Posts Tagged ‘Omar Figueroa’

Guerrero_Kamegai

Having competed in five different weight classes over the span of 16 years, Robert Guerrero is now calling it a career.

The former four-division world titlist announced his retirement this afternoon, less than 48 hours removed from a third round TKO loss to Omar Figueroa.

“First, I want to thank God for allowing me to have a wonderful career,” said Guerrero in a statement. “I’m a kid from a small town in Gilroy, California, who made it to the mountain top of the boxing world. When I was a young kid growing up, I always believed in myself, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined a small-town kid like myself, would be fighting in front of millions of fans.”

Having competed as low as 122 pounds after turning pro in 2001, Guerrero won his first world title in 2006 by defeating Eric Aiken for the IBF featherweight strap. In 2009, he defeated Malcolm Klassen for the IBF super featherweight title. The Ghost would go on to pick up interim titles at lightweight and welterweight in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

“I competed at super-bantamweight and won world titles across multiple weight classes, closing my career at welterweight, fighting the big guys 25 pounds heavier,” Guerrero said. “A good friend always told me I was God’s warrior, born to fight. I enjoyed every minute of every war. I represented my¬†Lord and Savior Jesus Christ¬†with the bible verse Acts¬†2:38¬†on my trunks. If I reached one person and brought that person closer to Christ, then it was all worth it.”

Guerrero was a part of several notable bouts over the last five years. He was the opponent for Floyd Mayweather’s first Showtime pay-per-view, the first main event for Premier Boxing Champions when he faced Keith Thurman, and engaged in two brutal Fight of the Year candidates against Yoshihiro Kamegai and Andre Berto.

He finishes with a record of 33-6-1 (18 KOs).


This is welcome news. There’s been a lot of jokes lately over all the PBC main events Guerrero has received in the last few years, but you can never question his effort in the ring. To go from 122 to 147 is an achievement in itself, and long-time fans will recall he went from a technician at the lower weights to a rugged brawler above 135.

Problem is, there’s only so much punishment you can take from naturally bigger men. The wars with Berto and Kamegai didn’t help, but the noticeable decline began with the Thurman beating in 2015. Danny Garcia accelerated it last year and Figueroa finished it over the weekend. Officially, Guerrero is 1-4 over his last five and hasn’t clearly won a fight since 2014.

The bad reaction to every landed Figueroa uppercut made the end inevitable. And yet, Guerrero kept fighting until nothing was left.

Robert Guerrero is 34 years old. Young outside the ring, but battle-weary inside. Here’s hoping that he’s getting out in time enough to enjoy a retirement with minimal long-term health issues.

 

Advertisements

Omar Figueroa vs Daniel Estrada

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

CARSON CA — A bad cut and lingering hand problems weren’t enough to deter WBC lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa, who successfully defended his strap with a 9th round TKO of Daniel Estrada last night at the StubHub Center.

Estrada recently lost his sister and niece in a tragic car accident, making the challenger determined to win this bout in their memory. He occasionally found success when he looped his left hook to the body, but struggled to match Figueroa’s high punch output, counter shots, and superior inside fighting.

Figueroa did a lot of his trademark switch-hitting, which helped to compensate of his nsggin¬†left hand injury and assist in keeping Estrada confused¬†defensively. An accidental head butt in the eighth opened a jagged, vertical cut between Figueroa’s eyebrows. Estrada then had his best moment in the round’s final minute by pinning Figueroa in a corner and unleashing a horde of power shots. The champion wasn’t deterred, and snatched¬†back his moment by fighting off the ropes with his own flurry of combinations that had Estrada on the ropes as the bell sounded.

The deciding ninth round sequence began with Figueroa countering a lazy Estrada left jab with an overhand right for the bout’s only knockdown. Estrada rose and was met with a never-ending barrage of power shots, forcing the referee stoppage after several flush left hooks left Estrada defenseless.

Omar Figueroa vs Daniel Estrada

“I was a little concerned that the referee or doctor would stop the fight because of the cut,” said Figueroa. “I knew Estrada would be open for the right hand. I was playing a little possum when I caught him.”

For fans¬†who’d like to see Figueroa remain at 135 and possibly face Golden Boy stablemate Jorge Linares, they received a¬†glimmer of hope.

