The CBZ Newswire

Bondorovas Leaves No Doubt in Second Bout against Thomas

by on Feb.16, 2013, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Jimenez Continues to Dominate, Ortuz Displays Boxing Skills and Bantamweights Shine in Undercard Bouts

Donatas Bondorovas (R) stays on Michael Walker

Donatas Bondorovas (R) stays on Michael Walker

By Kerstin Broockmann
Photos by Scott Dray

HAMMOND, IN, February 16, 2013 — Hitz Boxing’s Fight Night at the Horseshoe Casino featured an evening of local prospects slugging it out, including, in the main event, a return bout between Middleweights David Thomas of Evansville, IN and Lithuanian Donatas Bondorovas, now residing in Chicago. In their last outing at the same venue, Bondorovas won by second round TKO, after the referee stepped in to save Thomas, who felt the stoppage was early. The card also featured impressive displays from Bantamweight amateur standouts Johnny Determan and Adan Ortiz showing their strength in separate bouts, tough guy Dimar Ortuz trying to impose his will on Grover Young, and Michael Walker and Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez taking on each other at Super Middleweight. Rounding out the evening were Russell Fiore taking on Anthony Linsenfelser at Lightweight, Felix Abner and David Martin III in a hard-fought Heavyweight fight, and new prospects Jimmy Murphy, Tremaine Pride and Nick Ramirez seeking to improve their early-career records with mixed results.

Michael Walker (L) tries to avoid a jab from Bondorovas

Michael Walker (L) tries to avoid a jab from Bondorovas

In the main event, Donatas Bondorovas  (17-3-1, 6 KOs) looked to remove any doubts about his earlier victory  over “King” David Thomas (10-4-2, 8 KOs), who in turn wanted to avenge what he knew was an early stoppage, in a scheduled eight-round bout for the UBF Middleweight title. Both boxers exhibited solid skills in the first round, popping sharp jabs and landing powerful rights. Bondorovas’ ability to get inside Thomas’s guard with powerful rights shots gave him the round.

Bondorovas launches his final attack on Michael Walker as Referee Curt Spivey keeps an eye on the action

Bondorovas launches his final attack on Michael Walker as Referee Curt Spivey keeps an eye on the action

In the second, Bondorovas added some powerful hooks to the body to his arsenal, and Thomas started to fade under the assault. A volley of left and right hooks drove Thomas back into the ropes, where he collapsed forward towards Bondorovas. Bondorovas pushed his head down as he tried to recover his footing, leading referee Curt Spivey to call it a slip when Thomas fell. Though Thomas got back up, it was clear he was playing for time and when Bondorovas went on the attack, Thomas could not manage to mount a defense, taking a barrage of shots to the head and body. He was slumped against the ropes, with Bondorovas trying to find legal shots, when an uppercut dislodged his mouthguard and Spivey stepped in. Thomas slumped to the canvas and the fight ended in a TKO at 2:09 of the second round (lasting five seconds more than their first bout). This time, Thomas did not object. After well-rounded, polished performance Bondorovas went home with the belt and the opportunity to face Brian Vera for the NABF Middleweight Championship on ESPN Friday Night Fights on March 29.

Guadalupe Bueno (L) Covers Against an Attack by Johnny Determan

Guadalupe Bueno (L) Covers Against an Attack by Johnny Determan

Nebraska-bred, Texas-based Bantamweight amateur star Johnny “Wite Boi” Determan (6-0, 5 KOs, 116.6 lbs) opened the evening against South Bend, Indiana’s Guadalupe Bueno (0-2, 116.6 lbs. ). Determan controlled the opening stanza with crisp jabs. Bueno looked tentative and, when he let his hands go, threw wild punches that the taller Determan could generally see to avoid. When Bueno came inside, he kept his head low and charged forward, allowing Determan to time him with counters. It was one of those counters, a perfectly placed right cross thrown as Determan was backing into the ropes near the end of the round that knocked Bueno out cold at 2:59 of round one.

