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  • Miguel Maravilla

Ryan Garcia KO's Javier Fortuna in 6

Photos - Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

Super lightweight Ryan Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) of Victorville, California, disposed of former two-time world champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (37-4-1, 26 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in six rounds Saturday night at the Arena in Los Angeles. Garcia came out shooting the right hand and connecting with a thudding left hook, Fortuna walked through the punches and kept coming. In round two, Garcia pumped the jab and later connected with a flush right snapping Fortuna’s head. Still figuring out the style, Garcia kept working off the jab boxing as he pinned Fortuna up on the ropes momentarily in round three, shortly after Fortuna attempted to make it a rough fight swarming Garcia. The fourth round, Garcia connected with a short right hand and shortly after connected with a body shot sending Fortuna to the canvas. Fortuna was up but Garcia connected as he had Fortuna on the run.

A huge right hand in the fifth by Garcia dropped Fortuna for a second time. The former champion was up as Garcia stalked him to finish the round. However, a left hook by Garcia finished Fortuna as referee Jerry Cantu stopped the fight at 27 seconds of the sixth.

In the Garcia-Fortuna co-main event on Saturday night at the Arena in Los Angeles, welterweight Alexis Rocha from nearby Santa Ana pressured Luis Veron out of Buenos Aires, Argentina all night and won a one-sided unanimous decision with scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. The southpaw Rocha attacked Veron from the opening bell as he touched Veron with his right jab and hard left to the body and head. In round 5, Rocha picked up the pace and battered Veron from post to post but could not finish off the savvy veteran. Rocha continued to push forward against Veron over the second half of the fight but could not land the significant shot to put away the Argentinian. And although Veron engaged more the final few rounds, he spent most of the night on his bicycle to avoid the power of Rocha. In the end, Rocha earned the easy decision and the NABO welterweight title in doing so.

Washington D.C.’s Lamont Roach Jr. (23-1-1, 9 KO’s) won a lackluster unanimous decision over Angel Rodriguez of Columbia (20-2, 10 KO’s) in a twelve round super featherweight bout. Roach boxed aggressively early in the fight taking the fight to Rodriguez. Letting his hands go in the third, Rodriguez connected with a low blow as Roach took a knee in pain, Roach recovered and was up fighting.

Roach staggered Rodriguez with a right hand in the fifth as he stalked the Colombian throughout the round. Momentum appeared to be going Roach’s way in the sixth as he backed Rodriguez and connected with combination late in the round. Boxing patiently in the seventh, Roach attacked smart backing and limiting Rodriguez. In the eighth, Rodriguez appeared to be fading as Roach kept coming staying on top of the limited Rodriguez.

In the ninth, Roach stayed on top of Rodriguez scoring points and painting up Rodriquez behind the jab staying busy. The whistles began to fill the arena with noise in the tenth as L.A fans began to boo, Roach’s dominance of Rodriguez. Roach boxed in the eleventh as he was obviously ahead on the cards outworking Rodriguez. Stalking in the twelfth and final round, Roach pressed behind the jab as Rodriguez held on in making it the distance.

The judges scored the bout 117-111, 116-112, and 116-112.

In a WBA flyweight title eliminator, David Jimenez (12-0, 9 KOs) out of Cartago, Costa Rica stunned the local, crowd favorite Ricardo “El Nino” Sandoval (20-2, 15 KOs) from Rialto, CA with a come from behind majority decision 114-112 twice, 113-113. Through the first six rounds, Sandoval picked his spots and tried to neutralize the constant movement of Jimenez as neither fighter could gain control. But in the 7th round, the tide appeared to change as referee Thomas Taylor deducted a point on Jimenez for holding.

This seemed to energize Sandoval, as he came out firing in the eighth, which started with a left hook to the body that clearly hurt the Costa Rican. Sandoval smelled blood and went on the attack and dropped bombs to the head and body on Jimenez, who showed his toughness and survived the round. Jimenez was no longer coming forward as Sandoval was now in complete control until the fateful eleventh round. After a missed right hand by Sandoval, Jimenez stepped back and landed a flush right on the jaw of Sandoval that sent him to the canvas. Jimenez was now looking to stop Sandoval who did his best to survive to the final bell. Jimenez pulled out the victory to the dismay of the pro-Sandoval crowd and remained undefeated, while Sandoval lost for only the second time as his 16-fight winning streak came to a halt in dramatic fashion.

Oscar Collazo (5-0, 3 KO’s) of Puerto Rico won a unanimous decision over Victor Saludar (21-6, 11 KO’s) squared off in a WBA minimumweight eliminator. Figuring each other out in the opening round, Saludar connected with a straight right hand, but Collazo returned the favor connecting the Filipino flush. Mixing it up in round two, Collazo attacked the body and worked inside as the Saludar stood in the pocket. The Puerto Rican countered in round three connecting solidly, answering Saludar’s attack as Collazo stood busy. Attacking inside in the fourth, Collazo connected with a solid left hand backing Saludar and stopping his momentum.

It appeared that Saludar was tired as Collazo began to breakdown the Filipino in the fifth. Collazo continued to dominate Saludar past the halfway point. Just when the fight appeared one-sided, Saludar connected with an uppercut in the seventh, dropping Collazo. Saludar continued to fight as Collazo continued to work.

Late in the fight Collazo boxed and used the jab more effectively as Saludar fought valiantly, Collazo worked his way to a hard-fought unanimous decision as the judges scored the bout 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112

Featherweight Diego De La Hoya (22-1, 10 KO’s) of Mexicali, Mexico stopped Enrique Bernache (24-13, 12 KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico in four rounds. De La Hoya pummeled Bernache for the entire fight, after nearly completing four rounds, De La Hoya teed off as referee Ray Corona had seen enough stopping the fight at 2:51 of the fourth.

In the opening bout from the Crypto Arena in Los Angeles lightweight prospect Miguel Gaona (3-0, 2 KO) of Los Angeles disposed of Abdiel Padilla (1-3, 1 KO) of Puerto Rico. Gaona dropped Padilla early in the opening round and floored him a second time with a right to the body. Referee Jack Reiss reached a ten count. (No time was announced.)

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