“I’m not 100 percent positive I am going to stay at 135 pounds,” Figueroa admitted. “I’m sure my body would be more comfortable fighting at 140. But if the money is right, I would defend again at 135.”

 

Linares_Terry_KO

That was a good straight right hand I landed on him. Once I connected I Knew it was over. – LINARES

 

Jorge  Linares need less than two full rounds to destroy an overmatched Ira Terry Saturday night at the StubHub Arena.

Terry, who’s gone 2-10-1 (8 KO defeats) since 2010, was completely helpless against Linares’ fluid combinations. Terry was stunned several times to the head and body before being dropped flat on his face with a counter right.

As the #2 contender for Omar Figueroa’s WBC lightweight title, you’d think these two could make a nice in-house fight for Golden Boy. Unfortunately, Figueroa is adamant that he’ll be moving up to 140 pounds since weight has become a ¬†struggle. Considering there a numerous name fighters at 140 (Broner, Molina, Matthysse, Garcia etc.), it’s highly probable that Linares’ current profile¬†won’t be enough to keep Figueroa ¬†in the division.

If that happens, Linares vs. Denis Shafikov, who just scored a highly impressive knockout of Rustam Nugaev (ranked #3 at lightweight by the WBC) on Friday, makes perfect sense.

Shawn Porter

Watch the live stream of today’s weigh-in between IBF¬†titlist¬†Shawn Porter and #1 contender Kell Brook, who do battle Saturday August 16 at the StubHub Center.

The weigh-in also feature the two undercard bouts of Anthony Dirrell vs. Sakio Bika, and Omar Figueroa vs. Daniel Estrada.

 

It was a war And it got complicated for me at the beginning, but we trained for this and we got the knockout. He hit me in the back of the head (in the second) and I crumbled a bit but I was waiting to find my distance and I was able to finish a tough fight.

Molina is a tough fighter. He took some big blows (14 unanswered at the end of the 10th). I was a bit surprised he came back out for the 11th. – LUCAS MATTHYSSE

(Trainer)Joe Goossen¬†had a great¬†game plan and we were sticking to it.¬†Lucas Matthysse is the real deal. Even though he¬†lost to Garcia, he still¬†is the¬†No. 1 rated fighter. I’d love to fight him again. I wanted to continue but the referee and judges have their jobs to do.

It was a helluva fight. This was the fight of the year. I’d like to do it again. – JOHN MOLINA

Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

CARSON, California — Lucas Matthysse’s return to action produced one of the most dramatic fights thus far in 2014, as the former titlist overcame two knockdowns to score an 11th round knockout against John Molina last night at the Stub Hub Center.

In the main event, Keith Thurman did his job but in anti-climatic fashion when Julio Diaz was forced to retire on his stool after suffering a rib injury. And in the opener, Omar Figueroa was the beneficiary of biased scoring to keep his undefeated record intact with a split decision over Jerry Belmontes. For a night filled with mismatches on paper, fans got three competitive fights that could possibly top what we’ll see next weekend on the Mayweather-Maidana card.

MOLINA A LIGHTWEIGHT NO MORE: Despite coming up from lightweight, Molina towered over Matthysse in height and girth, looking much more solid and powerful at 140 pounds. The simmering tension was broken in the final minute on round one when Molina stunned and wobbled Matthysse with an overhand right. Matthysse recovered, but found himself in a deeper hole in the second when a short, clubbing right hand dropped him to his knees.

Last night was just Molina’s second bout at 140 since November, but he’s already shown this is where he belongs. People had a right to be skeptical going in, but last night’s performance should erase any questions about his durability still lingering from the 2012, Antonio DeMarco 1st round KO loss.

Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina

MATTHYSSE LIVES UP TO HIS NICKNAME: After getting rocked in the first, dropped in the second, and cut badly above the left eyebrow via a head butt in the third, most fighters would understandably get gunshy and a bit out of sorts at the string of bad luck.

Not Matthysse.

His response to adversity shows why in spite of his limitations, the man is unquestionably a top fighter at junior welterweight. Matthysse pressed forward the entire fight, pounding home a ramrod jab, slashing hooks to the body, and chopping rights upstairs. When Molina lingered inside, Matthysse made him pay with vicious left hooks. By the middle rounds, Molina’s face had become mis-shapen, and the side of his head exhibited a bloody gash that resembled a gunshot wound.

