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[Previous entry: "Bout Sheet and Weigh In Results for Tonight's SOLO BOXEO Bouts at Hawthorne Race Course"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "German superstar Felix Sturm to fight next on Dec 4"]

10/16/2004 Archived Entry: "Bazan Prevails, Hernandez Bludgeons in Electrifying ‘Latin Showdown’!"

Bazan Prevails, Hernandez Bludgeons in Electrifying ‘Latin Showdown’!

By Juan C. Ayllon at Ringside

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Bazan (R) attacks Campos (L)

(Chicago, Illinois): Harkening back to shootouts in the ‘Wild West’ Latin Showdown lived up to its moniker as Caesar Bazan, "Macho" Miguel Hernandez and a very strong supporting cast of fighters electrified an enthusiastic crowd. Televised on Telefutura's SOLO BOXEO at the Hawthorne Race Course, this joint venture between Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Dominic Pesoli’s “8 Count Productions” proved immensely gratifying.

In the main event, Cesar Bazan, (139 lbs., 43-6-1, 29 KOs) prevailed over gritty Francisco Campos (141 lbs., 17-1-1, 9 KOs) over 10 hard fought rounds.

Round one was a fairly even round as both fighters took turn launching and landing single and double shots to head and body.

Round two and three saw a seasoned and relaxed, Bazan smiling confidently and playing the ‘old pro’, slipping and trying to counter his more aggressive—and active—opponent. Gradually, he increased his aggressions, landing booming single hooks and uppercuts to head and body.

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Bazan (R) lands a hard left on Campos' jaw

Round three and four picked up, with Campos possessing superior work rate and Bazan the more effective blows. However, Bazan was bothered by a clash of heads, which drew a momentary respite from the referee who examined the resulting small cut on his forhead. He also was bothered twice by similar head clashes in round five.

Round five saw a gritty battle of straight forward slugging, where both took turns teeing off on one another.

In a more technical give-and-take Round six, Campos appeared to edge, landing a big right to the head that drew gasps from the crowd and a big right at rounds end.

Round seven saw Bazan land some very hard hooks to the body and a big left uppercut to the head that drew a roar of approval.

Round eight was another gritty round, fought on fairly even terms, Bazan landing choice hooks to the body and abdomen just above the belt and Campos landing some hard shots to Campos’ head.

Round nine saw a hotly contested round. Both fighters had their moments—again, with Campos most effective with the right to the head and Bazan faring better with looping hooks and uppercuts to body and head.

In round ten, Bazan clearly hurt Campos with a potent right-left-right combination, rocking his head back and rocking him again after chasing him across the ring. Holding dearly, Campos clinched, recovered and managed to move about with Bazan hotly pursuing as the round ended.

The judges scored the bout 99 to 91, 100 to 90 and 97 to 93, all for a unanimous decision victory for Caesar Bazan.

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Hernandez (L) ducks under Holt's right

In the co-main event, “Macho” Miguel Hernandez (160 lbs., 13-1-0, 8 KOs) prevailed over Christopher Holt (148 ½ lbs., 10-3-0, 5 KOs) in an entertaining—if somewhat one-sided—middleweight bout by fourth round TKO.

In round one, Macho landed some very big hooks and a right or two that drew large gasps from the crowd, dominating round one.

Round two saw Hernandez step up his attack, landing ponderous rights and lefts, while Holt attempted a token resistance. Towards rounds end, Hernandez landed a huge left hook that floored Holt. However, he arose. Clearly hurt, he survived the remaining seconds of the round.

Hernandez bludgeoned Holt in round three. However, to Holt’s credit, he withstood the assault. Moreover, at times Holt appeared competitive, landing some stiff return lefts and rights. However, these blows did not appear to bother Hernandez.

In round four, Holt dropped to a knee from the accumulated damage and went down again later in the round from a huge left hook. The ref looked him over closely. Bleeding from the nose, an abrasion on his left cheek and a cut just below his right eye, Holt was finished. The referee waved off the fight at 2:06 into round four for a TKO victory.

Afterwards, Katie, a sound boom operator for Telefutura, said that she saw Holt’s eyes roll back in his head prior to being knocked down!

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Estrada (L) bounces a left hook off Walker

In perhaps the most compelling bout of the night, middleweight Michael “The Midnight Stalker” Walker (159 lbs., 4-0-0, 4 KOs) edged David Estrada (159 lbs., 6-1-0, 4 KOs) by unanimous decision.

