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05/17/2004 Archived Entry: "Hoy! Brock Proves Machismo, David Diaz “Muy Caliente’ at the “Battle of Olympians.”"

Hoy! Brock Proves Machismo, David Diaz “Muy Caliente’ at the “Battle of Olympians.”
By Juan C. Ayllon
Photos by Ed Zajac

Diaz_JulioVictor (54k image)Diaz raises his hand in victory

Chicago, IL - It was just a little past noon on Saturday, May 15, 2004. The crowd chattered nervously as they awaited the day’s events to commence. The fight card had not begun yet. As several Latino fans in the front row discussed the event, one said, “So, who’s fighting first?” His friend said, “F— this fight! I came to see this fight and this fight only! I put a thousand [dollars] on David!” Neither Diaz, nor the fight card as a whole, fail to deliver on an exciting, nationally televised fight card at DePaul.

In a bout broadcast on NBC, Calvin Brock (20-0-0, 18 KO’s) and Terry Smith (20-0-1, 15 KO’s) engaged in a surprisingly spirited bout, with Brock edging Smith by scores of 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92.Brock_SmithAAAA (60k image)Brock wings a left hook

Generally the busier of the two, Brock pressed and dictated the tempo for the majority of the fight, occasionally rocking his stubborn opponent. Smith fought effectively in spurts, throwing hard, crisp volleys increasingly as the fight wore on and pressing a badly tiring Brock to his limits in the final rounds. Calvin Brock initiated the fight behind a solid left jab, followed by rights and—increasingly—left hooks to head and body. Possessing an edge in power, Brock sought to convert his advantage to a short nights work. He pressed matters in a workmanlike performance, alternatively pushing and bludgeoning his opponent with power punches. Brock_Smith1A (74k image)

However, Brock’s punches often lacked snap. They were generally more of the thudding variety with varying intensity. It was almost as if they came with a special notice attached to them saying, “Warning: Contents lethal if ingested.” However, in the case of Smith, he failed to read the warning label and, aside from being rocked a couple of times, suffered no ill effect from swallowing large quantities of Brocks bombs. And there was the fact that he fought back and hard. Hence, although Brock sported a definite edge in the early stanzas, Smith’s presence was definitely made clear.

Also, unlike many before him, Terry Smith wasn’t going anywhere this evening. He fought back with fervor, firing bursting shots with plenty of snap and pop. For all intensive purposes, the small paunch on Brock’s belly read to him: “Warning: This is only a spare tire for emergency purposes. Do not use for extended periods of driving.”

And thus, the pattern became clear: as the rounds wore on, Brock fired, Smith absorbed and, at opportune moments, returned with relish. It was almost as if Smith borrowed a page from history and played Ali to Brock’s George Forman. Smith drew him into the deeper waters of the later rounds, gradually increasing the level and frequency of his counter attacks.

Brock_SmithAAA (70k image)Smith ready to absorb a left hook

To Calvin Brock’s credit, he did not punch himself out. Although tiring badly in the later rounds, he not only withstood Smith’s volleys, but he repeatedly gathered himself and forcibly took the reins of lead, reestablishing the jab and follow-up power punches.

This was the difference in the fight. In the tenth round, knocked down to mat by Smith’s side in the follow through of a punch, a clearly exhausted rose and not only withstood his opponent’s fusillade, but made a good case for reestablishing control. In fact, Brock mustered the energy and chutzpah not only to survive, but willed his weary body to return as well as he received as—seeking to close emphatically—Smith surged in a frenzied exchange of toe-to-toe power punching during the closing 30 seconds of the bout. Thus, through sheer grit and volume of punch output, Calvin Brock prevailed by unanimous decision.

Earlier, on a bout broadcast on Telemundo, the celebrated junior welterweight, David Diaz (23-0-0) extended his undefeated winning streak to 24 bouts in taking the fight to a faded, but tough former WBO World Champion, Ener Julio.

As Diaz entered the ring, it was clear that he was a good six to eight inches shorter than his opponent, Ener Julio. Julio appeared to be chiseled from ebony colored granite. Slathered in a good sweat, a determined Julio looked not only ready to fight, but determined to crush his upstart opponent. Once the bout began, however, Diaz was the clear aggressor, opening with a straight left, right, straight left right combo and making Julio miss with lumbering shots.

