Garcias stake family claim on light titles
A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at Mexico City
Raul Garcia TKO3 Rommel Asenjo
Retains a strawweight title
Records: Garcia, 30-1-1, 18 KOs; Asenjo, 20-3, 16 KOs
Rafael's remark: In the heavyweight division, brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko reign as champions. And all the way down in boxing's two smallest divisions, the 105-pound strawweight class and 108-pound junior flyweights, you'll find another rare brother tandem to simultaneously hold titles, the 28-year-old twin Garcia brothers from Mexico. In fact, Raul and Ramon Garcia defended their belts on the same "Top Rank Live" card, and both came away with knockout victories.
Raul Garcia, in his second strawweight title reign, made his first defense against Asenjo, 21, of the Philippines, with relative ease. He pumped his jab to control the fight before closing out the southpaw in impressive fashion. Garcia rocked Asenjo with a right hand in the second round. In the third round, Garcia floored Asenjo with a left hand. Garcia continued to rake him with accurate shots. Asenjo was wobbly and in bad shape before Garcia rocked him again with a left and a right along the ropes. That forced referee Raul Caiz Sr. to intervene at 2 minutes, 52 seconds.
Asenjo, fighting outside of the Philippines for only the second time (he also had one fight in Thailand) saw his 15-fight winning streak, dating back to 2008, come to an end.
Ramon Garcia KO4 Jesus Geles
Wins a junior flyweight title
Records: Garcia, 16-2-1, 9 KOs; Geles, 12-2-1, 5 KOs
Rafael's remark: Before Mexico's Ramon Garcia came to ringside to watch his 28-year-old twin brother, strawweight titlist Raul Garcia, retain his belt, Ramon was in a title bout of his own against a familiar opponent. In February, Garcia lost his interim belt to Geles, 23, via controversial split decision in Geles' native Colombia. Meeting in an immediate rematch for a full belt (after champion Giovani Segura vacated to move up in weight and Geles inherited it), Garcia exacted revenge in a very impressive performance.
Garcia, apparently, was in no mood to allow this one to go to the scorecards. He took matters into his own hands and routed Geles. Garcia was aggressive from the opening bell. He was warned for hitting Geles with a low blow, one that clearly hurt him. Moments after the fight resumed, Garcia dropped Geles with a flurry of punches just before the first round ended. Garcia floored Geles with another low blow -- this one didn't look nearly as bad as the first -- early in the second round and was warned again. Despite the low blow warnings, Garcia continued to throw body blows and, in the fourth round, cracked Geles with a right hook to the ribs. Geles took a knee and was counted out by referee Jose Hiram Rivera at 1 minute, 15 seconds.
Saturday at Buenos Aires
Ulises "Archie" Solis W12 Luis Lazarte
Wins a junior flyweight title
Scores: 116-111, 115-112 Solis, 114-113 Lazarte
Records: Solis, 33-2-3, 21 KOs; Lazarte, 48-10-2, 18 KOs
Rafael's remark: In December, the 40-year-old Lazarte defended his 108-pound belt in front of his hometown crowd in Argentina against mandatory challenger Solis and was the recipient of a gift draw. Not only did Solis deserve the decision, but Lazarte, known for his dirty tactics, fought one of the dirtiest fights you will ever see. He punched Solis low, attempted to bite him and repeatedly hit him behind the head, which is dangerous and illegal. But referee Max Parker Jr. had a hard time keeping control of the fight, missing the blatant low blow and attempted bite.
After reviewing tape of the fight, the IBF properly ordered a rematch because of all the fouls Parker failed to call. Solis, 29, of Mexico, went to Argentina again for the sequel. It should come as no surprise, but Lazarte once again fought as dirty as can be. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. did a better job keeping control, but it was still a mess. While Solis tried to box and fight like a professional, Lazarte once again clinched constantly, rabbit punched with abandon, hit low and used his head so brutally it also should have had a glove on it.
Solis did his best to keep his composure. Esteves wasn't fooled when Solis went down in the seventh round because Lazarte had stepped on his foot. In the ninth round, Lazarte's blatant blow behind the head sent Solis to the canvas and Esteves docked a point from him. When Lazarte tried to clinch him again at the end of the round, a frustrated Solis threw him to the canvas. Lazarte had it coming. In the 10th round, Esteves docked a point from Solis, but the reason was unclear. And just so this rivalry could finish the way it started, Lazarte once again smashed Solis behind the head with a punch to send him to the canvas in the 12th round, drawing another warning from Esteves. In the end, the judges got it right, awarding Solis the split decision win (it should have been unanimous) to give him back his old belt. Solis had held this version of the title from 2006 to 2009.
Saturday at Texcoco, Mexico
Adrian Hernandez TKO10 Gilberto Keb Baas
Wins a junior flyweight title
Records: Hernandez, 21-1-1, 13 KOs; Keb Baas, 35-21-4, 22 KOs
Rafael's remark: Keb Baas pulled one of the biggest upsets of 2010 when he edged Omar Niño via majority decision to claim a 108-pound belt in November. But Keb Baas' Cinderella story came to an end in his second defense against Mexican countryman Hernandez, who was his mandatory challenger. In 2008, Hernandez had stopped Keb Baas in the fourth round of a regional title bout. Meeting again for a world title, they waged a grinding, physical contest.
Although Keb Baas had his moments, Hernandez was getting the better of him. He had Keb Baas in trouble in the eighth round, landing several solid right hands and backing Keb Baas into the ropes. He was teeing off on Keb Baas again in the 10th, working the body as well as the head. Keb Baas had taken a good amount of punishment, especially late in the fight, when the referee stopped the fight while Keb Baas was on his stool after the 10th round. It was a humane stoppage, although Keb Baas and his handlers weren't happy about it.
