By Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Augustine Banegas
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Premier Boxing Champions in conjunction with Pat Holmes boxing produced an eight bout card at the Buffalo Thunder Casino in Santa Fe on Tuesday evening. The televised portion of the card involved boxers from Premier Boxing Champions while Holmes boxing showcased fan favorites from his stable of fighters. Fans got to see some impressive talent in the form of Yordenis Ugas, bronze medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Ryan “Cowboy” Karl highly decorated amateur out of TX and Emmanuel Medina a talented counterpunching southpaw out of Los Angeles CA. When Brandon Holmes walked down the aisle, it sounded like Justin Bieber had just entered the building. Pat Holmes senior has done a brilliant job of promoting boxing at the casino, but in doing so is in a bit of a quandary. His son’s Pat junior and Brandon along with Antonio Martinez could sell a thousand tickets if they were matched against fight posters. If you put them in tough, you risk killing the golden goose.
In the first bout of the evening, scheduled for 8 rounds, Cesar Valenzuela (13-4- 1, 4 KO’s) 130.4 lbs. of Guaymas, MX won by SD over Dennis Galarza (13-2- 0, 8 KO’s) 130 lbs. of Brooklyn, NY. Galarza opened the fight strong winning the first two rounds behind a strong left jab and overhand rights. Valenzuela had a decent jab, but little else. In the third round Valenzuela made adjustments in his style with good results. He started stepping in with his jab and backing his rival up. In the fourth round Valenzuela continued to press the attack, and scored with a big right hand to the head. The Galarza of the first two rounds was now a stationary target. The fifth round was a little closer, but Galarza was not fighting with any urgency. For the remainder of the contest, Valenzuela was very successful throwing a simple one-two. Galarza was faking to the body or head, but not throwing anything. Valenzuela had a big final round, leaving little doubt that he was in charge. Judge Sandy Pino scored the bout 77-75 for Galarza, but was overruled by judges Levi Martinez and Teresa Ortega and who had scores of 77-75 for Valenzuela.
In the second bout of the evening, scheduled for 8 rounds, Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (13-0- 0, 9 KO’s) 141.4 lbs. of Brenham, TX won by TKO over Jose Quezada (11-1- 0, 6 KO’s) 141 lbs. of Chicago, IL. Karl started the contest fast behind a strong left jab. Quezada appeared to have some skills, but was overwhelmed by his opponent’s jab. Suddenly a right hand to the head of Quezada resulted in a knockdown. Karl continued to control the contest behind his jab, while Quezada displayed a nice left hook and overhand right. In the third Quezada had his best round scoring with hooks and crosses. Karl told me after the fight that he basically took the round off. In the fourth round Karl dropped his rival with a powerful left hook to the head. Following up on his advantage, Karl put on a clinic. Returning to his corner Quezada had absorbed a lot of punishment, resulting in his brain thrust terminating the contest. Karl beat a live opponent in Quezada and looks to have some talent. He is trained by Ronnie Shields who has a history of success both as a boxer himself and in guiding the careers of others. Keep an eye on the fighter who calls himself “Cowboy.”
In the third bout of the evening, scheduled for 10 rounds, Yordenis Ugas (17-3- 0, 7 KO’s) 147.1 lbs. of Santiago, Cuba won by TKO over Bryant Perrella (14-1- 0, 13 KO’s) 146.4 lbs. of Fort Myers, FL. This looked like a dangerous fight for Perrella on paper and it didn’t take long for it to be dangerous for Perrella in reality. This was the main event on the televised portion of the card and the fans had to be impressed with what they saw. In the opening round Ugas followed his opponent around the ring until he was able to exploit a defensive mistake. Perrella, a southpaw, left his chin exposed and Ugas scored a knockdown with an overhand right. The bell rang before Ugas could exploit his advantage. Over the next two rounds the Cuban gave a workshop on how to successfully deal with a left hander. Ugas cut off the ring, moving his opponent into the ropes or corners, seemingly at will. In the fourth round the show was over, when an overhand right found the chin of Perrella again. Rising on unsteady legs Perrella had no answers for the Cuban’s assault. This prompted referee Rocky Burke to halt the contest at 2:20 of the round.
