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Boxing | International

WBO champ takes a big risk



Orlando Salido will take a sizeable risk when he defends his WBO featherweight title in New York in January.

The 32-year-old champion will be fighting a younger, undefeated opponent who has won 26 of his 32 fights by knockout.

Salido, a Mexican with a professional record of 39-11-2, including 27 knockouts, faces 35-year-old Miguel Angel Garcia at Madison Square Garden on January 19.

Garcia, a 25-year-old American, goes into the bout with a record that spells danger – 30-0, with 26 stoppage wins.

Salido, however, is a heavy-handed veteran whose 27 knockouts indicate that he is capable of ending Garcia’s unbeaten streak.

One of the most intriguing matches of the first month of 2013 will take place in Düsseldorf in Germany on January 30, when Sam Soliman takes on Felix Sturm in a middleweight scrap.

The two have been involved in more than 90 professional bouts. Soliman, who fights out of Australia, has a record of 42-11, with 17 knockouts. His German opponent stands at 37-3-1, with 16 stoppage wins.

Soliman is ranked at No 1 by the IBF and Sturm is a former WBA super champion. Their fight is an IBF title eliminator

WBC lightweight champion Adrian Broner will defend his title against Gavin Rees in Atlantic City on February 16. Broner is unbeaten after 25 fights and has won 21 of them by knockout.

Rees, a Welshman, stands at 37-1-1, with 18 knockouts. He is a former WBA junior welterweight champion.

On the same card, heavyweights Johathan Banks (29-1-1; 19) and Seth Mitchell (25-1-1; 19) will meet a rematch. Banks stopped Mitchell in the first fight.

WEEKEND RESULTS

Boxing fans from the Philippines had something to smile about when Ryan Rey Ponteras stopped Rusalee Samor in the fourth round of a flyweight bout in Bangkok.

Samor, rated No 6 by the IBF, dropped to 19-4-2; 8 and the Filipino improved to 11-8-1, with five knockouts, taking over the IBF Pan Pacific title.

In Luxumberg, former British junior welterweight champion Ashley Theophane knocked out Chaurembo Palasa in the first round to win the vacant Global Boxing Council welterweight belt.

Theopane improved to 33-5-1; 10 and Palasa now stands at 20-17-2; 12.

The BGC’s vacant light-middleweight title also found a holder when Nick Klappert (14-1; 9) stopped Said Yazidu (26-8;-1; 12) in the first round.

Osaka, Japan: Japanese heavyweight Rio Hidaka moved to 9-0; 8 when he stopped Yasir Siagian (19-11; 12) of Indonesia in the second round.

Arusha, Tanzania: The IBF Continental Africa super-middleweight title went to Francis Cheka, who won on a majority decision against Chimwemwe Chiotcha, taking his record to 26-6-1; 15. Chiotcha dropped to 10-1; 8.

Bangkok, Thailand: Bantamweight veteran Oleydong Sithsamerchai (44-1-1; 16) beat Danilo Pena (26-14-2; 11) on points over six rounds.

Torino, Italy: Cruiserweight Maurizio Lovaglio (13-8; 8) stopped Stefano Abatangelo (14-2-1; 4) in the sixth round in a bout for the IBF Mediterranean title. Roberto Cocco (10-9-1; 5) beat Mateo Rossi (7-1-1; 2) on points to win the vacant Italian super-middleweight title.

WILFRED BENITEZ IN HOSPITAL

Wilfred Benitez, a 54-year-old former triple world champion, is in a hospital in Puerto Rico after a suspected stroke.

Benitez became the youngest world champion in boxing history when he beat WBA light-welterweight champion Antonio Cervantes in March 1976 when he was only 17. Cervantes was 30 at the time and his record stood at 74-9-3, with 35 knockouts.

In January 1979, Benitez beat Carlos Palomino on a split decision to win the WBC welterweight title. And in May 1981, at age 22, he became the youngest three-time world champion when he knocked out WBC super-welterweight champion Maurice Hope in the twelfth round in Las Vegas.

Benitez retired with a record of 53-8-1, including 31 knockouts. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996.

He has had health problems since 1989 and is said to be suffering from a degenerative brain condition.



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