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Rios stops Antillon; Molina defeats Cintron

By Jim Dower: Making his first defend of his title, World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion Brandon Rios (28-0-1, 20 KO’s) blasted out challenger Urbano Antillon (28-3, 20 KO’s) in the 3rd round of a scheduled 12 rounds in exciting fight from start to finish at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The fight was a war from the very start with both fighters trading hooks and uppercuts in close in the first two rounds. Although Antillon was able to match Rios punch for punch during the first couple of rounds, Rios’s punches were harder and had a greater effect on Antillon than the other way around.

Rios knocked Antillon down in the third with a scorching left hook to the head, and then later knocked him down again, this time with a short right hand thrown at the same time that Antillon was attempting to land a shot. Antillon instinctively clinched after the action resumed. However, when Antillon staggered near the ropes, referee David Mendoza halted the fight at 2:49 of the third.

Former IBF welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (32-4-1, 28 KO’s) was beaten by Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KO’s) by a 10 round unanimous decision in a huge upset. Cintron, the harder puncher of the two, was unable to hurt Molina with his bigger shots. Molina kept firing punches and ended up outworking Cintron.

The key t victory for Molina was that he threw a lot of shots and spent a good deal of the fight staying close to Cintron to keep him from getting leverage on his big shots. Occasionally, Cintron would land something big but Molina took the shots and was always quick to fire back combinations to keep Cintron from being able to get his offense in a steady flow for any length of time.

Molina did good work on the inside and fought a lot better than many boxing fans thought he would. He took Cintron’s best shots and fired back with some hard shots. Cintron’s nose was bloodied in the 5th, and he continued to take hard hits on it for the remainder of the fight. The final judges’ scores were 98-92, 98-92 and 98-92.

Undefeated lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (22-0, 11 KO’s) totally destroyed Jorge Pimentel (22-12-1, 15 KO’s) in the 3rd round, dropping him three separate times in the fight. Throwing pure power punches, Gesta knocked Pimentel down in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds before it was eventually stopped. The bout was halted at 2:23 of the 3rd.

Undefeated middleweight contender Matt Korobov (16-0, 9 KO’s) defeated Lester Gonzalez (12-4-2, 6 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 78-74, 78-74 and 78-74. Korobov fought well in the first four rounds, throwing hard hooks to the hand and body as he attempted to end matters quickly.

However, Gonzalez weathered the early storm from Korobov and kept firing back. Korobov then faded in the 2nd half of the fight and didn’t really impress.

Unbeaten lightweight prospect Jose Roman (11-0, 9 KO’s) defeated Randy Arrellin (8-6, 4 KO’s) by a 1st round TKO. Roman knocked Arrellin down twice in the round. The bout was halted after the 2nd knockdown at 2:07 of the round.

Unbeaten 2008 Olympian from Australia Paul Fleming (10-0, 7 KO’s) stopped Jose Beltran (24-23-2, 15 KO’s) in the 1st round. Fleming knocked Beltran down with a huge left hand. The fight was then stopped by referee Raul Caiz Jr.

In other action on the card:

Gabino Saenz KO 3 Quincy Wesby
Mike Lee KO 3 Michael Birthmark

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