• By Miguel Maravilla at Ringside Photos by Tom

Linares Decisions Campbell; Retains Lightweight Titles


It was another one in the books Saturday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California as WBA & Ring Magazine champion Venezuela's Jorge "El Niño de Oro" Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) and Luke Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) of England squared off Saturday night for Linares WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine titles on the HBO World Championship Boxing main event.

Feeling each other out in the opening round Linares and Campbell stuck the jab and let loose in the final seconds of the round. Linares pressed in round two as Campbell jabbed away, the champ countered with a hard left hook and moments later dropped Campbell with a straight right as the Englishman got up and was cut below the right eye from the right. The champ came out attacking Campbell in the fourth going downstairs to the body, later in the round Linares landed an uppercut.

In round five Campbell landed some good counters as Linares was pressing forward on the attack. At the halfway point in the sixth Campbell jabbed away following up with straight lefts as Linares went in aggressively. The second half of the fight saw Campbell composed boxing effectively jabbing and catching Linares with counters on the way in.

Late in the fight in the ninth Campbell and Linares boxed countered but in the closing seconds of the round Campbell landed a combination. Campbell worked behind the jab in the tenth as Linares countered and pressed. The championship rounds saw Campbell lands the stiff jab as the fast handed Linares kept coming at the Englishman. The twelve and final was all Linares as he boxed effectively keeping his distance as Campbell who needed the knockout stuck the jab.

Judges scored the bout 115-113, 114-113, and 115-112 as Jorge Linares pulls out the split decision and retains his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight title.

“I fought very well. I’m happy with the fight. At the fifth round, we had some trouble but we came out on top. Trust me, I have a great connection with my team and with my trainer, so we worked hard and kept at it. I knew I had to let the dogs out. We want Mikey Garcia next.” Jorge Linares said in the post fight interview.

“A lot of people saw the fight a lot closer than it was because in the last couple of rounds, he was a lot more aggressive and came forward a lot more. When I first started off, I felt very fast, the only thing he had over me was that he was a very technical fighter, he was very tall and had long arms- I had to adjust to his style throughout the fight.”

“When I got him with the punch and he went down, I didn’t feel the power coming out of me.”

“Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance.”

Campbell spoke briefly after the fight.

“No one can ever doubt my hard work. Yea I got off to a rocky start, he caught me in the eye. A nice shot that put me on the mat. But I had to fight, I had to get focused. I didn’t think he was landing any shots whatsoever in the second half.” Luke Campbell said after the fight.

Undercard Fights

Filipino lightweight slugger Romero Duno (15-1, 13 KOs) dominated Juan Sanchez (29-14, 14 KOs) of Tabasco, Mexico going distance in a scheduled eight-round lightweight fight. It was Duno pressing the action from the opening bell as Sanchez poked with the jab, on his toes Sanchez kept away as Duno attacked. In round four Duno connected Sanchez with a hard right hand as he backed the Mexican to the ropes.

Sanchez was cut one the left eye in the fifth as blood trickled Duno went forward landing power shots. The Filipino continued to work Sanchez stalking and landing heavy shots. In the seventh round Duno boxed and moved as Sanchez pressed swinging wildly. Keeping it conservative in the eighth and final round Duno kept his distance boxing away as Sanchez obviously behind searched for the knockout.

All three judges scored the bout 78-74

Glendale, California's Azat Hovhannisyan (12-2, 10 KOs) of Armenia and Sergio Frias (19-7-2, 10 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico scrapped it out for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title. In the first half of the fight Hovhannisyan was the aggressor from the opening bell as he backed and pinned Frias unloading with power punches. The Mexican however was able to fight well off the ropes and scrap with Hovhannisyan.

Frias boxed away in the second half of the fight keeping his distance mixing it up standing and trading with Hovhannisyan. Continuing to exchange the Armenian rocked Frias in the eighth with a hard left hook as Hovhannisyan came on. Late in the fight Hovhannisyan was cut on the left eye as Frias pressed the action. The tenth and final round saw Frias go forward jabbing and targeting the cut as Hovhannisyan kept his distance.

In the end the judges scored the bout 100-90, 100-90, and 98-92 as Hovhanniysian wins a hard fought unanimous decision.

La Puente's Abraham "Chamaco" Lopez (23-1-1, 16 KOs) returned to the ring with a stoppage over Isao Carranza (15-10-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico City. Lopez worked on the inside in the opening round as he worked Carranza's body. Continuing on the inside in the second, Lopez staggered Carranza with a left hook in the final seconds of the round. Exchanging on the inside in round three, Carranza and Lopez did not take a step back as they traded. In the fourth Lopez and Carranza continued to trade as Lopez landed a solid combination in the final seconds of the round. After completing the fourth round Carranza did not come out of his corner as the referee waived the bout.

In the opening bout from the "Fabulous" Forum in Los Angeles, California Rafael "El Alikin" Gramajo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) of West Los Angeles won a unanimous decision over Tijuana's Pedro Melo (17-15-2, 8 KOs) in a six-round super bantamweight fight. Gramajo had his way with Melo dominating him for most of the fight. Melo had a good round in the fifth as he backed Gramajo with a series of punches. The Tijuana fighter however pressed in the final round as he sensed the urgency Gramajo boxed.

Scores were 59-55, 58-56, and 58-56.

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