Former 2 Time Olympian That Beat Kostya Tszyu Twice Has Hands Full Against Tough Mexican In Houston!
16.01.04 - Carlos Kalinchuk @ ringside - In the main event of the evening, Kazakhstan’s Nurhan Suleyman 13-0 (5KO's) beat out a Unanimous Decision against tough Welterweight Jesus "Mapachito" Soto-Karas 11-0-1 (1O KO's) in a 12 Round bout to win the WBA FED CENTRO Title. The former 2 time Olympian perhaps thought he would make easy work of Soto-Karas but too bad for Suleyman, no one gave Soto-Karas that script. In spite of looking much lankier and outgunned in the strength department, Soto-Karas showed himself to be a Man in the ring. He boxed well but the ripping hooks and fantastic combinations Suleyman threw were just too much for the steel chinned Soto-Karas. The tough Mexican just did not have enough power in his shots to sting the much stockier Suleyman. The official scores were Adams 116-110, Russel 117-109, and Eckels at 118-108. Eckels card seemed grossly inaccurate.
The first round was a cautious one as both fighters boxed beautifully. The action was limited as a result of the movement and defense both fighters demonstrated. Soto-Karas had excellent footwork and Suleyman had excellent head movement throughout. Round one could have been scored an even round, however, Suleyman did make a small rally towards the end of the round. Round two was all Suleyman as he connected to the body beautifully with precision and accuracy. Soto-Karas ended the round strong though, as he was able to land short left hooks of his own but round two was clearly Suleyman’s. In round 3, Suleyman's boxing skills and power were starting to show superiority. He connected with ripping body shots while avoiding Soto-Karas punches. Round 4 would prove to be different though, as Soto-Karas's started strong with repeated headshots and movement. But again, the more accurate Suleyman would not be denied. His hard combinations to Soto-Karas head would rock the tough Mexican but it would not knock him out! Round 5 saw Suleyman connect with some hard shots along the ropes. Round 6 again started as a Soto-Karas round but a blistering Suleyman right towards the end of the round made round 6 a very difficult round to score. I scored it in favor of Suleyman because of the power differential that Suleyman was displaying could not be ignored. An argument could be made though that Soto-Karas won the entire round but after the first minute of the round, he ran out of gas. Round 7 was Soto-Karas best round as he nailed Suleyman with a series of bodyshots that finally hurt Suleyman and sent him to the ropes gasping. Soto-Karas's offense unfortunately was delayed when an inept Barry Yates stopped the action off of a marginal low blow. As the round ended a chorus of boos cascaded on Yates for his decision. This was an easy round to score in favor of Soto-Karas. In round 8 Yates again interfered in the action when he deducted a point off of Soto-Karas for an inadvertent low blow. Again, Soto-Karas seemed to win the round but, for Yates’s deduction, the round was scored 9-9. Round 9 saw a rabbit punch send Soto-Karas down to one knee. Barry Yates unbelievably ruled it a knock down! So in spite of winning the 9th round also, it had to be scored a 9-8 round for Suleyman. Round 10 again saw the tables turn as Soto-Karas the sturdy Suleyman won the round with his more accurate shots after Soto-Karas came out fast in round 10. Round 11 was all Suleyman as he closed and hurt Soto-Karas badly towards the end of the fight. Suleyman’s penchant for accurate body shots and wicked combinations to Soto-Karas’s head won him round 11. Round 12 saw both warriors tear each other up. Although, Soto-Karas appeared to start each round strong and finish tired, round 12 was altogether different as he dominated the closing seconds and appeared close to sending Sulyeman down. I scored the fight 116-111 in favor of Suleyman.
Note To Texas Boxing Commision-No More Barry Yates Please!
Fight coverage write-ups are usually limited to just that-write ups. I felt moved, NO, compelled to express my disgust at Barry Yates officiating capacities this evening.
