Peterson Cruises ; Mikey Garcia Keeps Belt ; Henderson Downs Thompson with Split Decision

 

lamont peterson 14

Peterson dominant in decision win  

By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Peterson Takes Down Jean

 

WASHINGTON — Before Lamont Peterson’s junior welterweight title defense against Dierry Jean of Montreal on Saturday night at the DC Armory, the question he was most asked was whether what happened in his last fight would have any impact.

Peterson, of course, was blown away by big-punching Lucas Matthysse in May, getting knocked down twice in the second round and twice more in the third round of the knockout loss, although he remained as one of the 140-pound titleholders because the bout was a nontitle fight contested at 141 pounds, one over the division limit.

Peterson’s attitude was simple — that loss was yesterday’s news, that he said he had gotten over it one day and that it was forgotten.

Perhaps it was hard to believe Peterson at the time, but he backed up his words by winning a convincing unanimous decision in a hard-hitting fight with Jean before a hometown crowd of 5,668.   “It was possible” Peterson said of putting the loss to Matthysse behind him. “That day I thought about it and came to an understanding with God and tried to make sense of everything. I made peace with it. I worked harder coming into this fight to make people see that I still got it.”

He sure did and the judges rewarded him with scores of 118-111, 116-112 and 115-113. ESPN.com also had it for Peterson, 117-111.

“Everybody try to make a big deal out of one loss,” Peterson said. “But if the best fight the best, sometimes it’s going to be a knockout. I always prepare myself to win when I step in the ring, but I know you can lose. My whole life it’s never been easy, so why would it be easy now?

“I am built to get those setbacks and then you can always come back. That’s the way I represent. I think that’s my purpose in life.”

Jean (25-1, 17 KOs), 31, who is a native of Haiti but has lived in Montreal since he was 10, was in his first word title bout and entered the ring with confidence. He wore a Quebec Nordiques jersey that had the words “And the new” stitched on the back with the No. 1. Although Jean had his moments in the fight, Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs), who turned 30 on Friday, was mostly in control throughout his second title defense.

“Maybe it was just a matter of experience,” said Jean, speaking French through a translator about the difference in the fight. “I’m definitely leaving with my head held high. I’ve got all my fans with me and I fought hard fight.”

Indeed, a loud group of flag-waiving fans traveled to the fight from Quebec to support Jean, but Peterson was in his hometown, where he has proved to be unbeatable, winning his title here against Amir Khan and also defending it with a knockout of former titleholder Kendall Holt last year.

“If it was up to me, I would never leave,” Peterson said of fighting in Washington. “I love my city and they love me.”

While the fight began as a jabbing contest in the first round, Peterson landed a clean left hook in the second round that shook Jean, who he rallied to close strong.   His success carried over into the third round when Jean connected with a pair of hard right hands as the action heated up with several toe-to-toe exchanges in which both men landed hard shots and had the crowd roaring.

By the fourth round, Jean’s right eye began to swell in what was turning into a brawl.

Peterson took command with a big fifth round in which he landed many clean shots with both hands. With the crowd on its feet, Peterson began to showboat, twirling his hands and then connecting on a retreating Jean.

“I thought I was the better boxer technically and I knew I would probably be physically stronger than him and I’m also a good inside fighter. I wanted to put my body on him and back him up.”

Peterson, often a slow starter, said he made a conscious decision to go at Jean early.

“I knew that this is his first title fight and it was the big stage,” Peterson said. “Regardless of what he say, I knew he will have nerves. I didn’t want him to get confidence so I got on the gas. I didn’t want him to have confidence and I knew at the end of the fight I would be in shape.”

The crowd broke into a chant of “DC! DC! DC!” in the sixth round as Peterson continued to march forward while Jean — fighting outside of Quebec for only the third time — was there to meet him with body shots and hooks. They had some brutal exchanges during the round while on the ropes as they slugged away at each other.

As the fight went along, it was clear that Peterson was in control, but there seemed to always be the feeling that Jean might be able to land something big. It never happened.

Peterson landed 230 of 622 punches (37 percent) while Jean connected on 123 of 556 (22 percent), according to CompuBox.

With the victory secured, Peterson said he wants to move up to welterweight — but first he wants to be considered the best 140-pounder in the world.

That would mean a showdown with unified titleholder Danny Garcia, the recognized champion of the division. Garcia outpointed Matthysse in September.

“Danny Garcia is supposed to be the No. 1 guy and rightfully so,” Peterson said. “I want to be the best at 140 and move up to 147 soon, so the sooner the better (for a fight with Garcia).”

Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer is in position to give Peterson the fight with Garcia as well as other big fights.

“Lamont is a very entertaining fighter and with this win he paved the way for some great potential matchups at 140, be it a rematch with Lucas, a fight with Danny or, of course, if he would decide to move up to welterweight against any of the deep talent pool we have available at 147,” said Schaefer, who promotes Peterson, Garcia, Matthysse and many big names at welterweight.

Peterson, however, has eyes for Garcia.

“Styles make fights and I said to people who asked me about it that I always thought Matthysse would be a harder fight for me stylistically than Danny,” he said. “I know that my style fits better with Danny than Matthysse.”

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mikey garcia 14

Mikey Garcia retains WBO belt  

By Associated Press

NEW YORK — Mikey Garcia retained the WBO junior lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos on Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.   Garcia (34-0) failed to record a knockout for the sixth time as a professional in a fight that had many booing the lack of action. He was able to consistently block most of the punches thrown by Burgos (30-2-2) and won for the second time in the 130-pound division by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.

