Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Emmanuel De La Riva & Brandon Pina
Golden Eagle Promotions presented an excellent six-bout boxing card at El Paso County Coliseum on Saturday Night. Anthony Aguilar and his wife Kim are the faces behind Golden Eagle Promotions who made the show a success. And matchmaker Isidro Castillo, once again ensured that the match-ups were competitive. Coming back from a two-year layoff to have her baby, IBF featherweight champion Jennifer Han looked fantastic. In the semi-final, Enrique Iglesias look-a-like Josue Garcia looked dominating on his way to victory. Las Cruces, NM boxer Ayanna Vasquez used a left jab to turn a hurricane into a mild wind. Dwayne Bonds used his experience to rob an undefeated boxer of his ‘0.” Joey Saenz put on a display of boxing basics to break down a game opponent. And in the opener undefeated Mario Gonzalez had the toughest fight of his young career.
In the main event of the evening scheduled for 8 rounds, Jennifer Han (18-3-1, 1 KO) 134.4 lbs., of El Paso, TX won by UD over Jeri Sitzes (15-11-1, 6 KO’s) 130 lbs., of Springfield, MO. The opening round was very close as both ladies had similar styles throwing left jabs. In the second round, Han started throwing 1-2’s, simple but effective if they land. In the third round, Han continued throwing 1-2’s but Sitzez started throwing right-hand leads at Han’s head. In the fourth Han started ducking under Sitzes’ overhand rights and countering with left hooks to the body and head. Rounds five and six were repeats of the fourth but Han was throwing with power unlike she had ever done in the past. The final two rounds it was clear that Han was looking for a knockout, behind volume punching while the game Sitzes would fire back one punch at a time. I have never seen Han so aggressive, as she was slipping punches and countering most of the fight. It came as no surprise that she won by unanimous decision with all three judges Robert Velez, James Monero and Daniel Sandoval turning in identical scores of 80-72. When I asked Jennifer Han about her newfound power, she called it “Mama power.”
In the semi-final bout of the evening scheduled for 4 rounds, Josue Garcia (10-6-0, 7 KO’s) 150 lbs. of El Paso, TX won by MD over Miguel Gallegos (5-3-1, 1 KO) 146 lbs., of Durango, CO. Garcia had heavy hands and they landed with accuracy the entire fight. I’ve never seen him look better, as he repeatedly cut off the ring trapping Gallegos on the ropes. Fighting off the ropes is not a good career move if you’re facing Garcia. Garcia has some skills, but his punches lacked the power of his rival and he was forced to back up most of the fight. Judges James Monero, and Daniel Sandoval both scored the bout a shutout 40-36, but to the surprise of most spectators, Raul Valencia had the contest a draw 38-38. Thus the verdict of majority decision.
In the fourth bout of the evening scheduled for 6 rounds, Ayanna Vasquez (7-1-1, 1 KO) 139.5 lbs., of Las Cruces, NM won by UD over Susana Uribe (3-4-0, 1 KO) of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, MX. This was a brawl on the part of Uribe who just keep rushing in on Vasquez throwing wild punches everywhere. Vasquez had a simple but effective answer, throw a hard left jab each time Uribe charged in. In the fifth and sixth rounds, Vasquez appeared to be going for the knockout but the bell sounded before Vasquez could finish the job. The aggressive Uribe made it an exciting fight but the skills of Vasquez insured that the outcome was never in doubt, a unanimous decision for the Las Cruces boxer.
The remaining bouts were scheduled for 4 rounds.
In the third bout of the evening, Dwayne Bonds (6-3-1, 2 KO’s) 146.0 lbs., of El Paso, TX won by TKO over Carlos Villalva (2-0-0, 2 KO’s) 145.8 lbs., of Seminole, TX. I was impressed with the skills of Bonds as he was a good judge of distance, had an educated left jab and threw uppercuts anytime Villalva was able to work his way inside. The contest was officially halted by referee Richard Valez at 6 seconds of the final round. Bonds would prove to be a good test for any opponent seeking to move up the food chain of boxing. I would love to see him in action again.
In the second bout of the evening, Joey Saenz (3-1-1, 1 KO) 131.8 lbs., of Las Cruces, NM won by TKO over debuting Eduardo Simmons 129.5 lbs., of El Paso, TX. In this match-up, Saenz just had more experience than the game Simmons. Saenz had style, good defense and a solid right hand to the head. Simmons had a nice jab but failed to follow up when it landed. Defensively is where Simmons needs to work on his skills if he wants to advance in the boxing business. Referee Rocky Burke stopped the preceding at 10 seconds of the fourth round making Saenz the winner by TKO.
In the opening bout of the evening, Mario Gonzalez (3-0-0, 2 KO’s) 153.5 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by UD over debuting Sean Hamilton 154.2 lbs., of El Paso, TX. Gonzalez entered the ring with two first-round stoppages in his young career. I figured he would make it three in a row, but was I ever wrong. In the first two rounds, Gonzalez was all over Hamilton, throwing bombs to head and body with bad intentions. Hamilton could do little more than cover up and retreat. In the third round, the El Paso fighter started landing some bombs of his own, stopping Gonzalez in his tracks. This was an exciting three minutes of action with both boxers throwing with power. In the final round, Gonzalez regained control of the fight adding a nice left jab to his hooks and crosses. I’m high on Gonzalez, feeling he is the real deal. But don’t be sleeping on Hamilton as he has raw talent and a big heart. With a little work, Hamilton could develop into a dangerous opponent for anybody. Judges Raul Valencia, Daniel Sandoval, and James Morero all turned in identical scores of 40-36 for the winner Mario Gonzalez by unanimous decision.