Unfortunately, Suleyman’s win was almost an afterthought as the inept (referee) Barry Yates spoiled the show with his incessant interfering throughout the bout. On one occasion when an inadvertent low blow was thrown during the middle of a major comeback by Soto-Karas that had Suleyman hurt and in major trouble, Yates stopped the action entirely to warn Soto-Karas. The crowd fumed at the interruption. The following round, Yates would take a point away from a very obvious errant but not damaging low blow by Soto-Karas. Again the crowd let Yates know what they thought of him. In the ensuing round, Soto-Karas went down from an obvious rabbit punch and instead of warning Suleyman for the infraction; he began to count it as a knockdown.
Unfortunately this is not the first occasion that Yates has blown calls in the ring. On a nationally televised airing of a Friday Night Fights in Corpus last year, Yates ruined the show when he continued to make errors throughout the fight. Additionally, when he officiates fights, he stands extremely close to the fighters and oftentimes runs into them over and over throughout the fight. He was motioned often by Soto-Karas to move away as his head was nearly a foot away from each punch.
In closing, Barry Yates needs boxing. Boxing doesn’t need Barry Yates. His continued erratic behavior in the ring leaves many fight fans in disgust and angered. Perhaps Yates will get it some day, but with boxer’s careers and their lives in his hands, one could only hope he retires and retires soon.
Experience Over Youth As Valerie Mahfood Wins By Unanimous Decision In 4!
In the second televised bout of the evening, Valerie "The Wolf" Mahfood, the current WIBF Super Middleweight Champion improved to 15-7 (8KO's) after taking the younger more inexperienced Yolanda "Stone Hands" Swindell 3-1 (2 KO's) to school. Even though both women boxed very well, it was Mahfood’s hard punches mixed in with her boxing and head movement that won her the fight by Majority Decision. While most ringsiders felt Mahfood pitched a shutout, Judge Adams amazingly and inexplicably had it a 38-38 draw. The crowd let him know immediately what they thought of his decision as a cascade of boos nearly drowned out the other scorecard results. The other judges had it 39-37 in favor of Mahfood, which was also baffling, but not nearly as baffling the card Adams came up with.
Mahfood won the 1st round after connecting on the taller Swindell. Swindell boxed well but Mahfoods pressure and movement stole the first round, which turned out to be a very cautious one for both fighters. That wouldn’t last though, as Mahfood began to connect with her overhand right at will. Swindell's head snapped back often which easily earned her the round. In round 3, Swindell came out with more aggression but it didn't matter as the more experienced Mahfood kept the pressure up while using her head movement and counters to thwart Swindell. Round 4 was all Mahfood except for 2 good shots that Swindell offered up. Otherwise, Swindell's only defense resulted in holding until she was warned to stop by Referee Sam Garza. At the end, this was an easy fight to score 40-36 for Mahfood.
Battle of The Willis’s Goes to Rod Willis By Unanimous Decision!
In the second bout of the evening, hometown Heavyweight "3rd" Ward Billy Willis 2-1 (2 KO'S) suffered his first defeat in a four rounder against Rod "Lord Of The Rings" Willis 5-0-1 (3 KO's). The judges officially had it 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
In round 1, the taller better-sculpted Rod Willis took it to the shorter and flabbier Billy Willis the entire round with short right hooks to Billy Willis’s head. Rod’s southpaw style and his significant height, and reach advantage caused Billy trouble the whole round and the entire fight for that matter. In round two, Billy landed some good shots against the ropes but Rod moved with most of the punches, which took most of the sting out of them. In spite of the advantages Rod had, Billy gave Rod a very tough round two, however, one could not ignore the right hooks that continued to find there mark on Billy’s face. Round 3 was all Rod as he hooked the shorter Billy to death. Over and over his right hook would connect with ease. In round 4, both seemed tired and winded and Rod still seemed to get the best of Billy with his more accurate shots to the left side of face.
