SATURDAY NIGHT'S FIGHT, promoted by Golden Boy Productions and Don King, presented a sell out fight at the MGM Garden Arena. Before a crowd of over 14, 000 boxing fans, Oscar De La Hoya (38-4-30 KOs) of East Las Angeles entered the grand garden with confidence and pride in his quest to show Ricardo Mayorga (27-6-1-22 KOs) of Nicaragua that he was going to stand his ground and beat him to the punch. He did ever so brilliantly when he knocked down Mayorga in the first round with an explosive left hook followed by a straight right. A surprised Mayorga got back up and started punching wildly with left and over hand rights while De La Hoya blocked all of them. In the second round De La Hoya dominated the round by working on Mayorga's body. In the third round however, De La Hoya got caught with an upper cut by Mayorga but stood his ground. Then in the fourth round, a frustrated and angry Mayorga tried anything he could to knock out De La Hoya.
But Oscar was well prepared to block those power punches. De La Hoya didn't use his jab as effectively as he did in his earlier fights. Perhaps that is understandable as he had not boxed in 122 days. In the fifth round Mayorga was warned by referee Jay Nady a second time not to hit De La Hoya in the back of the head. Then in the sixth round Oscar De La Hoya applied the pressure to Mayorga using his left hook in coming back with a number of combinations while Mayorga was laid on the ropes. At that point, Jay Nady stopped the fight in 1:25 of the sixth round while Michael Buffer announced Oscar De La Hoya as the new WBC Champion of the World. The good sportsmen and true champion that De La Hoya is, he went over to Mayorga to tell the former two-time champion that he forgave him for all the bad things he said about his son and wife. At that point Mayorga stated, 'You got what it takes." When asked what motivated him, De La Hoya said, "When he called me all those names and talked about my wife and my son, he motivated me. I haven't felt this motivated since the Vargas fight." Although there was a lot of speculation that De La Hoya would knock out Mayorga, he not only did so, but he exceeded what 'Felix Trinidad' did in the 8th round when he knocked out Mayorga a few years ago.
According to compubox, De La Hoya threw 204 and land 116 punches while Ricardo Mayorga threw 333 punches and only landed 138. On Jab thrown, De La Hoya threw 108 and landed 48. Mayorga threw 136 and landed 6. In power punches De La Hoya threw 156 and connected 68. Mayorga threw 197 power punches and landed 52. The score cards read as follows for the first five rounds Duane Ford had it 50-44 in favor of De La Hoya, Judge Guido Cavallen had it 49-46 in favor of De La Hoya giving the third round to Mayorga and scoring the 4th round even. Judge Paul Smith scored it 50-36 with the third round going to Mayorga
The co featured event for the NABO jr. middle weight title featured Kessim Ouma (23-2-17 KOs) of South Africa taken on Marco Antonio Rubio (33-2-1-30 KOs) of Mexico. A bigger and stronger Rubio knocked down Ouma in the first round. Then in the second round, a determined and persistent Ouma used his boxing skills to work inside Rubio gathering points. Ouma proved that the little guy can overcome the big guy. He won every round but the first round and became the new NABO Middleweight champion by a split decision. Judge Bill Graham scored it 117-110 for Ouma, Dalby Shirley had it 114 to 113 for Rubio and judge Jerry Routh scored it 116-111 for Ouma. In the Jr. Lightweight under card, a very impressive Joan Guzman (24-0-17 KOs) of Santo Domingo entertained the audience with showmanship and out boxed Javier Jaurequi (51-12-2-35 KOs) of Mexico. Guzman who has had 300 amateur fights has never lost. Unfortunately the gifted fighter didn't display any knock-out power in this fight. He did however win by a unanimous decision.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's inaugural appearance in the state of California was sold out at The Arrowhead Pond. History was made when former heavyweight champion, Tim Sylvia scored the biggest win of his career when he knocked out reigning heavyweight, Andrei Arlovsky in 2:43 of the first round. Arlovsky, who has tremendous power, seemed to be unstoppable by scoring over 'Cabbage' Correira Justin Ellers Paul Buentello and Tim Sylvia. On Saturday night however, Sylvia shocked UFC fans by piercing through Arlovsky's defense. Although Arlovsky threw a lot of multiple shots, along with some powerful right hands, Sylvia used his six-inch-reach advantage to his benefit to counter with a long left hand. Arlovsky, after throwing some heavy punches to the body of Sylvia, appeared to hurt the challenger badly. But like in any good UFC match, there will always be a change of events only in the sports of mixed martial arts. The counter uppercut that Sylvia threw was all she wrote for Arlovsky.
TITO ORTIZ WINS A SPLIT DECISION OVER GRIFFIN
The co-main event presented the Ultimate Fighter and former light-heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz defeating the Ultimate Fighter Forrest Griffin by a split decision in a three round light-heavyweight contest. The excitement continued to build as Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz met in the center of the Octagon for the pre-fight instructions and the crowd cheered as both men returned to their corners; this time without touching gloves. Ortiz has incredible cardio and power takedowns. While Griffin responds well with leg kicks. But it was no match for Griffin when Ortiz slammed his opponent to the mat and began pushing him toward the fence. It was just a matter of time before Ortiz pounded Griffin with a barrage of elbows and punches. But Griffin did manage to get back to this feet and get back at Ortiz with some short punches. That was the first round. The second round was basically the same, but Griffin worked on his jab which appeared to make Ortiz winded. This is when Ortiz started boxing. At the close of the round, Ortiz's hand dropped and Griffin landed an overhand right. At this point, Griffin had won the crowd over. The final round proved to be frustrating for the former champion as Griffin the underdog tried some takedown attempts. Ortiz began throwing back getting the better of Griffin. With Ortiz getting the final takedown and began pounding away at Griffin. Griffin managed to get back up on his feet and the two warriors exchanged punches toe-to-toe. The scorecard read 30-27 for Ortiz, 29-28 for Griffin, and 29-27 for Ortiz the winner.