USA to drop Tuesday Night Fights

by Pedro Fernandez

The FOX show last night was an entertaining venture into prime time for professional boxing as pugilism was asked to do the impossible and oppose the Oscar's. You see opposing the Academy Awards in light of the Titanic success this year is akin to having the FOX Network slaughtered in every front room across America.

Although last night's ratings for the telecast which featured WBC welterweight titilist Oscar De La Hoya in the role of co host with Jim Brown aren't in yet, FOX will end up doing good--if not great numbers.

Initially the presence of Oscar the Golden Boy got a lot of people to tune in. But in order to keep a fair amount of the Neilsen's with FOX on this night, Oscar's fights would need to have both punch and intrigue. They did.

The main event would pit future De La Hoya foe Yory Boy Campas. He successfully defended the IBF 154 lb. laurels he won from Raul Marquez in December, when top rated challenger Anthony Stephens quit on the stool after the third round claiming he had dislocated his left shoulder.

Stephens landed some decent shots--mainly straight rights in the second round, after winning the opener. But his being a junior middleweight with a thin welterweight torso, meant he didn't have the upper body strength to detour Campas from throwing depilating left hooks to the body.

These blows were the key to the fight as Stephens visibly slowed in just the third round before surrendering at the bell. Campas wins his 70th fight against two losses, and 60 KO's. Stephens declines to 29-9-2.

Lucia Rijker, 139, Los Angeles, showed what a "killer" she really is in dispatching once beaten former super welterweight champion Mary Ann Almaquer, 140, Midland, Texas, in the very first round with a left hook.

The last shot had been preceded by some beautifully thrown right crosses thrown by the Dutch Rijker, who maybe second to rival Christy Martin in nothing but popularity and pay.

It was the 10th win in a row (9 KO's) for the former kick boxing champion whose only career loss came as a kick boxer in a Muy Thai competition against a man. The Texan drops to 11-2.

In the curtain raiser, 312 lb. Butterbean Esch stopped "Cowboy" Bill Eaton in the final round of a four rounder. This was a rematch of a fight held last year on the De La Hoya-Camacho undercard in which Eaton appeared to get jobbed.

The left handed Cowboy was popping the Bean with left crosses from the opening bell. But Eaton got anxious and got physical with the the Bean. This would enable Butterbean to use his weight to his advantage by laying and leaning on the 103 lb. lighter Eaton.

If the 209 lber. hadn't got caught up in that "Billy Conn" mentality (trying to KO Joe Louis) and just boxed, I think he would of had a great chance at attaining victory. Now he's 14-3, while Mr. Esch improves to 38-1.

In a television swing bout, 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist Floyd Mayweather Jr. improved to 15-0.

Pedro Fernandez

Note: The writer has his own site at Don't miss Ring Talk, the insider's look into the world of boxing, a syndicated talk show on boxing hosted by Pedroi Fernandez. The TALK AMERICA Radio Network airs the Saturday and Sunday shows at 11 PM ET on the Intenet with LIVE audio at

The only change on Sunday night is that Ring Talk is an an hour in duration, versus the two hour Saturday show which airs on TALK AMERICA 2 (aka The DEUCE) with live Intenet audio also at Your comments are respected and valued. The writer can be reached at

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