In Other Action; "Tito" Santiago Wins Unanimous 4 Round Decision
In the opening bout of the evening, Jr. Lightweight Mario "Tito" Santiago 4-0 (3 KO's) won a Unanimous Decision victory over Oliver "Leather Hands" Bolanos 3-6 (2 1KO) of Houston in a tough 4 rounder. Judges Adams and Russell scored it a shut out 40-36 while Eckels scored it 39-37 all in favor of Santiago.
In round one, the taller southpaw Santiago landed a hard left cross and stole the round in what was a fairly cautious round for both combatants. In round two, that all changed when the shorter right-handed Bolano landed some body shots of his own. Although the punches were well placed, they were no match for the harder shots the Puerto Rican was landing. Santiago would initiate his attack well with a lead right jab and overhand left combination that found its mark quite well. Bolano's work to the body was admirable in round two but it just wasn’t enough. Round 3 opened up with a head butt that caused a small gash on the upper right cheek of Santiago. Referee Sam Garza correctly ruled it an accidental head butt. The head-butt seemed to distract Santiago and he took a beating for the next minute, however, Santiago rebounded and took the remaining 2 minutes of the fight to Bolanos in spite of a spirited effort. In round 4, the shorter Bolanos spent the entire round chasing Santiago only to eat more 1-2 combinations. This was an easy fight to score 40-36 in favor of Santiago.
In Other Action Continued; Felix “Bad News” Cora Delivers The Bad News To Waller By KO!
In the walkout bout of the evening, Cruiserweight Felix “Bad News” Cora 13-0-2 (7 KO’s) won by 3rd round TKO over Jason Waller 26-22-3 (19 KO’s). Felix boxed extremely well and showed his power over and over until Referee Sam Garza properly waved off the bout in 2:48 seconds of round 3. Felix was throwing punches from all angles and was doing what he wanted when he wanted. A wise decision by a good and reputable referee.
Raymond “The Blind Man” Charles Ends the Night With Destruction Of Dobbs!
In the very last fight of the evening, Raymond “The Blind Man” Charles 8-0-1 (4 KO’s) wiped out Oklahoma’s Mike Dobbs 5-7 (4 KO’s) in 1:14 of round 1. After going down from a body shot, Barry Yates waved off the fight when Dobbs could not beat the 10 count.
My Two Cents…
Although there were a few hitches to Rookie Promoter Darrel Clouse’s (of Vertex Promotions) first boxing show, he brought Houston a fantastic fight card. The only major issues were that there was no designated seating for the press (yours truly) and some disorganization as to obtaining proper credentials. However, if these were the only problems, Vertex will survive and live to fight another day (pun intended). The whole event was first class though.
The shows production from the Emcee to the boxers ring entrances was top notch. Suleyman’s ring entrance with the belly dancer was HBO-like and CSI (The Cable Company) in association with Corona Beer have to be given major props for making that happen and giving the fans “that” Las Vegas feel.
The Ring-Card girls were varied from attractive to raunchy looking but altogether, it was interesting and enjoyable. As to the action in the ring, it’s definitely worth the price of admission and those of you who missed it shouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Suleyman’s and Soto-Karas’s put on a great show, and the only thing that tainted their performance was a lousy official named Barry Yates. Their sportsmanship and the class they displayed spoke volumes as to the admiration and respect they had for each other after the fight. Suleyman carried Soto-Karas in the air and both camps admired what the other boxer had done from top to bottom. I’ve seen fighters and trainers admire each other to this degree, but not entire teams. It was awesome! These are what you call class acts!
Finally, were it not for the press seating, credentials, and Barry Yates, Clouse’s first boxing show would have been incredible. He can’t control whom the boxing commission selects for its officials, and with experience, the disorganization regarding press seating should not be an issue. As far as the ring card girls, that’s another subject for another day. As I was watching and hearing the kind words both camps had for each other, I was reminded of what fans saw in Mickey Ward and Arturo Gatti after each of their wars. That is something special and I’m glad I got to see it then and I’m glad I saw it tonight. Thanks to Mr. Darrel Clouse for putting on one hell of an inaugural boxing show!
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk
Contributing Writer & Photographer
Article posted on 16.01.2004
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