Fernandez stops litzau, defends welterweight title

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 4:56 PM

Doug Gibson

SANDY — Saturday night at the South Towne Expo Center, Salt Lake City’s Chris “Kid Kayo” Fernandez successfully defended his World Boxing Union welterweight championship, dominating Allen Litzau, of St. Paul, Minn., who failed to answer the bell for the sixth round.

After an even first round, Fernandez, 20-15-1, took control of the fight, frequently landing hard body shots and left hooks to the shorter Litzau, 13-8. In the fourth round, Fernandez battered Litzua to the canvas three times, the first time with a left counter punch.

Litzau rallied a little in round five, and Fernandez suffered a cut over his eye that later required seven stitches to close. However, the champion still dominated the round, rocking his challenger frequently, and the fight was stopped after the round. The large crowd, which included Utah boxing great Gene Fullmer, cheered the win.

In the co-main event, over six rounds, David Yanez, of Las Vegas, 2-4-1 scored an upset split decision win over Salt Lake City lightweight Cesar Olmeda, 9-7. After a slow start, Yanez outboxed the plodding Olmeda, who bled badly from the nose.

In a rematch of a previous draw, Provo cruiserweight David Madrid outpointed Ogden’s Freddie Martinez over four rounds. Madrid scored more punches over the aggressive Martinez, who stunned his opponent in the second round.

In the best undercard match, welterweight Donald Griffin, of Fort Bluff, Ark., won his pro debut with an easy decision over a very game Jason Tresvan, of Las Vegas, also making his pro debut. The solid prospect Griffin pounded Tresvan solidly in every round, but the tough Las Vegas boxer withstood the punishment and rallied a few times.

In other matches, junior middleweight David Lopez, 4-8, of Parma, Idaho, stopped Salt Lake City’s Willie Walton, 6-4, in the first round. In a close featherweight bout, Jeremiah Wiggins, 2-0, of Las Vegas, took a split four-round decision over Eddie Melendrez, of Ontario, Calif., 1-3.

And lightweight Augustine Espinoza, of Salt Lake City, picked up his first win in six fights with a third round TKO over aggressive but awkward Adrian Elias, also of Salt Lake City, who was making his pro debut.

For Fernandez, the win capped a storybook year 2012. In May, he upset then-WBU champion Michael Stewart, a heavy favorite, in Stewart’s hometown of Dover, Del.

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