Austin Killeen Ringside Photos by Fermin Ortega
I had serious doubts regarding Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego’s chances of winning on Saturday night. In all honesty, I felt he would put on a courageous effort, going down in defeat by a late stoppage. In doing so it would ruin Lenny Fresquez re-entry into the world of boxing promotion. I was wrong on both counts. Lenny Fresquez is back, and he has a talented undefeated boxer to promote. Matthew Griego has arrived with a proven captain to navigate his ship. If the main event wasn’t enough to please a near-sellout crowd the undercard was also exciting.
In the main event Matthew “Diamond Boy” Griego (11-0-0, 8 KO’s) 111.8 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM won by MD over Jeronil Borres (11-5-1, 6 KO’s) 110.8 lbs., of Carmen, Cotabato (del Norte), Philippines. This was an action-packed contest from start to finish. In the opening round, both fighters flashed hard left jabs and landed some hard shots to the head. Both boxers gave new meaning to the word speed. Griego used jabs and hooks plus solid defense to capture a close second round. Borres threw some bombs with bad intentions but many missed their mark. The third round Griego’s jabs versus Borre’s hooks to the body; edge Borres.
In the fourth, both men exchanged heavy shots to the head and body in the best round of the fight so far. In the final minute, Griego scored with some nice jabs to steal the round. In the next two rounds, the body attack by Borres plus some overhand rights to the head proved more effective than the jabs of Griego. At this point in the contest, I started to wonder if things were beginning to head south for Griego as the Filipino invader seemed to have too much firepower.
In the seventh round, an energized Griego put on his power display scoring with hard jabs and left hooks to the body. When Borres fired overhand rights to the head, “Diamond Boy” would slip under them. Borres finished the round strongly but it wasn’t enough to take the round. The eighth round Griego scored with his jab and good footwork to keep him out of harm’s way, but the power of Borres forced him to cover-up much of the time. I had the eighth round even.
The ninth round was big for Borres behind his heavy hands. But a low blow cost him dearly as Griego was given time to recover, robbing Borres of his momentum. The final round an energetic Griego scored effectively with his quick hands while avoiding the power of his rival. At the final bell, the crowd erupted thinking they knew who had won the contest. Chris Tellez had the contest even 95-95 while Stan Saavedra scored it 96-94 and Juan Newez agreed with a generous tally of 99-91 for the winner and new ABF Continental Americas Champion.
In the semi-final, “Irish” Bryant McClain (6-3-3, 1 KO) 172.6 lbs., Rio Rancho, NM won by UD over Lorenzo Benavidez (3-2-1, 1 KO) 174.6 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM. This was a rematch of their exciting draw last year. Using his height and reach advantage, McClain was able to keep the fight at the center ring where the much shorter Benavidez was unable to employ his effective in-fighting. In the fourth, Benavidez finally worked his way inside and scored. But it proved to be a short-lived rally, as McClain regained control of the contest in the fifth. All three judges turned in scores of 60-54 in favor of McClain. Having seen the majority of McClain’s fights this has to be the best effort that I have ever witnessed.
The remaining bouts were scheduled for 4 rounds.
In the fourth bout of the evening Clinton Chavez (4-0-0, 3 KO’S) 147.0 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM won by TKO over debuting Luis Marez 143.8 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM. Marez proved to be a game competitor but he laked the skill or experience of his much taller opponent. A right to the jaw staggered Marez and Referee Rock Burke halted the contest at 2:53 of the opening round. Chavez is handled by former pro-Hector Munoz and he looks ready to move up in class.
In the third bout of the evening Jordanne “OMG” Garcia (4-1-2) 163.5 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM fought to a draw with debuting Jozette Cotton 159.8 lbs., of Omaha, NE. Styles make fights and their styles did not fit like pieces in a puzzle. It appeared that both girls should be boxing a couple of weight divisions lower than they were on Saturday. Garcia usually fights behind a powerful left jab but it was not on display Saturday night. Stan Saavedra scored the bout 38-38, Juan Newez had it 39-37 for Garcia, while Chris Tellez scored the bout 39-37 for Cotton.
In the second bout of the evening Mario Gonzales (4-0-0, 3 KO’s) 154.0 lbs., of Hobbs, NM won by TKO over debuting Brad Greick 155.2 lbs., of Gillette, WY. Greick was not intimidated by Gonzales scoring with a hard right to the head in the opening seconds of the round. That was a wake-up call for Gonzales who started throwing power shots to both the head and body. A couple of left hooks and a right cross resulted in three knockdowns in the opening round. In the second round, Gonzales continued to attack Greick prompting Referee Burke to halt matters at 47 seconds of the second round. I’m very impressed by Gonzales who looks ready to move up in competition.
In the opening bout of the evening, Travis Foster (2-0-0) 167.6 lbs., of Albuquerque, NM won by UD over Nikko Nathan (1-2-0) 169.4 lbs., of Clovis, NM.