Knockouts at Coushatta: Marquez KOs Rios

marquez-rios11.07.06 - Christine Maynard @ ringside -- photo gallery by J & P Photos -- The first fight of the night at Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana was a real crowd pleaser. The Bayou Boxing Promotion event began with Lorissa Rivas from Las Vegas (1-0) fighting Geboria Mayfield, from Mississippi, for Geboria's pro debut. Lorissa entered the ring confidently, her face glistening from Vaseline, sporting a red bandana. She struck her gloves together intimidatingly and looked frighteningly fit. Geboria's only bravado as she approached the ring was Nascar-like; the sound of racing engines. Her slight arms and legs appeared to tremble more, the louder the soundtrack which marked her entrance became. She looked like she'd be scared if Lorissa asked her to play hop scotch. Her apparent vulnerability and femininity made most people cringe, as if Geboria were about to be drawn and quartered instead of knocked out.

Yet, at 1:05 into the first round, Geboria flattened Lorissa. She fell backwards, dazed and shocked. Her eyes were like pin wheels, and the referee sliced the air with his hands, indicating "no mas." Geboria was ebullient, elated beyond measure. Some thought her initial shyness was a ploy to make Lorissa over confident, but I don't buy that. Entering the ring, she looked as if she wanted to take it back, as if she thought she'd made a really bad decision, turning pro. She gave it her best, which was more than enough for this Summertime showdown. The audience was jumpin', and the drama was high..

The second fight featured Brock the Butcher Stodden, 17-13, clearly the opponent, facing the always noble, always triumphant Chris Henry, who is now 15-0 with 14 KO's. Chris is a cruiser weight champion with the potent combination of power, accuracy, and speed. Brock began to brawl with Chris, surprising him, as if it were Ultimate fighting, incorporating a trip, tumble and throw series. Chris was not amused, and he began to take Brock apart with three to the head and then head/body combos. After working him over pretty hard for thirty seconds, he began to really wallop Brock with upper cuts which popped his head back. Two minutes and sixteen seconds into the first, Chris knocked him off of his feet, and the fight was called. The card girls held steady, as no fight had gone into a second round.

Valerie Mahfood from Texas, 19-11 with 2 draws, was an IBA heavyweight champion. "Wolfe" is emblazoned on her shorts, not due to any association with Ann Wolfe. It is her nick name. She had a rooster comb, bright purple mullet, and wore black and white combat camo. She took on Alexandra "Sweet and Sour" Maloy, 2-2, from Tampa Florida. Excellent action ensued from the beginning, with Valerie landing 10 punches to Maloy, and the ref stopping the action to check her out, before allowing the fight to continue. Alexandra appeared more fit, with sinewy legs and less body fat than Valerie. It took her until the third round to establish her rhythm, and she then began to give back, in kind. She laid some good licks on Valerie in round four, even though Valerie's strong suit is her slipping. Maloy's strength is in her combos and her ability to protect herself, chin tucked, fists up, close in. The crowd cheered Valerie on harder, as if they were disappointed that the fight was so close. "Come on, come on, get mad, Valerie," was chanted. The fight went the prescribed six rounds, ending in a draw.

The next fight featured Juan Diaz' brother, Jose, 11-0, pitted against Phillip "Bring the Pain" Payne, an NABA and IBA champion from St. Louis, who is 18-15 with 2 draws. Willie Savannah's wife Clara stole the show ring side, easily the best dressed (chartreuse stylish pant suit with matching sandals) and most passionate person on the sidelines, supporting her "baby" in the ring. She was seated by Timothy Knight, Jose's trainer, but it was Clara whom I heard instructing:

Keep 'em up high
Wear that body out
Let it go
Hands up, baby
Pop that jab out there; there you go!

Diaz' footwork was solid. He kept it slow and low over Hanoi, dropping bomb after bomb on Phillip. Payne's reach is good, and he connected to Jose's jaw and head with some fast punches. In the third round Payne gathered steam- he hit harder, ducked lower and pushed Jose off of him, ready for more. A higher percentage of Diaz' shots missed in the fourth round, but his uppercut continued to be fast and fabulous. He landed them unwaveringly, Mexican never ever quit style. Phillip fired some amazing 180 degree body shots to Diaz, but he appeared to be weakening by the fifth round. The fight went to Jose Diaz by decision, 59-54

Thomas Ried, 34-17 from Tennessee, fought Manu Ntoh, 16-12 from Atlanta. Ried, the winner, was referred to as Chris Henry's next opponent. Ried tore up Manu in the ring, particularly on the ropes. Manu ran at Reid and ended up impaled on Ried's glove. He took punishment. Scores: 77-73 Manu; 80-72 and 79-73 for Ried, Thomas Ried winner by unanimous decision.

In the final bout, Raul Marquez, from Houston, former IBF Light middleweight World Champion and 1992 Olympian ( 36-3 with 25 KO's) fought Sergio Rios from California, 18-4, with 16 KO's. Marquez remarked that he felt very much at home at the Coushatta Casino, particularly as his supporters from across Texas showed up to cheer him on. Sergio Rios' trainer is former world champion Roberto Garcia. Rios entered this ten round fight draped in a traditional Mexican blanket. He has tattoos of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, a Caduceus and a cross. In the first two rounds, Marquez landed a great number of punches, mostly hard connecting jabs to the body. The two fighters appeared very evenly matched at times, as Rios was obviously well prepared. Raul couldn't keep Sergio on the ropes, where he had his clearest advantage. Sergio appeared to have more muscle mass, but he was suffering by the fourth, appearing out of breath and hurting from liver shots. Marquez him him squarely in the solar plexus, and he went down for the count. Marquez, who has fought against Vargas, Mosley and Jermaine Taylor, says a fight with Winky Wright tops his wish list.

Article posted on 12.07.2006

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