Vasyl Lomachenko knocks out Gamalier Rodriguez on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight

Vasyl Lomachenko, a highly decorated amateur who won gold medals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, retained his featherweight world title with a ninth-round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez of Puerto Rico on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night at MGM Grand. Referee Robert Byrd counted out Rodriguez at 50 seconds of the round.

Lomachenko, of the Ukraine, won the gold medal in the featherweight division in the 2008 Beijing Games and the gold medal in the 2012 London Games.

Lomachenko was winning by scores of 80-69, 78-71 and 79-70 at the time of the knockout.

Fans would love to see Lomachenko in a title-unfication bout with fellow champion Nicholas Walters, who is an absolute beast.

“Anyone in my weight division with a title,” Lomachenko said when asked who’s next. “That’s who I want to fight. I want to fight all the champions.”

Lomachenko, 27, won his title in just his third pro fight. He is 4-1 with two knockouts.

Rodriguez is now 25-3-3.

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is stopped by Andrzej Fonfara after nine rounds

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, and Andrzej Fonfara pose after they weighed in Friday for their fight Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson/Photo by Gene Blevins, Los Angeles Daily News


Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. could not answer the bell for the 10th round Saturday night at StubHub Center, Andrzej Fonfara of Poland stopping Chavez via ninth-round technical knockout.

Chavez told trainer Joe Goossen after the ninth round to stop the fight, that there was something wrong with his leg. But Chavez never mentioned a leg injury during a post-fight interview inside the ring. Chavez was beaten to the punch by Fonfara all the way through, getting decked by Fonfara in the ninth round ahead of the fight being stopped between rounds.

It was the first fight at light heavyweight for Chavez (48-2-1) , the former middleweight champion from Mexico. Fonfara (27-3)  was ahead by seven, seven and nine points at the time. It was Chavez’s first fight in 13 months.

In other action: Lucas Matthysse (37-3) of Argentina won a 12-round majority decision over Ruslan Provodnikov (24-4) at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. One judge had it even 114-114 while the other two had Matthysse ahead 115-113 and 115-113.

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Manny Pacquiao hopeful Floyd Mayweather Jr. tries to knock him out

Manny Pacquiao/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday played host to a media workout at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, where he is trained by Freddie Roach. A couple of hundred reporters and photographers were on hand, and that’s not including the 50 or so who were turned away because there wasn’t enough room for them.

During a question-and-answer period, Pacquiao was asked if it would be to his advantage if Floyd Mayweather Jr. opens up and tries to knock him out when they tangle May 2 in a welterweight title-unification fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO and Showtime pay-per-view). Pacquiao responded with a slight smile on his face.

“Well, if he does that, that’s good for me,” Pacquiao said. “I mean, I like that. That’s what I want and that’s definitely what the fans want, you know, action.”


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Philly’s Danny Garcia says he’s following footsteps of other Puerto Rican greats

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Danny Garcia/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Super lightweight world champion Danny Garcia was born and raised in Philadelphia. But he is of Puerto Rican descent and when it comes to how he stacks up with other fighters of his heritage, he takes it very seriously.

“I used to love other great Puerto Rican boxers like Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto and Hector Camacho,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’m definitely working my way up into the ranks with them and following their footsteps.”

Right off the top, we noticed that Garcia left out Wilfredo Gomez. But Garcia has a lot on his mind as Saturday he will square off with fellow champion Lamont Peterson at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on NBC). Also, Gomez, 58, retired in 1989 – the year after Garcia was born.

Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) and Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) will be fighting at a catch-weight of 143 pounds, so their titles will not be on the line.



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Light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson keeps belt with unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in Quebec City

Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Adonis Stevenson on Saturday retained his light heavyweight world title with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Stevenson decked Bika twice and won by scores of 115-110, 115-111 and and 116-110. Bika (32-7-3), of Australia via Cameroon, tasted the canvas in the sixth and ninth rounds.

Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs), of Laval, Quebec, appears on a collision course with fellow champion Sergey Kovalev, who holds the other three belts.

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Julian Ramirez shuts out Raul Hidalgo in L.A. Fight Club main event at Belasco


Julian Ramirez/Photo courtesy of Carlos Baeza


Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez of Los Angeles is now 14-0 after winning a lopsided unanimous decision over Raul Hidalgo of Mexico in the 10-round featherweight main event Thursday at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The card was part of Oscar De La Hoya’s L.A. Fight Club series.

Ramirez, just 22, won by three scores of 100-90 as Hidalgo (23-13) did not win a round.

Ramirez did good work both to the head and body.


