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Mexico’s Munguia KOs Britain's Kelly; Yokasta Valle Wins Too

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  • Mexico’s Munguia KOs Britain's Kelly; Yokasta Valle Wins Too

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    By David A. Avila

    ANAHEIM-Mexico’s Jaime Munguia ventured up to the super middleweight division and managed to knock out England’s Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly a clever fighter with more experience in the bigger weight class on Saturday.

    Munguia (40-0, 32 KOs) struggled early in the fight but managed to figure out Kelly’s (26-3, 10 KOs) weakness before a slightly stunned audience of more than 7,000 fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

    Munguia, a former super welterweight world titlist and middleweight contender, fought as a super middleweight against Kelly. It proved to be a savage learning lesson for the Tijuana fighter in the first three rounds. His head snapped back repeatedly from the Brit’s punches early on.

    Kelly was quite clever and able to use his quickness and distance for an advantage. Both were heavy on the feints, but Kelly knew how to take score while Munguia was thinking.

    Surprisingly, Munguia seemed to have the quicker hands and began to score enough to keep Kelly from lunging in.

    Several times the two fighters clashed heads and punched during breaks. During the last instance both boxers were admonished by referee Tom Taylor in the fifth round. After the referee urged them to fight Munguia scored quickly with a sharp combo and down went Kelly under the ropes. He quickly got up and back to work he went. Munguia attacked and both exchanged with the Mexican fighter blasting a right uppercut to Kelly’s chin and down he went again. Kelly beat the count and continued and was a little more conservative about re-engaging but he connected with yet another big right that snapped Munguia’s head back. The Mexican unloaded a roll of punches like a Las Vegas slot machine. Down went Kelly and the fight was stopped at 2:57 of the fifth round.

    "It was difficult in the beginning since he's a slippery, tough fighter, and he could take a punch," said Munguia. “I figured out that I had to work through the middle and throw punches like the uppercut. I think it was the punch that I knocked him down with."

    Kelly said his plan was working until it did not.

    "My strategy was to move and try to frustrate him," said Kelly. "He's a strong, patient fighter. But he just stayed calm and found the opportunity.”

    Munguia said he will return to the 160-pound middleweight division and hope to lure WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo.

    Yokasta Valle Wins American debut

    IBF minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle (25-2, 9 KOs) used her speed and stamina to overwhelm gritty Orange County fighter Lorraine Villalobos (5-4, 2 KOs) who had shown in an earlier world title clash she has power. But that power was neutralized in her hometown.

    From the opening punch it was apparent that Valle’s speed was world class and that if desired she could make it a very boring fight. Instead, she stayed in the pocket with the very dangerous Villalobos who has good power.

    It was Valle’s first fight in the US. The Costa Rican had come close to fighting in Los Angeles several years ago, but her trainer at the time could not obtain a visa. For this fight she trained with American trainer Gloria Verduzco.

    “I wanted to give the fans a great fight,” said Valle. “I was trying for the knockout but she was a tough Mexican fighter.”

    After 10 rounds all three judges scored it 100-90 for Valle who retains the IBF world title.

    Other Bouts

    Mexico’s Oscar Duarte (23-1-1, 18 KOs) gained his eighth consecutive knockout and this one came against tough Filipino Mark Bernaldez (23-6, 17 KOs) at 2:05 in the eighth round of their lightweight clash. Referee Gerard White stopped the fight after a flurry of solid blows.

    Carlos Ortiz (13-6, 13 KOs) knocked out formerly undefeated Evan Sanchez (11-1, 6 KOs) in a slugfest between super welterweight southpaw sluggers in the fifth round.

    In a close fight over four rounds, each fighter was able to connect and Sanchez seemed better at distance. But once they moved within range of each other it was anybody’s fight.

    Sanchez started out well in the fifth round using his range and jab to score at length. But during an exchange along the ropes, Ortiz countered with a left and caught Sanchez with a perfect punch that paralyzed the Northern California fighter. Ortiz quickly followed up with a half dozen blows and sent Sanchez to the floor for a count of 10 at 2:59.

    Welterweight Pin Pon Reyes (8-0, 5 KOs) connected with a one-two combo and dropped Moises Flores (25-7-1, 17 KOs) in the second round. After the fight resumed Reyes unraveled a six-punch barrage that forced the referee to stop the fight at 50 seconds of the second round.

    Japhethlee Llamido (8-0, 3 KOs) battered Saul Hernandez (17-16-1, 12 KOs) with quick combinations through six rounds in their lightweight match. Llamido floored Hernandez in the last round but did not hurt the sturdy fighter. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Llamido.

    Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (34-1, 22 KOs) needed only one round to deliver a knockout via body shot to Argentina’s Vincent Rodriguez (40-11-1, 21 KOs) in their middleweight showdown. A left hook sunk Rodriguez who could not get up at the count at 2:06 of the opening round.

    Photo credit: Al Applerose
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