By Joseph Herron-San Antonio Boxing Examiner: Luis Yanez dominated Joseph Rios in front of a crowd of 1,200 at La Villita’s Maverick Plaza in San Antonio, TX, on March 24th Credits: Esteban Erik Stipnieks. On March 24th, at La Villita’s Maverick Plaza, Zeferino Entertainment treated San Antonio fight fans to a spectacular show which featured six action packed bouts in various weight classes, ranging from Super Flyweight to Junior Middleweight.
In the main event of the evening, Luis “The Latin Legend” Yanez (7-0-1) defeated Joseph “Mighty Angel” Rios (10-7-2, 4 KOs) in an eight round split decision to retain his USA Texas State Super Flyweight Championship.
Leading into the bout, both fighters exchanged a brutal war of words and had previously fought on two different occasions with mixed outcomes. Their first meeting took place in June of 2009, which resulted in a unanimous decision favoring of the former 2008 Olympian. Their most recent pairing took place in February of 2011, and was much more competitive. The spirited bout resulted in a draw which featured split results from the judges at ringside.
Last night, although holding the distinction of Super Flyweight Texas Champion, Luis Yanez was the first man to enter the ring and the first fighter announced during the prefight pageantry. The majority of the 1,200 fans in attendance were present to support the hometown fighter, but the overwhelming crowd support for Joseph Rios failed to negatively affect the counterpuncher from Dallas, TX. The lightning fast Luis Yanez seemed to thrive off of the jeers and boos from the spectators and controlled the entire eight round contest.
By using brilliant footwork and ring generalship, the slick southpaw frequently would catch Rios marching forward with sharp, crisp check right hooks. Yanez was turning his opponent effectively throughout the entire fight, leaving the San Antonio fighter out of position and at a safe distance.
As the rounds piled up in favor of the visiting fighter, Joseph Rios seemingly had no answer for the speed and accurate punching of the 23 year old Texas Champion. In the seventh round, Rios began to enjoy mild success in penetrating the Champion’s defense, but the offensive flurries of the local pressure fighter were short lived and didn’t seem to have a substantial consequence.
In the end, the bout was decided by the hand speed and technique of Luis Yanez. But surprisingly, the three judges at ringside were at odds and ultimately scored the contest a split decision victory for the former Olympian. Judges Mark Calo-Oy and Ruben Carrion both the scored the bout 79-73, in favor of Luis Yanez, but veteran judge Glen Rick Crocker ruled the bout in favor of Joseph Rios with a shocking verdict of 77-75.
The winning fighter’s trainer had much to say about the final outcome.
“I know Rios is the hometown fighter, but let the best man win,” exclaimed experienced trainer Denis Rodarte. “I don’t care if it’s in Dallas, San Antonio, or wherever, my fighter deserved to get a unanimous decision.” Despite the seemingly bad blood between both combatants, Luis Yanez was very gracious in his victory.
“Joseph Rios is a tough guy and he came to fight,” professed the highly touted prospect. “But I came into his hometown and still got the victory. He put forth a respectable effort but I was just much faster than he was and I was able to counter him all night without any problems.”
Expert trainer Denis Rodarte has big plans for his slick fighter.
“We’re looking to get on another show with Zeferino Entertainment,” stated the proud boxing coach. “They put on one heck of a show here in San Antonio and we’re talking about possibly being on an Austin card on May 19th, or a June card up in Dallas. But the main thing is to keep Luis busy in 2012.”
With two impressive victories to begin 2012, Luis Yanez is hoping to make his mark in the talent enriched 115 pound weight division.
Joseph Rios and his father/trainer Mike Rios Sr. were gracious as well in their defeat.
“Yanez is a good fighter,” stated the humble Joseph Rios. “I didn’t really get comfortable in the ring until the last few rounds. I started to time him in the seventh, but by then it was too late. But, it was a really good fight.”
Although usually an orthodox fighter, Mike Rios Sr. had his son fight out of a southpaw stance throughout the entire bout.
“I had Joseph prepare for eight weeks fighting out of the southpaw stance because we had so much success with it during the second fight with Yanez in Ft. Worth,” claimed the experienced trainer. “We did that to give him the advantage with the lead right hand but Joseph simply had trouble timing Luis with it throughout the majority of the fight. Joseph did his best, but he just came up short tonight.”