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BOXING

Persistence Pays Off for Larios in 10th

November 23, 2003|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

It is fighters like Napapol Kiattisakchocchoi of Thailand who get hurt in the ring. They can sustain a tremendous amount of punishment without bruising, seemingly without blinking.

By the 10th round of Saturday night's main event at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, Kiattisakchocchoi (22-2, 18 knockouts), challenging World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion Oscar Larios (50-3-1, 35), had become little more than a punching bag with yellow trunks.

Larios had hit Kiattisakchocchoi with 10 unanswered jabs leading off the eighth round. Larios knocked Kiattisakchocchoi down with a combination in the 10th.

And finally, with the more sensible fans in the crowd of 5,440 imploring referee Marcos Rosales to stop the fight, he did so at the 2:26 mark of the 10th, enabling Larios to defend his crown with his 21st consecutive victory. He hasn't lost a fight since 1997.

"I tried to knock him out in the first three or four rounds," Larios said through an interpreter. "When I saw I couldn't do that, I decided to box him."

Larios said he would next like to fight Manny Pacquiao, who stopped Marco Antonio Barrera a week ago.

*

In the semi-main event, Levander Johnson protested vehemently when referee Raul Caiz Jr., stopped his International Boxing Federation lightweight championship fight six seconds into the 11th round, giving the vacant title to Javier Jauregui.

Johnson should have thanked Caiz.

Jauregui had already knocked Johnson down in the fifth round with a left hook. He had already flattened Johnson with a straight right in the 10th.

When Jauregui (47-10-2, 34) threw two unanswered punches to open the 11th, Caiz decided Johnson (32-4-2, 25), his left eye badly swollen, his reflexes gone, had had enough.

"He'll fight anyone," Lou DiBella said of Jauregui, whom he co-promotes with Oscar De La Hoya.

"He'll make war with anyone."

*

In a preliminary match, Jose Navarro of Los Angeles (19-0, 7) won the International Boxing Assn. super-flyweight championship with a unanimous decision over Reynaldo Hurtado (36-5-2, 27).

It was a good test for Navarro, who fought as a 112-pounder in the 2000 Olympics but didn't win a medal. He gave away five inches to Hurtado, but the Colombian fighter failed to take advantage of his height advantage.

*

Trainer Emanuel Steward was looking for a suitable opponent for his hot prospect, unbeaten lightweight Octavio Lara, who had won all three of his previous fights by knockout.

What could be more suitable for a developing 19-year-old than an opponent who had won only one of his first five fights?

Rogelio Ramirez's record, however, turned out to be misleading.

Ramirez improved to 2-2-2 with one knockout by upsetting Lara with a dominating performance that earned him a unanimous decision.

The card was the first of a series of pay-per-view events, labeled Fiesta De La Hoya and promoted by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.

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