The pattern of the fight was established early on in round one. A left-hander, David Diaz opened with a right jab-straight left, right jab-straight left combination, catching his slower opponent quickly before moving out of harms way. Julio followed him around, too slow to land anything of consequence. Employing a repertoire of right jabs, straight lefts, right and left hooks to head and body, and potent uppercuts in two, three and four punch combinations, David displayed superior speed and snap as he consistently out landed the taller Ener.

Diaz_JulioAAA (66k image)Diaz has Julio on the ropes

For his part, Ener Julio failed to fire the left jab but for a handful of times, thus eliminating his height advantage out of the game. As the bout wore on, he managed to adjust somewhat, increasingly landing some blows on his faster and slicker adversary. There was a palpable sense of danger that suggested that although he was being out-slicked and out landed at the moment, he might turn the bout with a lethal combination at moment’s notice. Stalking his tormentor with a resolute and patient attack, one sensed that like a savvy chess player, he was setting a trap down the road as the fight progressed. That moment never came, though.

As the bout unfolded, time and again, Ener failed to create the necessary distance to get proper leverage and extension on his punches. Efforts to step to the outside were effectively negated as Diaz stepped with him and remained at close range where he landed hooks, uppercuts and straight lefts with great effect. Thus, distancing and placement, in addition to an edge in speed, played to David’s advantage.

In round 3, Diaz increased his work output, repeatedly landing two, three and four punch combinations. The crowd cheered lustily as he took it to his opponent with renewed energy. Reflecting on this later, Diaz said, “I tried to hurt him early to let him know I was there. Then, I tried to knock him out in the third and fourth rounds.” The early knockout failed to materialize, but the crowd was electrified, never the less as he made every effort to take his rugged opponent out. In round 4, Diaz continued peppering with three and four punch combinations taking it inside. In a close in phone booth battle, Julio began landing more. For his part, Julio appeared more enervated as he landed a big straight right hand early in the round and later landed an assortment of right uppercuts, hooks and straight rights. Near rounds end, Diaz staggered Julio with a right hook.

Early in round five, a right hook staggered Julio. As the two engaged in increasingly spirited exchanges, Julio landed a low blow, which he was promptly warned for. Interestingly enough, Ener landed a number of low blows throughout the bout that went undetected by the referee, some perhaps unintentional, the others more likely designed to stem his tormentor’s attack.

Diaz_JulioUppercut1A (17k image)

Early in round six, Ener Julio slipped to the canvas, evoking memories in this writers mind of Gerald McClellan dropping similarly with no clear punch linked to its cause in his tragic bout versus Nigel Benn. Could the sustained beating be wreaking unseen havoc on this proud warrior? Later, as if to confirm doubts, Julio suffered a delayed knockdown following a Diaz straight left. Turning it on, Diaz punished him hard with a sustained pummeling for the remainder of the round.

In round nine, Diaz continued the domination, even as Julio pressed, striving to find that elusive punch to put his opponent down and out. A straight left buckled Ener’s knees momentarily. Yet, still he pressed on. The crowd cheered in anticipation as both proud warriors fought valiantly on.

In round ten, Diaz started firing hard and fast and, for a moment, it appeared that Julio was going to make a fight out of it. However, about a minute into the round, Diaz trapped Julio on the ropes and unloaded a furious two-fisted attack, buckling his legs, rocking his head back repeatedly. The crowd was delirious. Unable to fend off the firestorm, Julio was stopped at 1:42 into the tenth round.

Diaz_JulioFinish (62k image)

Undercard Results
By Ben Torres

Dominic Pesoli of 8 Count Productions teamed up with Kathy Duva of Main Events to give the crowd an exciting afternoon of boxing at the DePaul Athletic Center in Chicago.

The first fight of the afternoon was between Light Heavyweights Tony The Tiger Hanshaw (17-0-0) and Tyrus Armstead (10-20-4). Hanshaw, who is being managed by Buster Douglas, boxed smartly and overwhelmed Armstead with good combination punching and an effective body attack. In the 3rd and final round Hanshaw stepped it up and had Armstead reeling against the ropes, which prompted referee Tim Adams to hault the bout at 2:05 into the 3rd round.

