Boxing
Segura-Calderon II: Little men re-enact big fight
Lyle Fitzsimmons

By Lyle Fitzsimmons,
Contributing Boxing Editor


Ocala, FL (Sports Network) - Such is life for opponents of Giovani Segura.

You come out, land some shots, win a few rounds and feel good about yourself.

Then by the middle of the fight, things are a little different.

The legs aren't so springy. The ribs ache. The face looks like it's been raked with sandpaper.

It's a grotesque, lumpy picture. And it's not just journeymen who get the treatment.


Giovani Segura said, "I only know how to fight one way and that's to throw punches and put pressure on my opponent."
Even dual-weight class world champion Ivan Calderon -- competitively unscathed through 19 title fights from 2003-10 -- wasn't safe in his own Puerto Rican backyard last summer.

The WBO junior flyweight kingpin hosted fellow title claimant Segura for a unification match in Guaynabo on August 28 and met the same grisly fate, eventually falling in eight rounds to suffer his first loss and surrender a grip on the 108-pound belt he'd held for three years.

The pair will re-engage Saturday night on Segura's turf in Mexicali, where the rematch tops a four-bout pay-per-view card distributed by Integrated Sports Media and available on cable or satellite via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN at 9 p.m. (et).

The event's tagline is "La Revancha" (The Revenge).

Suggested PPV retail price is $39.95.

"I don't see this second fight any different than the first one," Segura said. "I only know how to fight one way and that's to throw punches and put pressure on my opponent. I don't doubt that Calderon will be better this time, because when you lose for the first time it makes you more determined and it makes you work harder, that I know for a fact."

The 2010 fight was considered the year's best by many for its extended stretches of sustained action, in which the 5-foot-4 Segura perpetually pressured his 5-foot foe and continually looped thudding shots alongside Calderon's head and ribcage.

Calderon had more than a few good moments of his own as well, and was at times able to plant and land straight, sharp counters that effectively blunted Segura's aggression.

The onslaught finally ended, however, when, after he was driven to a corner by yet another bull rush, a dozen-plus punch follow-up prompted the brutalized Calderon to slump to one knee and willingly take the decisive 10-count from referee Jose Rivera.

Segura led 67-66, 68-65 and 69-64 on ringside scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

Sports Network also had it 68-65 -- or 5-2 in rounds -- for Segura.

Now solely the WBO champion after relinquishing the WBA's jewelry, the newly- minted 29-year-old -- his birthday is April 1 -- has fought once since the Calderon win, halting Manuel Vargas in seven rounds in an over-the-weight non- title bout on November 27 in Tijuana.

He is 26-1-1 with 22 KOs in an eight-year pro career and avenged his lone loss -- a unanimous decision to Cesar Canchila in July 2008 -- with a fourth-round TKO eight months later.

"This fight is like the Tom and Jerry cartoon," Segura said. "A cat chasing a mouse and that is not going to change. I admired Calderon's boxing abilities and I respect his style, but to me boxing is about giving the fans excitement and that is what I will bring the fans inside that ring on Saturday night."

Calderon, 34-1-1 with just six knockouts, turned 36 on January 7.

He won the WBO mini-flyweight title in 2003 and defended 11 times through 2007, before stepping up to grab the junior flyweight crown later that year. He defended the new title six times before the loss to Segura.

"No question that he got the best of me the first time," Calderon said. "He was ready. He did his fight and won. But I feel better prepared now to face his style of fight and for me it is always about moving, hitting and not getting hit. I don't want anyone talking about a fight-of-the-year type fight. I want to win, not get hit and go home with my belt."

TV TOPICS

(Some fights may not be televised)

FRIDAY

ESPN2 - Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut

Henry Lundy (19-1-1) vs. Patrick Lopez (20-3) - 10, lightweights

Vladine Biosse (10-0) vs. Tim Connors (10-2) - 10, super middleweights

TeleFutura - Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California

Eric Morel (43-2) vs. Luis Maldonado (35-5-1) - 10, junior featherweights

SATURDAY

Integrated Sports Media - Auditorio del Estado, Mexicali, Mexico

Giovani Segura (26-1-1) vs. Ivan Calderon (34-1-1) - WBO junior flyweight title

Ricardo Castillo (39-9-1) vs. Joksan Hernandez (21-3) - 12, featherweights

Fernando Beltran Jr. (35-4-1) vs. Jorge Lacierva (38-7-6) - 12, featherweights

Ramon Maas (24-0) vs. Enrique Bernache (15-2) - 10, junior featherweights

Lyle Fitzsimmons is a veteran sports columnist who's written professionally since 1988 and covered boxing since 1995. His work is published in print and posted online for clients in North America and Europe. Reach him at fitzbitz@msn.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz.

Jabs, hooks or knockouts, Lyle Fitzsimmons can be reached at fitzbitz@msn.com.

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