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Mexican Stalwarts Navarrete and Magdaleno Break-in the Banc of California

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  • Mexican Stalwarts Navarrete and Magdaleno Break-in the Banc of California

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    By David A. Avila

    LOS ANGELES-A new stadium got its boxing baptismal with two brutal Mexican wars to re-introduce Los Angeles fans to international prizefighting on Saturday evening.

    WBO titlist Emanuel “El Vaquero” Navarrete of Mexico City retained the world title by knockout and former champion Jessie Magdaleno proved pure violence still prevails in Mexican style boxing in front of 3,944 fans at Banc of California Stadium.

    Soccer took a back seat on Saturday.

    It was baptism under fire as Navarrete (28-1, 24 KOs) roasted fellow Mexican Francisco “Panchito” De Vaca (20-1, 6 KOs) who was willing to jump into the flames but found it too hot to withstand. But did he try.

    De Vaca arrived with only six knockout wins in 20 fights but that didn’t stop him from exchanging with the slightly taller and aggressive Navarrete. From the opening sound of the bell each traded blows with Navarrete landing two vicious left uppercuts to punctuate the first round.

    Though Navarrete won the round De Vaca proved to have a sturdy chin.

    The challenger from Phoenix erupted in the second round with a more aggressive attitude, but quickly discovered he was on the floor looking up after absorbing a sidewinder right cross from Navarrete. He got up and renewed the attack.

    De Vaca never wavered from exchanging blows with the champion but it proved to be futile as the harder hitting Navarrete seemed to move the challenger back with each connected blow. De Vaca was hurt but refused to submit as Navarrete pummeled him with blows from multiple angles. After what seemed like a minute filled with machine-like blows, referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight though De Vaca never went down at 1:54 of round three to give Navarrete the win by knockout.

    “De Vaca showed his fighting heart. He gave 100 percent in the ring tonight,” said Navarrete who hopes to return to Los Angeles. “I want to continue the tradition of Mexican boxing in Los Angeles. I want to fill arenas and follow in the footsteps of Mexican legends.”

    Top Rank’s Bob Arum said Navarrete will be returning to the boxing ring next month in Las Vegas on the same fight card as lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on Sept. 14.

    Magdaleno

    Former super bantamweight world champion Jessie Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KOs) won by technical decision over Tijuana’s Rafael Rivera (27-4-2, 18 KOs) in a fight stopped due to an accidental elbow slicing a cut on the Las Vegas fighter

    “He’s an aggressive fighter, he’s a warrior as we say in boxing,” said Magdaleno who did not think it was an intentional elbow.

    Magdaleno, a southpaw, breezed through three rounds with his slick boxing and power shots to the body. Rivera found it difficult to find openings until a clash of heads caused a cut on Magdaleno’s nose. Rivera was able to capitalize on the former super bantamweight world champion’s concern over the blood running down his nose.

    In the next three rounds Magdaleno began targeting the body with strong lefts and rights. It seemed to visibly slow down Rivera. A left cross in the seventh round staggered Rivera who was barely able to stay on his feet.

    Rivera gutted out the pain and battled back in the eighth round with renewed vigor. It looked like he was willing to go down swinging.

    Magdaleno expected Rivera to come out smoking in the ninth round and he did not disappoint. Both slugged it out in the corner with Magdaleno decking Rivera with a short left cross but the Tijuana fighter beat the count and returned to the battle. During another exchange an inadvertent elbow by the Mexican fighter sliced the side of Magdaleno’s right eye. Blood spewed out and referee Tom Taylor on the advice of the ringside physician stopped the fight at 2:55 of the ninth round.

    The fight was decided by the score cards with two judges at 89-81 and a third at 88-82 all for Magdaleno.

    “It felt great, I felt strong, better than ever,” said Magdaleno about fighting in the 126-pound featherweight division. “I took off the ring rust. We fought smart. We put on our boxing shoes and out-boxed him.”

    The former WBO super bantamweight who lost the title to Isaac Dogboe last year, now feels his victory over Rivera should open the door to a world title fight in the featherweight division.

    When asked who he would like?

    “I want them all, it don’t matter,” Magdaleno said.

    Other Bouts

    Super lightweight prospect Arnold Barboza (22-0, 9 KOs) was too big and too strong for Filipino Ricky Sismundo (35-15-3, 17 KOs) and battered the willing fighter for all four rounds. A three-punch combination by South El Monte’s Barboza dropped Sismundo in the third round who beat the count and tried battling back. In the fourth round Barboza continued the attack and at the end of the fourth round referee Ray Corona stopped the fight as Sismundo dropped to a knee at the end of the stanza.

    Barboza was coming off a knockout win over former world champion Mike Alvarado and may be ready for a world title shot.

    Kazakhstan’s Janibek Alimkhanuly floored Canada’s Stuart McLellan twice before ending the fight with a flourish of blows that forced referee Rudy Barragan to end the fight at 2:51 of the fifth round.

    Alimkhanuly retains the WBO Global and WBC Continental America’s middleweight belts. He fights out of Los Angeles and is trained by Buddy McGirt.

    A welterweight clash saw South Africa’s Chris Van Heerden (28-2-1, 12 KOs) win by unanimous decision over Russia’s Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1, 8 KOs) in a bloody eight round war. The fight started slowly with Van Heerden hitting and moving but after cuts suffered by both fighters, the two began exchanging heavy blows to the delight of the crowd. Both bled heavily for the last four rounds but let loose with everything just in case the fight was stopped. After eight rounds two judges saw it 79-73 and a third 78-74 for Van Heerden.

    After a close two rounds Javier Molina (20-2, 8 KOs) put some distance between him and Manuel Mendez (16-6-3, 11 KOs) to win by unanimous decision in a super lightweight match. Molina was able to take control with some nifty counter punches to catch Mendez walking in. It was never an easy fight as Mendez battled through each round. But after eight rounds two judges scored it 79-73 and a third 78-74 all for Molina.

    “I moved down to 140 pounds and it felt comfortable,” said Molina a former 2008 US Olympian who fights out of Norwalk, Calif. “It felt good to be back in the ring.

    Dominican southpaw Elvis Rodriguez dropped lefty Jesus Gonzalez with a short right hook in the first round of their super lightweight bout. The Texan got up and was caught with a jab left cross and down he went again. Referee Rudy Barragan halted the fight at 1:40 of the first round. Rodriguez is trained by Freddy Roach.

    Russian lightweight Dmitry Yun (2-0) survived two knockdowns to win by decision over Austin’s Javier Martinez (4-7, 3 KOs). The Texan floored Yun with the first blow he landed –a right cross - in the opening round, then repeated it with a counter right cross in the third round. But problems with his mouthpiece and lack of footwork kept Martinez from gaining ground on the fleet but light punching Yun. Two judges scored it 57-54 and a third 56-54 all for Yun.

    New Mexico’s Brian Mendoza (18-0, 13 KOs) brutalized Miami’s Rosemberg Gomez (20-8-1, 16 KOs) with body shots and eventually ended the fight at 2:12 of the first round in their welterweight clash.

    Photo credit: Mikey Willians for Top Rank

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel
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