Arce, Castillo and Chavez Jr victorious on Morales vs Pacquiao undercard
By Anthony Cocks, Site Editor (March 21, 2005)
Also SEE: ‘I Think I Won The Fight’ Pacquiao
All Photos © German Villasenor
Top Rank put on another stellar undercard in support of Saturday night's mega bout between Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In an early contender for 'Fight of the Year' former WBC and WBO junior flyweight champion Jorge Arce repelled a stiff challenge from Hussein Hussein to score a stunning tenth round knockout in an official WBC flyweight eliminator.
Hussein, whose younger brother Nedal lost a lacklustre twelve round decision to WBC super bantamweight champion Oscar Larios last year, came out hard from the opening bell determined to impose his will on the shorter, stockier Arce.
Unfortunately for Hussein, Arce carried his punch up a division and a series of left hooks landed over Hussein's lazy guard that wobbled the Lebanon-born Australian in the first minute of the round. Arce applied the pressure but Hussein managed to clinch and dance his way out of trouble until the cobwebs had cleared, rallying back late on the round with hooks, uppercuts and body rips on the inside.
The second round was better for Hussein as he mixed up his punches well, using his educated jab to set up shots to the body and head. In the third Arce backed Hussein up to the ropes, but the former world title challenger outworked the 25-year-old Mexican on the inside with short, crisp punches. Arce came on strong late in the round, landing his compact left hooks and uppercuts.
Arce, 39-3-1 (29), continued his attack in the fourth, backing up Hussein and out-brawling him on the inside. In the last thirty seconds Arce caught Hussien on the ropes and pummelled him with his high octane two-fisted attack.
Both fighters had their moments in an action packed fifth round that saw them take turns landing their best combinations as they stood toe-to-toe. Hussein landed the more accurate shots as he again fought off the ropes, but Arce's workrate probably earned him the round. By the end of the round a nasty looking cut had appeared across the bridge of Arce's nose courtesy of a Hussein punch.
Hussein, 26-2 (20), began the sixth with a series of lead right hands designed to worsen the cut on Arce's nose. The 29-year-old controlled the action from centre ring for the first two minutes of the round before Arce rallied back with some heavy although often inaccurate blows.
By the seventh Arce appeared to be fatigued while the durable Hussein sharp-shooted the lunging Mexican from the outside and landed crisp body rips and hooks to the head when the fight turned inside. Blood continued to pour from Arce's nose as his face became a crimson mask.
Hussein kept up the pressure in the eighth, landing hooks, uppercuts and body rips off his lead hand while fighting off the ropes. Arce's power seemed to be waning but he continued to come forward throughout the round. Just when it looked like Hussein was gaining the upper hand a desperation left hook from Arce found its mark and left the Jeff Fenech trained fighter hurt on the ropes. After a follow up barrage Arce's habit of coming in with his head down resulted in a dubious point deduction by referee Vic Drakulich, who ruled that Hussein had pushed Arce to the canvas. When the action resumed Arce trapped Hussein in a neutral corner and continued to unload until the bell.
Sensing a turning of the tide Arce came out firing in the ninth, nailing Hussein with a series of heavy blows that left the Australian with jelly legs and glazed eyes. A big right hand snapped Hussein's head back, but the gutsy 29-year-old fought back valiantly on instinct and intestinal fortitude alone.
Early in the tenth an Arce left hook slammed into Hussein's jaw, wobbling him and sending him reeling across the ring. After a series of follow up blows Arce backed Hussein up into a neutral corner and began a two-fisted assault. A right hand left hook combination from Arce snapped Hussein's head back and with the follow up punches Arce bludgeoned Hussein to the canvas.
Co-trainer and brother Billy Hussein entered the ring to save his sibling from any further punishment at 2:07 of the round, much to the fighter's dismay.
"I just couldn't get my timing right," said an obviously disappointed Hussein after the fight. "I started off, I thought I was alright, I'll take a couple of rounds to warm up. But then I must have got hit on the jaw and every time I got hit I felt unbalanced and it took me awhile to recover every time. He's a strong fighter, a strong puncher, but I'm more upset with myself. I should have fought a different fight. Jeff told me all week how to fight the guy but you go in there and you just forget what to do, that's how it is.
