16.07.06 – By Karl E. H. Seigfried: Colorful fighters and variety of victories were featured tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the undercard of Mosley-Vargas 2. In a match-up of southpaws, WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon, now 29-1 (27), made a successful defense of his title against challenger Sod Looknongyantoy with an impressive first-round knockout. De Leon, sporting a long, braided ponytail in honor of the tradition followed by the Mexican Indian tribe his family belongs to, immediately leapt into the fight with very heavy (but looping) punches as his Thai challenger tried to keep him off with straight, narrow blows..

At the fifty-two second mark, a powerful left by De Leon put Looknongyantoy down and completely, totally out. The former Thai kickboxer was attempting to avenge his October decision loss to De Leon, but ended up completely (and understandably) embarrassed as he was forced to suck on the oxygen mask at ring center when he regained consciousness, his record falling to 27-2 (10). The two losses are the only fights he has had outside of Thailand; both were to De Leon.

Houston’s Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz also made a successful defense of his belt with a ninth-round TKO victory over challenger Randy Suico of the Philippines. The owner of the WBA World Lightweight Championship , now 30-0 (14), apparently does no roadwork whatsoever, but prefers to train by swimming and using the Stairmaster. The unorthodox training obviously pays off, as Diaz has amazing stamina and the ability to throw voluminous amounts of punches without showing an ounce of fatigue. Suico completely negated his substantial height advantage by hunching way over the entire fight, and he seemed incapable of getting through Diaz’ impregnable defense. The end of the first round saw Suico landing less than 10% of his punches as Diaz, continually putting together quick combinations, landed more than 50%. Suico had no defense at all against Diaz’ jab, and the Texan repeatedly landed unbelievable, perfect, multiple combinations. However, there didn’t seem to be much power behind them, as Suico showed no noticeable effect. Diaz continually blocked the punches of “The Filipino Hands of Stone” with his forearms and elbows, immediately going into defensive posture after throwing out his combinations, gloves up at his ears like his namesake Raging Bull. Strangely, referee Joe Cortez began hovering over the Suico corner after the fourth round, asking “Do you want to keep fighting? Show me something!” Suico was clearly unhurt and working hard; his punches were just being expertly blocked. The nonstop combinations of Diaz finally brought a TKO stoppage in the ninth round, leaving Suico’s record at 24-3 (21).

In a quick four-rounder, 2004 Olympian Rock Allen of Philadelphia won a unanimous shutout decision over Floridian Henry Mitchell, now sadly at 6-6-1 (1). The super-lightweight bout was clearly owned by the much more muscular Allen, who was obviously looking for a knockout with every punch and seemingly troubled by an opponent who just wouldn’t fall. In an odd moment between the first two rounds, Allen’s trainer looked into his fighter’s eyes and intoned, “I am a professional athlete. I use my jab,” clearly trying to get his charge to box more, instead of relying on the overhand rights that admittedly dominated the opening round. Allen, still undefeated at 9-0 (6), briefly switched to southpaw in the third round. Mitchell put up a solid effort, avoiding his clearly intended fate as knockout victim number seven, and managing a good flurry in the third, a nice combination to the body in the fourth, and some trading in the fight’s final minute. However, he did spend a lot of the match against the ropes and in the corners, and he was simply overpowered by Allen’s strength.

Article posted on 17.07.2006

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