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05/09/2008 Archived Entry: "Findley Imposes Self on ‘Macho Time’ and Hernandez with Bloody Unanimous Decision Win!"

Findley Imposes Self on ‘Macho Time’ and Hernandez with Bloody Unanimous Decision Win!

Photos and report by Juan C. Ayllon
News Editor and Staff Writer

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Trapping Hernandez on the ropes, Findley (right) whips a hard right into Hernandez's side

CICERO, Ill., May 9, 2008—There was a buzz in the air. Boxing announcer Thomas Treiber said, “We’ve got a good night of boxing ahead for you!” to the packed crowd at Cicero Stadium. He wasn’t kidding.

In the evening’s main event, Chicago’s “Macho” Miguel Hernandez (167.5 lbs., 20-7, 10 KO’s) and Gary, Indiana’s “Superman” Derrick Findley (162 lbs., 10-2, 7 KO’s) had the crowd yelling as they engaged in a pitched and bloody slugging match. Going into their bout, Hernandez had said, “This one’s for me.” He was going to have fun slugging with a slugger. After all, if it’s “Macho Time,” you’ve got to be macho, right?

Hernandez got more than he bargained for.

Relaxed and all smiles, Hernandez got a rude awakening from the scowling Findley, who landed the more effective blows and knocked Hernandez several steps repeatedly in the first round, effectively removing that smile with stiff jabs and jolting rights. True, Hernandez’s hands were busier, but he was also taking a pounding.

The thing was, going into this match, Findley didn’t box so much as beat people up. He was known for throwing ponderous, wide, looping and slow punches. However, now he was boxing better, blocking and throwing straighter—and hence quicker—blows up the middle.

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A bloodied Hernandez slugs back as Findley covers

And Miguel was catching. He’d come in heavy, at almost 168 lbs, making him a little slower, less nimble and lacking the stamina necessary to kick his game up another gear for any sustained length of time.

In the second, Findley repeatedly snapped back Hernandez’s head with sharp jabs and again knocked him back several steps with hard, stiff rights down the middle. However, Hernandez continued to maintain the busier hands, strafing him with hooks, overhand rights, and crosses.

There was a lot of jawing going on between the two of them in the third. Findley continued pressing, mauling and clubbing in close, but Hernandez lit him up with a straight right to the head that drew a roar from the crowd. Findley stuck his arms out and dared him in. Hernandez obliged and they banged away to the delight of the crowd.

Findley’s pounding was taking its toll. Blood poured from Hernandez nose in the fourth, forcing referee Pete Podgorski to call time and have the doctor examine it. Resuming, Hernandez hurt Findley with a tremendous flurry and had him covering and grabbing. The moment passed. His head cleared, he re-engaged as the two battered away.

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In heavy trading, a bloodied Hernandez (right) jars Findley with a right hook to the head

Findley continued battering away at Hernandez’s head, mixing in hard, straight jabs and rights with clubbing overhead shots, while Hernandez refused to fold and slugged back with earnestness.

Hernandez had a few other moments where he mounted a rally, only to be betrayed by his conditioning.

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Judge Emily Cain (lower left) raises her clipboard to protect herself from Hernandez's spattering blood as Findley bangs away

Findley’s systematic pounding was relentless. Hard lefts and rights battered Hernandez’s head, knocking him back, sending him stumbling a step or two. Straight up, he was beating up the Macho Man in his hometown. His face masked with his own blood, Hernandez fought back in short, two fisted bursts, sometimes stopping Findley in his tracks and forcing him to cover. But then the pounding would resume.

Hernandez’s stands became more frequently, as if to say, “Yeah, you might beat me, but you’re going to pay a price and—hey—I’m not going down!”

“Did I do enough to win?” Findley asked this writer after the final bell and cheering faded.

As if there was any doubt. I assured him that he had, which the judges confirmed, as they scored the bout 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Derrick Findley.

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Podgorski raises Findley's hand (right), while a wiped-down Hernandez looks on as his right hand is gingerly tended to

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Rodriguez (left) drills Priolo with a left to the jaw

In a barn-burner, Chicago’s Francisco Rodriguez (119 lbs., 11-2, 7 KO’s) redeemed himself nicely from a loss he suffered in February versus Andre Wilson—a bout in which he left himself wide-open and was stopped—by incorporating better defense while stopping Baranquilla, Colombia’s Angel Antonio Priolo (118 lbs., 30-, 6 KO’s).

In the first round, Rodriguez jarred Priolo with rights to the head as the two slugged back and forth.

“He drops his right when he jabs,” shouted someone in Rodriguez’s corner.

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Trapping Priolo on the ropes, Rodriguez hurt him to the body and dropped him with a left hook to the head.

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Priolo goes down as referee Gerald Scott (foreground) steps in

Surging strongly throughout the second round, Rodriguez ate a pair of jarring rights to the head. Quickly re-gathering himself, he again pressed matters. Trading furiously, Rodriguez again dropped Priolo hard with a left hook to the jaw.