"The first round he caught me with a good punch. I was going stupid and he caught me with a good punch and from then on every time I got hit on the jaw I lost balance all the time. He's a very strong fighter, he puts his punches together well. He doesn't throw one or two, he throws five or six or seven or eight and out of those punches at least two or three are going to land and they did. I fought the wrong fight, it's all my fault."
Irregardless of the result both fighters need to be commended for their heart, courage, determination and pure warrior spirit.
With the win Arce, who hasn't lost in 18 fights spanning five years, earns himself a shot at long reigning WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam from Thailand, the only other boxer to inflict a loss on Hussein.
The future for Hussein, on the other hand, is uncertain at this stage. Perhaps a move up to super flyweight is on the cards and a fight against WBA champion Martin Castillo would be sure to produce fireworks.
In the opening bout of the card WBA super flyweight champion Martin 'El Gallo' Castillo made a successful first defence of his title as he scored a near shutout victory over former WBA flyweight champion Eric 'Little Hands of Steel' Morel by scores of 119-109 on all three judges' scorecards.
Castillo, 28-1 (16), who won his title with a dominating performance over then champion Alexander Munoz in December 2004, struggled early on with Morel's height and reach advantages but once the 28-year-old Mexican found a way to get inside the lanky Puerto Rican's guard he began to punish his body with relentless ferocity.
Morel, 35-2 (18), started the fight effectively behind a stiff jab and used his mobility to keep the fight on the outside. But Castillo, showing all the tenacity of a starving pitbull, continued to bore in with four and five punch combinations to the body.
By the third round Castillo's punishment was started to take its toll. Morel had lost the snap in his punches and was forced to fight on the inside where Castillo had a decided advantage. Counter shots from Castillo to the head and body kept Morel honest.
The left hook to the body was a favoured weapon of Castillo, who seemed to be able to land the punch at will. The champion outworked Morel in the fourth and roughed him up in the clinches. The fifth round saw Castillo box effectively on his toes, using feints and head movement to set traps for the increasingly one dimensional Puerto Rican. A cut above Castillo's left eye was visible by the end of the round.
In the seventh the increasingly battered Morel appeared to get a second wind, landing some sharp one-twos from the outside. The eighth was perhaps the only round Morel won as he kept the stalking Castillo at bay with crisp, accurate punches.
With the cut above his eye worsening, Castillo came out brawling in the ninth. The early body attack had paid dividends as Morel seemed to have difficulty moving around the ring. The tenth was fought at a slow pace with both fighters looking to conserve energy for the final two rounds, although Castillo got the better of the exchanges with his hammering shots to the body.
With just six minutes to go Castillo came out loading up on every shot. Morel, who tried to box and move, had little luck keeping the mauling, marauding Mexican at bay.
Aware that he needed a knockout to win Morel started the twelfth round fast but quickly faded under the relentless pressure of Castillo, who continued to come on strong as he tried to close the show with a series of heavy blows right up until the final bell.
Also on the card Julio Cesar Chavez Jr son of legendary Mexican fighter 'JC Superstar' notched up another win against journeyman Ryan Maraldo.
Fighting at lightweight over six rounds, Chavez displayed a good kit of punches, particularly left and right hooks. Despite his height advantage the 19-year-old Chavez seemed to want to fight in close where his short punches could cause more damage.
Maraldo, 19-16-1 (5), had a small amount of success in the first round, landing some good left hooks over the top of Chavez's lazy right hand. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old Indiana native the success was short lived as Chavez dominated him in the second, beating up and busting up Maraldo with left hooks to the body and head and chopping right hands. Chavez lost a point for a low blow during the round but it had no affect on the result.
The one-sided flogging continued in the third. The clearly outgunned Maraldo showed tremendous heart to sustain the beating and stay on his feet, but he was throwing very little in return and when he did his punches had nothing on them. Chavez pummelled Maraldo with big one-twos, left hooks to the body and uppercuts to the head of the bent over Maraldo.
At 2:56 of the round the fight was mercifully stopped when the corner threw in the towel, although most people would agree that the fight could've been stopped much sooner.
With the win Chavez maintains his unbeaten record and moves to 17-0 (12).
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