In the final card from Golden Boy Boxing at the Commerce Casino in California, a former all-time great made her return and ambitious prospects sought to close their year with memorable victories setting up their year ahead.
Raul Curiel of Guadalajara (12-0, 10 KOs) extended his knockout streak to six at the expense of veteran Brad Solomon of Douglasville, Georgia (29-6, 9 KOs) to retain his NABF welterweight title.
Curiel landed a left uppercut off a jab, doing visible damage to Solomon’s nose, and a follow-up right hook had Solomon done for the night, leaving referee Ray Corona to count him out to make it official at 44 seconds of round two.
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“Thank God he’s OK, me too,” said Curiel. “I’m just waiting, tried to be calm, not rushing the fights right now. Waiting for the perfect time and we got him with the left uppercut. It was so fast, man it was good.”
Curiel, who trains with Freddie Roach, has big ambitions for 2023. “I want everyone in my weight class. I don’t fear anyone. I just want opportunity,” said Curiel. The 27-year-old has charisma and equal fluency in Spanish and English, and with a few more performances like this one, the part-time law student will make his case and build the fan base on both sides of the border to be a serious player in a competitive division.
De La Hoya AiaBig in 2023 After Shutout
Diego De La Hoya of Mexicali (23-1, 11 KOs) dropped Jose Gonzalez of Guadalajara (23-10-1, 13 KOs) twice before getting a technical decision victory due to accumulated damage plus a serious facial cut to Gonzalez after eight rounds. Scores were 80-70 on all cards.
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“I am happy to have ended the year with this victory,” said De La Hoya. “He was a good rival, and he was able to withstand a lot of my punches – I almost had him a couple of times. I hope this fight sets us up for a great 2023.”
De La Hoya hit the target with a banging right hand to the chin after missing two left hooks two minutes into the third round, and the 28-year-old emptied the tank to try and make a statement stoppage. De La Hoya couldn’t covert, dropping Gonzalez again in the fifth round with the same right to the chin. Referee Thomas Taylor asked the ringside physician to look over Gonzalez, who allowed him to continue. De La Hoya kept banging away at Gonzalez until the punishment became too much for Taylor to let it continue. It was the right call. De La Hoya now wants a title fight, saying he’s willing to travel to the UK to face WBA World Featherweight champion Leigh Wood.
Former Champion Cecilia Braekhus Back In Action
Former unified and undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus of Norway (37-2, 9 KOs) made a successful return at super welterweight, easily dispatching Marisa Portillo of Argentina (19-16-3, 4 KOstriumphantfor the six-round bout read 60-54 on all three cards. The last time Braekhus fought six rounds? It was in 2008 at age 27.
Now age 41, Braekhus was on the brink of breaking the record of consecutive world title defenses in the same division as the great American heavyweight Joe Louis but suffered two losses in a row to Jessica McCaskill. Braekhus considered retirement, but after a 14-month layoff decided to move up one division and return. Now that she’s shaken the ring rust off, Braekhus said she ,wants a title fight next.
Undercard Results: Silva, Gonzalez, Vasquez Get Wins
Aaron Silva of Monterrey, Mexico (11-0, 8 KOs) delivered in his first fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, stopping Alan Campa of Guaymas, Mexico (18-7, 12 KOs). The promising super middleweight stayed patient, working to systematically break Campa down. . Silva dropped Campa in the fifth round for the first time with a big shot. Campa gave what he could, but Silva dropped Campa a second time in short order. Referee Sharon Sands had seen enough at 2:34 of the round.
“We had a very emotional fight, a very strong fight. I did tell the public what I was going to give them. I promised it, and I delivered,” said Silva. “It shows the hard work I’m doing.” Silva’s trainer couldn’t make it to Los Angeles, so Freddie Roach stepped in to work the corner. “Imagine that! It was a psychological knockout In itself! Freddie Roach is one of the greatest trainers of all time,” said Silva.
Jousce Gonzalez of Glendora (14-0-1, 12 KOs) had to ground pound his way through a decision win over veteran Ivan Cano of Mexico City (26-13-2, 16 KOs) in ten tough rounds. Scores were 97-93, 98-92 X 2, and 97-93 for Gonzalez, but the fight seemed far closer than the scores. Gonzalez suffered a cut from a headbutt, but it didn’t appear to be a factor.
“It was a tough and ugly fight,” said Gonzalez. “He kept headbutting and gave me a cut over my right eye. But that’s boxing – you have to tough it out to secure the win.”
He’s fortunate Cano didn’t pack more power. Call it a learning experience for the lightweight prospect and local favorite.
Lightweight Angel Vazquez of Mexico (12-0, 6 KOs) dealt Nick Sullivan of Norfolk, Virginia (6-1, 1 KO) his first loss with a six-round unanimous decision. Vazquez was credited for a questionable knockdown in the last minute of the final round, but it wasn’t the difference maker on the scorecards at 57-55 X 3 for Vazquez.