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Priolo (left) scores with a straight left to the head as referee Gerald Scott looks on

The third was more of the same, as Rodriguez trapped Priolo repeatedly on the ropes. However, Priolo fired back hard with jarring and scoring blows of his own. Learning from his last bout, Rodriguez maintained a tighter guard and good torso movement as he mixed in his punches.

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It paid off.

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Rodriguez (left) batters Priolo along the ropes moments before the end

Mounting a withering body attack, he half punched, half shoved Priolo to the canvas. Rising, Priolo received a standing eight count from referee Podgorski. Asked if he wanted to continue, Priolo shook his head, “no.” Referee Podgorski waved off the bout at 2:33 seconds into round three.

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Coyle (right) batters Aragon with his right

Popular Irish junior middleweight slugger Henry Coyle, who hails from Ireland by way of Chicago, marched to the ring to the sounds of bagpipes as some half-dozen red, green and orange Irish flags waved in the crowd and took care of business promptly to the delight of the crowd.

At 155 lbs. and 6-1 and 6 knockouts, he faced Billing, Montana’s Ben Aragon, 155 lbs., 7-9-2, 5 KO’s.

They wasted no time in the first, Aragon banging to garner respect. However, it was Coyle who did the rocking, as he hurt him several times.

A sweeping right to the temple dropped Aragon in the second. However, as Coyle gunned for the finish, he walked into a hard right uppercut that stemmed his surge momentarily. Aragon weathered the storm and gave a reasonable account of himself, as he drilled a right to Coyle’s side and held his own until rounds end.

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Aragon (right) fires back in a fiery exchange

Ratcheting up things another gear, Coyle pinned Aragon to the ropes and began unloading in earnest. It wasn’t very long before the payoff came. Two rights exploded off Aragon’s chin and he stumbled backwards to the blue corner. Coyle swarmed, and moments later, referee Pete Podgorski rescued Aragon, waving off the bout at 3:18 into the third round.

Describing the blows that did the damage, Coyle said, “It was a right first, then the left hook.”

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Referee Pete Podgorski (left) raises Coyle's hand in victory

Judge Emily Cain said of Aragon, “He seemed a little stiff. He wasn’t bad; he just didn’t move around like he should have.”

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Estrada (left) clinches with Carrizales

It looked like a boy in there with a man, but this time, the boy won. Baby faced and smooth muscled, Chicago’s Eric Estrada (122 lbs., 3-0, 1 KO) put the wood to Waukesha, Wisconsin’s angular Timothy Carrizales (124 lbs., 4-7-1, 3 KO’s).

After schooling Carrizales with raking blows up and down in the first round, Estrada began drilling him in earnest in the second.

Carrizales covered up in a shell and repeatedly grunted, “C’mon! C’mon!” Apparently trying to pull off the rope a dope strategy sans the ropes to tire Estrada, it backfired.

After winging a few wide blows and covering up again, a left uppercut to Carrizales’ solar plexus dropped him hard. He rose at about the four-count. Moments later, Estrada ripped another arcing left in the same place and Carrizales crumpled to the mat in a heap.

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Estrada drops Carrizales to the canvas

Referee Gerald Scott waved it off at 1:58 into round two. Estrada had won by technical knockout.

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Andaluz (right) warms up in the dressing room with focus mitt drills before his fight

In the evening’s first fight, Chicago’s Gadiel Andaluz (131 lbs., 2-0, 2 KO’s) edged St. John, Michigan’s Jose Angel Mandujano (131 lbs., 2-0, 1 KO) in a firestorm of a four-rounder.

Round one quickly became contentious in the latter portion of the round.

Following the tepid first, Mandujano edged in a rapid-fire slugfest of a second, snapping rights off Andaluz’s head and digging body shots. Emerging from a clinch, blood streaked from a cut over the outer edge of Mandujano’s left brow. After the doctor examined, they resumed at a frantic pace.

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Andaluz doesn't find it quite so easy in the ring, as Mandujano (right) jars him with a right to the head

Mandujano appeared to hurt Andaluz in a corner with ripping head and body shots. Still Andaluz fired back hard. Later, in a clinch, Andaluz drilled him with a hard uppercut to the head. The crowd roared as they slugged it out non-stop for the final 30 seconds of the round.

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Andaluz (left) and Mandujano trade furiously

In a give and take fourth round, Andaluz appeared to shade Mandujano with a higher volume of connects—particularly with the right hand. Still, it was a close round, with Mandujano slugging back effectively with both fists.

Judges scored the bout 38-38, 39-37 and 39-37 for a majority decision win for Gadiel Andaluz.

Summed up, Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions and Octavius James’ One in a Million produced a good night of boxing, indeed.

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Female boxer Rita Figueroa mugs with Octavius James--promoter of Mary McGee, who's been chiding Figueroa for a rematch since their no-decision bout last year, and which Rita says will come in due time in accordance with their contract. Figueroa is tentatively scheduled to fight Mia St. John this summer.

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Left to right: Jimmy Sandoval (brother of former Lightweight Champ Jesus Chavez), co-ower of Chicago Boxing Club Rick Ramos, and a friend smile for the camera after the fights

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Derrick Findley and Juan C. Ayllon mug for the camera after Findley's victory (photo by Octavius James)

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