Sanchez shocks Candelo
By Victor Garcia (August 15, 2004) 
The excitement of being a boxing fan is sometimes tempered by watching mismatches or hearing bad decisions. Upon learning that Joachim Alcine had not passed the required medical tests for his bout against J.C. Candelo, I prepared myself for a late replacement to be completely outclassed by the IBF’s number five ranked junior middleweight from Columbia. Adding to my consternation was the fact that the man who was set to replace Alcine was only notified 17 hours before the fight that he “might” be needed. It got worse when it was announced that the stand-in had lost eight pounds in one day to make the required weight. The substitute was unheralded and relative unknown, Eduardo Sanchez. Watching him walk into the ring and remove his t-shirt only reaffirmed my belief that he would not be competitive. He was tall, lanky, and had very little muscle definition. Needless to say, I gave Sanchez little chance of finishing the fight on his feet. However, in what can only be described as an absolute shocker, Eduardo Sanchez may have fought the fight of his life en route to a twelve round unanimous decision over former title challenger, J.C. Candelo.

ESPN2 featured Friday Night Fights from the Pechanga Entertainment Center in Temecula, California. The main event was to showcase the efforts of Juan Carlos Candelo of Columbia against those of undefeated Joachim Alcine of Canada. As previously mentioned, this did not occur. Instead, the public was treated to Candelo facing a live alternate opponent in Sanchez. Sanchez who had previously knocked out Jose Celaya, the WBO’s number one junior middleweight, was not only game but he was effective, using his reach to outbox a confused Candelo. The late substitute landed straight rights with regularity and was able to win over the crowd with his efforts.

The fifth round was a spirited affair that began with Sanchez’s corner forgetting to replace his mouthpiece before sending him in to do battle. The referee stopped the action the moment he realized that Sanchez was fighting without his gum shield and the rest of the round saw both fighters landing significant scoring blows. Sanchez’s lack of preparation became evident when he was visibly weary and began breathing through his mouth halfway through the stanza. Round six saw a noticeably tired Sanchez floored in the first minute. This was to be Candelo’s greatest feat of the night as Sanchez beat the count and rose to box nicely for the rest of the evening. Sanchez was able to stun Candelo in the ninth round with a body shot that caused him to bend at the waist. Both fighters attempted to end strong and traded heavy shots in the final round. Needless to say, the crowd in attendance was pleased. Candelo, who is trained by Buddy McGirt, was clearly the more powerful of the two but his inability to mount a serious offensive against the constant movement of Sanchez cost him dearly. With the win Eduardo Sanchez rises to 12-3-2 (8), and the Ring magazine’s number nine rated junior middleweight, J.C. Candelo falls to 27-7-3 (19).

It should be noted that the bout was scheduled for 12 rounds because they were fighting for something called the vacant GBU Americas light middleweight title. Also, Sanchez was officially notified he would be fighting seven hours before the start of the bout, despite being told of the possibility 17 hours in advance.

The Undercard

The televised undercard began with a four round bout between two former Olympians in the junior welterweight division. Both men walked into the ring undefeated. Jorge Alberto Padilla of Mexico lost a split decision against Herman Ngoudjo of Cameroon. Padilla seemed frustrated against the faster Ngoudjo and occasionally threw his punches wildly. With the win Herman Ngoudjo remains undefeated and now stands at 5-0 (4), while Jorge Padilla stumbles to 4-1 (1).

The other televised bout on the undercard was an entertaining ten round match-up between undefeated Valdemir Pereira of Brazil and Mexico’s Emmanuel Lucero, who now lives in New York. Coming into this fight, Lucero’s lone loss was a technical knockout against Manny Pacquiao. Lucero began as the busier fighter, throwing power shots to the body and head of the much taller Brazilian. Unfortunately for the Mexican, Pereira was able to use his tight defense to block many of Lucero’s whacks. Periera exhibited patience and control in stalking a tiring Lucero as the fight progressed. Lucero was penalized a point in the seventh round for a low blow and the fight went to the scorecards with no knockdowns. Valdemir Pereira who improves to 17-0 (13) won a split decision over Emmanuel Lucero who falls to 22-2-1 (13).

During the telecast, Artie Pelullo - Acelino 'Popo' Freitas’ promoter - was interviewed. He noted that Freitas, who was recently stopped by Diego Corrales in his last bout, should return to action in December. He also affirmed that there was a rematch clause in the contract that Corrales agreed to when he signed to fight Freitas. According to Pelullo, team Freitas intends to exercise their right to a rematch. For his part, Corrales proclaimed from the ESPN studio that he is a man of his word and would honor the rematch clause.
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2004