The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Fight Report: Katherine Dunn

Friday, June 18, 1999
Salem Armory
Salem, Oregon
Promoter: Alan James DBA Oregon Trails Promotions
Matchmaker: Bob Oleson

Referees: Sixto Rodriguez, Bill Thornberg, Guy Villegas Judges: Greg Baker, Jim Howard, Paul Weitzel Ringside Physicians: Pat Shipsey, M.D., Louis Rios, M.D.

This was the first live pro fight card in the town of Salem in forty years-- an interesting novelty for the three hundred or so in attendance. The audience stayed chipper despite the show starting forty minutes late, the ring announcer neglecting details such as weights, records and hometowns, and matches that displayed more last minute substitute desperation than boxing. Or maybe the beer garden kept them happy.

What started out as five or maybe six bouts was down to four by show time due to various mishaps including the Canadian jockey (and part time boxer) who was thrown during a horse race and broke a few ribs two days before the show so he was unable to take part in a four rounder. Oregon requires a minimum 26 rounds for a show so the eight round main became a ten and one of the remaining four rounders grew to a six.

In the scheduled ten round main event, Salem native Quandray "Candy" Robertson (154 lbs) had no trouble staying undefeated with a TKO at 2:08 of the third over Jose Ramirez (154 1/2 lbs) of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The quick and fit Robertson may be talented but there was no way to tell in this no-test encounter with a lanky, toneless Ramirez who had all the vigor and skill of wet bread. Robertson prolonged the affair by dint of artful posing and feinting in the first and second round and then launched a series of combos in the third that dropped Ramirez three times ending the bout. Though Ramirez kept getting up, he was so wobbly after the second trip to the deck that he could have been sent home with an ice pack on the spot. Robertson moved to 7-0, 6 KO's. Ramirez dropped to 3-4, 2 KO's, and it's scary to imagine the kind of opposition he's beaten.

In the opener, Jose "Tony" Martinez (147 1/2 lbs) of Woodburn, Oregon went to 3-0 by immolating a hapless debut kid named Saul Hernandez (147 1/2 lbs). Fighting out of Portland, Hernandez professes to have had a couple of amateur bouts in his native Mexico. He looked fine until the first punch was thrown and his confusion surfaced. Martinez tossed combos to the head earning a standing eight for Hernandez early, and then a Martinez hook to the body dropped Hernandez hard. He got up game but bleary and ref Guy Villegas had seen enough. TKO win for Martinez at 1:45 of the first round.

Adam Flores (231 lbs) of Burbank, California, was cast in a small role as the Heavyweight Champion in the 1998 Brian De Palma film "Snake Eyes," starring Nicholas Cage. That will probably be Flores' only chance to wear the title. Despite some amateur experience, Flores (now 5-2, 3 KO's) was extremely cautious in the first round of his scheduled six with Richard Maciel (260 lbs) of Billings, Montana. Maciel, whose last bout was a KO by unimpressive Mark Green in Washington state in 1997, used a tippy-toe, pitty-pat forward style that seemed to unnerve Flores, who edged backward for no discernible reason through the first. In the second round Flores recovered his equanimity enough to actually throw a left hand. Maciel hit the deck hard and looked to be in such convulsive agony that ref Sixto Rodriguez dropped the count and pulled out his mouthpiece, halting the fight. Maciel jumped up, complaining indignantly, but it was all over and none too soon at 1:15 of the second.

The only real fight of the night was a light heavyweight tangle between a pair of determined oldsters. Ron Warren (174 lbs) of Kent Washington is 37 years old and his little daughter, who looked to be in the first or second grade, was at ringside as her dad tangled with Salem's own John Olivera (175 lbs), a 35 year-old father of five. Olivera's first son, Gage Keaton, was born at 6:30 A.M. the day before the fight and Dad may still have been sleep deprived at the first bell. As the owner and teacher of a popular karate school in Salem, Olivera had a strong rooting section in the crowd. He kept them cheering his staunch courage and the asphalt jaw that soaked up a lot of pummeling. Warren could box a little but had no power. Olivera was sturdy and had a big bang but couldn't box for beans. It was a classic. A monumental right from Olivera put Warren into eight-count country in the second round, but Warren rallied and used his legs to stay out of the shorter, less-mobile punchers' reach. Olivera wore down after a fourth round of stolidly sticking his face out to be thumped. In the fifth Olivera was leaning on the ropes covering up as Warren peppered him through the gloves. The ref called a halt at 1:02 of the fifth. TKO win for Ron Warren who improves to 5-3. Olivera's mug looked char-broiled as he signed autographs afterwards. His record drops to 1-6.

It was fascinating to see the notoriously strict rules of the Oregon State Police Boxing and Wrestling Commission float away on the wind in this, the first event overseen by the hard working new executive director, Jim Cassidy, who seemed to take "the show must go on" as his motto. Among other items, all deadlines were apparently waived, advertising started before fighters were licensed or contracts signed, and the ads included names of guys who never appeared though no announcements were made nor refunds offered. One manager learned at the weigh-in that his fighters' opponent was an entirely different guy than he'd been told about just the day before. The light heavyweights were both of an age that commonly requires an extra neurological and cardio exam in Oregon but that apparently didn't happen. Oregon rules specifically state that there is no standing 8 count, but ex-ref Cassidy ordered the refs to administer standing 8's. The commission focus may be shifting from protecting fighters and preventing fraud to the more common policy of kowtowing to the promoters. But nobody got hurt too badly and promoter Alan James probably lost less money on this show than he did on his last event--a Greg Haugen card in Portland.

Katherine Dunn

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