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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco



By Maloney L. Samaco
29 Jan 2018

Jorge Linares won his 13th straight fight and another successful defense of his WBA lightweight title, as he outpointed Mercito Gesta in 12 rounds on HBO Boxing After Dark. Linares (44-3, 27 KO), as expected, didn’t have any difficulty suppressing Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KO) who delivered his best endeavor, only he was dominated by the top-notch champion. The official scores were 117-111, 118-110, and 118-110.

* * *

Gesta made a good start in the match, but Linares’ team explained their plan was to observe his strategies for three rounds and then fight extensively in the later rounds. Gesta won a round or two in the later part of the fight, but the it was obvious that Linares had the fight in his hands. He possibly drop some rounds, to playing it safe, not to be injured and conserved some strength. Gesta was no real threat to and his consolation is he never went down nor the fight was stopped.

* * *

The 32-year-old Linares was the pre-fight favorite edged England’s Luke Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) by split decision in a 12-rounder in his previous bout. The 30-year-old Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KOs), of San Clemente, California from Mandaue City dropped to 0-2 in his title fights. In his first title shot, as he lost a one-sided unanimous decision to Mexico’s Miguel Vazquez, then the IBF lightweight titlist in December 2012 in Las Vegas.

* * *

Lightweight budding fighter Romero Duno of General Santos City made short work of his opponent Yardley Armenta Cruz a.k.a. Yardley Suarez (22-10-,12KO) of Mexico on the undercard of the Linares-Gesta WBA championship at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Filipinos knew Suarez when fought in Cebu and encountered a first round KO loss to Mark Magsayo of the famous ALA Gym. Duno (16-1, 14 KOs) trapped Suarez (22-10, 10 KOs) in the neutral corner and showered the ill-fated Mexican-American foe with a flurry of hard blows until Suarez was floored on the canvas. The referee halted the fight at 1:07 of the first round.

* * *

Argentina's Lucas "La Maquina" Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) stopped the previously undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (37-1, 27 KOs) in the eighth round to win the WBA welterweight championship on HBO Boxing After Dark at The "Fabulous" Forum. Matthysse landed an overhand right that dropped Kiram, and as he got up, Matthysse landed a short left hand that ended the fight at 1:21 of the eighth round. At the time of the stoppage, Matthysse was ahead on two judges' scorecards of 68-65 and 69-64, while one judge had it 68-65 for Kiram, who was brought to the hospital after the fight.

* * *

Lucas Matthysse of Trelew, Chubut, Argentina is the current WBA world welterweight champion and was the former WBC interim super lightweight champion from 2012 to 2013. Tewa Kiram of Buriram, Thailand has peaked and currently ranked 1st in World Boxing Association (WBA) as of January 2017 and also ranked 1st in Thailand and 40th in the world on Boxrec, before the loss to Matthysse.

* * *

Many are wondering if Manny Pacquiao will finally return to the ring this coming April. "I don't want to say what I shouldn't say," said Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum as told to "But we have no disagreements within the deal with Pacquiao and what we hope to do is have everything finalized by the weekend." Jeff Horn is scheduled to face his mandatory challenger, Terence Crawford, on April 14 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Pacquiao is expected to be a part of the Crawford-Horn match to be shown by ESPN.

* * *

The 39-year old eight-division champion has been rumored to be facing Mike Alvarado in his next fight. Alvarado (38-4, 26 KOs), 37-years old, is a former WBO junior welterweight champion. Alvarado is now on a streak of a four fight win after suffering three defeats in a row at the hands of Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, who went down in the ninth round, and Brandon Rios in their trilogy fight.

* * *

After losing to Rios in January 2015, Alvarado took some rest and returned to the ring in March of 2016 with a knockout of Saul Corral. He fought twice in 2017, with a win by stoppage over Matthew Strode in May and then a knockout of Sidney Siqueira in August. Alvarado beat Ghana's Raymond Narh to win the WBC Continental Americas light welterweight championship. Alvarado's next victory was against Gabriel Martínez, to win IBF Latino light welterweight championship on July 30, 2011 in Denver.

* * *

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will play together with Golden State Warriors stalwart Kevin Durant and former teammate Kyrie Irving of Boston in next month's NBA All-Star Game. James, who recently became only the seventh player in NBA history to pass 30,000 points, is the captain of a strong starting line-up against Stephen Curry's team selection. With Durant and Irving, James will be joined by New Orleans' formidable duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

* * *

The reserves are LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Kevin Love (Cleveland), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks), John Wall (Washington) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). Thunder forward Paul George is replacing injured Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins after rupturing his left Achilles tendon on Friday.

* * *

Team Stephen Curry will parade Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Curry's reserves include Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Al Horford (Boston), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota) and Golden State team-mates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

* * *

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will be cpntested at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 18. The format for the All-Star game was revised this year, with the two players gettting the most votes, James and Curry, chosen as captains. They then picked their own team-mates by taking turns from a pool of players selected as starters and reserves, regardless of the conference where they belong.

* * *

In March 1976, Wilfred Benitez became the youngest world champion in boxing history when he seized the WBC light welterweight title from Antonio Cervantes at just 17 years of age, still six months away from turning 18. He even had his high school classmates viewing him sitting in the front row. Benitez won his belt against an all-time great fighter in the division as Cervantes held the belt for the great part of the decade 1970s. Benitez later moved up to grab the welterweight title, which he lost to Sugar RayLeonard. In May 1981 he defeated Maurice Hope for the light middleweight title, becoming the youngest three-division champion in boxing history.

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