Francisco “Franky” Leal of Mexicali died Tuesday, three days after being knocked out in the eighth round by countryman Raul Hirales at Auditorio Municipal in Cabo San Lucas, several outlets are reporting.
Leal had been decked in the sixth round, then again in the eighth. He collapsed and eventually died from a brain injury sustained in the fight. Leal was just 26.
In 2010, he was knocked out in the 10th round by Evgeny Gradovich and taken on a stretcher to a hospital.
Leal, a super bantamweight, went 20-8-3 with 13 knockouts over a career.that began in January 2005.
Leo Santa Cruz of the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles on Nov. 30 will defend his super bantamweight title against Cesar Seda of Puerto Rico at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio (on Showtime).
It will be the semi-main event to the welterweight title fight between champion Devon Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) of St. Louis and Shawn Porter (22-0-1, 14 KOs) of Akron, Ohio.
Santa Cruz, 25, at 25-0-1 with 15 knockouts has yet to taste defeat. He doesn’t plan on tasting it in this fight, either.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and making my debut in Texas against Cesar Seda,” said Santa Cruz, who has never fought in the state of Texas. “Seda is a quality fighter and a top contender, but I’m not ready to give up my belt to him or anyone.”
Seda, 27, is 25-1 with 17 knockouts. He respects Santa Cruz, but apparently does not fear him.
“I admire Santa Cruz for his talent and his accomplishments,” Seda said. “But styles make fights and I have the style to beat him and bring the world championship back to Puerto Rico.”
Golden Boy Promotions on Monday announced that Wednesday’s scheduled bout between “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Anthony Mundine in Mundine’s native Sydney, Australia, has been canceled because of what Golden Boy termed a “breach of contract” by the co-promoter, Millennium Promotions.
“I’m very disappointed with this turn of events because I was planning on making a big statement by beating Mundine, but I was left with no choice but to withdraw,” Mosley said in a statement. “The fans in Australia have welcomed me with open arms, and I hope to return to fight for them one day in better circumstances.”
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, intimated there was no choice but for Mosley to pull out.
“It’s unfortunate that this fight will not be taking place, and we apologize to all of Shane’s Australian fans, but there are contracts in place for a reason, and when the terms are not adhered to, we have no choice but to protect our fighter, and that’s what happened here,” Schaefer said.
Mosley, .42, is coming off a unanimous decision over Pablo Cano in May in Mexico. He had been in retirement for a year prior to that fight, having lost a wide decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in May 2012 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mosley is 47-8-1 with 39 knockouts.
Mundine, a former interim junior middleweight champion, is 38. He has a record of 44-5 with 26 knockouts.
Ruslan Provodnikov entered his fight Saturday with junior welterweight champion Mike Alvarado with the reputation of a vicious fighter. Provodnikov lived up to that by stopping a battered and beaten Alvarado after the 10th round at 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo., near Denver. Provodnikov took Alvarado’s championship belt.
Both fighters had battered faces. Alvarado was decked twice in the eighth round.
After the 10th round, referee Tony Weeks asked Alvarado if he wanted to continue. Weeks was blocking Alvarado, so his response was not seen or heard on the HBO telecast. But Weeks then said, “This fight’s over,” and waved it off as Alvarado sat on his stool.
Alvarado, 33, of Denver, is 34-2. Provodnikov, 29, of Russia, is 23-2 with 16 knockouts.
Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver last fought in June 2012, when he had a draw with Lateef Kayode in a cruiserweight fight at Home Depot Center in Carson. But he tested positive for steroids afterward, and he was suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission.
Tarver, who will be 45 on Nov. 21, will make a comeback as a heavyweight when he takes on Mike Sheppard in a 10-round fight Nov. 26 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. (on Fox Sports 1).
Tarver is anxious to get back in the saddle.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring and showing the world that the ‘Magic Man’ is better than ever and ready for the big fights,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity to make a statement at home and I can’t wait.”
Tarver, of Tampa, Fla., is 29-6 with 20 knockouts. Sheppard, 38, is from Palestine, West Virgina. He is 21-15-1 with nine knockouts.
The late Arturo Gatti and “Irish” Micky Ward engaged each other in three epic fights in 2002 and 2003, and they will be chronicled in HBO’s “Legendary Nights: The tale of Gatti-Ward,” which will debut Saturday night following the telecast of the junior welterweight interim title fight between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov from Denver.
All three 10-round fights between Gatti and Ward went the distance. Ward won the first one, Gatti the second and third. All three bouts were vicious.
Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah are both former world champions, so they have been to boxing’s promised land. There will be no title on the line when they take on each other Dec. 7 in the welterweight main event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), but neither seems to care because they will be fighting for bragging rights to Brooklyn.
Both fighters were born and raised in Brooklyn, and that’s not to be taken lightly.
“I have always admired Zab’s skills and his resume speaks for itself,” Malignaggi said. “But this is the ‘Battle of Brooklyn’ and winning this fight is worth more than any world title.”
Malignaggi, 32, is from the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
Judah, from the Brownsville section, echoed Malignaggi’s sentiment in his own way.
“I am happy to be back fighting in front of my hometown crowd,” said Judah, who these days lives in Las Vegas. “Paulie and I have known each other for a long time and we have a mutual respect for each other.
“But with this fight on Dec. 7, it is going to be like the Ancient Roman days – there has to be a leader and that position belongs to me.”
Malignaggi is 32-5 with only seven knockouts. Judah, 35, is 42-8 with 29 knockouts.
“No Mas,” a documentary chronicling the two 1980 welterweight title fights between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, will premiere tonight at 5 (Pacific time) on ESPN.
Duran won their first bout via 15-round decision June 20, 1980 in Montreal. Five months later, on Nov. 25 in New Orelans, Leonard won via 8th-round TKO when Duran quit, saying “No mas.”
This documentary, by Emmy award-winning director Eric Drath, will air as part of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series.