ONTARIO-Peru’s Kina Malpartida retained her WBA junior lightweight world title and a day earlier Filipina star Ana Julaton retained her IBA title too. And she grabbed the WBO.
Now suddenly a national hero to her native country, Malpartida showed a boisterous pro-Peruvian crowd just why she has the world title despite suffering a knockdown against British challenger Lyndsey Scragg for the WBA junior lightweight world title on Saturday.
Malpartida successfully defended her world title for a second time and convincingly showed what a long jab and quick combinations could do despite a tough Scragg (10-2) in front of 1,564 mostly cheering fast at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena. A vast majority of the crowd were Peruvians anxious to see the new national hero.
Malpartida delivered what those fans in the arena and millions watching back in her native Peru expected. It was a dominating performance.
“I felt so much pressure,” said Malpartida (11-3), whose fight was televised live in Peru. “I really have a lot at stake.”
She didn’t show nervousness as she zoomed to the middle of the ring shooting her now trademark left jab. Over and over she pumped that jabbed for the first three rounds as Scragg looked for openings but seemed tentative to move in against Malpartida’s dozens of incoming blows.
In the second round Malpartida landed consecutive overhand right leads that stunned Scragg but didn’t hurt her. Again the Peruvian fighter fired many more punches as Scragg seemed more intent on not getting hit.
The British fighter finally began fighting her way inside of Malpartida’s reach in the third round. A couple of left hook counters scored but she still couldn’t compete with the punch output of the Peruvian fighter.
Malpartida seemed to get stronger as the rounds developed. But while going into full attack mode in the sixth round a left hook counter dropped the Peruvian girl for the count. She got up and looked at her corner for advice as the referee gave the count.
“She hit me at the right time and at the right distance,” Malpartida said of getting knocked down by Scragg. “It was a good punch but I wasn’t hurt.”
After a more tenuous round in the seventh, Malpartida increased her attack from the eighth round on and began bludgeoning the British fighter with stiff right hand crosses. It seemed every right hand landed.
Scragg had little success fighting in the inside once Malpartida began to avoid the left hook.
The judges scored the fight 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Malpartida. All of her Peruvian fans cheered “Peru! Peru!”
“My jab and combinations won the fight,” said Malpartida who was near tears after the decision was given to her. “My life has changed so much since winning the title.”
The semi-main event saw Peru’s Carlos Zambrano (9-0) out-point Coachella’s Carlos Hernandez (14-9-1) in a featherweight fight that went eight rounds. Most of the rounds saw Zambrano running around the ring to the crowd’s disapproval. But the several rounds he stopped resulted in some see-saw in-fighting with Zambrano using his faster hands to score while Hernandez landed several bombs. The judges scored the fight 77-75 twice and 76-76 and a majority decision for Zambrano.
Jose Armando Santa Cruz (28-4, 17 KOs) seemed a little rusty until a right hand connected and wobbled Anthony Mora (15-5, 10 KOs) in the third round. Santa Cruz continued the pressure and staggered Mora along the ropes forcing the referee to stop the fight at 1:52 of the round.
Rickey Duenas (5-1) and Alan Sanchez (4-1) fought four tough rounds. The judges scored it 38-38 a draw and 39-37, 40-36 for Duenas in a welterweight bout.
Oscar Venegas (2-0) kept his undefeated streak intact and handed Peru’s Mario Gonzalez (4-1) his first career loss in an action packed bantamweight slugfest. Gonzalez pressed the fight but the judges preferred Venegas after four round 40-36.
Peru’s Juan Zegarra (4-0) didn’t waste time in going after San Bernardino’s Javier Romero (0-2-1) in a junior welterweight contest. In the opening bell as Romero attempted to touch gloves Zegarra fired an overhand right that missed. But the fight was on. In the second round a right cross to Romero’s chin dropped him for the count. Referee David Denkin stopped the fight at 2:00 of the second round.
Ana wins on Friday
Ana Julaton won by unanimous decision against Donna Biggers in a 10 round fight held Friday at the HP Pavilion.
Julaton, who already has the IBA junior featherweight title, defeated Biggers for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title. The San Francisco Bay fighter is quickly gathering fans up and down the California coast and in the Philippines.
The judges scored it 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Julaton who was trained by Rick Noble for this fight. In previous fights Nonito Donaire Sr. and Freddie Roach had prepared the pretty brunette.
A much anticipated showdown between two top female fighters pound for pound was nixed just an hour before the fight. Melissa Hernandez of New York pulled out of the fight against Holly Holm when her request for a rewrap of the hands was ignored. Hernandez refused to fight and Holm fought a replacement fighter and won.
Hernandez’s refusal to fight could have repercussions.
Maureen Shea’s fight with Jenna Shiver for a title was canceled when Shiver could not pass her physical examination. The bout was going to be aired on television nationwide.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV