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13 NOVEMBER 2018


Staples Center Undercard: Korobov/Guerrero Deliver 1st Round KO’s

By Jason Pribila at ringside: Top Rank Inc. and Golden Promotions put together a seven fight undercard in support of Saturday’s welterweight boxing world title fight between Antonio Margarito and “Sugar “ Shane Mosley. During Thursday’s press conference each promoter took the time to single out a fighter from each of their stables. Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (Golden Boy) and Russian Olympian, Matvey Korobov (Top Rank). Each fighter needed less than a round to show the sold-out audience what all the fuss was about.

Korobov 3-0 (3) got the Staples Center buzzing with his 2:28 demolition of Jose Florentino (3-4). Korobov meticulously broke down his opponent with shots that caused the audience to moan, and his opponent to crumble. Korobov ended the show with a double right hook, a counter right, and a vicious left to drop the overwhelmed Florentino. Although he beat the ten count, he was saved from further damage when the fight was waved off by the referee.

Although it is extremely early, it is tough not to get excited about Korobov. He looks like he has tremendous power in both hands, and moves well. He doesn’t fight out of the traditional European stance, and is anything buy robotic. After an amateur career at super middleweight, he fought tonight at the middleweight limit of 160 lbs.

He could be in better hands than he is with Top Rank and manager Shelley Finkel. The plan is to keep him fighting close to once a month in 2009. It won’t be too long before Korobov fights with the cameras rolling.

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero needed only 43 seconds to land a picture perfect left hook to the kidney of Edel Ruiz. Guerrero blocked a Ruiz right hand thrown to his own body, stepped to the left and delivered the knockout punch.

Guerrero didn’t waste any time getting his first win for Golden Boy Promotions, and is now in position to return to HBO on the undercard of Julio-Kirkland on March 7th.

With the victory Guerrero improved to 23-1-1 (16), and has another highlight reel KO to add to his growing collection.

Saul Roman 30-5 (20) of Tijuana won a slow paced unanimous decision against Jose Varela (23-5), in a battle of junior middleweights. The bout was originally scheduled for 8 or 10 rounds, and was mercifully cut short. Roman was able to dominate the bout behind his jab. To his credit, Roman tried to make the fight, but he didn’t have an opponent willing to engage.
Scorecards read: 80-72, 79-73, 79-73.

Athletic lightweight Adrien Broner 6-0 (5) was forced to go the distance for the first time in his career, as he earned a unanimous decision over tough Mexican Jose Lugo 10-7-1 (5).

Broner started fast and immediately got the Mexican crowd on his side by throwing punches with bad intentions from the outside. In the second round he touched Lugo’s body, after realizing his beard was thick in the opening round.

The pace slowed down the stretch, with Broner only throwing flurries occasionally, and then getting on his bicycle knowing he had enough rounds in the bank. Broner showed patience by not forcing a knockout that was not there, especially at a point in his career the rounds are more valuable.
The judge’s scorecards read: 59-55, 58-56, 60-54, all in favor of the Cincinnati native.

Flashy junior lightweight Jerry Belmontes 6-0 (1) held off hard charging Jesus Hernandez 2-4 (2) to win a unanimous decision. Belmontes moved well laterally and continually caught Hernandez on his way inside, and on occasion made him pay with counter-shots. He did enough to earn scores of: 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36.

Belmontes showed good boxing instincts, but is going to have to tighten his defense because he doesn’t seem to possess the power to deter opponents from throwing punches at him. 39-37-39-37-40-36.

Lightweights Brian Ramirez 5-2 (3) and Luis Tapia (1-2) took advantage of the time allotted by the quick Guerrero KO and put on a spirited scrap serving as the evening’s “swing bout”. Records did not matter as each fighter took advantage of the chance to throw down in front of the biggest crowd either may ever entertain.

The bout featured numerous exchanges and even a questionable point deduction taken from Ramirez for a low-blow. That point was the difference between a majority draw and Tapia’s first victory, which he won unanimously: 38-37, 38-37, 39-36.

The opening bout of the evening saw lightweight prospect Juan Carlos Salgado 19-0-1 (13) earn a tougher than expected unanimous decision over Christian Favela 15-17-6 (9). Salgado hurt Favela several times but was unable to put him away. Favela benefited by having a 6 lb weight advantage, as he failed to make the lightweight limit.

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