A couple of prizefighters in the Los Angeles area are gearing up for pivotal fights this coming March.
Former featherweight and junior featherweight world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon returns to face old nemesis Juan Manuel Lopez in Puerto Rico on March 15. And former U.S. Olympian Joseph Diaz has a date on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Alfredo “Perro” Angulo fight card in Las Vegas on March 8.
Both Diaz and Ponce De Leon have been doing some heavy duty sparring in Montebello and South El Monte.
“They’ve been doing some good work,” said Ben Lira, who trains Diaz in South El Monte.
Ponce De Leon needed a good southpaw and who better than the swift and elusive Diaz who was born and raised in South El Monte.
“Ponce looks pretty good,” said Lira, who’s known Ponce for many years. “He’s going to do very well in Puerto Rico.”
Back in June 2008, the Mexican southpaw was starched by a Juanma right hook in a world title defense. It was lefty- versus lefty and the Puerto Rican hit man was the better man that night in Atlantic City.
A lot of time has passed for both southpaw sluggers. Lopez was easily defeated by Southern California’s Mikey Garcia and Ponce De Leon lost the featherweight title to Abner Mares, who then lost to Jhonny Gonzalez who was earlier defeated by Ponce De Leon. It’s a vicious circle where styles dictate the winner.
“I’ve been working hard,” Ponce De Leon said recently. “He (Lopez) is a very good fighter.”
Can Ponce De Leon’s style defeat Lopez’s this time around?
Other fight chatter
Sandy Tsagouris (11-2, 5 Kos) stopped Mexico’s Yolanda Segura (16-7, 10 Kos) in the third round of their featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds. The fight took place on Saturday in Ontario, Canada. Tsagouris, 32, returned to boxing after almost three years away.
Undefeated middleweight Patrick Nielsen (22-0, 11 Kos) knocked out Tony Jeter (16-4-1, 11 Kos) at 1:06 of round two. Their fight was held in Denmark on Saturday. Jeter fights out of the U.S. and Nielsen is from Denmark.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (38-0, 32 Kos) stormed past Mexico’s Juan Kantun (21-6-3, 15 Kos) with a technical knockout at 1:01 in round six on Saturday in Chiapas, Mexico. Nicaragua’s Gonzalez is considered one of the top prizefighters pound for pound in the world and is a former junior flyweight world champion.
United Kingdom’s Dereck Chisora (20-4, 13 Kos) knocked down America’s Kevin Johnson (29-5-1, 14 Kos) once and rumbled to a 10-round unanimous decision win on Saturday in a heavyweight fight. Also, undefeated Tyson Fury (22-0, 16 Kos) won by knockout against American heavyweight Joey Abell (29-8, 28 Kos) at 1:48 of round four. Both fights took place in London, England.
New York’s Chris Algieri (19-0, 8 Kos) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision win over Emmanuel Taylor (17-2, 12 Kos) on Saturday. The 10-round welterweight match took place in Huntington, New York. Taylor fights out of Maryland.
Australia’s Daniel Geale (29-2, 15 Kos), a former middleweight world champion, met Garth Wood (12-3-1, 8 Kos) in a 12-round bout for a regional title on Wednesday Feb. 19. Geale, 32, lost the IBF middleweight title to Darren Barker last August in Atlantic City.
Fernando Garcia (18-6-2, 11 Kos) meets Mexico’s Adolfo Landeros (22-33-2) in a lightweight bout scheduled for eight rounds on Friday in San Diego. The main event takes place at the Bing Crosby Hall and is promoted by Jorge Marron Productions. For ticket information call (619) 743-0698.
IBF lightweight world titlist Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 Kos) of Mexico defends against Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18 Kos) of Russia on Saturday Feb. 22. The title match takes place in Macao, China. Also, former Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming (3-0) of China faces Thailand’s Yokthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11 Kos) in a flyweight battle.
Mariana “Barbie” Juarez (38-7-3) challenges Melissa McMorrow (9-3-3) in a battle of former flyweight world champions on Saturday in Puebla, Mexico. Juarez is a former flyweight titlist now fighting in the junior bantamweight division. McMorrow, is the current WBO flyweight champion from San Francisco, Ca. moving up a weight division to challenge Juarez.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (21-4) defeated Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2) by unanimous decision after five rounds. The mixed martial arts bout was held in the 185-pound middleweight division. Also, Ronaldo Souza (20-3) defeated Francis Carmont (22-8) by unanimous decision. Both fights took place in Brazil.
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Michael Seals (17-0) vs. Lester Gonzalez (12-10-4).
Fri. Showtime, 10 p.m., Angelo Santana (14-1) vs. Henry Lundy (23-3-1).
Sat. HBO2, 5 p.m., Miguel Vazquez (33-3) vs. Denis Shafikov (33-0-1).
Sat. pay-per-view, 7 p.m., Ronda Rousey (8-0) vs. Sara McMann (7-0); Daniel Cormier (13-0) vs. Patrick Cummins (4-0); Rory MacDonald (15-2) vs. Demian Maia (18-5).
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?