Round one witnessed that Estrada boxed well, circling the ring and peppering with Walker in hot pursuit. He appeared to have the edge in punches landed, as well as momentum. However, at rounds end, the shorter and more muscular Walker trapped him on the ropes and landed some heavy rights.

In round two, the pattern continued with Walker pressuring and Estrada countering. Walker seemed to be finding his range more, but was experiencing trouble pinning the cagey Estrada down. About two minutes into the round, Estrada landed a big right uppercut that appeared to stun Walker momentarily. The fight was on! The two threw hard punches furiously till rounds end.

Walker stalked and bombed away at Estrada in round three, increasingly trapping him on the ropes and landing some good rights. However, Estrada landed some brilliant counters to head and body, fighting off the ropes well and engaging in some heated give and take.

Round four slowed considerably, the two electing to box more from longer range. Inexplicably, Estrada appeared to take some time off while the shorter Walker jabbed and remained the busier fighter. The pace quickened towards round end, with Estrada apparently seeking to steal the round with a late flurry, in the process landing excellent one-twos.

WalkerCracks (34k image) Walker (R) punishes Estrada against the ropes

Round five saw a lot more mauling in close and clinching, with Walker initiating more. Towards rounds end, Estrada landed a hard overhand right followed by two others that led to a furious exchange that spilled over several seconds past the bell.

The sixth and final round saw a more mauling game, as Walker effectively took it to Estrada, who fought back in spurts. Surprisingly, Estrada seemed to land the more telling blows early on in the round, but Walker came back as he manhandled Estrada into the ropes. Lots of clinching plus heavy swings by both parties closed out the hard fought round.

The bout was scored 58-56 twice and 59-55, all for Walker.

Afterwards, David Estrada groused, saying, “Well, to be honest with you, I thought I won that fight. I had the guy hurt in the third round, and the bell saved him. He regrouped pretty well. He didn’t surprise, he still had thee same style [as when they fought in the amateurs]. Maybe I should have used the jab a little more and some more body shots. This fights not going to stop me, I’ll be back. It’s all politics.”

Popular welterweight knockout artist Luciano “El Gallo Bravo” Perez (148 lbs., 9-1-0, 8 KOs) overpowered Joseph Pujoe (146 lbs.,3-2-0, 0 KOs), winning via TKO in the third round.

LucianoPujoe1AA (40k image) Pujoe (R) ducks under a Perez left hook

Round one was very competitive, with Luciano the charging bull and Pujoh the skillful matador. Pujoh ran and boxed well, while Luciano punished his body hard with jarring hooks to the ribcage and abdominal region. At times, he swung triple hooks to the body, while Pujoe countered with quick and spearing shots to the head. In the mix, Luciano landed a low blow which the ref apparently did not see. Pursuing him into a corner, Luciano punished him severely, drubbing him hard to the body and head with a furious, two fisted assault.

In round two, Pujoe slipped, then fell for real from an accumulation of body blows. At one point as the two exchanged blows, Perez was warned to keep his punches up. Never the less, Pujoe was in the mix, bouncing some hard right hands off of Luciano’s head and backing him up several times. This prompted Perez’ corner to shout out, “Cuidado!” [Be careful!]

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Luciano (R) pounds Pujoe to the canvas with a vicious body attack

The two fought hard in the next frame, taking turns backing one another to the ropes. Perez was warned again for low blows. Suddenly, at about the halfway mark of the round following a torrid exchange on the ropes, Pujoe collapsed as he retreated to rings center from what appeared to be the effects of a severe body beating. He stayed down as the ref waved it off at 1:44 into round three.

Afterwards, Joseph Pujoe lamented, saying, “It was a good fight, but I went down on an accumulation of low blows; he hit me on an average of three times low every round! And he did a lot of elbowing and, as you see, he pushed me to the ground a couple of times. [At the time of the stoppage] He nailed me twice with low blows consecutively. I could have gotten up, but the ref stopped it without cautioning me. I congratulate him for the good fighting he did, but there was not enough caution by the referee for the blatant fouls.”

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Donavan (L) and Hicks mix it up in a thrilling affair

In a thrilling middleweight contrast of styles, former Chicago Golden Gloves star George Donavan (161 lbs, 2-0-0, 2 KOs) only managed a majority draw versus shorter, but very powerfully muscled Marcus Hicks (162.6 lbs., 2-2-0, 1 KO).

