-2, 7 KOs.

Super middleweight prospect Bektemir Melikuziev was taken the distance for the first time in his just-started pro career, defeating Vaughn Alexander by unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the bout 100-90 in favor of Melikuziev, who improves to 4-0, 3 KOs.

The southpaw Melikuziev outboxed Alexander throughout much of the fight. Alexander, who spent 11 years in prison in Missouri for armed robbery and assault before returning to boxing in 2016 as a tough gatekeeper, did little to initiate exchanges. Melikuziev worked behind an effective jab, mixing his attack to the head and body of Alexander.

Alexander looked like he was in survival mode by the final two rounds of the fight, where Melikuziev was content to box from the outside.

The 34-year-old Alexander, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri, drops to 15-4, 9 KOs.

Welterweight prospect Alexis Rocha earned a hard-fought knockout victory over Mexico’s Roberto Valenzuela.

With the victory Rocha improves to 15-0, 10 KOs.

After an even opening round where both fighters stood and traded in the pocket, Rocha almost went down from a right uppercut to the head. The southpaw Rocha was hit repeatedly as Valenzuela threw everything he could in an attempt to stop Rocha. The tactic failed and Rocha was able to weather the storm, using the minute-rest after the round ended to gather himself.

Rocha swung momentum his way in round three, focusing his attack to Valenzuelas body by digging hooks and left hands. Valenzuela’s punch output dropped significantly with each passing round as he looked lethargic and tired after throwing everything at Rocha in round two. He did catch Rocha with an occasional hook and cross, but fought in spurts.

Rocha did his most damage on Valenzuela in round five, as he dug several punches to the body. Towards the end of the round, Valenzuela almost took a knee, but continued to fight back as he fought off the ropes. After the end of the round, Valenzuela’s corner told referee Ray Corona to stop the fight to save Valenzuela from taking further punishment.

The 22-year-old Rocha, who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Ana, is the younger brother of junior featherweight contender Ronny Rios.

Valenzuela drops to 17-2, 16 KOs.

Junior welterweight prospect Luis Feliciano dropped Herbert Acevedo (16-3-1, 6 KOs) in round three en route to a 10-round unanimous decision. Scores were 100-89, 99-90, and 97-93 for Feliciano, who improves to 14-0, 8 KOs.

In the opening bout of the card, super middleweight Erik Bazinyan knocked out Saul Roman (46-14, 38 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico at 46 seconds of the third round. Bazinyan, who is originally from Armenia and now resides in Montreal, Canada, improves to 24-0, 18 KOs.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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