Rios stops Murray in 11th in lightweight bout
NEW YORK (AP)
Brandon Rios stopped John Murray in the 11th round, battering him against the ropes and forcing the referee to step in Saturday night.
Rios (29-0-1) dominated the latter rounds and finished off an exhausted Murray with a right uppercut and a left hook, a brutal ending to the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito bout at Madison Square Garden.
Rios had surrendered his WBA lightweight title when he failed to make the 135-pound weight Friday night. He could win the fight, just not the title.
That left Murray (31-2-0) with an opportunity to walk out of MSG the champion.
Rios dominated after the sixth round and left Murray a bloody, shaken mess. Murray was pinned against the ropes in the 11th and had no fight left after absorbing a series of uppercuts.
''Murray's a great warrior,'' Rios said. ''He deserves a lot of respect.''
Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez fought to a majority draw in their first bout and put on another fantastic show in the rematch.
Rodriguez (26-5-3) unloaded on Wolak and busted him open early in the match. Rodriguez dominated his power shots, landing 65 of 101 in the final round, and won the scorecards 98-91, 98-92 and 100-90. Wolak (29-2-1) was bleeding from the mouth and his eyes were swollen, yet somehow never landed on the canvas in the 10th.
''I knew I needed to close the show,'' Rodriguez said. ''This time, I wasn't taking any chances. I don't know what kept him up.''
Also on the undercard, Philadelphia fighter Mike Jones (26-0) won a unanimous decision over Sebastian Lujan and will get a fight for the vacant IBF welterweight title. He'll fight Randall Bailey next year for the title that was vacated by Andre Berto.
Backed by a supportive crowd, Jones punished the slow-starting Lujan (38-6-2) in the opening rounds. Jones connected with a hard right in the fourth that left Lujan shaking his head a few times to regain his senses. Jones finished the fifth with a series of body shots that made it seem as if a knockout was around the corner. That one, bout-ending blow didn't come, but Jones did enough to win on all three cards.
He won 118-110 and had two scores of 119-109.
''I thought I hurt him in the first round but I didn't capitalize on it,'' Jones said. ''I knew it was a 12-round fight.''
After the fifth round, a dazed Lujan wandered toward Jones' corner.
With a decision in hand, Jones went hard for the knockout, while the sellout crowd cheered him on - clearly not caring it was a Philly fighter taking control and putting on a show in New York.
''I'm still trying to put on a great show for the crowd,'' Jones said. ''This is an entertainment business and I wanted to entertain. I definitely wanted to knock him out in the last round.''