Hicks gave a good account of himself in round one, effectively pressuring Donavan and landing the harder blows, stupefying looping hooks. George--who looked a tad like a very young Joey Giardello--looked to cover and counter, but fought primarily on the defensive. However at rounds end, he appeared confident, as he opened up, even throwing a bolo in the process.

In round two, Donavan survived some scary moments, as Hicks landed powerful lefts and right over the top that appeared to stun Donavan on several occasions. When Hicks tired in the latter minute of the round, Donavan surged, firing multiple punches in combination.

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Donavan (L) realizes he's in a very rough battle

Hicks landed huge hooks that rocked Donavan early in round three; it appeared that he might be on the verge of a stoppage victory. However, Donavan weathered the storm and Hicks, again, tired. Donavan took to scoring combinations of his own. It became clear that, barring a knockdown or knockout that the fight would be decided on either Donavan’s volume of punches versus Hicks heavier, but fewer landing blows.

Round four saw Donavan get up on his bicycle more and box very well, peppering his stolid opponent at will. However, Hicks stepped it up with powerful blows of his own and made the last minute very intense as the two teed off on each other.

A very close fight indeed, the judges scored the bout 39-37 George and 38-38 twice for a majority draw.

In what initially looked to be a mismatch, speedy featherweights Francisco Tafoya (126 lbs., 1-0-0, 1 KO) and Omar Reyes (126 lbs., pro debut) absolutely electrified the audience with their nonstop action, Tafoya eventually garnering a unanimous decision.

Round one started out fast and furiously, the two exchanging blazing combinations in dozens. However, Tafoya rocked Reyes with a heavy right first, then nailed him on the ropes with a furious assault knocking him down. The two fought furiously till the bell.

Tafoya1 (40k image) Tafoya (R) attacks as Reyes covers

Tafoya dominated in round two, repeatedly backing Reyes to the ropes and pummeling him with heavy armament. Clearly, he possessed the superior boxing skills and experience. However, bleeding form the nose, Reyes fought back hard, winning the support of a significant segment of the vocal audience in the process.

Seemingly outclassed, Reyes fought back in round three with guttural abandon, snapping Tafoya’s head back several times and backing him up. A large contingent form the crowd yelled “Azul, azul,”—Spanish for blue, the color of Reyes’ trunks—as Reyes fought back with a furious savagery. Tafoya was forced to slug with this enervated opponent.

Round four saw back and forth, nonstop fighting as a frenzied crowd cheered on. Reyes swung for the fences with every blow. However, as in previous rounds, the preponderance of effective blows belonged to Tafoya.

The judges scored the bout 40-35 twice and 39-36 for a unanimous decision for Francisco Tafoya. Minutes later after the announcement of the scores, Reyes was carried off on shoulders of impressed fans shouting, “Azul, azul, azul…”

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A reluctant Dean (R) smothers Rodriguez' attack
In a short and bizarre bout, the referee stopped the bout between three-time Golden Gloves winner Ivan “Hurricane” Rodriguez (128 lbs., 1-0-0) and Eric Dean (134.5 lbs., 0-1-0) at 1:15 into round one, awarding Rodriguez an automatic TKO.

Apparently, Dean spit out his mouthpiece following a brief skirmish in which he sustained a hard body blow. Prior to the stoppage, Dean had rushed Rodriguez, flailing away hard, driving him to the ropes and attempting to smother his blows. However, Rodriguez landed several hard blows, the effects of which apparently precipitated a half -slip, half fall as he tried desperately to clinch Rodriguez as he was pulling away.

After the stoppage, Referee Podgorski said, “He turned his back once and I gave him a second chance; he did it again. With the safety concerns in recent years, this was a bout where it was best for everyone involved that it be terminated as he clearly had no chance to win.”

Figueroa1 (53k image) Figueroa (L) covers as Elliot presses

In her pro debut, female boxer Rita Figueroa (140.5 lbs.) survived a few anxious moments as the taller Courtney Elliot (145 lbs., 0-2-0) took the fight to her early on, but faded over the stretch as Figueroa regrouped, put forth a disciplined if a tad raw, two fisted attack and prevailed by TKO at 00 of round two as Elliot refused to come out for round two.

"Latin Showdown" indeed proved to be a Latin boxing version of a "Shootout at OK Corral.” It was clear from the afterglow and the lingering autograph seekers that the bout was a thorough success!

See a more photographs from the fights at:

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Luciano (R) savors the moment after his sweet victory!

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Boom Sound tech, Katie and her camera tech coworker, give this fight card a "Thumbs Up!"

All photos by Juan C. Ayllon

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