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raheem-morales4043Raheem outslicks Morales!
Pac-man brutalizes Velazquez!


Ringside report by Francisco Salazar and Ralph Gonzales
Photography by Chris Cozzone

Zahir Raheem could not have fought a more complete fight against ring superstar Erik Morales. Landing combinations, strong defense, even momentarily staggering Morales were just some of what Raheem was able to do. He was rewarded handsomely for his efforts as he won the biggest fight of his career, defeating the former three-time world champion by unanimous decision at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles before a stunned crowd of 10,584.

With the victory, Raheem wins the WBC International Lightweight championship.

The bout headlined the six-bout "Double Trouble" card, presented by Top Rank.

Undaunted, Raheem was very sure of himself that he would come out victorious, coming into the ring with a crown on his head and wearing a matching robe.

He began the bout with the same amount of confidence he had when he entered the ring, beating Morales to the punch in the first round.

raheem-morales4043Raheem was quick and used his speed to feint and land significant right hands to the face of Morales. In an attempt to counter, Morales tried to time his punches just when Raheem was open for a shot.

Raheem kept up the pressure in the third round by landing a series of left hooks to the face of Morales. Raheem would continue to stalk Morales around the ring.

Morales was able to land more punches in the four round. His right uppercut to the chin gave Morales more of an incentive to begin throwing more combinations.

However, in round five Morales was caught by a straight right hand by Raheem that staggered him backwards towards the ropes. Morales would recover, but would get tagged by Raheem. Seeming to psych himself up more, Morales screamed at Raheem as if to say his best punches were not hurting him.

Raheem at times had trouble standing as he slipped numerous times on the advertisement in the middle of the ring, drawing a chorus of boos from the crowd and protests from Morales' corner.

raheem-morales4043Morales went back to boxing and would land punches in combinations while Raheem would land the more telling blows.

Raheem began to slow down in the 10th round, not throwing as many punches as in previous rounds. That suited Morales just fine as began to catch Raheem with right hands and left hooks to the body.

Raheem began to tire as he was now easy for Morales to hit. He would stand in front of Morales, where he would have danced around Morales before.

Controversy occurred in the 11th round when Morales landed a series of punches to the head of Raheem. Raheem fell off-balanced and his right glove touched the canvas as he was able to maintain his balance. Most in the arena erupted out of their seats thinking that Morales scored a knockdown, but referee Jon Schorle allowed the action to continue.

Having the momentum on his side, Morales was unable to score a knockdown or hurt Raheem.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Raheem, 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113. Fightnews.com scored the bout even at 114-114.

"It seemed as though he did not want to fight me," said a surprised Morales after the fight. "He kept moving away from me. I thought I did enough to win the fight. I'm going back down to 130 pounds to fight Pacquiao."

However way Morales felt, the numbers disagreed with him. Raheem landed 161 out of 586 punches, while Morales only landed 85 out of 543 punches. Raheem even had the edge in the power punches department, landing 111 to Morales' 62.

Raheem, from Philadelphia, PA, improves to 27-1, 16 KO's. Morales, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, drops to 48-3, 34 KO's.

pacquiao-velazquez5056Pac-Man brutalizes Velazquez!
-- Ralph Gonzales

Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao showed why he’s pound for pound one of the world's best as he quickly figured out tough guy Hector Velazquez and then crushed his championship dreams after applying a serious beating. Both men went straight to war with Velazquez making an impact as he landed several solid lefts on Pacquiao. Pacquiao used his speed and landed some hard straights of his own. The war ensued in round two as Pacquiao came out with fast flurries while Velazquez stuck to that same left hand that couldn’t miss its mark. Velazquez also managed to land some good body shots.

pacquiao-velazquez5056In round three, Pac-Man's speed started to make a difference as he lands an assortment of straight right lefts that landed squarely on Velazquez’s face. Pacquiao seemed to figure out Velazquez and easily dodged Velazquez’s often landing left. By the fourth, Manny was boxing and counter-punching Velazquez effectively. By the fifth, straight lefts started landing for Pacquio regularly. The end of the round was punctuated by Pacquiao with a hard left.
The sixth saw Pacquiao boxing some more. A hard right staggered Velazquez and sets up a flurry by Pacquiao as he backed up Velazquez and landed several hard rights to the head and body with the referee keeping a close eye and on the verge of stopping the contest. Two hard lefts drop Velazquez down to his knees. Velazquez gets up at the count of nine but Lou Moret stopped the contest at 2:59. Velazquez drops to 42-11, 31 KO’s. Pac-Man improves his ledger to 40-3, 21 KO’s.

"He’s a real hard puncher. I knew he was fast. I didn’t know he was that strong. His power never diminished through out the fight," said Velazquez after the fight. "This is exactly what we trained for," said Pacquiao. "It was the body shots that set him up for the K.O."

viloria3712Viloria stuns Ortiz for WBC Jr. Fly belt!
-- Francisco Salazar

In stunning fashion, Brian Viloria scored a first round knockout over Eric Ortiz to win the WBC Light Flyweight championship.