This was the main event of a Televisa-televised card in Mexico, but it was made available to American fight fans because of Golden Boy's deal with AT&T, which offered the fight to AT&T U-verse television subscribers, the U-verse TV mobile application and for free online. Have to say it was one of the sweetest, most dazzling and crystal-clear live streams you will ever see for a fight.
Friday at Las Vegas
Carlos Molina TKO7 Allen Conyers
Records: Molina, 18-4-2, 5 KOs; Conyers, 12-5, 9 KOs
Rafael's remark: Junior welterweight contenders Victor Cayo and Lamont Peterson were originally scheduled to square off in a junior welterweight title eliminator in the ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" main event, but Cayo injured his shoulder, forcing him to pull out. So promoter Leon Margules tried to match Peterson with the next leading available contender, Tim Coleman, who was already on the undercard. But Coleman didn't accept the fight, so the Molina-Conyers main event was put together on just a few days' notice.
Molina, 27, a native of Mexico living in Chicago, had headlined on ESPN2 on March 25, when he scored a major upset by holding heralded prospect Erislandy Lara, the former Cuban amateur star, to a majority draw. Molina keeps himself in shape between fights and was all too happy to get another fight on national television, against Conyers, 35, of New York, who was coming off his own big upset in January, when he battered prospect James De La Rosa for a decision win on the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Devon Alexander undercard. Conyers-Molina turned out to be a decent, albeit one-sided fight.
Molina suffered a cut over his left eye from an accidental head clash in the third round. In the fourth round, Molina left his hands down and ate a right hand from Conyers for a flash knockdown. Molina wasn't hurt, and despite the trip to the canvas, was still in control of the fight. In the seventh round, Molina threw a left to the body and came behind it with a tremendous right hand to Conyers' face. Conyers was staggered badly and referee Tony Weeks immediately jumped in to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 9 seconds, giving Molina a nice victory. That's two quick fights in a row for Molina after a 21-month layoff while he was embroiled in a contract dispute with former promoter Don King.
Friday at Reno, Nev.
Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin TKO3 Jesse Brinkley
Records: Quillin, 24-0, 18 KOs; Brinkley, 35-7, 22 KOs
Rafael's remark: Quillin, 27, a native of Chicago now living in Los Angeles, has been viewed by many as an outstanding prospect for quite some time. However, the one thing that has kept him from blossoming into a bona fide contender has been injuries. He has been hampered by a variety of them, which kept him out of action for all of 2009 and limited him to just two fights in 2010. But since getting healthy and signing with Golden Boy in late 2010, he has now fought three times and is in a groove.
In Brinkley, Quillin was facing the most notable opponent of his career and passed the test with ease in the main event of Telefutura's "Solo Boxeo Tecate." Brinkley, 34, is best known for his stint on "The Contender" reality series during its first season in 2004. But Brinkley also scored a big win in January 2010 by outpointing favored Curtis Stevens in a title eliminator. In his next fight in October, Brinkley got a mandatory title shot, going to Montreal and getting cut down in nine lopsided rounds by Lucian Bute.
In his first bout since, Brinkley, the crowd favorite from Yerington, Nev., couldn't stand up to Quillin, who was bigger, faster and a harder hitter. Showing little movement, Brinkley was a sitting duck for Quillin's punches. In the final minute of the third round, Quillin staggered him with a right hand to the head. Brinkley was clearly hurt and trying to get away, but Quillin chased him around the ring and unloaded a number of shots. After more than a dozen unanswered blows and with Brinkley unable to defend himself, referee Joe Cortez jumped in to stop it at 2 minutes, 34 seconds. It was a very good performance from Quillin, whose name likely will be part of the discussion as a possible challenger for middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in the fall.
Thursday at Los Angeles
Frankie Gomez KO1 Jason Davis
Records: Gomez, 9-0, 7 KOs; Davis, 11-9-1, 3 KOs
Rafael's remark: The main event of Golden Boy's "Fight Night Club" was a mismatch on paper and proved to be one in the ring, as heralded prospect Gomez took out Davis in a mere 25 seconds. Gomez, 19, of East Los Angeles, who turned pro last year after winning a 2009 U.S. national amateur title and silver at the world championships, ended the fight with a left hand to the temple that dropped Davis, 29, of Vancouver, Wash., and left him at 0-8 with a no-contest in his last nine fights. He had been knocked out in the second round of the no-contest with Joan Guzman, but the result was changed after Guzman failed the drug test. Golden Boy had been a bit unhappy with Gomez's recent work ethic and his increasing weight, which led to a series of sit-down conversations with him and his team. Gomez trained for this fight with new trainer Abel Sanchez and went away to Big Bear, Calif., to prepare.
Alfonso Blanco W4 Juan Carlos Diaz
Scores: 40-34 (twice), 40-33
Records: Blanco, 5-0, 2 KOs; Diaz, 7-13, 6 KOs
Rafael's remark: Blanco, 25, was a 2008 Olympian for his native Venezuela before signing with manager Cameron Dunkin and promoter Golden Boy, relocating to Oxnard, Calif., and turning pro. With trainer Robert Garcia in his corner, Blanco, who has excellent size for a junior middleweight, is trying to make the conversion from amateur star to professional prospect. He has a lot to work on and seems to be a project, but he had no problem with Diaz, 27, of Los Angeles. Blanco floored him in the first round and again in the second round, although he couldn't stop Diaz. That was surprising because Blanco hit him with everything. He was close to a stoppage in the opening round, during which he unloaded numerous flush shots. Diaz (who lost his eighth in a row) has been stopped five times, all inside three rounds, so it may be that Blanco's power is below average.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
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