HanshawR_ArmsteadL (18k image)Hanshaw throws a right at ArmsteadL

Also in the under card, were undefeated middleweights Sergio "The Latin Sting" Mora (12-0-0) and Leslie John Ralston (13-0-0). The fighter were evenly matched and exhibited similar hand speed. It appeared as though Mora thought he would have an easy time with Ralston until he encountered Ralston's heavy jab.
Ralston, a five-time New York State Golden Glove Champ, confused Mora with is unorthodox stance and began roughing Mora up on the inside. It appeared as though Ralston's better ring generalship would win him the bout until a head butt created a nasty gash over his left eye in round three. Mora then began to exploit the cut as Ralston became very hesitant to engage in exchanges. Ralston was very game and his heavy jab created a cut over Mora's left eye as well, but Mora seemed more determined to press the action at the site of his own blood.

Ralston's corner urged him to increase his punch output, but he was unable to press the action, since Mora was catching him with accurate combinations to the body and head. The fight went the distance and the judges had Mora winning by unanimous decision (79-73 twice and 78-74) respectively.
The brawl between middleweights "Macho" Miguel Hernandez and Luis Lopez was quite entertaining. Both men squared off in the center of the ring and began to trade bombs from the outset. Given the nature of the slugfest, the punches were amazingly straight, hard, and accurate. Both men really employed good technique in the first two rounds. By the end of round three, Hernandez's sustained body attack began to have an effect on Lopez. Because of this, Lopez began to arc his punches and was employing less technique.
Lopez, looking a little soft and was in sharp contrast to the well conditioned Hernandez,it seemed as though Lopez was trying to end things early because he knew he lacked conditioning. As the fight progressed, Hernandez began to deliver a sustained beating firing away at away at Lopez with hard short punches to the body and to the head. Lopez tried to counter but was winded and off balance after his follow through. About halfway through round six, Hernandez landed a right hook that shook Lopez and drew a gasp from the crowd. Lopez deserves a lot of credit for standing up to that vicious shot in light of his condition. In the end all three judges saw the same fight, with unanimous scores of 59-55 all for Hernandez.
The last fight of the afternoon saw the hard punching Chicago junior middleweight Luciano "El Gallo Bravo" Perez face off against Manuel Reyes in a six round bout. Perez demonstrated great technique, speed, and power as he pounded Reyes from the beginning of the fight. Reyes was overwhelmed by Perez's punching angles and footwork and proved to be no real threat to the hard punching boxer/puncher. As Perez cornered his man near the end of round one and raked Reyes along the ropes, referee Gerald Scott was looking to step in to stop the contest. There was no need to, since Reyes obliged and took a knee in order to catch his breath.

As Referee Scott was giving the count, the fighter's corner stepped up onto the apron and conceded defeat by throwing in the towel. The official time of the stoppage was 2:44 of the first round. Perez is now 7-0, with 6 KO's, while Reyes alls to 3-5, 2 KO's and may need to consider a new line of work before he seriously gets hurt.

Promoter - Dominic Pesoli's 8-Count ProductionsNetwork - NBC

Replies: 6 Comments on this article

Awesome performance by Diaz. Now it's time to do the same to Mike Stewart and the overated Bojado.

Diaz' and his slick, boxer-puncher style will wear these guys down on way to a un. decision.

Best of luck to David. A very talented boxer and a class act.

Posted by Patrick Doljanin @ 05/23/2004 12:51 PM EST

I had an amazing time watching "Macho" fight. His children add so much to his entourage. It's amazing such a gladiator in the ring is such a family man at heart.

My husband and I hope to be able to follow "Macho's" career and watch him blossom into the champion he is destined to be.

Keep it up Macho!

Posted by Collette chavez @ 05/20/2004 07:25 PM EST

Calvin Brock's performance is a microcosm of an uninspiring and listless heavyweight division. In a division that has 5 seperate title holders, Brock should fit in with a garden variety division that's in it's worse shape since Larry Holmes retired.

Certainly, Calvin is a talented fighter, but his lack of fire, passion and a sense of urgency overshadowed what should have been a riveting and defining moment.

Thank God for the lighter weights, who not only save the game, but saved the show. Diaz who fought like his life depended on it, sizzled. Perez and his take no prisoners style racked-up another KO. Macho, who had a tougher than expected opponent, dug-in and pounded out a spirited decision.

These are the guys that are the future of Chicago boxing, along with "Speedy" Gonzales and Toro Hernandez. If you haven't seen them in person, do yourself a favor and check them out while they are developing.

Think about all the money you'll save by going to the fights instead of one of Chicago's pathetic sports teams with their prima donna athletes and their fan indifference.

Posted by Anyone but a Heavyweight @ 05/20/2004 09:14 AM EST


Yeah, it was a good show! Kudos to Dominic Pesoli and crew for putting together a great afternoon.