Outside of the second and fifth, the two rounds Matthysse was dropped in (the latter was definitely a foul to the back of the head), you could make a valid case for Matthysse winning every round.

Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina

A WARRIOR’S STAND: Matthysse was winning the rounds, but Molina made sure he got a painful receipt¬†every three minutes. Whenever Matthysse appeared close to ending it, Molina would buy more time with a heavy right hand haymaker. A left hook followed by a shove gave Matthysse a sketchy knockdown of his own in the eighth, but the real story was Molina being clearly on fumes at the bell with Matthysse close to¬†a stoppage win.

After more one-way punishment in the ninth, Molina was dropped for a second time by a barrage of Matthysse power shots on the ropes. Molina, no doubt getting the benefit of the doubt from referee Pat Russell due to his previous comebacks, was allowed to fight through the round. However, his trainer Joe Goossen had to literally fight off doctors in the corner to allow his man to get one more round.

Unfortunately for Molina, a miraculous comeback was not to be. Matthysse pounced with his best shots to start the 11th and Molina was down again in short order, ending a fight that has likely taken years off both men’s careers.

STYLES OVER EVERYTHING: During the early rounds, a lot of fight fans on Twitter were claiming that Danny Garcia had “ruined” Matthysse and making other knee-jerk comments. And as expected, everyone was back in love with him again by the final bell.

Here’s the big problem with that “logic.” Danny Garcia himself looked pretty bad and ineffective in his last fight against Mauricio Herrera. Does that mean Matthysse “ruined” Garcia? What it means is that we should never forget the age-old boxing statement that “styles make fights.” This is ultimately why the “Mayweather way” of picking fights is faulty, in that Floyd just decides to fight the guy with the “biggest win” or name at the time. For all we know, there’s some random, #9 ranked welterweight in the Ukraine that could give Mayweather hell. But we’ll never see it. With guys like Matthysse and Garcia, we get the luxury of seeing them in with diverse opponents that showcase their best attributes and most glaring weaknesses.

[youtube http://youtu.be/wl1IwsjW2YE]

Keith Thurman vs Julio Diaz

THURMAN’S ROLL CONTINUES: Keith Thurman came out with guns blazing and the old veteran Julio Diaz could only take a few rounds before breaking down. To Diaz’s credit, he was coming forward and forcing the fight in the third before retiring due to a busted rib. In fact, he briefly stunned Thurman with a wild right before the round ended. Nonetheless, the fight outcome was never really in doubt — Thurman had dropped him in the second with a short left hook, and had rocked him badly with a lead left uppercut. The power was just too much.

Thurman made it known in the post-fight interview he welcomes a unification fight with Shawn Porter, who closed the book on Paulie Malignaggi last week. Since Porter still has a mandatory in Kell Brook, it would be a wise move if Thurman can get added to that card if it’s made in the States. Should they meet, I favor Porter to get the job done.

As for Diaz, this marks his third consecutive defeat. The 34-year old has been at it a long enough to have¬†ranked versions of Angel Manfredy and Jose Luis Castillo on his resume. Based on his comments about having to “make room” for younger fighters, don’t be surprised if he hangs it up.

[youtube http://youtu.be/23XH2GD7IYo]

*****************************

[youtube http://youtu.be/do1pFzU2R4E]

*******

Omar Figueroa vs Jerry Belmontes

FIGUEROA GETS LUCKY: In the opener, Omar Figueroa escaped with a split decision (113-115, 116-112, and 118-110) over long-time rival Jerry Belmontes, who holds five amateur wins over him. On fair cards, Belmontes would¬†probably have a professional win too, as he controlled Figueroa in the early rounds with sharp counter-punching and movement. To Figueroa’s credit, he closed the gap in the middle rounds and made it an inside fight, were he held an edge in workrate.

The final rounds saw Belmontes get back to his early success by keeping Figueroa on the outside and popping him with counter shots. It was all for naught, as the last two scorecards showed that the house fighter in Figueroa got all the extra help he needed. Figueroa later gave a ridiculous “apology” to fans, claiming that he tried to make the fight but couldn’t because Belmontes ran. What he should have apologized for is not being able to cut off the ring and get Belmontes out of his comfort zone. If Figueroa doesn’t use this as a learning tool and a wake-up call that not every fight is going to be a Nihito Arakawa slugfest, he’s in for a lot more frustrating fights¬†in the future.