In the fourth bout of the evening, scheduled for 6 rounds, Emmanuel Medina (11-0- 0, 8 KO’s) 146.2 lbs. of Los Angeles, CA won by TKO over Francisco Medel (9-5- 0, 5 KO’s) 145.2 of Agua Prieta, MX. I liked what I saw of the tall southpaw from LA, as he proved to be a solid counter puncher. Medel came to fight and was aggressive, but Medina was patient waiting for a mistake. It was like the previous fight only it was the southpaw that was conducting the workshop on how to beat an orthodox boxer. Medina landed a left uppercut on the chin of Medel, dropping the game Mexican import. Referee Ray Chavez had seen enough, stopping the contest at 1:24 of the second round. I wouldn’t recommend putting Medina in the ring with Ugas now, but someday that might make for an interesting fight.
Bouts five through eight were all scheduled for four rounds.
In the fifth bout of the evening, Aaron Martinez (3-0- 0, 2 KO’s) 128.8 lbs. of Santa Fe, NM won by TKO over George Roybal (0-2- 0) 128.5 lbs. of Albuquerque, NM. This looked to be an easy assignment for Martinez, but somebody forgot to tell Roybal. In the opening two rounds Roybal, a southpaw, keep beating Martinez to the punch. The fans of Martinez were imploring him to do something, but he appeared confused and seemed unable to make the proper adjustments. The third round was much closer and could have gone either way. In the fourth round Roybal got caught in his own corner and was dropped by a Martinez combination. This resulted in Referee Rocky Burke coming to the rescue at 59 seconds of the stanza. For Roybal, it was a big improvement over his pro debut. For the fan favorite Martinez, let’s hope it was just an off night.
In the sixth bout of the evening, Bryant McClain (3-0- 0, 1 KO) 164.1 lbs. of Rio Rancho, NM won by KO over debuting Ivan Miranda 164.8 lbs. of Chili, MX. First the good news, the likable McClain scored his first knockout win. Now the bad news, he was bad. From the opening bell he stood toe-to- toe with Miranda, both taking turns hitting each other in the face; nice for the fans but not for McClain’s father, former IBC Cruiserweight Champion Sean McClain. The senior McClain didn’t win his title by using his face to block punches, and neither will his son. Oh I almost forgot; McClain landed a right to the chin of Miranda, when it was his turn to punch, resulting in a knockout at 1:39 of round two.
In the seventh bout of the evening, Antonio Martinez (6-2- 4, 5 KO’s) 145.5 lbs of Espanola, NM won by TKO over Ivan Lucero (0-3- 0) 143.7 lbs. of El Paso, TX. Lucero was a substitute for Edgar Zubia, who dropped out of the match last week. Clearly the skill level of Lucero was not that of Zubia, that’s why matchmakers get ulcers. Martinez dropped the game Lucero twice with right hands to the head, prompting referee Ray Chavez to halt the match at 1:26 of the round. Martinez was a special project for Pat Holmes junior; Martinez started his career winning only one of his first five bouts, since Holmes has taken over he has not lost in seven bouts.
In the eighth bout of the evening, Brandon Holmes (9-0- 0, 6 KO’s) 129.6 lbs. of Santa Fe, NM won by UD over Gene Perez (1-6 -1) 130.3 lbs. of Belen, NM. The rounds seemed surprisingly close at times as Holmes laid on the ropes, beckoning Perez to attack. After a time Perez started doing the same thing. Holmes is a powerful featherweight with a quick accurate right hand, but he will not reach his full potential fighting boxers with losing records. Holmes is a rock star at the Buffalo Thunder Casino and his record of success shows in his won/loss record. But New Mexico is loaded with a solid group of boxers around his weight, seemingly more challenging than the game Perez. Holmes is a very likable young man, and as I stated I would like to see him step up in competition in order to reach his full potential. As for the above mentioned Gene Perez; would someone teach him how to bob-n-weave. His career could be turned around in a week with some technique in this skill.