Garcia won the fight by landing 29 percent (163-of-567) of his punches. He also landed 24 percent of his jabs (81-of-339) and 36 percent of power punches (82-of-228).

“In the early rounds, I was working on getting the right rhythm, timing and distance,” Garcia said. “Once I got that, I worked on fighting at a good pace. Burgos is a big tough fighter, I expected him to go rounds and it did.”

Garcia fought at the same venue where he won his first championship last January with a decision over Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title. That fight ended in the eighth round when Garcia had a broken nose but before it concluded he had dominated things by dropping Salido four times.

Garcia was methodical early but did enough late to continue his ascent and potentially move closer to an eventual fight with Manny Pacquiao within the next year. Pacquiao will first fight Timothy Bradley on April 12 for the WBO welterweight title.   However, before he could get a date with Pacquiao, Garcia may fight Yuriorkis Gamboa. Gamboa was sitting ringside with promoter 50 Cent and some were chanting his name during lulls in the action.

“I will fight anyone,” Garcia said. “Gamboa knows what to do — sit down at the table and negotiate.”

Burgos went the distance for the third straight time but rarely put a scare into Garcia. The only thing closely resembling a threat came in the second round when Burgos briefly dropped Garcia to one knee.

“He caught me with a left hook,” Garcia said. “I stumbled a little bit but I was all right. I didn’t get hurt but I came back right after that.”

In the third round, Garcia caught Burgos with a right hand. That seemed to make Burgos less aggressive and cautious of Garcia’s power.

“He probably felt my power and respected that more,” Garcia said.

Garcia seemed like he was going to get the knock out in the later rounds when he caught Burgos a few times in the corner with a few jabs and body blows but could not finish it.

“He has a lot of ability,” Burgos said. “He’s fast and strong. Luck was not with us today.”

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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henderson vs thompson

Decision, Denies Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 10

By Brian Knapp www.sherdog.com

Benson Henderson took the all-important first step towards reclaiming the Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight throne, but it did not go as smoothly as he would have liked.

In his first appearance since surrendering the 155-pound title to Anthony Pettis, Henderson escaped with a controversial split decision over former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson in the UFC on Fox 10 headliner on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. Two of the three cageside judges sided with Henderson by 48-47 and 49-46 scores; a third cast a dissenting 48-47 scorecard in favor of Thomson.

Thomson (20-6, 3-2 UFC) had the MMA Lab ace on his heels from the start, as he struck for a takedown inside the first minute, shifted to his back and trapped him in a tight body triangle, forcing him to defend punches and chokes for an extended period of time. The scene replayed itself in the second round, though Thomson appeared to injure his thumb during one of the exchanges.

Henderson switched gears in the third, as he bullied “The Punk to the ground behind a Superman punch and later targeted his body with kicks, knees and punches. Injured hand and all, Thomson refused to go away. The American Kickboxing Academy mainstay delivered a pair of takedowns in round four and another in the fifth. Henderson (20-3, 8-1 UFC) countered with an assortment of strikes — a step-in hook to the body was utilized repeatedly — and left the cage with the decision.

Miocic Outboxes Gonzaga to Decision

Miocic’s cardio carried him to victory.In the heavyweight co-main event, Stipe Miocic wore down Gabriel Gonzaga with pace and precision en route to a unanimous decision. Miocic (11-1, 5-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 nods from the judges, as he won for the fifth time in six Octagon appearances.

Gonzaga (16-8, 11-7 UFC) enjoyed some early success, particularly with his low kicks, but his subpar conditioning cost him. His output dwindled in the second round, allowing Miocic to gain a foothold in the match.

The 31-year-old Strong Style Fight Team representative pecked away with stiff jabs and right crosses, further draining the Gonzaga gas tank. Miocic threw it into overdrive in round three, where he drove the Brazilian to the canvas and tagged him with standing-to-ground punches and hammerfists.

Cerrone Head Kick KOs Martins

Donald Cerrone knocked out former Jungle Fight champion Adriano Martins with a first-round head kick in a lightweight showcase. The shin-to-neck impact felled Martins (25-7, 1-1 UFC) 4:40 into round one, snapping the Brazilian’s six-fight winning streak in spectacular fashion.

Cerrone (22-6, 9-3 UFC) softened the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with a series of kicks to the legs and body. With less than half a minute remaining in the first round, “Cowboy” fired high with a kick that short-circuited Martins and sent him crashing to the canvas in an unconscious state. Cerrone raised his fist for a follow-up shot but saw it was not necessary.

Martins had not been finished in nearly six years.

Stephens Downs Elkins, Wins Third Straight

Heavy power punches, thudding leg kicks and airtight takedown defense carried Alliance MMA’s Jeremy Stephens to a unanimous decision over Darren Elkins in a featured featherweight scrap. All three cageside judges scored it for Stephens (23-9, 10-8 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

On a three-fight winning streak, Stephens spent the better part of two rounds battering his counterpart with left hooks, right uppercuts and leg kicks. Elkins (17-4, 7-3 UFC) whiffed on all of his takedown attempts, unable to improve his chances and get his opponent on the ground. The Duneland Vale Tudo export made one final pass at victory in the last minute of the fight, as he wobbled Stephens with a left hook and threatened him with a series of chokes. However, the finish he needed never developed.

Stephens has rattled off three consecutive victories since downshifting to 145 pounds.

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