Top Rank's Night on HBO After Dark Produces Fight of the Year Candidate And…Arce Riding in on a Dancing Horse

28.01.07 - Ricardo Lois, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA -- Top Rank Promotions produced an entertaining night of boxing at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, with the semi-final and main event televised by HBO's Boxing After Dark.

Jore Arce (45-3-1, 34 KOs), super flyweight, entered the arena, heavily populated by an audience of Mexican decent, riding high on a horse, with cumbia rhythms blasting, and surrounded by gentlemen dressed in authentic charro suits. A few yards from the ring, the horse stopped, and started swaying side to side, following the rhythmic patterns of the music..

That horse could dance, but it sure can't not run as fast as Julio Roque Ler (21-1, 14 KOs) did once the bell rang. How the hell Ler, from the School of Morrade Hakkar challengers, ended up on HBO, I can never imagine.

Arce spent twelve rounds trying to engage the Argentine into warfare, but Ler would not appease Arce or the cat-calling crowd.

El Travieso tried everything, he stuck his chin out, begging Ler to strike him; Arce suggested, using non-verbal gestures, that Ler was missing his male genitals.

When all else failed, Arce stuck out his tongue and further taunted Ler.

All of it was useless.

Ler came to Anaheim strictly to survive, and maybe visit Disneyland, using a Winky Wright defense, gloves high and tight, laying on the ropes, taking combinations from Arce off the arms, and then walking out of the exchange.

The chants of, "culero," and "boludo," aimed at Ler went long and strong during the yawner of a bout.

Yet, you cannot blame Arce, he put on a show, urging the crowd on during chants, demonstrating his Ali shuffle, and throwing 4, 5, and 6 punch combinations, as Ler stagnated on the ropes.

When the final bell tolled, Arce found himself the winner of a unanimous decision. Boxing Confidential had the fight scored 119-110 for Arce.

In the televised, semi-final middleweight Kelly Pavlik (29-0, 6 KOs) faced a hostile crowd and game opponent in Jose Luis Zertuche (19-3-2, 14 KOs). The bout was highlighted by the violent give and take between Pavlik and Zertuche.

Up until the final seconds of the sixth round, Zertuche was taking all that Pavlik could dish out, while giving back just as good. This writer was amazed how the 5 foot 10 inch Zertuche could get inside and bang with the 6 foot 2 inch Pavlik.

With the sixth assault about to close, Pavlik nailed Zertuche with a mind numbing right hand that sent the Mexican crumbling to the canvas. Luckily the bell sounded and Zertuche would go on to survive a slow paced seventh round.

In the eight, the action heated up once again and Zertuche, though fading, excited the crowd by going toe to toe with Pavlik. Near the ropes, Pavlik hit Zertuche with a right that seemed to knock Zertuche out on his feet, but before referee Raul Caiz could step in, Pavlik finished off his defenseless opponent with a beautifully placed right uppercut.


In the opening bout super middleweight Victor Oganov (25-0, 25 KOs) won via second round technical knockout over Richard Grant (18-14-1, 4 KOs). Oganov is trained by the legendary Jeff Fenech.

Flyweight Francisco Arce (23-3-1, 12 KOs), brother of Jorge, won against Luis Doria (20-15-1, 2 KOs) when the fight was stopped before the beginning of the fourth.

Local lightweight John Molina (5-0, 4 KOs) displayed a well balanced attack against and sent the game Rudy Paz (2-4-1, 2 KOs) to the canvas three times in the first round.

Former U.S. Olympian and super welterweight prospect Vanes Martirosyan (11-0, 7 KOs) received the biggest ovation of any non-Mexican for the evening, as his fellow Armenians came out to support the youngster.

Displaying a beautifully disciplined boxer-puncher style, Martirosyan finished off Tarzone Washington (9-5 8 KOs) with an incredible right uppercut, left hook combination. Maybe it is just me, but Martirosyan reminds me a lot of Miguel Cotto.

Article posted on 28.01.2007

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