The semi-main event Saturday underneath Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao featured super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights taking on Jose Cayetano of Tijuana in a non-title fight in the featherweight division.
Even though Santa Cruz was moving up in weight, he figured to have an easy time of it as Cayetano (17-4) is not in his class. Santa Cruz (30-0-1) did in the sense that he won big on the scorecards – he won by three scores of 100-90. But fans seemed a bit restless that he could not stop Cayetano inside the distance.
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 RobertByrd 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.
Oscar De La Hoya, speaking from inside the Golden Boy Promotions office in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday, described Manny Pacquiao as the hero and Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the villain in what’s being billed as “The Fight of The Century.”
“Mayweather has this image,” he said. “The money and the flash and this-and-that. As person I don’t know him to well to judge him, but from what I’ve read, what I’ve heard, I just don’t like what he represents.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.