Jimmy Murphy (L) jabs at Adam Alvarez

Jimmy Murphy (L) jabs at Adam Alvarez

Irishman Brian Cunningham provided entertainment after the first bout with some Irish step dancing, a prelude to North Barrington, Illinois’ “Irish” Jimmy Murphy’s return to the ring shortly after his second bout last month at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. After logging two TKO victories in two fights, Murphy (143.2 lbs.) squared off against Lansing, Michigan’s Adam Alvarez (139.6 lbs.), winless after two bouts, in a catchweight (144-pound) bout scheduled for four. The two fighters started out fast and furious and kept up the pace while it lasted. Within seconds of taking a hard jab from Alvarez that seemed to rock him, Murphy dropped his opponent with a left hook and overhand right. Alvarez rose from the canvas to return the favor, peppering Murphy with shots before sending him to the canvas with a cross. Alvarez next seemed to go down mostly by his own momentum as he lunged at Murphy. The final knockdown came from a straight left at 1:24 of round one, giving Murphy his third victory by KO in as many fights, while Alvarez dropped to 0-3.

Nick Ramirez (R) lands a short hook on Tremaine Pride

Nick Ramirez (R) lands a short hook on Tremaine Pride

Chicago’s Nick Ramirez (0-0-1, 147.8 lbs.), after earning a hard-fought draw in his debut, sought to get in the win column against Plainfield, Illinois’ Tremaine Pride (1-0, 146 lbs.), looking to stay undefeated in a welterweight bout scheduled for four rounds. Southpaw Pride started off strong using his jab and a powerful hook. Ramirez soon found his rhythm and had Pride in trouble with volleys of hooks and powerful body shots. The last third of the round belonged to Pride, who weathered the storm and came back with solid jabs to set up a series of left crosses that had Ramirez on his heels. It was a close round.

Pride (R) looks for an uppercut

Pride (R) looks for an uppercut

The second round started with both fighters looking to duplicate their successes of the first round. Pride hooked off his jab and looked for openings for his cross, while Ramirez tried to stay inside. A dislocated shoulder forced Pride’s corner to advise the referee to end the fight at 1:16 of the second round, causing the fight to be declared a no contest, a verdict that was overturned after some deliberation with a representative of the Indiana Commission and replaced with a TKO victory for Ramirez.

Grover Young (L) avoids a wide hook from Dimar Ortuz

Grover Young (L) avoids a wide hook from Dimar Ortuz

Chicago Cruiserweight slugger Dimar “Strongman” Ortuz (8-0, 5 KOs, 195) fighting in a catchweight 195-pound bout scheduled for six rounds, found himself facing Memphis, Tennessee, journeyman Grover “The Cobra” Young (7-9-1, 4 KOs, 203 lbs.).  The durable Young started off trying to box, flicking out his jab while Ortuz tried to crash inside. This strategy clearly frustrated Young, who began to attack with determination, though he often found himself being driven back by the powerful Ortuz, who used his mass as much as his punches to do so.

Ortuz (L) tries to keep Young on the ropes

Ortuz (L) tries to keep Young on the ropes

The second round saw Ortuz using his reach and boxing skills rather than his bulk in the opening minute, which led to some entertaining back and forth action. Soon Ortuz returned to his usual strategy of driving his opponent into the ropes and pinning him there while occasionally breaking to try to land a big shot. Though he did manage to get Young on the ropes, Young covered well and landed some effective short uppercuts from inside.

Ortuz (R) traps Young

Ortuz (R) traps Young

Ortuz tried to pick up where he’d left off in the third, but was warned not to hold by the referee.  The two boxers went back to picking shots for a while, but Young appeared to be tiring from the physicality of the fight and took several powerful right hooks to the head against the ropes. He again recovered and went on the attack. The round ended with both men swinging for the fences with punches they hoped would result in a knockout. While these made an impact when they landed, for the most part their targets were able to evade the blows.

Young (R) looks for a shot

Young (R) looks for a shot

The fourth round began with bad intentions clearly visible the faces of both boxers. Young tried to stay at range, which he managed to do with some success, and more so when the referee warned Ortuz to stop holding. This allowed Young to land some effective combinations, though Ortuz adjusted well to the admonition to box, finding his own range as the round went on. It was a pitched battle, with neither managing to dominate for long, and both landing effective hooks and powerful straight shots, though Ortuz was able to capitalize on his reach and land hard shots from the outside that the shorter Young could not counter.

Young (R) lands a jab

Young (R) lands a jab

Ortuz continued showing off the boxing skills he usually is not forced to use in round five. Though he occasionally still tried to bully Young, his greatest success came with well-placed shots using his greater reach. Ultimately, Young simply did not punch enough to take the round.

