Goossen Takes a Knockdown, Then a Title


P.J. Goossen visited unfamiliar territory in the first round of his bout against Kenny Lopez Wednesday night at the Warner Center Marriott.

His seat wasn't ringside.

It was in the ring.

With a short left hook, Lopez sent Goossen onto the seat of his boxing shorts for the first time in 14 professional fights.

Judging by his reaction, Goossen didn't like the view.

Rallying in the middle rounds, Goossen stripped Lopez of his State junior middleweight title by winning a unanimous decision before a crowd of 775 in the hotel's Grand Ballroom.

Goossen, from Palmdale, remained undefeated, going 12 rounds for the first time.

Lopez, from San Jose, fell to 20-15-1.

Lopez started the fight poised and confident, smiling when Goossen lunged at him with a wild right hand to start the fight.

He was smiling again at the start of the second round, but Goossen quickly knocked the grin off his face with a three-punch combination that hurt the champion midway through the round.

In the early going, Lopez punctuated each flurry with a vocal, "Bam, bam, bam," to coincide with each punch.

By the middle rounds, Goossen's body shots had reduced the sound effects to a groan.

Goossen was among three local boxers to win on the five-bout card. Heavyweight Jim Mullen of Simi Valley also scored a unanimous decision, downing Larry Givens of Los Angeles.

Mullen is 6-1-1. Givens, who claims his record as 15-11, officially fell to 3-40.

The anticipated batted between Bridgett Riley of Tarzana and Robyn Lopez of Phoenix, the first boxing bout between women at the Marriott, lost come luster early in the day when Riley weighed in 5 1/2 pounds over the 118-pound bantamweight limit.

Women's boxing, women's problems.

Riley said she would have made weight if it weren't, well, that time of the month.

"I'm retaining about five pounds of water," Riley said sheepishly.

The bout went on, but as an exhibition. Both boxers wore headgear, and Riley, who outweighed her opponent by more than eight pounds, was asked by State Athletic Commission officials to take it easy.

Easy was more than enough.

Riley bloodied Lopez's nose with a combination midway through the first round. Halfway through the second round, what had been a trickle of blood turned into a stream.

There was no third round, at the advice of the ringside physician.

"I wasn't trying to drop any bombs, but I let my hands go a little," Riley said almost apologetically.

Riley said she was disappointed at not making weight, but added, "There wasn't too much I could do about it."

To fight off her emotions, Riley tried to pretend she was shadow-boxing.

"But I was hard," she said. "Especially when I saw blood. I wanted to jump on it."

In the most exciting bout of the undercard, Saul Duran of Juarez, Mexico, won a unanimous decision over Juan Castaneda of San Francisco.

Duran, a stylish fighter, improved his record to 16-1, but was forced to go the distance for only the third time. Castaneda, boxing for the first time in more than a year, fought gamely but never managed to hurt his darting and jabbing opponents.

Castaneda's record fell to 6-4.

Randy (Big Man) Smith of Azusa retained his State middleweight championship by stopping Irish Pat Lawlor of San Francisco in the sixth round of a scheduled 12-round bout. Smith is 15-1-2, with six knockouts. Lawlor is 20-7.

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