Jirov and Moorer tangle To Headline Five bout Card at Pechanga

09.12.04 - by Kent Appel: This report is different than most of others I have done because I am doing it more of as a fan than as a writer, which means I took very limited notes and I actually relaxed and had a good time at the fights. I also didn't finish my report until the next morning because even though I often try to hurry to get a report in to beat the competition, I often get beat to press anyway.

It is the first time in three years that I have paid to enter an arena as I normally get a press pass at the events I attend. So the comments I made regarding the card are spontaneous, first impressions of what I saw. After all, it was my birthday last week and I grabbed a couple of near front row seats for the venue for my buddy, Joey B. of Philly, and myself. “Hey Joey, don't think you are famous or something just for being in one of my articles!”

Usually, I try and write down every meaningful blow and I try to score the rounds as accurately as possible but still my reports from a live card are very subjective as I don't have the advantage of instant replay at live cards, because even if it is on a big screen live, it is still easy to miss what

Also, I don't have instant access to the Internet which means I have to go home, sometimes a two hour drive for cards in the Southern California area or I have to find a place with Internet access if I am out of town. I then stress out trying to make sense of the supposedly detailed notes I took. This time I didn't do this, I just wrote what I felt happened. Anyway, enough about me, this is what I saw at the fight card, a Goossen Tutor production that was held on 12/9/04, in Temecula, California.

Of course the headlining fight, which was broadcast on Fox Sports Network's The Best Damn Sports Show, was not the first fight on the card. It was the fourth contest of the event but I will discuss this fight here now as this was the one most of the people had come to see.

Vassilily Jirov, of Scottsdale, Arizona a former cruiserweight champion of the world, seemed to be on his way to handily winning a decision over former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer when in the ninth round, he ran into a hard two handed combination delivered by Moorer that was punctuated by a tremendous straight left hand that put Jirov down. Jirov rose on very wobbly knees and the referee correctly halted the contest to give Moorer the knockout win because even though Jirov had beaten the count, Jirov could have been seriously hurt if the referee had let the fight continue.

The fight was a grueling contest throughout that unfortunately saw a cut on Jirov's forehead opened from an accidental head butt in round three and another cut near Jirov's right eye in round number seven, also from an accidental headbutt. Yet despite cuts, Jirov had won just about every round entering round seven by his consistent use of hard right jab and also from a strong body attack, featuring hard left hands to the body of Moorer. Moorer did start to get untracked in rounds number seven and eight to close Jirov's lead somewhat but the scorecards turned out to be a moot point due to the knockout. With the win, which ups his record to 47-4-1, 37 by KO, Moorer, 37 years old and 247 pounds for the fight, breathes new life into a career that had been faltering recently. Jirov, 29 years old, tipped the scales at 218 pounds,
falls to 33-3, 29 by KO. Frankly, I don't know where Jirov's career is headed as he has had three significant losses recently; to James Toney, to Joe Mesi, and now to Michael Moorer.

Could he go back down to the cruiserweight division? This a possibility but this becomes harder and harder to do as time goes by.

It is hard to write off a fighter as young as Jirov is but maybe he is not as young, ring wise, as he is in actual years because just about every fight he has is a tough nick and tuck battle for survival. Jirov has excellent boxing skills and he appears to still pop a wallop at heavyweight, his body shots in particular are viscous, he hurt Moorer several times with them in the fight and not just with the few of them that traveled south of the border. However, he gets hit too much as he just doesn't move his head defensively enough when he is in close to his opponents. This could lead to a shortened career for a fighter.

I am now going to go in the order the fights were fought on the actual live card, starting with the first bout of the card

Well my pal and I settled down in our fourth row seats just in time to see the fighters for the first fight of the card heading down to the ring. They were Jason Gavern of Scranton, Pennsylvania and Charles Wilson of Los Angeles, California in a heavyweight bout scheduled for six rounds, which was won by Gavern by unanimous decision. I thought Wilson deserved the win, if ever so slightly, for landing more punches than Gavern. Wilson let his hands go more in rounds one through three, and with the fourth round being even and Gavern controlling rounds five and six, Wilson seemed to do enough to pull out the win. The judges didn't see it that way so Gavern improves his record to 7-1-1, 4 by KO while Wilson is now 9-6, 4 by KO.

Next up was Lorenzo Reynolds of Saginaw, Michigan hooking up with Sean Rogers of Van Nuys, Ca in a four round junior welterweight fight. This one was won by Reynolds by unanimous decision on the basis of scoring the cleaner punches throughout the bout. Reynolds steps up to 1-0, 0 by KO, while Rogers slips to 1-1-1, 1 by KO.

The third fight featured heavyweights Travis Walker of Talahasee, Florida, a former national golden gloves champion against Sal Farnetti of Palmdale, California. The fight resulted in a second round knockout for Walker, who weighed in at 257 pounds. Walker improves his unbeaten record as a professional to 6-0, 5 by KO while Farnetti, 332 pounds, takes a step back to 3-9-3, 0 by KO.

Farnetti needs to seriously consider losing weight if he is going to continue to fight as a professional otherwise he is just going to become a human punching bag and he is going to get seriously hurt. It might work for Butterbean on a limited basis but it doesn't work for Farnetti and if he slims down, then maybe we can see if he has any talent or not.

It is now on the actual card that the main event was schedule and of course, I have already commented on it. It was during the bout between Walker and Farnetti that the Fox Sports Network broadcast team started their live broadcast on a stage set up in the corner of the arena. Top heavyweight contender James Toney had begun milling around in the crowd just before this and he seemed to be in a jovial mood as he mixed with the crowd and signed autographs. Still they seated the sometimes feisty Toney right next to IBF heavyweight
champion Chris Byrd on the Fox stage. So I glanced up in that direction to see if there might be some extra-curricular fireworks but everyone was on their best behavior.

The fourth bout on the card pitted heavyweights Cristobal Arreola, of Riverside, California verses Benjamin Garcia of Mexico City, Mexico. This was a short lived bout top say the least as Arreola overwhelmed Garcia with a barrage of punches at just 29 seconds of the first round for a knockout. Arreola, a prospect to watch for the near future, improves his record to 8-0 8 by KO while Garcia literally drops to 6-5, 3 by KO.

Finally, in a strange bit of scheduling, the CO feature fight saw defending champion Cesar Figueroa of Mexico City, Mexico set out to defend his NABF featherweight title against Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero of Gilroy, California.

Guerrero, 126 pounds, out-hustled and out-punched the game Figueroa, also 126 pounds, leading to a fourth round knockout win for Guerrero, the new NABF champion. Figueroa had been knocked down twice in the round and there was no way he was in any condition to continue. Guerrero, another very hot prospect, ups his record to 14-0-1, 7 by KO while Figueroa is now 27-5-2, 19 by KO. Look for the Guerrero verses Figueroa fight on a Fox Sports broadcast in the very near future as it was announced as a main event to the live crowd.

Article posted on 09.12.2004

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