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The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire -- APRIL 22:2001
Apr 29, 2001 -- Solo Boxeo
Leyva Cops IBF 105-lb Title

Ensenada lies some 75 miles south of Tijuana, sheltered from the ocean by Bahia Todos Santos --- The Bay of All Saints. Roberto Leyva's father toiled as a fisherman in those waters, providing as best he could for his growing family. One day, the sea took his father, and Roberto Leyva suddenly became a man. One can imagine the young Leyva looking out over the waters and clenching his fists in anger.

Those clenched fists now bring him his living as a boxer. They have made him IBF World Champion at 105 pounds, following a gruelling 12-round victory over Daniel Reyes at the Amazura Ballroom in Jamaica, Queens.

Notwithstanding its exotic name, the Amazura is actually the former Jamaica Arena, a venerable boxing club in New York City that has seen its own fair share of blood, sweat, and cheers -- and some damn good fights.

The southpaw Leyva entered the ring undefeated at 17-0 with 16 kayos. Reyes for his part had run his undefeated skein to 25, including 20 kayos. The first round saw Reyes moving and jabbing well; though Leyva seemed content to attempt a body attack. Starting in the second round, Leyva's plan became clear -- he was investing in body work, but was willing to exchange heavy shots when the opportunity presented itself.

In the third, both fighters tested each other's will with a furious exchange of punches. After that brutal sequence, Reyes seemed more focussed on counterpunching while Leyva continued to bull forward. In the fifth, both fighters were stunned, but Leyva was clearly beginning to dominate the exhanges. Reyes's corner sensed the same thing, exhorting their man with and endless barrage of fight cliche's: "Be first", "hands up", and "give it to him."

In the eighth round, Leyva battered Reyes to the ropes. As Reyes's back touched the ropes, he attempted to escape to his own left just as Levya hit him with a left hook, sending him to the canvas. Referee Wayne Kelly correctly called the knockdown. The fight remained close for the remaining rounds. Reyes, in excellent shape, was very active. Leyva, though, always landed the cleaner, harder punches. At the bell it was clear to ringsiders that Leyva had earned the victory. The official scores were 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113.

About twenty minutes after the fight, this reporter was able to chat briefly with the new champion. His view was that the knockdown was the difference in the fight. I asked him if he always threw such a high volume of body punches and he surprised me by answering "no, but I wanted to concentrate on the body in this fight, and to change levels to the head at certain times." The word at ringside was that his promoter, Top Rank, would now try to match Leyva against WBC Champ Aguirre. When queried about this, the fatigued Leyva stated that before considering any bouts, he wanted to rest, return to Ensenada and celebrate with his family, which includes a wife and 2-year-old son.

And perhaps he'll look out over the waters off his home and raise his clenched fists in joy and salutation.

On the undercard:

Cristian Bejardo TKO 3 Ryan Maldonado
Olympic Bronze Medallist Bajardo simply too strong for the lanky Maraldo.

Ivan Calderon W UD 4 Ben Escobia
Amateur star Calderon comes through in fine fashion against technically sound tough-guy Escobia.

Luis Collazo W 6 Matthew Hill
Collazo and hill in sloppy welter battle. Musclebound Hill can't beat the Brooklyn boy.

Taurus Sykes W 6 Israel Garcia
Heavyweight Garcia loses undefeated record to bull-like Sykes in mauling, but entertaining six-rounder.
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