Thurman_Diaz

Watch the entire weigh-in for Showtime’s April 26 triple-header featuring Keith Thurman facing Julio Diaz, two sluggers in Lucas Matthysse¬†squaring off against John Molina, and Omar Figueroa Jr.¬†battling Jerry Belmontes. The weigh-in link opens at 4 p.m. ET. Tomorrow night’s card begins at 9 p.m. following the premiere of episode two of All Access: Mayweather¬†vs. Maidana.

If boxing has taught us anything, it’s that you can accomplish a lot in just three minutes. You can turn your life around and win everything, or lose focus for just a split second and become one with misery and despair. These selected rounds provided many of the boxing’s most thrilling moments in 2013 and reminded us why the Sweet Science is the sport where no lead is safe, down to very last second.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Sakio Bika, Marco A. Periban

SAKIO BIKA VS. MARCO ANTONIO PERIBAN, ROUND 12

No one, and I mean NO ONE, has an easy night with Sakio Bika. Just ask then-undefeated Marco Antonio Periban, who took a cut forehead into the final round of this title challenge. Periban went through abolsute hell in taking massive hooks from Bika and landed his own arsenal of shots. As of right now, the entire round (and fight, for that matter), isn’t readily available online. But watch the below clip to get an idea of the brutality.

[youtube http://youtu.be/t-u4BFCbgS0]

*********************************

Kirkland_Tapia

5. JAMES KIRKLAND VS. GLEN TAPIA, ROUND 3

Kirkland had eaten some hellacious shots in the first and started to warm up to the task in the closing minute and second round. The third round is the one where Kirkland and Tapia where at their peaks of throwing their best with bad intentions. After this career-shortening three minutes, you can start to see the toll it took on Tapia. This stanza just shades the second round.

(16:05 MARK)

[youtube http://youtu.be/14VZNEnIMAs?t=16m5s]

*********************************

Daniel Geale and Darren Barker

4. DANIEL GEALE VS. DARREN BARKER, ROUND 6

Without question, this was the most inspirational rise from a knockdown seen in some time. Barker was dropped hard by a body shot and couldn’t breathe. 99.9% of the time, fighters stay down. But Barker, who dedicated the fight to his daughter and brother (the latter dying a few years earlier in a tragic car accident), shut out the pain and rose to beat the count.

Referee Eddie Cotton yelled ‚ÄúShow me something!‚ÄĚ as Barker looked defenseless and almost turned away in submission as Geale hammered him on the ropes. Barker summoned more strength to throw haymakers which shocked and backed off Geale, driving the crowd into a frenzy. Barker’s gallant stand drove him over the second half to pull out a hard-fought split decision

[youtube http://youtu.be/-dflYpWgFCg]

********************************

Bradley_Provodnikov

3. RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV VS. TIM BRADLEY, ROUNDS 2, 6, AND 12

Take your pick from these nine minutes of¬†BeatsBoxingMayhem’s Fight of the Year. Bradley fought on instinct these rounds, relying on his conditioning to see him through the concussive right hands Provodnikov was landing.

(7:28, 23:28 AND 47:30 MARKS)

[youtube http://youtu.be/NIlVQO71PbQ?t]

************************

Arakawa_Figueroa

2. OMAR FIGUEROA VS. NIHITO ARAKAWA, ROUND 3

A young aggressive volume puncher vs. an iron-willed veteran with a strong chin. That recipe brought us the best round of sustained action seen this year. Simply amazing.

[youtube http://youtu.be/Ys1E8lWEru0]

*******************************

Molina_Bey

1. JOHN MOLINA VS. MICKEY BEY, ROUND 10

Martin Scorsese couldn’t have written a better ending. The round started with one fighter looking to close the show in emphatic fashion. It end with that same fighter desperately trying to fend off finishing blows. A great round with a breath-taking, definitive ending. Make sure to watch Floyd Mayweather and Leonard Ellerbe’s reactions in the front row.

[youtube http://youtu.be/VcNJ46sAsPM]