Juan Manuel Lopez and Jorge Acre win in Atlantic City!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (June 29, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor   
Top Rank put on “Latin Fury 9” with over 70 rounds of boxing Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City featuring knockouts by WBO Junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez, 26-0 (24), of Puerto Rico and former WBC light flyweight champion Jorge Arce, 52-5-1 (40), of Mexico.

Lopez walked down Lontchi for most of the foul filled fight scoring knockdowns in the 2nd and 9th rounds. Referee Allen Huggins warned both fighters a lot for fouling without deducting a point. The heavily
Puerto Rican crowd cheered their champion when Lontchi quit in his corner at the end of the 9th round of this 12 round bout, well behind on all scorecards. The Cameroon challenger, fighting out of Montreal, was just not strong enough to overcome the right hooks and occasional straight left hands of the champion. Final punchstats showed Lopez throwing twice as many punches and landing by almost a 3-1 margin. Fellow countryman and light welterweight contender Herman Ngoudjo along with a small group from Montreal where urging Lontchi on throughout the bout.

Arce came into the ring with his usually “lollipop” and cowboy hat to the cheers of his Mexican fans. This was an IBF International Title bout and a WBC Super flyweight eliminator match. His challenger from the Philippines, Fernando Lumacad, 18-2-2 (7) came back to take the 2nd round while Arce was cut over the left eye from an unintentional head butt. It bothered the former champion who kept brushing the blood out of his eye in the latter part of the round. In the 3rd Arce came out for the kill landing an awkward straight right hand while leaning into Lumacad, with his head partially down, and connecting on the left side of the jaw, dropping his opponent who took the
count by referee Wayne Hedgepeth in a sitting position to the bewilderment of most of the crowd at 0:35 of the 3rd round.

Possibly the best showing of the night was by 2004 Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 25-0 (16) of Glendale, California, in a light middleweight 10 round bout stopping the outclassed Andrey Tsurkan, 26-5 (17), of Brooklyn, at the end of the 6th round by the urging of referee Steve Smoger to the Tsurkan corner. To Smoger’s credit he had gone to the corner after the 4th round in what seemed he was asking the Tsurkan corner if they wanted to continue. Tsurkan with more heart than anything else didn’t want it stopped. Several rounds later they agreed with Smoger to stop it. He was getting continuously jabbed and rocked by right hands throughout the fight by the mostly retreating Martirosyan who was born in Armenia. Tsurkan himself is a native of the Ukraine and has always shown a lot of heart in the past but was overmatched in this one. “I talked to my trainer Freddie Roach this morning. He is busy with other fighters at present. My team of Jesse Reid and Alex Ariza helped me. We had a game plan to show angles. I felt I could have stopped him earlier,” said Martirosyan. This is one great prospect while ranked #11 in the IBF and ready to crack the top ten.

An IBF Super welterweight eliminator between Cornelius “K9“ Bundrage, 29-4-1 (17), of Detroit and Yuri Foreman, 27-0-1 (8), of Brooklyn ended in a no contest after 3 rounds of the fans continued booing. Bundrage did the stalking but did not get aggressive enough until late in the 2nd round. In the 3rd round it seemed Foreman caused the unintentional head butt that put a nasty cut over his right eye that was fast closing. The referee Eddie Cotton was told by the ringside physician the fight was over. IBF champ Cory Spinks who might do better fighting a rematch with #6 Deandre Latimore instead of putting the fans through watching these two together again. Another possibility would be contender’s #8 Alfred Angulo or #10 Harry Yorgey. The problem is when you fight a Don King fighter, which Spinks is, you are obligated to King. This is something quite a few fighters are not willing to venture into even for a title fight.

Puerto Rico’s Mario Santiago, 20-1-1 (14), at times showed his frustration though easily defeating Gilbert Sanchez-Leon, 21-7-2 (7), of Mexico, over 8 rounds in a super featherweight match. The judges scores of 79-71, 77-74 and 77-73 were well received by pro Santiago crowd who were expecting a knockout but Sanchez-Leon held up to survive.

A top prospect is southpaw Matt Korobov, 7-0 (6), of Russia, now living in St. Petersburg, Florida, who dropped his opponent Benjamin Diaz, 9-3-2 (6) of Maywood , California, almost instantly with a jab. He followed up with a wicked left hook to the midsection that had Diaz on the canvas for several minutes. The referee counted him out at 1:22 of the 1st. Korobov had just scored his first decision win 2 weeks ago on the Cotto-Clottey card. His manager Cameron Dunkin said, “Korobov is a good body puncher”. You can say that again. He has had over 300 amateur bouts to his credit.

Jersey City’s Michael Torres, 13-0 (7), returned to action for the first time since November and now while under the management of Dunkin, showed well in a spirited 6 round light welterweight match in shutting out the more experienced Humberto Tapia, 13-11-1 (7), of Mexico, on all the judge’s scorecards 60-54. “He’s a real talent,” said Dunkin. The referee was Brian O’Melia.

Paterson’s Jeremy Bryan, 11-0 (4), had nice opposition from Josh Beeman, 4-3-2 (2), of Providence, winning a 6 round super lightweight match. Only in one round did Beeman have Bryan in trouble, while Bryan simply seemed too strong for his opponent winning by scores of 60-54, 60-53 and 59-55. The referee was Smoger.

Puerto Rico Olympian Carlos Negron, 3-0 (3), was in a mismatch with West Virginia’s Kenneth George, 9-3-1 (1), dropping him before referee Smoger came to the latter’s rescue at 1:18 of the 1st round. Negron is 6:06, 183#, and was the only winner of his team in the Puerto Rico-USA match last year at Philadelphia’s Temple University.

In the opening bout of the night Angel Rodriguez, 3-3-2 (2) of Houston fought to a split draw decision in 4 rounds with Hector Marengo, 5-0-3, of Puerto Rico, in a lightweight match. Each boxer received a vote of 58-56 while the third judge had it 57-57. Smoger was the referee.

It was a night of celebrities as the classy Jimmy Lennon was the ring announcer, with former world champions Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. and Raul Marquez working for several Spanish networks on this PPV show. Originally WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik was to defend against Sergio Mora until Top Rank’s Bob Arum decided he wasn’t quite ready from a hand problem. It’s hopeful Pavlik who along with his manager Dunkin, recently re-signed with Top Rank will have Pavlik meet the WBA title holder Felix Sturm in the fall. The IBF champion Arthur Abraham successfully defended his title in Germany Saturday night and said he will be moving to super middleweight.

Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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