Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) captured a world title in his fourth weight division, outpointing previously undefeated Sergey Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) to win the IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship Saturday on SHOWTIME from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio. With the victory, Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) joined Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only fighters in history to win titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds. Garcia, who won by scores of 116-111 and 117-110 twice, connected on 46 percent of his power shots compared to 36 percent for the defending champion.
“It’s a great feeling. Winning this fourth title in a fourth division is an honor,” Garcia said. “To get to be mentioned with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is a huge honor for me. It just leaves a little chapter in boxing with my name, my brother, my dad. I think people will remember the Garcia family for ages to come.” (Source: PBC)
In a rematch of one of 2017’s best and most controversial fights, Kiryl Relikh handed former two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy the first loss of his career with a wide unanimous decision victory to capture the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Championship. Relikh (22-2, 19 KOs) was the more active fighter and controlled the co-main event of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast from the opening bell, throwing 1,237 total punches compared to just 494 for Barthelemy. Relikh, who many thought won their first matchup, consistently worked off his jab, connecting on 103 punches per round while Barthelemy landed an average of just 41. While Barthelemy (26-1, 13 KOs) won a disputed and wide decision in their first bout there was no controversy in the judges’ scorecards in the rematch, which was scored 117-110 and 118-109 twice. (Source: PBC)
It was a bloody, back-and-forth fight, but Oscar Valdez dug deep – overcoming a fractured jaw – to score a unanimous decision by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 2X over Scott Quigg on Saturday night at the StubHub Center.
Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) successfully defended his WBO Featherweight title for the fourth time. After the fight, he was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for observation.
Quigg (34-2-2, 25 KOs) fractured his nose and saw his three-fight winning streak come to an end.
Despite the rain, fans braved the elements and were treated to another StubHub Center classic, the venue former world champion Timothy Bradley dubbed “The War Grounds.” (Source: Top Rank)
On the undercard in Carson, CA, fast-handed heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr. (30-1, 20 KOs) returned to action for the first time since dropping a close decision to Joseph Parker in a WBO heavyweight title fight last year taking on Devin Vargas (20-5, 8 KOs). Ruiz made quick work of Vargas dropping him hard with a right hand on the ear shortly after the opening bell. The end came officially at the 1:38 mark of Round 1 giving Ruiz his 30th win and 20th KO.
Pro boxing returned to Deadwood, South Dakota with a bang Saturday night as unbeaten Regis Prograis (21-0, 18 KOs) obliterated former world champ Julius Indongo (22-2, 11 KOs) in two violent rounds to capture the interim WBC light welterweight title. Prograis dropped Indongo four times in the bout to end things in emphatic fashion at the 2:54 mark of Round 2.
Explosive Armenian contender Azat “Crazy” Hovhannisyan (14-2, 11 KOs) defended his WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight Title in exciting fashion as he defeated hometown hero Ronny Rios (29-3, 13 KOs) via sixth-round technical knockout in the main event of the March 9 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN before a sold-out crowd at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. Rios started strong in the first round, but a fusillade of punches from Hovhannisyan hurt and nearly stopped him in the third round. Rios struggled to recover, but a knockdown followed by another flurry of punches from Hovhannisyan forced referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight at 1:12 of the sixth round. At the time of the stoppage, two judges had the fight even at 47-47, while one judge had the fight 47-48 for Hovhannisyan.
“I knew I was going to stop him early, but then my right hand started to hurt,” said Azat Hovhannisyan. “When my hand started hurting more, I went for the stoppage. Freddie [Roach] kept me calmed between rounds. I’m ready for a world title shot. I want any champion at 122 pounds.” (Source: Golden Boy Promotions)
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