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Azad Championship Report - Maidana Stops Lopez - Lara vs. Angulo Begs a Rematch

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)


Before a raucous, sold-out crowd at Carson, CA’s StubHub Center, Argentinean welterweight Marcos Maidana, 34-3 (31), and Riverside, CA’s Josesito Lopez, 30-6 (18), put on an exciting and violent affair. For six rounds, they ebbed and flowed with both men laying the wood to one another until finally Lopez gave and was stopped at 1:18 of the sixth round.
 
For the first few rounds, the action was tight. The taller Lopez worked behind a long jab and right hand. Maidana, the power puncher, looked to get inside and work. Maidana landed a hard right in the first and tried to burst toward an early ending but Lopez was having none of it as he dug hard to the body with a left hook.
 
In the second, Maidana seemed to hurt Lopez to the body in a corner exchange but the tough, young Mexican held on. In the third, Lopez displayed his toughness, taking a hard shot from Maidana while waving him in, then doling out punishment of his own; Lopez landed a sweeping left hook and a series of jabs and right hands. He had come to defend his turf.

Lopez went right to Maidana to start the fourth. A long sweeping shot hurt Maidana and the smaller fighter scrambled to regain composure as he crashed to the canvas, off-balance. No knockdown was ruled but the tide had seemingly turned.
 
Time and again, Lopez’s long right hand landed on the end of its power on Maidana’s face. The left hook found a home as well and Maidana stayed on the outside, absorbing shots.
 
In the fifth, Lopez’s pace, aggression and boxing acumen kept Maidana pausing and eating shots early. However, the Argentine fighter found his groove, worked Lopez into a corner and unloaded. Maidana weathered the storm; his head cleared and he began pursuit yet again. Lopez gave ground and lived on the ropes, eating shots as Maidana opened up. Lopez was squirrelly but Maidana still got some quality shots in.
 
Maidana closed quarters in the sixth, ripping an uppercut and looking to catch Lopez in an exchange. A heavy right hand slammed into Lopez, who took it, paused and then took a knee. He rose but a heavy right thudded into him again - and again. He reacted but not with punches and referee Dr. Lou Moret looked close. Then another right hit Lopez and his knees buckled. That was that.
 
At the time of stoppage, Lopez was up on only one card by the score of 48-47 while Maidana was ahead by the same score on the remaining cards.
 
Lara vs. Angulo Begs a Rematch
 
For 10 rounds, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, 22-3 (18), defied odds and pundits alike as he cut off the ring, pounded the body and Cuban boxer Erislandy Lara, 18-1-2 (12), down twice. But the Mexican warrior paid a physical toll to get it done.
 
Angulo had a clear plan. He closed down the space which Lara needed to get his punches off, digging to the body in close, particularly with the left hook. Lara’s plan was to box from the outside and move away from exchanges.
 
In the first, Angulo looked lost trying to catch the faster, more technically skilled Lara. The Cuban seemed content to land his left straight down the pipe and move. The plan seemed to be working well.
 
Angulo pressed Lara and cut off the ring, getting as close as possible for his work. Lara moved and retreated only to shoot forward with a crisp one or two-punch explosion. Lara’s right hook made an appearance while Angulo stayed to the body.
 
The fourth round happened and everything changed. As Lara tried to slip to his right, Angulo landed a left hook that put his opponent down for the first time in his career. Perhaps remembering how he used all his energy in the first round following a knockdown versus James Kirkland, Angulo used it efficiently this time.
 
For the next few rounds, Angulo pounded away at Lara, who kept giving ground in turn. While Lara was not throwing as often, his shots landed crisply when he did. Angulo’s face was swelling up quickly and the fight was barely more than half over.
 
In the ninth, Angulo hit pay dirt again, landing the left hook and putting Lara down for the second time. Again, Angulo stayed patient, stalking and working on Lara.
 
But in the 10th, things went haywire. Angulo pressured and Lara bravely fought back, getting on his bicycle and working hard from the outside. A series of three punches from Lara landed and Angulo turned away, holding his swelling right eye.
 
After the fight, Angulo would explain he was thumbed several times by Lara and was turning away to complain accordingly. When he turned, referee Raul Caiz Sr. waved the fight off immediately. Following the bout, the California State Athletic Commission confiscated Lara’s gloves to examine them.
 
The time of the stoppage was 1:50 of the 10th.
 
You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him every Monday on “The Next Round” with Steve Kim, now at its new home, www.blogtalkradio.com/thenextround. You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com, Thursdays at 5-8 p.m., PST.
 
 

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