Ortuz (L) tees off on Young

Ortuz (L) tees off on Young

In round six, both boxers resorted to questionable tactics.  Ortuz landed powerful punches when outside, but again tried to force Young into the ropes. This round, Young returned the favor, using his own head to pin Ortuz against the ropes when he found the occasion, with Ortuz doing the same, as well as occasionally pushing with an elbow or grabbing the ropes behind Young.  The tiring round took their toll on both fighters. In the end, Ortuz was awarded a hard-won unanimous decision of 59-55 on all scorecards. Young deserves props for forcing a brawler to box, and Ortuz showed that this might be an approach that could work for him, as he demonstrated good power and hand speed from the outside.

Walker (L) covers against an uppercut from Jimenez

Walker (L) covers against an uppercut from Jimenez

On paper, it looked like the kind of fight that would prove a stern test for the unbeaten Chicago prospect Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez (10-0, 7 KOs) as he squared off against the far more experienced Michael Walker (19-18-3, 12 KOs), but the older boxer, while skilled, simply did not seem to have enough speed to counter the onslaught from Jimenez. In the first round, though Walker seemed unfazed by many of Jimenez’s punches, he did little to get himself into the fight. Though it looked initially as though he might be trying to let Jimenez punch himself out, it soon became clear that he could not find the timing to launch a sustained attack of his own, despite some powerful volleys. Jimenez landed uppercut after uppercut under Walkers guard and raked his body with hooks. If Walker’s lack of activity had started as a strategy, the punishment from Jimenez soon took its toll. A late drive to turn the tables from Walker was not nearly enough to trouble Jimenez.

Jimenez launches his final assault on Walker

Jimenez launches his final assault on Walker

In the second round, Jimenez again attacked with uppercuts and body shots, with Walker again covering. It looked as though Jimenez was heading for a knockout, having backed Walker into his corner and unleashing a tirade of blows from all angles. Walker was starting to counter off the ropes at 1:30 of Round Two when his corner stepped in to stop the fight, giving Jimenez his latest TKO. The devastated Walker sprawled face down on the canvas in disappointment, but, though it was possible that Walker could have continued, he was thoroughly outclassed and outpunched in the round and a half that the bout lasted, and could not have survived long after.

Adan Ortiz (R) wins by knockout

Adan Ortiz (R) wins by knockout

It looked for about half a minute as though LeShaun Blair’s (4-27, 118 lbs.) experience in the professional ring could help him survive the technical proficiency of long-time amateur standout Adan Ortiz of Sterling, Illinois, but Ortiz soon started putting accurate and powerful combinations together. Blair found himself at the end of a volley of punches to head and body that drove him back and sent him to the canvas with a left hook at 1:15 of round one in a frightening knockout. Ortiz (120 lbs.) moves to 6-0, 5 KOs with the victory.

Linsenfelser (L) tries to keep Fiore at bay with his jab

Linsenfelser (L) tries to keep Fiore at bay with his jab

Next up, in the Lightweight division, Illinoisans Russell Fiore (7-2-1, 6 KOs) of Chicago and Anthony Linsenfelser (3-4, 3 KOs) of Rockford tried to get another KO in their win columns. Though Linsenfelser had some pop in his punches when he came within range, it was Fiore who managed to close the distance more often and more effectively with lefts to the body and a solid overhand right.  The first round was close, as Fiore seemed to lose his drive to get inside, while Linsenfelser landed occasional combinations at the end of his reach between flicking jabs.

Fiore puts the pressure on Linsenfelser

Fiore (L) puts the pressure on Linsenfelser

Both boxers seemed more determined in the second round, though Linsenfelser was the busier at the outset, scoring with snappy right jabs and powerful lefts. When Linsenfelser slowed, Fiore started to drive in with lunging shots to the body and head. Though several found their mark, most were wide and easily avoided by Linsenfelser.

Fiore (R) lands the only shot he can

Fiore (R) lands the only shot he can

In the third, both boxers took and extremely cautious approach, with Linsenfelser contenting himself with a jab and occasional straight punch combinations. Near the end of the round, a drive from Fiore looked like it might end the fight. Linsenfelser held to avoid punishment and ended up taking a hard right when the referee stepped in to break the fighters.

