02.10.04 – By Kent Appel @ringside: Former Junior Lightweight champion Steve Forbes of Las Vegas, Nevada pounded out a tough ten round split decision win over Steve Quinonez of Palm Springs, California to headline an excellent seven bout card Friday, October 1, 2004 at the Trump 29 Casino in Coachella, California. What was unique about the card, a Goossen Tutor promotion, is that it featured a former world champion in almost every fight.
Forbes, 143 pounds, simply landed the stronger punches in slightly higher numbers over the ten round junior welterweight contest to defeat Quinonez, 142 pounds by the judges’ scores of 96 to 94, 96 to 94, both for Forbes while the third judge voted for Quinonez by the score of 96 to 95. I saw the fight by the score of 97 to 93 for the winner Forbes and although I thought Forbes won by a larger margin than the judges’ scores indicated, he didn’t totally dominate any round in this very competitive fight.
Quinonez, a southpaw, had a slight edge in rounds one and two on the basis of his good use of the right jab and of the straight left hand in the first round and of right/left combinations to the head in round number two. Forbes did land right leads and right hands to the body, which increased in numbers in round two, a round that was almost even as the momentum shifted ever so slightly towards his favor.
Forbes let his hands go more in rounds three and four with combinations to the head and the body featuring strong use of the right hand lead to the head in round number three and of right hands to the body. He also added good use of the left hook to the head and surprisingly, Forbes used the left jab to the head in round four, a tactic that usually is not advised against a southpaw.
Forbes continued his higher work rate in round number five with use of combinations to the head featuring left/right hands, uppercuts, left hooks and again, the left jab. Quinonez was more competitive in round five with good use of the straight left hand to the head, use of the right jab, lefts and rights to the body and although the round was closer, he fell just short of winning the round. Forbes used a strong body attack in round number six with both hands as well as landing strong left hooks to the head in the round to take some of the play away from Quinonez, who had rallied somewhat in round number five.
The action shifted in round number seven to Quinonez and he had the edge in the round by using strong combinations with both hands to the head and body. Forbes reasserted himself in round number eight by using combinations to the head, hard right hand leads to the body, and with the strong counterpunching with the left hook to the head.
The trend continued in round number nine and Forbes again stepped up use of the left jab, left hooks, combinations to the head and body, and the strong use of the right hand lead to the head. The two fighters traded toe to toe in the closing round, round number ten as Quinonez seeming to sense he needed a knockout to win, pressed the action. But Forbes was equal to the challenge and he held off Quinonez’s charge by landing the harder shots to close out the win.
With the win, Forbes improved his record to 25-3, 7 by KO while Quinonez falls to 28-9-1, 9 by KO.
In a heavyweight bout scheduled for eight rounds that will also be televised on Fox Sports Network Sunday night fights, it will air on October 10, Malcolm Tann, of San Antonio, Texas took on Jason Garvern of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tann, a former national Golden Gloves champion, won a unanimous decision by the judges’ scores of 77-74, 77-75, and 78-74. I saw the fight by the score of 78-75 for the winner, Tann. Tann weighed in for the bout at 230 pounds while Gavern tipped the scales at 223 pounds.
It was hardly easy for Tann though as Gavern came to fight. and although Tann overall landed more effective punches and more of them, Every time Tann appeared to be on the verge of putting Gavern away, Gavern would storm back with punches of his own that up until the last bell kept threatening to turn the tide in his favor.
The live audience booed the judges’ verdict but I agreed with how the judges saw the fight as like the headlining fight between Forbes and Quinonez, neither fighter was completely dominant in any round. Tann won more rounds than Gavern did, 5 rounds for Tann, 2 rounds for Gavern, with one round, even, because Tann overall landed the crisper cleaner punches and more of them than Gavern landed, hence my score of 78-75 for Tann on the ten point must system. With the win Tann upped his record to 13-1, 6 by KO while Gavern suffered his first professional loss and now has a record of 6-1-1, 4 by KO.
In an eight round welterweight fight, Jose Antonio Diaz of Coachella, California took on former world bantamweight champion Alfred Kotey of Bukom Ghana. Diaz won the fight by a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards by the following scores: 79-73, 80-72, and 80-72. I saw the fight by the score of 80-72 for the winner Diaz.
