Las Vegas, Nevada – Rafael Espinoza (25-0, 21, KOs) successfully defended his WBO featherweight championship against the number two ranked contender (WBO) Sergio Chirino (22-2, 13 KOs) at the BleauLive Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Espinoza had too much firepower and overpowered Sergio Chirino, dropping him three times in four rounds, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to stop the fight.

From the opening round, Espinoza began his unrelenting attack, chasing Chirino around the ring, connecting on an astonishing 101 punches in only four rounds of action, with 50 percent of them being power punches. Chirino struggled to defend Espinoza’s volume, retreating and defending the punches the best he could.

He connected on only 34 punches with 10 of them being jabs (Compubox).

Espinoza has now proven to be a top featherweight champion in the division. He has dangerous volume attack that is powerful, sporting a knockout rate of 84 percent, he’s a difficult opponent for anyone.

After the fight, Espinoza stated that his hunger to triumph and his heart gave him the edge. He refuses to be denied and pushes forward. His strategy was to box on the outside and control the distance. Still, he liked to exchange too much and instead deviated from attacking relentlessly with an 80 percent combination punch rate. He also expressed interest in unifying the division and possibly rematching Robeisy Ramirez, who was in attendance.

Ramirez is featured in the co-main event on the Teofimo Lopez versus Steve Claggett fight card. Ramirez is set to take on Brandon Leon Benitez at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida. If Ramirez is victorious, a possible rematch could then be scheduled. Espinoza has other options at featherweight as well.

Top Rank can potentially match him against IBF champion Luis Alberto Lopez in a spectacular champion-versus-champion match.

Rising prospect Bruce Carrington was also in attendance, and he could be a future option when Top Rank is ready to match him against elite competition. What direction Espinoza goes in next will be very interesting to see.

Espinoza is an undefeated champion with the heart of a warrior. He’s willing to take on whomever, whenever. In his championship victory against Robeisy Ramirez, he overcame a 5th-round knockdown and a twisted ankle. Rafael has a very fan-friendly style that entertains the audience, and he aims to please.

The fans in attendance chanted his nickname “Divino” and celebrated loudly when the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round. Rafael’s followers are growing and will only grow larger with more title defenses. Espinoza intends to rest for now, spend time with his family, and allow his promoter to work on his next fight.

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