By Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Carlos Villa
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This was another good promotion by Eric Martinez with some excellent matchups, thanks in part to Isidro Castillo. There were four candidates for fight of the night; Marrufo/Torres, Sanchez/Arturo Crespin, Sanchez/Guillen and Ramirez/Gonzalez, and they were all great fights. The fights were held outdoors and if somebody brought some extra coats, they made money renting them out. Martinez would like to promote again in December if possible.
In the main event at the Elegante Hotel, Jose Marrufo (10-5-2) 146.4 lbs. of Phoenix, Arizona won by MD over Josh “Pitbull” Torres (15-6-2, KO’s) 146 lbs. of Albuquerque. For a feeling out opening round, both fighters were fairly busy, Torres with his jab and Marrufo with overhand rights. Neither fighter was able to gain a noticeable advantage in a close round. Suddenly in Rounds two, three and four, Torres looked like he was walking through the La Brea Tar Pits. The hometown boy was flat and looked dead, easy pickings for the visiting Phoenix boxer. Torres was fighting with one hand, his left, while Marrufo was dancing all over the ring. Torres was digging himself a big hole while Marrufo was throwing punches from all angles to the head and body. In the fifth Torres enjoyed his best round since the first, but it might have been the result of Marrufo taking the round off. Marrufo opened the sixth behind a two fisted attack which seemed to overwhelm his rival, Torres responded in the middle of the round but the out of Towner closed strong. Torres fought the seventh round like it was a sparring session; every time he landed a solid punch he failed to follow up the advantage. Meanwhile Marrufo was fighting with urgency, as if he was behind in the scoring. The eighth was a repeat of the seventh when Torres was credited with a flash knockdown against his off balanced rival in the last twenty seconds of the fight.
When ring announcer Dennis Chavez took the microphone, the audience became quiet, wondering if the last round knockdown had saved the day for Torres. Judge Sandy Pino scored the contest 76-76 but was overruled by Chris Tellez 78-74 and Levi Martinez 78-75. For Marrufo this was a much-needed win as he had lost three of his last five fights. Although Torres could better stand the setback, it had to hurt. Asked his feelings on the decision, Torres responded; “I always want to give the fans a good show. I’ll be back in the gym soon, as I want to get my career headed in the right direction.” Trainer Danny Perez commented; “I told Marruffo’s trainers they deserved the win, because their fighter came to fight.”
In the semi-final bout, Jose Luis Sanchez (6-1-0, 2 KO’s) 154.8 lbs. of Albuquerque won by UD over Arturo Crespin (13-8-1, 4 KO’s) 154.6 lbs. of Las Vegas, NM. This contest was a collision of 18-wheelers and the fans loved it. Sanchez is a southpaw and the fans were treated to some heavy exchanges of straight lefts and rights by both fighters, with little concern for defense in the first round. Early in the second round Crespin was penalized for kidney punching, which was just a preview of things to come. I have no idea if Crespin is an avid reader, but one book that’s probably missing from his collection is “The Marquis of Queensberry Rules book.” He has a reputation hitting above the sock line, on either side of the body.
In the third round Sanchez started landing with straight lefts to the head, resulting in Crespin being cut over his left eye. This was a big round for the less experienced Sanchez, and would prove to be his key to victory. Rounds four through six were repeats of the third with Sanchez adding left hooks to the body. There is a reason that Crespin’s picture is next to the word tough in the dictionary, as he was having a degree of success in landing straight rights to the head of his rival. In the fifth round Sanchez opened a cut over the right eye of his opponent. In the final round Crespin was assessed a second point deduction for violating some silly rule about headlocks and punching with a free hand. Later in the round a right hand dropped Crespin. I’ve been covering his fights for five years and have never seen Crespin in better shape in spite of the fight’s ending. Anybody who gets in the ring with the Las Vegas brawler is going to have the fight of their life; just ask Sanchez. Scores of 60-51 for Sanchez were tallied on all three score cards.
In the fifth bout of the evening, Jose Osorio (6-3-1, 3 KO’s) 129.2 lbs. of Albuquerque won by KO over Gabriel Braxton (2-17-0, 1 KO) 130.4 lbs. of Red Oak, Georgia. Osorio doesn’t believe in feeling out rounds and got right down to business. A right hand to the body followed by a left hook to the head dropped Braxton for some serious canvas time, with the time of the knockout being 1:08. Osorio hopes to stay busy and would like to fight a couple of more time before the end of the year.
In the third bout of the evening, Jason Sanchez (8-0-0, 4 KO’s) 122.4 lbs. of Albuquerque won by KO over Juan Carlos Guillen (7-5-1, 3 KO’s) 124.4 lbs. of El Paso, Texas. Sanchez had a big first round, dropping Guillen twice with a left hook to the body followed by a right hook to the head. I was amazed when Guillen answered the bell for the start of the second round. For the next four rounds the quick handed Guillen gave as good as he got. Getting inside the hard punching Sanchez, Guillen would often score with four or five unanswered punches to the midsection. Entering the sixth round, was it possible that the decision was still up for grabs? At 1:17 of the round, a left hook to the body of Guillen resulted in a ten count for the game Texan.
In the fourth bout of the evening, Ronald Baca (8-3-1, 2 KO’s) 260.8 lbs. of Gallup, NM won by UD over Manuel Otero (2-7-0, 1 KO) 223 lbs. of Peralta, NM. This was a rematch of a fight Baca won by unanimous decision last year. In that fight Baca struck first with a nice left jab every time the shorter Otero tried to get inside. I have no idea what Baca’s strategy was for this contest, but it resulted in a much more difficult task in capturing the verdict. To my eyes the first three rounds were very close, as Baca never tried to prevent Otero from getting on the inside. Otero landed with both hands mostly to the body, while avoiding Baca’s left jabs. In the fourth Baca had his best round, creating space with left hooks and right uppercuts. Otero appeared tired and ate some left jabs to the head. Scores of 39-37 twice and 40-36, resulted in a unanimous decision for Baca.
In the second bout of the evening, Katie Ramirez (0-1-1) 125.4 lbs. of Bosque Farms, NM fought a draw with Briana Gonzalez (1-0-1) 121.4 lbs. of San Antonio, TX. For four rounds these girls traded mostly head shots in an attempt to break their rival’s sprit. The more experienced Gonzalez got caught up in Ramirez’s free swinging attack, abandoning her greater experience. The contest was fought at a fast pace and both girls should be complimented on their conditioning. Judge Sandy Pino scored the contest 38-38, Chris Tellez 39-37 for Gonzalez and Levi Martinez 39-37 for Ramirez.
In the first bout of the evening, Jesus Xavier Pacheco (6-5-0) 124.8 lbs. won by UD over Sergio Najera (11-26-2, 5 KO’s) of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. This was a good contest between boxers who had some skills. The taller Pacheco is surprisingly effective on the inside, creating space with a good uppercut. At distance he scored with a nice left jab and used good lateral movement. Najera wasn’t standing around, making each round competitive. He scored with some nice body shots and switched his attack to the head from time to time. Judges Chris Tellez and Levi Martinez both scored the contest 60-54, while Sandy Pino’s scorecard read 59-54 all for the winner by unanimous decision Jesus Xavier Pacheco. If Pacheco ever learns how to punch, he could make some waves.