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Alejandro Luna Knocks Rivera Out: Nugaev Stops Attah

by Francisco Salazar

Whenever Alejandro Luna scores a knockout or technical knockout, it is not until the final round. It was no different on Friday night, even though Luna's opponent may have been tougher than expected.

Luna stopped Sergio Rivera in the eighth and final round before an almost sellout crowd at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.

The bout headlined a "Central Coast Championship" card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions.

Luna was coming off a four round unanimous decision over Mario Hermosillo on April 5th, while was stopped in the first round in his last bout at the hands of Ivan Redkach.

Luna, who has mostly fought from a conventional stance most of his career, fought from a southpaw stance in his bout against Rivera. Luna was able to connect with hooks to the head and body, as Rivera attempted to counter to the head.

Sensing he had taken Luna's best punches, Rivera came on aggressively in the fifth round. His aggressiveness was rewarded as he was able to land more frequently to the head of Luna, who left himself open to get hit more often than expected. While Rivera was able to land, Luna threw and landed more of his share of punches.

As both fighters would exchange, Luna would switch back to a conventional stance.

As the bout progressed in the second half of the fight, both would land their fair share of punches, but Luna landed the more telling blows.

In the eighth round, Luna landed a counter left cross to the head, dropping Rivera down to the canvas. Rivera stood up and tried to fight back, but Luna went in for the kill. Sensing Rivera was not able to defend the onslaught of Luna's punches, referee Jack Reiss stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:53.

Luna, from Whittier, CA, goes to 14-0, 10 KOs. Rivera was listed as 14-11, 10 KOs entering the bout, but Boxrec.com listed Rivera 27-11-2, 17 KOs prior to the fight.

Junior middleweight Francisco Santana won a six round unanimous decision over late-replacement Leshon Sims. The shorter Santana (16-3-1, 8 KOs) pressed the fight, trying to get on the inside of Sim's long arms. Santana began to attack the body with hooks in the second round, as Sims (5-14, 3 KOs) tried to counter with right hands to the head. At times, Santana would load up, leaving himself open to get countered with uppercuts.
In the sixth round, Sims was the aggressor, beating Santana to the punch with right hands to the head. However, it was not enough as all three judges scored the bout, 59-55, 59-55, and 60-54 for Santana. Boxingscene.com scored the bout 59-55 for Santana.

Lightweight Rustam Nugaev stopped Daniel Attah in the fourth round of a scheduled eight round bout.

Nugaev methodically broke Attah down from the beginning of the bout, landing at will to the head and body of Attah.

A counter left hook to the head dropped Attah to one knee in the second round. To his credit, the southpaw Attah battled back, landing left hands and at times backing Nugaev up.

The rally was short-lived as Attah slowed down considerably in the third round. In the fourth round, a barrage of punches dropped Attah to the canvas. Attah stood up, but looked more tired than hurt. When it looked as though Attah was not able to defend himself, his corner told referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight. Time of the stoppage was 2:29.

Nugaev, from Perm, Russia, improves to 24-6-1, 14 KOs. The Nigerian-born Attah, from Herndon, VA, falls to 28-15-1, 11 KOs.

In a battle of super welterweights making their professional debuts, Arnold Barboza Jr. won a four round unanimous decision over Gustavo Lopez. Barboza beat Lopez to the punch with hooks and crosses to the head. Although Lopez would land an occasional right hand to the head, but not enough to offset the offense Barboza put out. Lopez rallied in the fourth round, landing repeatedly with right hands. However, it was not enough as all three judges, along with Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Barboza.

Flyweight Maria Suarez (5-0-1) won a one-sided six round unanimous decision over Elizabeth Cervantes. Both fighters faced one another on April 5th in the same venue, with Suarez getting the decision. It was almost a carbon copy of that bout with the exception that Suarez pressed the fight in the final two rounds. Suarez landed hard right hands to the head, at times stunning Cervantes. However, Cervantes (3-11, 1 KO) was able to withstand the weather the storm until the final bell. All three judges, including Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 60-54 for Suarez.

Junior welterweight Luis Olivares Jr. knocked out Juan Zuniga with one punch in the first round of a scheduled four round bout. After an exchange, Zuniga dropped his guard, which allowed Olivares (4-0, 3 KOs) to throw and land a counter right hand to the chin. Zuniga dropped hard to the canvas, prompting referee Raul Caiz, Sr. to immediately wave the fight over at 1:38. Zuniga was announced with having a record of 5-4, but boxrec.com listed him at 1-11-1. Olivares is promoted by rapper 50 cent.

Junior welterweight Kevin Watts was successful in his professional debut, winning a four round majority decision over Donte Strayhorn (1-1). The shorter Watts was effective in throwing and landing lead or counter right hands to the head of Strayhorn. Watts had a huge fourth round, hurting Strayhorn twice with repeated right hands to the head. To his credit, Strayhorn was able to make it to the final bell. One judge scored the bout 38-38, but the other two judges and Boxingscene.com scored the bout 39-37 for Watts.

In a battle of super welterweights making their professional debuts, Arnold Barboza Jr. won a four round unanimous decision over Gustavo Lopez. Barboza beat Lopez to the punch with hooks and crosses to the head. Although Lopez would land an occasional right hand to the head, but not enough to offset the offense Barboza put out. Lopez rallied in the fourth round, landing repeatedly with right hands. However, it was not enough as all three judges, along with Boxingscene.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Barboza.

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