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Rafael Espinoza Makes Dominant Defence of WBO Featherweight Title

Rafael Espinoza Makes Dominant Defence of Featherweight Title

Boxing News

Rafael Espinoza Makes Dominant Defence of WBO Featherweight Title

Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Rafael Espinoza Makes Dominant Defence of WBO Featherweight Title

Rafael Espinoza (25-0, 21 KOs) showed that Sergio Chirino (22-2, 13 KOs) was no match for him with a dominant stoppage win on Saturday night.

Espinoza won via fourth-round technical knockout to remain the WBO featherweight champion. The time of stoppage was 2:45. Chirino was knocked down three times during the contest, having to deal with an opponent who applied a lot of pressure in addition to having heavy hands. It was not long before he capitulated.

The bout headlined a Top Rank card at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas done in association with Zanfer Promotions. Fight fans in the United States could catch the action live on ESPN+. Those in the United Kingdom were able to do so on Sky Sports while TSN+ had the clash for Canadian viewers. This was Espinoza’s first defence of his WBO title since winning it in an upset against Robeisy Ramírez in December last year.

Rafael Espinoza Makes Dominant Defence of Title Against Sergio Chirino

Fight Recap

Chirino fought off the back foot and landed counters early on. However, with less than a minute to go in round one, Espinoza knocked down his opponent with a left uppercut. Chirino was able to get up and continued boxing along the ropes.

Chirino’s style allowed Espinoza to come forward and apply significant pressure. The reigning champion was landing regularly and doing damage to the head and body of his opponent. Towards the end of round three, a right uppercut sent Chirino down. Once again, he was able to get up and make it to the next round.

Espinoza kept piling on the pressure in the fourth. A right uppercut clearly hurt Chirino, who went down once again. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. began a count but eventually waved off the fight to give Espinoza a technical knockout victory.

Post-Fight Interview

Rafael Espinoza

“The difference [between me and other fighters] is my hunger, my desire to be the best,” said Espinoza through an interpreter after the fight. “I prove it inside the gym and it’s just reflected right here inside the ring.”

“I’m going to be honest, I came in with the gameplan to use my range, fight from the outside, but I love to fight. I love to give these fans a show. I don’t like to take a step back and this is what you get.”

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“Look, to be honest, this is my time. This is ‘Divino’s’ time and I want to unify all the belts. I know that there is a man [Robeisy Ramírez] out there who wants the rematch. Look, I’m going to take some rest and then I’m going to have my people talk to the promoters and they’ll do what’s best for me.”

Undercard Results

Andres Cortes (22-0, 12 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Abraham Nova (23-3, 16 KOs). Scores for the 10-round super featherweight clash were 97-93 (x2) and 96-94. Controversial scores as it appeared Nova had done the better work overall and deserved to have had his hand raised instead.

Troy Isley (13-0, 5 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Javier Martinez (10-1-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight. Scores for the clash were 97-91 (x2) and 96-92. Martinez lost one point in round seven for a low blow. Isley also lost one point for the same offence in round nine.

Floyd Diaz (12-0, 3 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Francisco Pedroza (18-11-2, 10 KOs, 1 NC). Scores for the eight-round bantamweight bout were 78-73 across the board. Pedroza had one point deducted in round six for hitting on the break.

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Demler Zamora III (13-0, 9 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Jose Meza (9-10, 2 KOs, 1 NC). Scores for the eight-round super featherweight fight were 80-72 (x2) and 79-73.

Steven Navarro (2-0, 1 KO) won a unanimous decision against Juan Meza (7-4, 2 KOs) in a six-round super flyweight clash. Scores for the bout were 60-54 across the board.

Opening the broadcast, Bryan Polaco (7-0, 5 KOs) won via third-round technical knockout against Richard Acevedo (6-1-1, 5 KOs). The time of stoppage for this six-round middleweight bout was 2:51. Polaco sent his opponent down twice in round three before referee Mike Ortega put an end to proceedings.

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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