Goyo Vargas Too Much for Balletto

01.11.03 - Ron DiMichele at ringside: A relaxed and confident Gregorio ‘Goyo’ Vargas flew into Gary Balletto’s backyard Friday night, opened up a bag of boxing wizardry, and haunted the Providence, RI fighter over 12-rounds en route to a Halloween night majority decision.

On the undercard of the Vargas-Balletto main event, Jaime Clampitt won the IWBF Light Welterweight title in a unanimous decision over Talia Smith, and Chad Dawson remained undefeated stopping Dumont Welliver with the referee calling a halt to the contest between the eighth and ninth rounds.

At Thursday‘s weigh-in, Goyo Vargas boldly stated he wanted to get this fight over quickly so he could focus on his more important HBO Boxeo De Oro bout coming up in December. It wasn’t as easy as predicted, but the Mexican lightweight backed up his words using quickness and ring savvy to punish and befuddle hometown hero, Gary Balletto.

Gary Balletto, 135 (29-2-2, 25 KOs) simply had no answer to the Goyo Vargas, 136 (44-7-1, 30 KOs) left hand ¾ the jab or the hook. Vargas established both punches early, flooring Balletto in the third while busting up his nose with a hard left hook. Balletto rose off the deck and fought back valiantly,bolstered by a vociferous partisan crowd at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. But Vargas’ ability to duck and squirm around Balletto’s bombs, absorb the shots that did land, and to paint Balletto’s face with rapid-fire salvos of his own proved to be the difference. Vargas was especially adept at fighting off the ropes, repeatedly beating Balletto to the punch during inside exchanges.

In the later rounds, Balletto’s heavy attack began to wear down Vargas, and a low blow point deduction from Vargas in the eighth by referee Joe Lupino pulled Balletto within striking distance. But a Vargas resurgence captured the twelfth, when he potshotted a spent Balletto and sealed the deal in his favor.

The judge’s scorecards read: 115-113 Vargas, 114-112 Vargas, and 114-114. ESB scored the bout 114-112 for Goyo Vargas.

“Bad” Chad Dawson, 160, of New Haven, CT upped his professional record to a pristine 14-0 with 10 KOs with a one-sided TKO victory over Dumont Welliver, 157 (14-6-1, 4 KOs) of Snoqualmie, WA. Southpaw Dawson used a considerable height and reach advantage to thwart Welliver’s attempts to get within punching range. Throughout the bout, Dawson landed a steady stream of hard lefts and rights to the head and body to the of the willing, but overmatched Welliver. Welliver’s face began to swell in the early rounds and by the end of the eighth, he brandished a mouse above his left eye approaching Rahmanesque proportions. The facial swelling coupled with Welliver’s decreasing offensive output inspired referee Charlie Dwyer to stop the fight after the eighth round.

Jamie Clampitt (12-2, 4 KOs) of Narragansett, RI won a unanimous 10-round decision over Eliza Olson (6-2, 2 KOs) of Fresno, CA to capture the IWB (International Women’s Boxing Federation) Light Welterweight Championship. Olson used quick, two-handed flurries to put Clampitt on her heels in the early rounds. But Clampitt regained her bearings as the fight progressed and landed the more telling blows in the later stanzas.

A smathering of boos greeted the decision with the judge’s scorecards reading: 99-94, 96-95, and 99-92 all for Jamie Clampitt. ESB’s scorecard read: 96-94 in favor of Eliza Olson.

In other action:

Missy Fiorentino, 125, (8-0, 6 KOs) of Cranston, RI stopped Talia Smith, 121 (3-1, 3 KOs) of Cleveland, OH in a women’s 6-round featherweight bout. Fiorentino launched a blistering attack at the opening bell and dropped Smith with hard right hand to the midsection in the second round. Smith rose to her feet but was unable to continue prompting referee Charlie Dwyer to stop the contest at 1:15 of the second.

Joe Spina, 173, (10-0, 7 KOs) of Providence, RI floored Anterio Vines, 179, (2-2) of Columbus, OH with a big right hand in the fourth round of a 4-round light-heavyweight fight. Vines rose only to be knocked down and out with another Spina right hand at 2:19 of the fourth round.

Angel Torres (14-2, 5 KOs) of Manchester, CT won a unanimous lopsided decision over Angelo Torres (no relation), (7-7-1, 3 KOs) of Lakewood, WA in a 6-round Featherweight bout. All three judges scorecards read: 60-54 in favor of Angel Torres.

Middleweight Martin Thornton (6-1, 2 KOs) of South Boston, MA via Galway, Ireland won in a bizarre stoppage of previously unbeaten Bobo Starnino (6-1, 1 KO) of Providence, RI. Thornton, clearly behind in the final round of a 4 round bout, pushed Starnino out of a clinch. Starnino fell backwards onto the canvas slamming his head against the mat. Starnino slowly rose to his feet badly stunned. Referree Harold Gomes gave Starnino five minutes to recover from the fall, after which, Gomes reported Starnino elected not to continue. Gomes awarded the fourth round TKO victory to Martin Thornton.

In another 4-round middleweight match-up, Joe Gardner, 158, (4-0-1, 1 KO) of Bellingham, MA dropped Keith Collier, 158, (0-3-1) 6 times en route to a unanimous decision victory.

The evening’s boxing card was a Jimmy Burchfield Classic Entertainment and Sports boxing presentation.

Ron DiMichele’s email is:

Article posted on 01.11.2003

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