The CBZ Newswire

Showtime’s Bantamweight Tournament Kicks Off in Tacoma

by on Dec.18, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Story and Photos by Mike Blair

Agbeko  РPerez

0144TACOMA, WA, December 11, 2010 — Joseph Agbeko and Yonnhy Perez know each other pretty well. They fought just over a year ago when Perez knocked Agbeko down in the tenth on the way to a unanimous decision win. That result may be the reason that this fight started a bit slowly. Neither man appeared ready to jump at the other in the first round. Instead they were content to stand in the center of the ring and trade punches. The second round saw a change as Agbeko threw more punches and drew a bead on Perez’s body. Perez proved an effective counter puncher in the round, and in a few instances, that was enough to slow Agbeko.

Once Agbeko saw that he could land body punches he settled in and effectively landed punches to Perez’s body. In the early rounds Agbeko scored most often with his right hand, and when he was not landing to Perez’s body, he was launching the right to the head. The right hand landed and Perez began to suffer a bit of swelling around his left eye. The damage was not too serious, the corner men did a nice job keeping the swelling down, and Perez seemed undaunted.

The sixth round was a good round for Perez. He threw more rapid fire punches, and Agbeko, though he caught more than a few, answered in kind. Perez’s increased offensive output appeared to make Agbeko a bit more cautious in the next few rounds, but Agbeko stayed with his plan to outwork Perez. As the eighth round drew to a close Perez again reminded Agbeko that he was not simply going to go away when he landed a sharp, hard right to the head.

In the closing rounds Agbeko’s left became his weapon of choice. He jabbed with it; he led with it; he scored with it. To answer, Perez again began to throw more punches in the ninth. He was accurate, but Agbeko’s footwork allowed him to avoid those troublesome punches. Agbeko slowed a bit in the tenth – and Perez took advantage of his lull to jump in and land a few combinations. The combination would then be the method that Agbeko would use to close the fight in the eleventh and twelfth. Perez appeared tired in the final round, Agbeko finished strong.

0291All three judges scored the fight in favor of Agbeko, 117-111; 116-112; and 115-113. Agbeko’s name was moved to the tournament winner’s bracket where he will face Abner Mares, a man who fight Yonnhy Perez to a draw.

Mares – Darchinyan

Everything that was said about respect and admiration for the others in the Bantamweight Tournament was left aside for the opening television bout pitting Abner Mares against Vic Darchinyan. The pace of the fight was furious from the outset, and the referee had to work hard in the opening to maintain an aspect of control while allowing the men to fight according to their styles. Mares came out looking to smother Darchinyan with quick punches; Darchinyan moved to get in to position to throw a lethal left hand.

0189Mares was the first man to blink in the showdown as he suffered a cut over his left eye in the opening round. His corner did a good job of stemming the flow and though there were times when the left side of his face was red, he fought on. Darchinyan targeted Mares’ head, and he saw some success. Darchinyan continued to be aggressive in the second, and in that round he dropped Mares. In the first of the moments that seemed to prove that Mares possesses the mettle to be a champion, he fought on, relying on his quickness to establish himself. The third round was close as both men settled in to a rhythm and traded punches. It was in that round that Mares was warned for throwing low blows. Then, in the fourth, when another Mares’ punch went low, the referee took a point. Undaunted, Mares fought on.

With Darchinyan seeming to be close to shifting in to cruise control in the fifth, Mares began to turn the momentum in the fight. He brought the fight in close. He began to score landing shots to Darchinyan’s body. In an effort to keep Mares at bay, Darchinyan began to stick his right on Mares forehead, and follow that with the powerful left. He too would receive a warning from the referee, this one for measuring his opponent.

The last half of the fight was an ebb and flow affair. In the sixth, Mares controlled the opening minutes by pinning Darchinyan on the ropes; Darchinyan closed the round by moving to the center of the ring and landing the strong left. In the seventh, Mares would score the knockdown. he caught Darchinyan backing up, but still, the punch landed.
The ninth round was a showcase of styles. Darchinyan loaded and fired his heavy left hand while Mares used quick hands to punish Darchinyan’s body. At the end of a close tenth, Mares made another statement scoring when his right landed flush to Darchinyan’s head.

Had Darchinyan relied only on a powerful left, this might not have been an overly exciting fight. What he did, and did well, was showed that he could box and use his power. Had Mares relied only on quickness, he would have risked being caught out and knocked out. He showed resilience and skill.

0192At the end of twelve, one judge scored the fight in favor of Darchinyan, 115-111; the other judges scored the fight in mares’ favor, 113-112 and 115-111. Mares would win the right to have his name moved on to the winner’s bracket where he will face Joseph Agbeko.


