Jones retains cruiserweight title with win over Marrone

By Ron Scarfone at Ringside: Guillermo "El Felino" Jones (38-3-2, 30 KOs) of Colon, Panama remains WBA cruiserweight champion after his victory over Michael Marrone (20-4, 15 KOs) of Vero Beach, Florida. The fight had a Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed feel to it with Marrone as the underdog of Italian descent facing the dominant world class champion. However, Marrone was different than Rocky because Marrone believed that he would win and become world champion. Rocky just wanted to go the distance because that would be an achievement in itself against the seemingly invincible Creed. For Marrone, that would have been a better outcome because he was stopped in the sixth round by the relentless and tenacious Jones.

Marrone was inserted as the No. 14 WBA contender, but had a rating of No. 80 on prior to the fight. Marrone was also moving down one weight class from the heavyweight division. The weight change was not an issue for Marrone as he was fighting as a heavyweight only about 15 pounds above the cruiserweight limit of 200. Jones is accustomed to changing weight classes himself and was originally a welterweight in the debut of his pro career. Jones eventually wants to move to the heavyweight division and try to become heavyweight champion by defeating one of the Klitschko brothers. Jones is 39 years of age, but Father Time has not taken a toll yet and not in this fight against the 26-year-old Marrone.

The fight began with a lot of holding by Marrone in the first round. Both Jones and Marrone have a reach of 76". However, Jones was more precise with his punches. Although Marrone did land punches to the head of Jones, they seemingly had little to no effect. Jones' punches, on the other hand, did have an adverse effect on Marrone. Jones used his left jab with success throughout the fight. His power punches were also landing often. In the fifth round, a left jab and straight right combination to the head knocked Marrone down. Marrone got up after the bell sounded to end the round. Usually, the rules state that a fighter cannot be saved by the bell in any round. Therefore, Marrone had to beat the ten count for the fight to continue. It would have been better if the fight had been stopped while Marrone was sitting on the stool waiting for the sixth round. The sixth round did happen and Jones' left jab was followed by a bombardment of unanswered punches. One of Marrone's cornermen stood up on the ring apron to tell the referee that he wanted the fight stopped. The time of stoppage was 1:55 of the sixth round and Jones won by TKO.

The co-main event was for the WBC United States junior middleweight title. Joey "Twinkle Fingers" Hernandez (20-1-1, 11 KOs) of Miami, Florida faced a formidable opponent in Elco "The Animal" Garcia (25-8, 12 KOs) of Ignacio, Colorado. At 27 years of age, Hernandez was much younger than Garcia who was 40. Garcia seems to believe that age is just a number and that he still has the skills to win. He actually did, but the judges robbed him of the official win. Garcia was taller than Hernandez and looked to be in great condition. In the first round, Garcia knocked down Hernandez with a right hook to the head. Hernandez had a little blood coming out of his nose caused by this punch. Garcia appeared to have slipped in the second round, but referee Frank Gentile ruled it as a knockdown. The bout was now tied with both boxers having 10-8 rounds. Hernandez mostly used lateral movement in trying to get away from Garcia who stalked and pursued him. In the ninth round, Garcia landed a right hook to the head. Hernandez then shuffled his feet front and back. Garcia was disgusted and then mockingly shuffled his feet. The spectators cheered and also wanted more fighting from Hernandez. In the tenth round, Hernandez kept circling around Garcia in trying to avoid him. Garcia gestured with his glove for Hernandez to fight. The twelfth and final round was fast paced, but Garcia landed harder punches. Many of the spectators came to see Hernandez who is a local favorite. However, they booed after the decision was announced. All three judges had identically biased scores of 114-112 in favor of Hernandez, so he won by unanimous decision. Garcia was cheered by the audience and left the ring with a smile on his face, knowing that he deserved to win.

Angelo "La Cobra" Santana (12-0, 9 KOs) of Miami, Florida had a brief fight in defending his WBA Fedecaribe junior welterweight title against Broderick Antoine (11-12-1, 5 KOs) of Troy, New York. Both are southpaws, but the 23-year-old Santana was much better as he landed three consecutive left hooks to the head which knocked down Antoine. Antoine got up, but only to endure more left hooks by Santana. Antoine was staggering, so the referee stopped the fight at 2:57 of the first round and Santana won by TKO.

Francisco "The Wizard" Palacios (21-1, 13 KOs) of Orlando, Florida wanted to win impressively in his first fight after losing a controversial split decision to WBC cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Poland. Joell Godfrey (13-5-1, 6 KOs) of East St. Louis, Illinois was no pushover and had a good defense. Palacios had to work hard to break down the guard of Godfrey. Palacios did most of the throwing and the landing in this fight, but Godfrey was able to withstand the blows. Godfrey would have needed help from God to win. All three judges scored the fight 80-72 in favor of Palacios by unanimous decision.

Light heavyweight Marcus Oliveira (22-0-1, 17 KOs) of Lawrence, Kansas remains unbeaten with his win over Chris Eppley (10-2, 9 KOs) of St. Louis, Missouri. In the fourth round, Eppley could only cover up against the onslaught of punches from Oliveira. Eppley's cornerman waved the white towel which indicated to the referee to stop the fight. The time of stoppage was 1:16 of the fourth round and Oliveira won by TKO.

Light heavyweight Gusmyr "Azucar Torped" Perdomo (18-3, 11 KOs) of Termero, Venezuela defeated Lafarrell "Fabulous Fairway" Bunting (18-4-1, 17 KOs) of Memphis, Tennessee by unanimous decision. Two judges scored it 79-72 and the third judge scored it 80-71. Termero uses a southpaw stance and was particularly effective with his left hook to the head and body.

Heavyweight Trevor "The Dream" Bryan (1-0, 1 KO) of Albany, New York won his professional debut by stopping previously unbeaten Demarcus "Interstate" Young (4-1, 4 KOs) of Trenton, South Carolina. Young looked a little soft in the middle whereas Bryan looked in better shape. Young was usually trying to hold in order to stop the punches from Bryan. Young was taking a lot of punishment in the second round and was unable to continue before the third round began. Therefore, the official time of stoppage was 3:00 of the second round and Bryan won by TKO.

Junior welterweight Amir "Last of a Dying Breed" Amam (1-0, 0 KO) of Albany, New York impressively won his pro debut by unanimous decision over Christian "Real Deal" Steele (1-2, 0 KO) of Aiken, South Carolina. Amam landed at will and was unfazed by Steele's punches. Steele seemed to have a steel chin because he was taking many shots during the four round slugfest. All three judges scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Amam.

Heavyweight Hassan Lee (1-2, 0 KO) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania won by split decision over Chaen "Checkmate" Chess (1-1, 1 KO) of Cincinnati, Ohio. One point was deducted from Chess by referee Frank Gentile because of the mouthpiece coming out of his mouth and dropping to the canvas. This apparently was not caused by a punch which is why the referee chose to deduct a point. However, this was the deciding factor in this close four round fight with two judges scoring the fight 38-37 for Lee. One judge scored it 38-37 for Chess in spite of the one point deduction.

Middleweight Juan Ubaldo Cabrera (19-0, 14 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic defeated Stephen Scott (8-3, 1 KO) of Queens, New York by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 80-72.

This event was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The event was sold out, although there were some empty seats. 5,037 people were in attendance at the Hard Rock LIVE Arena. The event was called "Viva Don King" which was in reference to King's many years as a boxing promoter and also because he turned 80 years old this year.

Article posted on 06.11.2011

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