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Gustavo Lemos stops Lee Selby in five brutal rounds in Buenos Aires  

Fighters Network

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina.- After holding fort in his native Argentina for the first 27 fights of his career, it was time for lightweight contender Gustavo Lemos to make a jump into more dangerous waters.

But instead of swimming overseas to find himself in a real fight in hostile territory, he invited a fellow shark to a duel in his own backyard, and it proved to be a successful tactic as he all but dismantled former featherweight champion Lee Selby in a progressive demolition that ended in a fifth-round stoppage in favor of Lemos on Saturday, March 26.

It was an emotional bout fought in front of a loud and partisan crowd at the fabled local Luna Park Stadium, one of the very few remaining venues still standing since boxing’s most glamorous days.

Lemos (28-0, 18 knockouts) was led into the ring by a vibrant version of the national anthem and an emotional walk-in upbeat song honoring local soccer legend Diego Maradona. The stage was set for an epic performance, and Lemos delivered.

In the first round, Lemos briefly neglected his all-out, non-stop punching approach to wait for Selby in the center of the ring in an unusual shoulder-roll stance, with Selby moving around him and scoring sporadically but often enough to earn the round in The Ring’s card.

What followed was all Lemos, as “The Electric” proved to have more voltage than “Lightning” Selby (now 28-4, 9 KO) in almost every measurable variable.

Lemos became the stalker in the second episode, a style perfectly befitting his unstoppable punching output. He hurt Selby with several hands and landed a few right hands that snapped Selby’s head, to the approval of the crowd. The third round was more of the same, maybe one or two notches up in the scale, with Lemos suffering a cut somewhere in his left eyebrow while Selby was wobbled a couple of times.

With Selby noticeably hurt at the end of the third, Lemos came out guns blazing in the fourth, which started with a duel of right hands but quickly devolved into a progressively more savage beating by Lemos. The Argentine chased the Welsh visitor all over the ring, landing dozens of unanswered punches until Selby was forced to take a knee just as the 10-second warning was clapped in. It may have been a 10-8 round without even the self-administered knockdown, but the worst was yet to come for Selby.

Lemos picked up right where he had left off before the bell sounded, and soon enough he scored a knockdown close to Selby’s corner that put referee Mario Gonzalez in high alert. Moments later, after a barrage of demolishing punches had whiplashed Selby’s head and with no signs of his corner throwing in the towel, Gonzalez kneeled down next to Selby after he was knocked down for a second time and held him against the ropes as he waved off the contest.

With the win, Lemos is now the mandatory challenger for the IBF lightweight title currently being held by George Kambosos Jr. as part of his unified bundle, which also includes The Ring’s championship belt.

Gustavo Lemos (left) moves in for the kill against Lee Selby (right) in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 26th – Photo by Juan Montani

In the co-main event, Evelyn “The Princess” Bermudez (25 years-old, 16-0-1, 6 KO, Santa Fe, Argentina) showed that she is on the brink of surpassing her trailblazing and talented sister Daniela when she outlanded and outmuscled Debora “Panther” Rengifo (35 years-old, 16-9-1, 9 KO, Río Chico, Venezuela), in a women’s junior flyweight IBF title defense that also featured the vacant WBO belt at stake.

Scheduled for the customary 10 two-minute rounds for women’s boxing title bouts, the fight ended in the fifth round when the referee decided to stop the carnage in progress in which Rengifo was a completely hopeless victim.

After two competitive rounds in the early going, round 3 was Bermudez’s first chance to shine, while the fourth was just a display of her lethal accuracy. The round was scored 10-8 by The Ring even without a proper knockdown. The fifth never made it through its first minute, since the fight was stopped after an initial barrage in which Bermudez simply couldn’t miss.

Earlier in the night, Jose Angel “Sanson” Rosa (22 years-old, 13-0-0, 11 KO, La Rioja, Argentina) had an easy night against trialhorse Santiago Damian “The Train” Sanchez (31 years-old, 8-4-0, 4 KO, Ranchos, Argentina).

A former National team member and son of a Dominican fighter who relocated to Argentina in the ‘90s, Rosa is a polished product who showed that he needs a true challenge as he easily outhustled and outmuscled Sanchez, administering a serious beating before forcing referee Hernan Guajardo to halt the proceedings in the third round of a scheduled 10-round welterweight bout.

In the embarrassing portion of the evening, Pablo Ezequiel “Pacman” Corzo (21 years-old, 10-0-0, 10 KO / San Fernando del Valle, Argentina) grabbed a rather dull and lackluster win over Roger “Dinamita” Guerrero (24 years-old, 17-3-1, 10 KO, Quito, Ecuador) in what started out as a competitive bout and quickly developed into a tragicomedy of errors.

Scheduled as a 10-round super middleweight bout with a non-descript regional belt at play, the first round featured some decent exchanges, but in the second round Guerrero decided to headbutt Corzo repeatedly while on a clinch, and he even bit on his foe’s arm. No points were deducted, but Guerrero also slipped to the canvas and then outside of the ropes comically only to be aided back in by referee Gustavo Tomas, in a violation of local regulations. Guerrero appeared reluctant to engage Corzo in the next episode, repeatedly turning his back on him until the referee ran out of reasons to allow the farce to continue just as the towel was flying in from Guerrero’s corner in silent agreement.

In the opening bout of the broadcast, fans were treated to a real gem, as Braian Nahuel Suarez (29 years-old, 17-0-0, 16 KO, Hurlingham, Argentina) engaged in a savage brawl against Durval “The Bomber” Palacio (31 years-old, 9-2-0, 6 KO, Salta, Argentina) in a scheduled 10-round light-heavyweight bout.

The heavily favored Suarez was shocked and dropped at the very end of the first round by a short right cross that exploded on his temple and sent him down with ten seconds on the clock. Suarez got his act together in the following episode, but Palacio surged in round three to regain some ground.

In the fifth, with both fighters fully aware of each other’s firepower, a Gatti-Ward-esque brawl took place, with the audience on its feet cheering them on as they unloaded dozens of punches on each other. Suarez was rewarded for his better effort when referee Gerardo Poggi gave Palacio a standing 8-count that proved to be a harbinger of things to come.

Suarez lost a point in the 6th for a rabbit punch, but compensated by pummeling Palacio into submission and dishing him a serious beating. The seventh was just target practice for Suarez, who pinned Palacio to the ropes and connected two dozen punches until Poggi had no choice but to halt the carnage.

Braian Suarez stalks Durval Palacio during their brutal slugfest at the fabled Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 26th – Photo by Juan Montani