Fight Chatter Feb. 17, 2019

Photo by Al Applerose

Fight Chatter Feb. 17, 2019

By Uppercut Staff 


Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1) defeated Mexico’s Rafael Rivera (26-3-2) by unanimous decision after 12 rounds on Saturday Feb. 16. The WBA featherweight world title match took place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It was Santa Cruz’s third world title defense since re-acquiring the world title from England’s Carl Frampton two years ago. Santa Cruz used his vast experience to out-maneuver and out-punch Tijuana’s Rivera who gave a outstanding effort despite losing nearly every round. After 12 rounds all three judges scored the fight 119-109 for Santa Cruz who fights out of Los Angeles.


Omar Figueroa (28-0-1) remained undefeated after a brutal scrap against John Molina Jr. (30-8) in a welterweight rumble at L.A. Figueroa was unable to make the original super lightweight weight limit so an extra five pounds was allowed to make the fight. Both are known for their knockouts but after 10 rounds neither fighter ever was knocked down. Figueroa won by unanimous decision by scores 99-91, 98-92, 97-93. However his failure to make the scheduled weight could put his future prospects in doubt, especially with televised fights. Several times Figueroa, who is a native of Texas, has failed to make weight.


Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3) won by technical decision after 10 rounds over Mexico’s Cesar Juarez (23-7) in an IBF super bantamweight elimination bout on Saturday Feb. 16. The fight was stopped in the 10th round due to a bad cut over Juarez’s eye caused by an accidental clash of heads. According to California rules the fight went to the score cards and Iwasa was ruled the winner 98-92, 97-93, 95-95.


DeeJay Kriel (15-1-1) knocked out Carlos Licona (14-1) in the 12th round to take the IBF minimum weight world title on Saturday Feb. 16. The world title fight took place in Los Angeles. Kriel, 23, fights out of South Africa. Licona, 23, was making his first world title defense and fights out of Southern California.


Sebastian Fundora (12-0) knocked out Donnie Marshall (10-1) to win the battle of undefeated super welterweights. Fundora had a six-inch height advantage and stands 6’7” as a 154-pound fighter.


Rob Brant (25-1) knocked out Khasan Baysangurov (17-1) in the 11th round to retain the WBA middleweight world title on Friday Feb. 15. The title match took place at Hinckley, Minn. It was Brant’s first defense since taking the title from Japan’s Ryota Murata last October in Las Vegas. Brant was ahead on all three score cards by wide margins. A rematch with Murata is being discussed and the fight would probably take place in Japan.


Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0) won the battle of undefeated super lightweights over Mykal Fox (19-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds on Friday Feb. 15. Ergashev, 27, fights out of Detroit, Michigan but is originally from Uzbekhistan.


Mikaela Mayer (10-0) retained the NABF super featherweight title by unanimous decision after eight rounds over Mexico’s Yareli Larios (13-2-1) on Friday Feb. 15. It was Mayer’s second defense of the regional title and she seeks a world title challenge this year.


Yesenia Gomez (15-5-3) won by majority decision after 10 rounds versus Japan’s Erika Hanawa (10-4) on Saturday Feb.16. The WBC light flyweight world title fight took place at Cancun, Mexico. It was Gomez first title defense. Also, Alejandra Jimenez (12-0-1) beat Irais Hernandez (2-2-3) by decision after eight rounds in a super middleweight fight. Their first encounter ended in a draw.

Sandra Robles (22-3) beat Arely Valente (12-5-1) by knockout in the fourth round on Saturday Feb. 16. The flyweight fight took place at Chiapas.


Upcoming fights


Brandon Rios (35-4-1) meets Humberto Soto (68-9-2) in a welterweight battle between former world champions on Saturday Feb. 23, in Tijuana, Mexico. DAZN will televise the 12-round fight live. Rios, 32, fights out of Oxnard, Calif. Soto, 38, fights out of Tijuana, Mexico.


Seniesa Estrada (15-0, 5 KOs) fights Yenifer Leon (9-1) in a 10-round fight on Saturday Ferb. 23, in Tijuana, Mexico. The WBC Silver light flyweight fight will be televised on DAZN.  


James DeGale (25-2-1) and Chris Eubank Jr. (27-2) tangle in a IBO super middleweight title fight set for 12 rounds on Saturday Feb. 23, in London, England. DeGale is 33 years old and a southpaw while Eubank is 29. On the same card Joe Joyce (7-0) battles former heavyweight world titlist Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1) in a 10 round affair.


Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1) meets Avni Yildirim (21-1) for the vacant WBC super middleweight world title on Saturday Feb. 23, at Minneapolis, Minn. Fox will televise the world title fight set for 12 rounds. Also, Jamal James (24-1) and Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1) meet in a 10 round welterweight fight.


On Saturday Feb. 23, super featherweights Alycia Baumgardner (6-1) and Rolanda Andrews (9-8-1) meet in a six round fight at Dearborn, Michigan.


On Saturday Feb. 23, featherweights Shelly Vincent (23-2) and Edina Kiss (15-9) meet in an eight round fight at Lincoln, Rhode Island.  Also, bantamweights Marcia Agripino (3-1-1) and Amanda Pavone (6-0) meet in an eight round fight for a vacant title.