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Monday Wrap: Rios and Williams win

Urbano Antillon (L) takes on Brandon Rios in

Urbano Antillon (L) takes on Brandon Rios in a WBA lightweight championship fight. Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Showtime

Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios lived up to his nickname in a big way on Saturday night, earning an easy win over Urbano Antillon with a third-round stoppage at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca.

Rios retained his WBA lightweight title in the process.

Rios (28-0-1) battered Antillon early and often, scoring two knockdowns in the third round. Referee David Mendoza halted the bout at 2:49 in the third. Rios was confident he would’ve gotten a knockout sooner or later.

“We knew going in that whoever could take the best punch would win,” Rios said. “Tonight I was faster and tougher for the couple of rounds we had. I had power in both hands.”

Antillon felt that power and admitted it was too much for him to handle.

“That left hook caught me on the top of the head and it devastated me,” he said. “I was never the same after the first knock down. Rios punches very hard. I just got caught and I was never able to recover.”

Such a one-sided win should do wonders for Rios’ future prospects. He mentioned fighting Marco Antonio Barrera. That is certainly a fight that could happen. A more interesting prospect could be Rios against Juan Manuel Marquez sometime next spring. Marquez is set to take on Manny Pacquiao in November.

In the main undercard, Carlos Molina (19-4-2) dominated Kermit Cintron (32-4-1), earning a unanimous decision win. Molina won on all three cards, 98-92.

PAUL WILLIAMS GETS LUCKY
Paul Williams, looking to recover from a devastating second-round knockout at the hands of Sergio Martinez last November, thought he might have an easy time with Erislandy Lara on Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Williams (40-2) caught a break, scoring a controversial majority decision over Lara. The judges scored the bout 116-114, 115-114, 114-114. Clearly, Williams looked a step slower than Lara and was peppered with overhand lefts and straight rights all night.

Lara (15-1) was economical and accurate with his punches, landing 224 of 530 punches, and was shocked, just as most observes were, at the judge’s scorecards. “I don’t know what the judges saw,” he said through a translator. “I thought I won the fight.”

A lot of people thought the same thing. In fact, Williams’ corner even thought Lara was winning the fight. Trainer George Peterson kept repeating to Williams in the later rounds that he was trailing and needed to step up his attack.

Lara’s camp is hoping for a rematch, but Williams has other things on his mind.

“We definitely want Martinez,” Williams said. “I think the fans want to see it.”

But does Martinez want it? Williams, whether he won the fight or not, didn’t look good. His defense was shoddy and he kept walking into Lara’s overhand left. It was the same way he fought Martinez last November and it resulted in a second-round knockout.

In earlier bouts in Atlantic City, Cris Arreola (33-2) scored an easy unanimous decision win over Friday Ahunanya (24-8-3, 13 KOs), while Rico Ramos (20-0) scored a seventh-round knockout of Akifumi Shimoda (23-3-1) and captured the WBA super bantamweight title.

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