Saturday, April 20, 2024  |



Edwin Rodriguez gets first round KO; Errol Spence Jr. eyes title shot

Fighters Network

Light heavyweight Edwin Rodriguez scored a first-round knockout over Derrick Findley on Thursday at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.

Rodriguez (26-1, 17 knockouts) handled Findley (21-14-1, 13 KOs) in support of a card that marked the returns of junior middleweight Austin Trout and heavyweight Antonio Tarver, who scored knockdowns as well as seventh-round stoppages over Luis Grajeda and Johnathon Banks, respectively.

In his previous fight in October, Rodriguez, who weighed in at 177 to 173.4 for Findley, won his light heavyweight debut with a near-shutout unanimous decision over Azea Augustama, handing Augustama only his second defeat in 19 bouts.



Undefeated southpaw welterweight Errol Spence Jr. (14-0, 11 knockouts) will face Mike Arnaoutis (25-10-2, 12 KOs) in support of Saturday’s main event featuring RING No. 9- and No. 10-rated 147-pounders Amir Khan and Devon Alexander at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Spence, 24, will face Arnaoutis on the Showtime Extreme portion of the card starting at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), while the Showtime-televised Khan-Alexander segment begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. with support from a clash of unbeaten welterweights between RING No. 7-rated Keith Thurman and Leonard Bundu.

A 2012 United States Olympian, Spence was last in action for a second-round stoppage of Noe Bolanos in September that had followed a unanimous decision over Ronald Cruz in June. The victory over Cruz ended Spence’s run of three consecutive knockout victories, two of which were in the first round.

Arnaoutis ended a three-fight losing streak in his last fight in May, scoring a second round knockout over Andrei Staliarchuk.

“It is going to be another great performance,” said Spence, during Thursday’s final press conference, which was attended by Khan, Alexander, Thurman and Bundu. “Hopefully by next year, I will be fighting one of these guys in front of me and fighting for a world title.”



Five-belt, three-division titlewinner Johnny Tapia will be the subject of an hour-long HBO documentary to air on Tuesday staring at 11 p.m. ET/PT, the network has announced.

Tapia’s career was plagued by cocaine abuse, depression, suicide attempts and arrests. He died at the age of 45 in May 2012 of heart disease that was exacerbated by prescription drugs, an autopsy revealed in August 2012.

Tapia was found dead inside of his Albuquerque, N.M., home on May 27. Tapia’s wife, Teresa said the autopsy revealed that the fighter’s death was the accidental result of heart problems and the onset of Hepatitis C, likely from one or more of his many tattoos.

Click here for a Johnny Tapia Showtime interview

Teresa Tapia said her husband was taking medication for his bipolar disorder and high blood pressure.

Tapia compiled a mark of 59-5-2 with 30 knockouts, earned major world titles in the junior bantamweight, bantamweight and featherweight divisions and won his last four fights – two by knockout – culminating with an eight-round decision over Mauricio Pastrana in June of 2011.

A survivor of a tough upbringing in Albuquerque’s Wells Park neighborhood, Tapia’s father was reportedly murdered before he was born and his mother was murdered when he was a small child, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents as he struggled with depression throughout much of his life.