One thing I got a kick out of was that just before the beginning of several rounds, David Diaz looked me across the ring and winked. That was so James Dean like cool.

I make no bones about it: when it's time to report, I do my job to the best of my ability. At the same time, deep down inside, I really like David Diaz. Its a tough place to be. He's a real gem, a gentleman and a warrior through and through.

We've had some laughs on the phone and, off the record, exchanged impressions on such things as Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion."

Funny, I remember talking to him on his cell phone as he was walking around a "Bed, Bath and Beyond" at the mall. What a hoot! Like most guys, he felt a bit uncomfortable there with all the girly stuff and the high prices. But, I digress!

So, there he was, about to take on the toughest challenge of his life to date and he confidently winks, as if saying, "It's going to be alright. This is my time." Unbelievable.

The enjoyable fights aside, I must say that I really appreciated all that went on behind the scenes in setting up the affair. There were people everywhere hooking up chords, testing equipment and prepping the vendors.

I brought a laptop computer with a wimpy lythium battery, so I needed to plug into the house system. However, my contact guy for Pesoli was busy doing a million other things, so I ended up having to chase down some house guys to get a power cord to plug into. Well, the only place I could plug into was the same circuit the TV guys were on. I ran this by one Ron Harmon, the "Assistant Director/Stage Manager" and got his okay. However, he made a firm stipulation that I was the only one who could plug in!

Wouldn't you know it! The Chicago Tribune writer arrived and needed power access too. So, I asked Ron if it would be okay if I got a splitter/extension to plug into the wire my laptop was powered on, After all, it wasn't as if these tiny notebook computers would draw a whole lot of juice off their line. Or so I thought.

Ron said hessitatingly, "Okay, but we need to test it out in the next ten minutes to see if it'll blow or not, because if it goes down during the show, I'm dead meat," or words to that effect. He also added that if I saw him frantically waiving, unplug my computer immediately.

With that, I was off hunting down another DePaul Athletic Center house guy in a red shirt. After several nervous minutes, a house guy came up with the needed extension, we tested it out and--presto! We were in business.

That Ron Harmon guy, what a gem! I couldn't believe the way he accomodated me, some sports writing schmuck. He stuck his neck out for me like I couldn't believe; I mean, my chord was plugging into the same circuit their TV cameras, computers and other equipment were tied into; if it was going to blow, the whole telecast could go dead. Dead air, a producer's worst nightmare. Salt of the earth, I tell ya, that guy is!

Same thing goes for that Mike guy for the Chicago Tribune. He's worth his weight in gold!

That said, there is something I would like to get off my chest.

First, in this article, I never, ever meant to denigrate Calvin Brock. Contrary to what some people thought, I was not making fun of his punching power, calling him a "fatty" or saying that he had stamina problems.

This was Calvin's first ten round fight against a guy whom he had previously beaten. Smith knew what to expect, came to fight in great shape and with a solid jaw. He just wasn't going to go down this afternoon.

In this regard, I am reminded of one journeyman fighter, "Scrap Iron" Johnson, in his fight versus a young Joe Frazier. Previously, he had been stopped in two rounds by Jerry Quarry. He was determined not to let the same thing occur versus rising Joe Frazier. So, what did he do? He ran around town with a 45 pound chunk of cement hanging from his head to build up his neck muscles. Then, he placed a bet on himself that he'd go the distance. Guess what? He went the distance and spoiled Joe's coming out bout.

The something similar happened for a young Mike Tyson versus James "Quick" Tillis. The young knockout artist failed to deliver on the older veteran.

Now, I'm not saying that Brock is a Joe Frazier or a Mike Tyson. My point is, one performance does not a career make. We'll see what happens down the line.

In the meanwhile, I'll just say that I called it as I saw it. Maybe the delivery was a touch heavy handed. I will try and work on that.

Hey, Calvin Brock, no disrespect. I think you gave it your all and I applaud you. I wish you a long and fruitful career.

Anyways, I've said enough.


Juan C. Ayllon

Posted by Juan C Ayllon @ 05/19/2004 07:38 PM EST

nice articles by both guys, great card great action. chi-town needs more kick ass shows like this.

Posted by wilfredo gomez @ 05/17/2004 07:11 PM EST

great day of fights! Diaz rocked julio and finished him in the last round. props to julio a former world champion. macho hernandez is a bad ass. big fan of macho.

Posted by serious fight fan @ 05/17/2004 11:58 AM EST

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