Agbeko Disputes UD by Perez & DeMarco Shines in TKO over Alfaro

boxingBy Paul Strauss - Anthony "Tony" DeMarco almost pulled off a total shutout on his way to a 10th round stoppage against the game Jose Alfaro. The Treasure Island Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada crowd and Showtime audience were treated to another strategically sound fight on behalf of DeMarco. He seems to do most things right, and made the tough hard punching Alfaro look ordinary.

DeMarco took just about every round but one, according to two of the three judges. The third judge gave him a shut out. Even at that, the fight was still exciting and competitive. Alfaro did his best to land a fight changing big punch. He did manage to land a few good left hooks, and raised a bruise under the right eye of DeMarco, but in return he was bruised around both eyes, and cut above the right eye.

DeMarco once again demonstrated the ability to put together and carry out a sound technical fight plan. Tonight he started a bit cautiously, feeling Alfaro out a bit.. Once he realized Alfaro didn't counter much, he started to open up and throw combinations. He also soon discovered that defensively Alfaro was able to slip or duck the first punch or two, but then was stationary. Consequently, he peppered Alfaro with four and five punch combinations, realizing the first couple might miss, but the next two or three would land. .

In about the four or fifth round Alfaro stepped things up a bit and that is when he managed to land a few good left hooks, but he couldn't follow up, and most of the time he was missing his shots only to be countered with crisp shots from DeMarco. In the middle rounds, DeMarco started to mix up his punches more, throwing more upper cuts and short hooks. In addition to moving his head well, he also used an effective half-step back to avoid Alfaro's straight right, and then came back with punishing left counters.

As the fight progressed, Alfaro understandably started to show some frustration on his banged up face. However, he kept up the pressure and never quit trying to land the big one. But, his punches were usually falling short or sliding by a Demarco head on the move. Plus, Demarco continually made him pay for his misses.

In the tenth round, DeMarco landed a beautiful counter right hook that sent Alfaro spinning into the ropes. Referee Joe Cortez did not rule a knock down, but that was academic, because a few moments later a barrage of punches put Alfaro down for the first knockdown. Alfaro beat the count only to be sent sprawling again as the result of another right hook. Once again he managed to beat the count, but seconds later he went down voluntarily under another onslaught of punches. Cortez stepped in without a count and waived off the action.

DeMarco is now the interim champion since Edwin Valero's title is in limbo due to his visa problems. Showtime announcer Jim Grey asked DeMarco, through an interpreter, whether he would go to Venezuela to fight Valero, but DeMarco begged off, weeping with joy, to say that that was a decision for his promoter to make.

The main event showcased the pressure fighting Agbeko against Yonny Perez. Agbeko predicted a knockout, but seemed to have trouble early on with the length and volume punching of Perez. Agbeko continually moved in close, only to have punch after punch from Perez thrown at him. Agbeko would slip and slide and counter with his own shots, but just from the sheer volume of punches thrown by Perez, he was getting caught.

When inside Agbeko would throw sharp short hooks and straight punches. He managed to get his shoulders behind most of those shots, so they carried power. Perez's punches were more looping and lengthy, but equally effective.

Perez's style had him moving back outside once he had fired off his fusillade of punches. But, he would quickly meet Agbeko's rushes with his own flurry again and again. Agbeko obviously didn't think that Perez would be able to stand up to his pressure. He was confident he would wear down Perez and get to him in the later rounds.

There were many collisions of the two fighters, not unlike two bull rams butting heads. As a result of those collisions, Perez sustained two deep vertical cuts starting at the inside edge of his eyebrows and extending upward into the forehead area. One of the two cuts seemed to have happened in the sixth round as the result of a head butt. .

Neither of the cuts proved to be a problem from a vision standpoint. On the other hand, one of the head butts that occurred in the tenth round caused Agbeko to cringe and turn away from Perez. He violated the cardinal rule of boxing to “Protect your self at all times”. Apparently he felt the referee did or would call a break in the action. That didn't happen, and Perez correctly pounced on him with several hard punches.

Agbeko slumped to the canvas from the head butt or punches. Regardless which, a count was made, so it became a 10-8 round. During the post fight interview, Agbeko expressed his feeling that since he was the champion and the aggressor, he deserved the decision. However, the judges apparently felt Perez outworked Agbeko and deserved the decision. Both fighters talked rematch, and announcer Al Bernstein talked candidate for fight of the year. It was a great fight, but that might be a stretch.

Article posted on 01.11.2009

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