Eric Morel’s ring moniker is ‘Little Hands of Steel,’ but he may want to consider being called ‘The Ageless One.’ He is a couple of years older than his opponent, Juan Jose Beltran, has one less fight, but looks and fights like a fresh faced contender.

Through the course of the fight, Morel was faster, more accurate and able to move more effectively than Beltran. Morel’s movement around the ring did not please all the fans ringside as many wanted to see him throw even more punches . However, consider that in the course of eight rounds he broke Beltran down in a methodical, measured fashion.

Beltran could do little against Morel in the opening rounds, and it was not until the midway portion of the fight that Beltran won a round on one judges card. Morel did slow for a round at the midpoint, and that was enough to give a round to Beltran. then Morel returned to firing heavier and more accurate shots and the dismantling continued. By the seventh round, Beltran had been cut over the eye, his hands were low and though he tried to step up the aggression in the eighth, there was little he would be able to do. Two judges scored the fight 80-72, the third 79-73 all in favor of Morel.
Chris Avalos is a rising star in the bantamweight division. Cecilio Santos’ star had risen a while ago, when he fought for a number of bantam and featherweight titles. Now, at 32, Santos showed signs of the wear that a life of boxing can take on the body. Avalos was quicker, more accurate and in better shape.

Avalos most effective tool was his combination. In the first round Avalos was content to throw a few hard right hands, then in the second and third he added a left, and then he threw combinations. Even when Santos covered up, Avalos seemed to find an opening and landed thunderous body shots.

When Santos went to the corner at the end of the third he winced as soon as he sat on the stool. His body had taken a beating, and he did not have an answer, and thus, he did not answer the bell to begin the fourth round.
Avalos scored the TKO win at one second of the fourth round.

In one of the strangest occurrences in a fight, Cesar Seda scored a TKO win at 2:08 of the first round over Ernie Marquez. The two men were fighting to claim the NABO Junior Bantamweight Title. Seda scored an early knockdown and when Marquez arose to fire back, something was amiss. His right arm was hanging by his side, and though Marquez continued to move about the ring and throw with his left, it was quite clear he was in great pain.
The referee called time and the doctor walked on to the apron. Marquez’s shoulder was visibly separated. He was in pain. He was begging to continue and fight with one arm. That would not happen. The fight was stopped and Seda claimed the title.

Timothy Hall’s record may not be overly impressive as he has lost eight while winning only five, but an opponent has to keep in mind that in four of his wins, Hall has scored a KO. So it was that Fred Tukes looked to jump in early and send a message to Hall in the six round fight. That tactic worked for the opening half of the round, then Hall moved the fight in close and began to score with punches that caught Tukes to the body. Hall used the same tactic in the second, pinning Tukes on the ropes early. Tukes slipped a lot of punches, and his movement was enough to make Hall miss, but Tukes showed little offense in the round.

Tukes began the third round as he had the first, stepping up the pressure and moving Hall around the ring. Hall threw few punches, and in doing so he made Tukes look pretty good. In the fifth, Tukes landed power shots early, and one of them awoke Hall who moved to avoid the big punches while slipping his right through Tukes defense.

Hall answered the sixth sensing he was behind and needed to win the round for a draw, or knock Tukes out for a win. Tukes showed that he is a good defensive fighter as he stayed out of reach, even though Hall remained aggressive.
After six rounds, two judges scored the bout in favor of Tukes, 58-56; the third judge leaned toward Hall 58-57. Tukes would score the split decision win.

Jorge Espinoza and Rob Diezel are a couple of young fighters who have experienced early success. Diezel has not lost since his pro debut, and Espinoza has enjoyed a six fight win streak. Matching these two super featherweights in the opening bout meant a lot of excitement in the ring, unfortunately, as one of the ‘walk-in’ bouts for a television show, not a lot of fans got to see them go to battle.

The opening round saw both men score knockdowns. Diezel knocked Espinoza down early, and then a short time later, Espinoza sent Diezel to the mat. Espinoza went on an offensive tear in the second round, and Diezel again showed he is a good defensive fighter as he avoided getting caught too often. Espinoza’s aggression allowed him to control the action in the third round. Diezel in that round threw some effective counter punches, but overall the power belonged to Espinoza. Diezel opened the fourth round throwing a lead left with some authority. That move kept Espinoza at a distance and slowed his offensive firepower a bit.

After four rounds two judges scored the bout 39-37, the third saw the fight 40-36 all in favor of Espinoza, who remained unbeaten.

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