Although Kotey used effective use of the left jab throughout the whole fight, Diaz used a more varied attack including in every round a strong use of the left hook to the head, right leads to the head, and some hard body punching, as well using the left jab. Diaz just landed the harder punches and more of them to gain the win. Kotey for his part fought back gamely and he also used effective two-handed combinations whenever Diaz tried to press for a knockout but Kotey could not keep up with Diaz’s higher output. . Diaz, 145 pounds, improves his record to 38-5-1, 28 by KO while Kotey is now 24-11-1, 15 by KO.
In a cruiserweight fight scheduled for eight rounds, former world champion Orlin Norris, 198 pounds, of San Diego, California defeated Ken Murphy, 217 pounds, of Chicago, Illinois by a TKO at 1:28 of the sixth round.
Murphy just had no answer to Norris’relentless assault to the body and head that started at the opening bell and although there were times in the bout that Murphy tagged the oncoming Norris solidly, Norris just shook them off and continued digging left and right hands to the body and he doubled up his attacks to include the same punches to Murphy’s head. Norris takes a step up to 57-8, 30 by KO while Murphy slips to 22-19-2, 15 by KO.
In a junior welterweight fight scheduled for six rounds, James Armah of Accra, Ghana defeated Justo Almazon of Mexico City, Mexico by a unanimous decision by the judges’ scores of 60-54, 59-55, 59-55. Armah, 141 ¾ pounds, improves his career totals to 14-0, 6 by KO while Almazon, 144 pounds, is now 14-40-5, 1 by KO.
Also on the card: in a lightweight fight scheduled for four rounds, Sean Rogers, 138 pounds, knocked out Atilio Diaz, 136 pounds, at 53 seconds of the first round. Rogers is now 1-0-1, 1 by KO while Diaz falls to 0-6. In a welterweight fight, Francisco Maldonado, 147 Â½ pounds, of Zapupan, Mexico won a majority decision over Alex Arzola, 147 ¼ pounds, of Van Nuys, California. The judges’ gave the verdict to Maldonado by the scores of 39-37. 39-37, and 38-38. Maldonado’s record is now 6-15-4, 1 by KO while Arzola is now 0-1.
After the fights I spoke to three-division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney and I asked him who he is fighting next and if the rumors of him fighting Owen Beck are true. He said that once his arm injury heals, he suffered a very painful injury to his bicep muscle on his left arm in his fight last week in his virtually one armed victory over Rydell Booker, he said, “you tell Beck to bring it on anytime, anywhere.” He also said he would be happy to even take on Vitali Klitschko for the heavyweight title. When I asked him if he would like to take a tune up match first, he said, “no fight is a tune up and I will be ready to take on Klitschko no matter when it is.”
I must apologize again to Mr. Toney, I did so in person after I made the comment, for mentioning that I even though I thought he moved well in his fight against Booker, that his weight of 227 pounds was just a starting point for his comeback and that he would be more effective at a lower weight when he steps up the competition level once his arm heals.
It was the wrong comment, at the wrong time and even though I think what I said is true, I didn’t take into account his frustration over having another injury that keeps him from training as hard as he would like to. I also didn’t take into account that other writers were asking him the same thing, that I was adding to his frustration of not being able to do much about his situation.
Toney angrily broke off our conversation and in parting he asked me if I had ever boxed. I told him that I had sparred in the gym with boxers when I was younger but that I never had an official fight and he then turned around and said, “how the hell can you write about boxing if you never had any official fights?” He then added that we sportswriters should have to fight it out in the ring and the winner would get to talk to him.
I was able to talk to him a few minutes later, before I left the arena and he let me explain that I didn’t mean any disrespect by what I said and he shook my hand and excepted my apology. I know he might not have thought so at first when I made my comments, but I never take cheap shots at anyone and I think he respected this fact when I told him this.
Toney’s point is well taken about those of us who have never been competitive boxers not having as much of perspective to write as good as we could if we had competed. But if it wasn’t for the fact that I am almost forty-six years old and I am overweight and have recently suffered a hernia in my stomach, I would join in his media boxing tournament. The weight issue is something I can do something about and I am slowly chipping away at it.