24.10.03 – Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk @ Ringside: In the Main Event of the evening, Middleweight Raul “El Diamante” Marquez 35-2 KO’d a very game (and awkward) Humberto Aranda 28-12 in round 4 of their 10 round-scheduled fight. Marquez gave the fans what they came to see after a slow start. The best part perhaps of the evening for Marquez was that A) he still looked as powerful as ever and B) he did not use the services of the plastic surgeon in his corner during the fight!
In round 1, Marquez was trying to establish the jab with the right-handed Aranda to no avail. Arandas clearly took this round by shear effort as the slower starting Marquez elected to jab and counter in spots. In the opening seconds of round 2, Aranda picked up the pressure and connected with a hard right in the opening seconds of the round. He followed up it up later in the round with an effective right that connected well off of Marquez. Marquez finally gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about when he connected with a straight left that sent an off balance Aranda to the ropes. Marquez again connected when both fighters got in close quarters in round two. Round two was close but Marquez landed the harder shots. In round 3, two head-butts slowed the fight down quite a bit. To that point the fight was beginning to pick up when Aranda came in with his head and head-butted Marquez’s lower lip. Marquez made a motion to referee Barry Yates, and Barry told Aranda and Marquez to be careful. Just as Marquez began to apply the pressure with his solid body attack, another head butt slowed the action. Barry Yates stopped the bout momentarily so ring physician Dr. Apizar could inspect Aranda. This was a real twist as usually the shoes on the other foot for Marquez. The fight continued and a game Aranda made this a close round by landing some decent shots of his own. In a perfectly timed exchange Marquez hurt Aranda with a left cross. Marquez’s power was overwhelming though and he made this an easier round to score because of the difference in power. In round 4, Marquez knocked the mouthpiece from Arandas’ mouth. Again the fight slowed, as Yates appeared to not understand what Aranda was trying to tell him. When he realized he was missing a mouthpiece, Barrry Yates stopped the bout and Arandas’ and his corner took their sweet time in replacing the mouthpiece. You would have thought Arandas was strolling through the park on a Sunday afternoon at the pace that he was moving towards his corner. Ironically, in a style similar to DelaHoya, Marquez used his shoulders to effectively screen most of Arandas’ punches. But it would not be long before the powerful Marquez body shots would send Aranda to the canvass for good. Referee Barry Yates counted out Arandas in 2:54 seconds of round 4.
I caught up with Marquez after the fight and he had this to say; “I felt strong tonight. This guy was awkward. I was telling Chris Byrd that it must have felt like I was fighting him (laughs). I couldn’t land my jab the way I wanted to but unlike Aranda, I got better, faster, and stronger as the fight went on while he got slower and easier to reach. He was a dangerous foe and someone I took serious for what he did to Mayorga. Now I want to fight Daniel Santos! I’ve been calling him out and hopefully him or Winky Wright will fight me in January on Mike Tyson’s Pay Per View under-card. With Oscar in my corner, he’s really working at trying to bring me the best fights so I’m ready for anybody!” Congratulations Raul, so are we.
Jose Luis “El Surdo” Valbuena Predicts Right; TKO’s Houston’s Donis!
In the co-featured bout and IBF Championship eliminatory bout of the evening, Jose Luis “El Surdo” Valbuena 24-2-1 TKO’d Houston’s David Donis 21-5-2 in round 8 in a tough spirited battle that ebbed and flowed throughout 7 of the 8 rounds it lasted. Valbuena put on a great show in Donis’s back yard and with this win, Valbuena has major things lined up for him in 2004. He is now scheduled to fight Manny Pacquiao in March.