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Sakio Bika must be dreaming if he thinks he’s going to KO Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions


Perhaps Sakio Bika had a vision because he must have been dreaming when he said what he said at Wednesday’s final news conference promoting his challenge to light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson on Saturday. The two will square off at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (at 12 p.m. on CBS).

“He’s knocked people out, but I’ve never been knocked out,” said Bika, of Australia. “On Saturday, I’ll be the one to knock him out.

Stevenson, of Laval, Quebec, is a beast in the ring. His nickname is “Superman.” He is 25-1 with 21 knockouts for a knockout ratio of 80.7 percent. He won the title when he knocked out Chad Dawson in the first round in June 2013 and has made four successful defenses.

Bika is 32-6-3 with 21 knockouts, a knockout ratio of 51.2 percent. Bika is a former super middleweight champion, and this will be his first fight at light heavyweight.

There is always the chance that Stevenson will be looking past Bika to fellow champion Sergey Kovalev, as that fight could be on the horizon. Stevenson intimated that will not be the case.

“I’m very focused because I know Bika is very dangerous,” Stevenson said. “I know he’s going to come into the ring and try to give me trouble.”



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Oscar De La Hoya can’t wait for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-James Kirkland fight

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


Oscar De La Hoya on Monday spoke in excited tones during a telephone conversation with this newspaper. If we had been face-timing, chances are we would have been able to see that the smile never came off De La Hoya’s face. He’s that jazzed about the May 9 junior middleweight fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston (on HBO).

De La Hoya was stoked to report that, so far, at least 30,000 tickets have been sold.

“It’s incredible, it’s unbelievable,” said De La Hoya, who is promoting the fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. “I mean, look, ‘Canelo’-mania is stronger than ever.”

De La Hoya said he has no doubt the fight will sell out. The seating capacity at Minute Maid is 40,950.

There’s more that has De La Hoya chomping at the bit for this fight. It’s what might happen in the fight itself. Alvarez, just 24, has only one loss and that was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. With a record of 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts, Alvarez has a knockout ratio of 67.3 percent. Kirkland, of Austin, Texas, at 32-1 with 28 knockouts has a knockout ratio of 84.5 percent. Plus, Kirkland is a southpaw.

This could be vicious.

“I think given the fact that Kirkland is such an aggressive, in-your-face type of fighter, the fact that he’s just really, really motivated about fighting ‘Canelo’, I mean, it’s a dangerous fight,” De La Hoya said. “When you have a knockout artist up in the ring, it only takes one punch. So ‘Canelo’, given the fact that he’s a fighter with a lot of pride, he’s a fighter who wants to give the fight fans a good show – especially in Houston, practically in his hometown – it’s going to be one of those fights.”

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Gary Russell Jr. stops Jhonny Gonzalez in the 4th round to win featherweight title

This June 11, 2008 file photo shows bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr., training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Vasyl

Gary Russell Jr./Associated Press file photo


Gary Russell Jr. on Saturday night decked Jhonny Gonzalez three times, stopping in the fourth round to take Gonzalez’s featherweight world title at Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

It was the second shot at a major title for Russell, of Capitol Heights, Md. He fought Vasyl Lomachenko for a vacant title this past June at StubHub Center, but lost a majority decision.

Russell, 26, is now 26-1 with 15 knockouts.

Gonzalez, 33, was in his second reign as featherweight champion. The Mexico City native had won this title by knockout out Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens in the first round in August 2013 at StubHub. Gonzalez successfully defended that belt twice before running into Russell.

Gonzalez is 57-9 with 48 knockouts.

In the semi-main event, Jermell Charlo (26-0) of Houston won a 10-round unanimous decision over Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1) of Glendale. Charlo won by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93.



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Middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate SoCal fights in April and May

AP Photo

Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Lionel Cironneau, Associated Press


Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate fights in the Southern California area in May and April, respectively.

Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs), of Mexico, will take on Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs) of Poland in the light heavyweight main event April 18 at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime).

Then, four weeks later, Golovkin on May 16 will defend his middleweight championship when he tangles with Willie Monroe Jr. at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO). Golovkin, of Los Angeles via Kazakhstan, is 32-0 with 29 knockouts. Monroe, of Rochester, N.Y., is 19-1 with six knockouts.

Directly underneath Golovkin-Monroe, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (42-0, 36 KOs of Nicaragua will defend his flyweight world title when he squares off against Edgar Sosa (51-8, 30 KOs) of Mexico. Gonzalez has also held world titles in the strawweight and light flyweight divisions.


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