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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lopez & Gamboa Win Impressively


Lopez Schools Luevano

Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KO's) remained unbeaten after scoring a seventh round stoppage over Steven Luevano (37-2-1, 15 KO's). With the victory, Lopez captured the WBO Featherweight title.

In the first round, Luevano showed a solid right jab, but it was quite clear that Lopez possessed an overall edge in skill and power. Lopez pushed Luevano back when he landed some hard overhand lefts. Then, Luevano caught Lopez with a short, counter right hook. After the first round, Lopez controlled the pace of the entire fight.

Lopez got his punches off first and simply outworked Luevano. More importantly, Lopez landed the cleaner shots. Lopez placed his punches with great accuracy and showed that he was a much more seasoned fighter. He slipped many of Luevano's powers shots.

In round two, Lopez drove Luevano back with his right jab. From there, Lopez was able to hit Luevano easier with his overhand left. Lopez also landed counter right hooks to the body and head in the round.

After the third round, Luevano's nose was bleeding. Luevano absorbed a sharp left uppercut from Lopez that may have caused it. In round four, Luevano successfully landed a left uppercut - right hook combination. Lopez fired back, catching Luevano with a right hook to the body and followed it with an overhand left to the head. Toward the end of the round, Lopez got Luevano on the ropes and fired right hooks.

Luevano fought better in round five, but suffered swelling under his left eye. Lopez continued to force the action. Luevano was looking to counter punch much of the fight, although he could not match the superior hand speed of Lopez.

Lopez hurt Luevano badly when he connected with a punishing right uppercut in round seven. Lopez moved toward Luevano, and fired a left and right hook to the body. Then, Lopez delivered a left hand to Luevano's head that put him down in the corner. Luevano stood up, but referee Benjy Esteves Jr. stopped the fight. Time of the stoppage was :44 seconds of round seven.

Gamboa Outclasses Mtagwa

Yuriorkis Gamboa (17-0, 15 KO's) dominated Rogers Mtagwa (26-14-2, 18 KO's), stopping the veteran in just two rounds to retain the WBA Featherweight title. Gamboa stunned Mtagwa with several power shots early in the first round. Mtagwa was struck with countless right hands and lefts hooks, and was unable to counter Gamboa effectively. Gamboa got his punches off first and was simply too quick. Late in the first round, Gamboa dropped Mtagwa when he connected with a left hook that landed on the top of Mtagwa's head.

In round two, Mtagwa tied Gamboa up after he got nailed with a series of left hooks and right hands. Then, Gamboa snapped Mtagwa's head back with an overhand right. After that, Gamboa floored Mtagwa with a solid right to the body followed by a vicious left hook to the head. Mtagwa got back to his feet, but was sent down again when Gamboa landed a left hook - right hand combination. Referee Steve Smoger stopped the action at 2:35.

With Lopez and Gamboa winning their respective fights, it sets up a possible featherweight showdown later in 2010. Lopez started boxing when he was 10 years-old, compiled an impressive amateur record of 126-24 and competed at the 2004 Olympics. On the other hand, Gamboa has over 250 amateur bouts and won a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics in the flyweight division.

Lopez is an elusive southpaw that moves in and out of range delivering crisp combinations. He can work the body and uses the ring to his advantage. For the first time in his professional career, Gamboa showed patience placing his shots against Mtagwa. Can Gamboa continue to be patient releasing his punches against future opponents? Gamboa displays exceptional hand speed and explosive power. When Gamboa hurts opponents, he finishes them. Would Lopez be able to neutralize Gamboa's power and speed with his ring generalship? Or would Gamboa's aggression and rapid punching overwhelm Lopez? Hopefully, fight fans will be treated to this match up in 2010!

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