Although Valbuena seemed ice cold in the first round, with not one bead of sweat on his back, he won as he had predicted at the weigh in-by knockout. In round 1, Donis landed a hard right hook that was his most significant punch of the round. Valbuena landed a good body shot of his own, but it was clearly not enough to take the round from the much more active Donis. In round 2, Donis landed a good body shot during an exchange but a much better timed overhand left by Valbuena seemed to be his best punch of the fight to that point. Valbuena followed it with a hard left hook in the subsequent exchange. Donis appeared to be hurt by Valbuena’s effective short hooks. Valbuena closed the round with a left uppercut that landed on the point of Donis’s chin. This was clearly a Valbuena round. In the 3rd round Valbuena’s 2nd punch seemed to do the most damage. As he would miss with his first punch, and Donis would back up, the following punch would connect more effectively. The shorter Donis seemed to start having difficulty with the height and reach advantage. Donis made up for this by Donis by pressuring the taller Valbuena for the remainder of the fight. A tough round to score but ironically Donis seemed to do a lot more in this round consistently. In round 4, Donis landed a hard right, but Valbuena seemed to take well until another hard Donis right hurt him. Valbuena responded by seemingly throwing 2 deliberate low blows after he was hurt. Referee Bobby Gonzalez warned him twice with the second warning being much more emphatic. Donis switch to southpaw momentarily but outside of giving Valbuena a different look; it had no effect in this round. Valbuena finally cornered Donis and he hurt him repeatedly with a steady diet of headshots. Even though there did not appear to be much steam behind every punch, it was still very effective. As the 10 second warning sounded both fighters tried to steal the round. Although Valbuena seemed to land the harder shots, Donis continued to maintain the more consistant attack. This was a great give and take round but it was also another tough round to score but the nod in round 4 went to Donis. In round 5 Valbuena seemed to weather the storm as he began to land with more effectiveness. Donis seemed to rely on one shot at a time for much of this round, however, Donis DID connect with a 1-2-3 combination that hurt Valbuena. Valbuena seemed to shrug it off like a pro and pressed on. I scored this round for Donis as well. In round 6, Valbuena made a comeback though when he landed his best 1-2 combination of the fight. Unfortunatley for Valbuena, his right eye began to bleed after a clash of heads along the ropes. In spite of the cut, this was the first round since the second that Valbuena clearly won. In round seven Donis began to lead with his head and both fighters seemed to take the round off until the 10 second warning. An early connect by Donis seemed to be the only real activity in this round. A shot to Valbuena’s chin stole the round for Donis. In round 8, Valbuena connected with a great head and body shot combination that shook Donis. For the first time in the bout, Donis looked in real trouble. Valbuena hurt him in the center of the ring and punched Donis and shoved him at the same time. Instead of properly ruling it a knockdown though, Gonzalez counted it as a knockdown from a push. This was clearly not the case, as the wobbly-legged Donis staggered to his feat. The subsequent punishment he took along the ropes caused him to nearly fall out of the ring. He again staggered to his feat as Gonzalez nearly reached 10. As the action continued, a non-responsive Donis was waved off when he could not respond to Valbueana pressure. The official stoppage was 1:51 seconds of round 8.
Valbuena talked with me at length after the fight. “I am happy about my performance. I want to thank the people of Houston and the press who were very kind to me all along the way. I am excited about working with Oscar. He’s a man of his word and I thank him for putting this all together. I am looking forward to Pacquiao and that fight should happen in March of next year. Even though I had 5 stitches to close my cut, I can go much sooner but he has to fight Barrera in November so we’ll see what happens. I think Pacquiao has some disadvantages going into that fight but he as power but Barrera is so well skilled I think he’ll win.”