Both fighters started quickly, taking the fight toward each other. Viloria looked he was the quicker fighter, sneaking right hands that landed to the head of Ortiz.

As the round continued, Viloria would take the initiative and take command. Ortiz attempted to land his punches, but Viloria was able to show good defense.

Near the end of the round, Viloria landed a combination that stunned Ortiz. Viloria followed that up with a right cross to the chin that dropped Ortiz onto his back. Ortiz momentarily stood up, them toppled back down onto the canvas. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. stopped the bout at 2:59 of the round.

Upon seeing the referee wave off the fight, Viloria jumped into the air and crouched on the canvas, full of emotion as his corner celebrated upon entering the ring.

Afterwards, in a touching moment, Viloria addressed the crowd, but focused his attention on one fighter.

"Seeing Ruben (Contreras) here today brought tears to my eyes," said Viloria, who dedicated this bout to Contreras. "He was an inspiration to me and my family by being here."

In Viloria's last bout in May, he knocked out Contreras in the sixth round of an eight round bout. Contreras went into a coma due to a blood clot. Contreras has recovered, but will never box again.

Viloria, from Waipahu, HI, improves to 18-0, 12 KO's. Ortiz, from Mexico City, DF, Mexico, drops to 24-5-1, 16 KO's.

matirosyan3543 Vanes outclasses Prieto!
-- Ralph Gonzales

The first round showcased fast, precise counter punching by Vanes Martiroysan. Prieto was outclassed from the beginning. The second came around and the boxing lesson continued. In the third, Vanes more agressive as he lands some hard straights to the head of Prieto. In the fourth, the Armenian teed of repeatedly with fast combinations to the head and body. In the fifth, Prieto managed to land a decent shot that had Martiroysan in retreat for a second. Counter lefts and rights landed by Martiroysan did their damage. Prieto started urging Martiroysan to bring it on. In the sixth, Vanes kept landing a hard right repeatedly and shook Prieto. Martiroysan staggered Prieto at the end of the round but Prieto held on enough to make it to the end. The decision was a complete shutout of 60-54 on all cards. Martyrosyan stays undefeated at 4-0, 1 KO. Prieto drops 4-3, 1 KO.

matirosyan3520

Leyva knocks out Rodela!
-- Ralph Gonzales

Hector Leyva of Santa Maria won by fourth round KO over David Rodela in a fight that was heavily laden with action but little defense. Rodela came out strong lobbing punches on Leyva and caught him a couple of times with some effect. Leyva came back at the end of the round and landed some hard straights shots of his own. In the second, Leyva came out moving forward and managed to catch Rodela several times. Rodela started boxing more but Leyva scored enough with hard shots to win convincingly. The third round started with Leyva stalking. An excellent exchange ensued with both men going toe to toe. Good exchanges with Rodela again getting the worst of it. In the third, Leyva moved forward winging shots as Rodela backed up. Leyva landed a hard left that dropped Rodela on the mat. Leyva wins by KO in the third as referee David Mendoza stops a wobbly Rodela from fighting at 2:28. Leyva improves to 5-3. 3 KO’s. Rodela loses for the first time and is now 2-1-1, 2 KO’s.

Bautista-Flores
-- Francisco Salazar

Young Bantamweight prospect Rey Bautista remained unbeaten as he knocked out Felix Flores in the third round of a scheduled eight round bout.

Dwarfing his opponent, Bautista stalked his prey around the ring, using his speed to land punches. Flores was content to counter any offense Bautista threw.

Bautista was able to land punches more frequently in the second round. His raw strength allowed Bautista to overwhelm his opponent as Flores slowly began to land less punches. A left hook staggered Flores towards the end of the second round, but Flores was able to survive.

Bautista continued his assault in the third and a straight right hand to the chin dropped Flores to the canvas. Flores tried to get up, but quickly fell into the arms of referee Tony Crebs, who waved off the bout at 1:12 of the third round.

Bautista, from Cebu City, Philippines, improves to 15-0, 12 KO's. Flores, Valledupar, Colombia, drops to 13-5-1, 11 KO's.

Etc.

- Faces in the crowd: former world champions Julio Cesar Chavez and Bobby Chacon, WBC lightweight champion Diego Corrales, WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, "Contender" Alfonso Gomez, IBF super bantamweight champion Israel Vasquez, IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy, undefeated lightweight Julio Cesar Chavez, junior middleweight contender Kingsley Ikeke, and WBA super featherweight champion Martin Castillo.

- STAPLES Center will host another night of action on Saturday, October 15th. Fighters from the show "Contender" will fight in match-ups from the season finale. The main event will feature Sergio Mora taking on Peter Manfredo. Tickets can be purchased at the STAPLES Center or by contacting Ticketmaster.

- Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, Emanuel Steward, and Harold Lederman called the action for HBO World Championship Boxing. Mario Solis and former world champion Raul Marquez called the action on HBO Latino.

matirosyan3631
The Undertaker

etc4275
Ruben Contreras

 


 


2003 by Fightnews.com.