Ringside at the Turning Stone: Munguia Demolishes Sadam Ali

VERONA, NY — Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KO’s) announced his presence on the world stage by dominating and stopping Sadam Ali (26-2, 14 KO’s) to win the WBO 154-pound title. After scoring three knockdowns in the first three rounds of the fight, Munguia finished Ali with a pinpoint left hook to the jaw in round four.

Munguia dropped Ali early in round one with a powerful left hook. A series of lefts later in the round would floor Ali for a second time.

Still reeling from the beating he took in the first, Ali absorbed more punishing shots in the second. A right hand from Munguia toward the end of the round would put Ali on the canvas for the third time in the fight.

Ali seemed to be getting his feet back in the third but just as he looked like he may be getting back in the fight another hard left hook staggered him again as the round came to a close. The finishing blow was delivered early in the fourth and came in the form once again of a left hook which appears to be Munguia’s signature weapon.

The future looks bright for Munguia at 154 after this breakout performance. He will probably still have to deal with his mandatory in that of Liam Smith in the near future, but after that big potential fights exist that will have boxing fans salivating with the likes of Jarret Hurd and Jermell Charlo

In the co-main event, Rey Vargas (32-0, 22 KO’s) retained his WBC-122 pound title with a hard fought 12-round unanimous decision over Azat Hovhannisyan (14-3, 11 KO’s). Vargas was more consistent in his work rate and accuracy though the hard charging Hovhannisyan certainly had his moments.

In the early going, Hovhannisyan’s pressure caused Vargas some issues. A hard right hand in the first round got his attention. However, Vargas would soon find his groove. He got in a rhythm picking off the hard charging Hovhannisyan with clean power shots. In addition, Vargas effectively countered in combination the wide swinging punches of Hovhannisyan.

In round eight, an accidental head butt left both fighters cut, though Vargas certainly got the worst of it as a significant gash opened over his left eye. With blood pouring down the side of his face in round nine, Vargas would hurt and nearly drop Hovhannisyan with a well-placed left hook to the body.

Down the stretch, Vargas continued to land cleaner, more effective shots. The 12th round saw another accidental head butt that opened a bad cut over the right eye of Vargas, but in the end it didn’t matter as the fight went the distance with Vargas winning on all three cards by scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.

George Rincon (4-0, 2 KO’s) stopped Corey Gulley (2-2-2) in the second round of their scheduled four round 140-pound bout. An explosive counter right hook by Rincon dropped Gulley at the end of round one and another well-placed hard right hook put Gulley down early in round two. Gulley would beat the count but Rincon’s follow up assault forced referee Gary Rosato to waive an end to the bout.

In a nip and tuck six round featherweight contest, Diuhl Olguin (13-9-3, 9 KO’s) scored an upset split decision victory against prospect Kevin Rivers (14-2, 10 KO’s). Rivers got off to a fast start out-hustling Olguin in the early rounds, but Olguin came on in the second half of the fight raking Rivers with power shots. A controversial knockdown scored by Olguin in round three that appeared to be from a slip instead of a punch played a deciding factor in the outcome with one judge ruling 58-55 for Rivers, one 58-55 for Olguin and the deciding judge ruling 57-56 for Olguin.

Alex Vanasse (4-0, 4 KO’s) stopped Ray Santiago (2-8) in round three of a scheduled four round heavyweight bout. After two listless rounds largely devoid of action, Vanasse let his hands fly in the third, battering Santiago from pillar to post, eventually forcing referee Charlie Fitch to halt the contest.

Luis Vargas scored a four round unanimous decision to win his professional debut against Damian Lewis (0-8-1) in a heavyweight bout. Vargas landed solid combinations throughout in outclassing a tough but determined Lewis.

Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO) knocked out debuting Brad Vargeson in round two of a scheduled four round cruiserweight contest. A right hand from Gabriel brought an end to what was a sloppy but entertaining brawl to open the card.

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