In the second bout of the evening, Florencio “Lopez” Ibarra12-3-2 (10 KO’s) took on Light Heavyweight Miguel “El Tapatio” Martin in a scheduled 8 round affair. In round 1, Ibarra tried to establish the jab and pressure, pressure, pressure Martin. Martin appeared to take a few moments to size up Ibarra before a sharp left hook by Martin shook Ibarra. This was the biggest and most significant punch of the entire round. The punch seemed to open the floodgates, as Martin seemed to begin to land a steady diet of 1-2 combinations. Ibarra attempted to close the distance but is did little to phase the more tactical Martin. This was an easy round to score in favor of Martin. In the 2nd round Ibarra timed Martin perfectly against the ropes as he landed his best shot of the entire fight. However, Martin was not fazed as he slid along the ropes and regained the advantage. Martin regained the advantage and knocked Ibarra down after a hard right against the ropes. Ibarra quickly got up but he appeared to be on wobbly legs. Only the bell saved Ibarra in this round as a rushing Martin was not able to pounce on the wounded Ibarra. Ibarra played it smart and again moved in so Martin could not connect with his arm fully extended. It was only a matter of time though before Martin would finish him off. In round 3, Martin started of with more pressure. A straight right shot by Martin seemed to hurt the oncoming Ibarra. The only thing Ibarra seemed to be able to do effectively in this round was staying on his feet by holding and leaning. Martin completely dominated this round. A welt began to form on Ibarra’s eye in this round midway through. During the one-minute rest, Ibarra’s had decided that they had seen enough and they threw in the towel. Barry Yates acknowledged the surrender and waved off Ibarra. The fight officially ended in by TKO in 10 seconds of round 4.
And now Martin moves onto bigger things. I spoke with him briefly after the bout and he had this to say: “I am so happy about the win. I am thankful to the people for supporting me along the way and helping me realize what happened tonight.” When I asked him about his future he stated “I look forward to getting back in the ring real soon. I am scheduled to fight on the Marco Antonio Barrera and Pacquiao under card on November 15, and I am really excited about that.” Congratulations Miguel on a dominant showing!
In Other Action…
In the opening fight of the evening, Jesus “Chuy” Ruiz TKO’d Tyrone Jackson 7-22 in the 2nd round of a scheduled 8 Round Light heavyweight bout. Referee Ronnie Ralston felt he had seen enough when a hurt Jackson did little to respond to Ruiz’s attack in round 2. The end of the fight really occurred toward the waning seconds of the first round when at the sound of the 10-second warning, Jackson was severely hurt by Ruiz’s body and head attack. Although Jackson did a lot of smiling and taunting of Ruiz throughout the bout, he had very little to smile about as Ruiz picked him apart with left hooks to the body and head. The smaller Jackson was game at times but Ruiz was just too much. Only Ruiz’s low blows appeared to put him in jeopardy of losing the bout. Interestingly enough Jackson’s record was left off of all the promotional programs and when I asked him about his record he claimed “I don’t remember”- yeah right! The official stoppage was 56 seconds of round number 2.
In an interesting Jr. Welterweight four-rounder that was much closer than the final score indicated, Derrick Moon beat a very game Lee DeLeon by unanimous decision. Moon came out like gangbusters in round one with a lot of energy and movement. He landed the harder punches and clearly stole the round with his high-energy aggression. In round two, the table would turn though when after an accidental head-butt, Moon seemed to run out of gas entirely. Deleon took advantage and hurt and staggered the previously energized Moon. Referee Ronnie Ralston had Ringside Physician Ignacio Apizar inspect Moon’s cut right eye. Although Moon previously appeared flashy he was now resorting to switching to southpaw to try and make it out of round 2. Round 2 was all Deleon. In round 3, Moon again switched to southpaw but this time he seemed to land some punches when he did this. By the end of the round, DeLeons eye began to drastically close. The eye looked like Rahmans head when he fought Holyfield-grotesque swollen. Ralston again called a stoppage so Apizar could now inspect Deleon. After several moments, Apizar gave Ralston the green light and the bout continued. In the 4th round both fighters came out smoking. It was apparent their corners told them that, whomever won round 4, would probably win the bout. Both attacked each other with a vengeance. It wasn’t until Deleon (clearly) slipped from a missed thrown punch; that he still had a chance to walk away with a draw because instead of ruling it a slip, Ralston ruled it a knockdown! This seemed to take the life out of Deleon as he lost the rest of the round decidedly. Adams and Morrison had the fight a lopsided 40-35, while the rest of the breathing in attendance had it 39-36 as did McCowan. Unfortunately, the slippage occurred quickly but it was clearly a slip as the entire arena let Ralston know that he had ruled the knockdown incorrectly.
Carlos “Stiff-jab” Kalinchuk
Contributing Writer & Photograhper