The final round again saw Linsenfelser jabbing at Fiore, who occasionally rushed in with left hook and overhand right, though he had difficulty pinning down Linsenfelser, who kept moving around the perimeter of the ring. A powerful right from Fiore mid-round drove Linsenfelser into the corner, where Fiore unleashed a barrage of punches that looked like it would end the fight, but when Fiore pushed his opponent’s head down, it caused a slip that bought Linsenfelser some additional time. Fiore chased Linsenfelser through the rest of the round, with Linsenfelser taunting him with grins and jabs. The final moments saw Linsenfelser back in a corner, taking punishment, though the bell would end the action. Final scorecards gave the unanimous decision to Russell Fiore, with all cards reading 40-36, though it looked closer to this reporter.

Felix Abner (L) and David Martin III look for openings

Felix Abner (L) and David Martin III look for openings

The final bout of the evening featured Heavyweight Felix Abner (3-3, 2 KOs, 222 lbs.) of Chicago against Hammond, Indiana’s undefeated David Martin III (7-0-1, 5 KOs, 224 lbs.). Though Abner showed some power and poise, he too often opened himself up to lefts from southpaw Martin in the early rounds.  A straight left early in the first round seemed to have Abner in trouble and backing into a corner, but he recovered to put up a fight. Martin dominated the round with powerful lefts and short right jabs.

Abner (R) closes on Martin

Abner (R) closes on Martin

Abner tried to use his reach more in the second, setting up some good rights with a jab, but again letting Martin in on both attacks and counters. In the third, a missed shot from Abner gave Martin the opening he needed to launch a full-scale attack, landing a barrage of hooks over Abners low guard. A lost mouthguard gave Abner a chance to recover and he landed some powerful bombs of his own, preventing Martin from ending the fight. By round’s end, both fighters were exhausted, unable to exploit openings and throwing looping punches that were far from the mark.

Abner (L) slips in a jab

Abner (L) slips in a jab

The fourth round saw both fighters launch heavy-handed attacks, with the most effective coming from Abner early. The fight seesawed throughout the round, though, and Martin looked like he might come back to end it. In the end, it came down to volume, and, though fighters each had their moments, Martin outpunched Abner. Martin dominated the fifth, though Abner would not let him let down his guard. Martin used his right jab and hook to keep Abner in a defensive crouch or holding for much of the round, occasionally throwing a hard left into the mix. However, Abner would sometimes explode and throw a volley of power shots, driving Martin back.

Martin (L) gets around Abner's guard

Martin (L) gets around Abner’s guard

A well-place right uppercut from Abner was the most telling punch early in the sixth round. Though both fighters seemed tired, Martin seemed the worse for wear. As the round wore on, both fighters seemed drained of energy, but they kept looking for the big punch that would take out the other. Abner faded, and Martin found the more effective punches in the second half of the round. It was a slow but exciting brawl until the end, with both boxers showing skill and heart. After six competitive rounds two judges scored the bout 59-55, while the third had it 58-56 for David Martin III, in a well-earned unanimous decision.

Though lacking in high-voltage names, the evening allowed several prospects to showcase skills that could soon lead them to the next level. Donatas Bondorovas displayed more composure and strategic variety than he has in previous fights (in which he sometimes left himself open during aggressive attacks), and looks poised for his shot at the next level in the form of Brian Vera. Dimar Ortuz was forced out of his comfort zone and displayed a range of skills that he has not been called on to employ in recent bouts, and he did so successfully. Bantamweights Adan Ortiz and Johnny Determan both showed great hand-speed, power and maturity in destroying their respective opponents. Heavyweights Felix Abner and David Martin III both showed great heart and power, though it was Martin who managed to battle through fatigue more effectively in the end. Though Mike Jimenez did not encounter the opposition that he may have been expecting from Michael Walker, he showed intelligence in his demolition of the former contender, maintaining a high volume of punches from different angles while not giving any Walker any openings to exploit.

Donatas Bondorovas celebrates with his team, including trainers Sam Colonna (L) and Rita Figueroa (R) as Bobby Hitz looks on

Donatas Bondorovas celebrates with his team, including trainers Sam Colonna (L) and Rita Figueroa (R) as Bobby Hitz looks on

Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez poses with Bobby Hitz after his victory over Michael Walker

Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez poses with Bobby Hitz after his victory over Michael Walker

 

 

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