Rising Stars Don’t Disappoint on HBO's Boxing After Dark
By Gabriel Montoya at Ringside (May 18, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)  
Primm, Nevada – In what was billed as a ‘Night of Rising Stars’, the stars rose to the occasion in an action packed night at Buffalo Bill’s Casino and Resort in Primm, Nevada. The card was part of HBO’s Boxing After Dark series and featured three of Gary Shaw Promotions most exciting fighters.

In yet another blisteringly quick blowout performance, junior middleweight sensation James Kirkland, 22-0 (19), took care of Eromosele Albert by 1:06 of round number one. Kirkland came out in his typical go-for-broke
style and it paid off as he swarmed Albert and landed a hard left hand inside that hurt Albert badly. Rising on shaky legs, Albert was finished off by left-right-left combo that caught him on the way down.

Of his killer mentality, Kirkland would say afterwards, “I just want to have a good time, have a good fight. I’m ready to fight anyone in any weight class. Anyone. Any time. I felt real good. My trainers, Anne and Pops, prepared me real good.”

In the co-feature, junior middleweights Alfred ’Perro’ Angulo and Richard Gutierrez wasted no time getting down to business as they met in the center ring. Gutierrez defended well behind his tight guard, slipping in uppercut and splitting Angulo’s guard. Right hands backed off ‘Perro’ and both men spent the round trying to dig to each other’s bodies. Gutierrez got off the better shots to win the round.

In the second, Angulo began to find his rhythm despite Gutierrez landing solid right hands and that uppercut. Gutierrez managed to land some hard left hooks but it was the brutal bodywork of Angulo that began to set the table for a war of attrition. The inside style of the fight seemed to favor Angulo as both men traded inside with ’Perro’ getting the better of it.

By round three, Gutierrez seemed to be fading a shade, getting on his bicycle a bit and establishing his jab. But Angulo kept the pressure on and began to land with more frequency up and down stairs.

The crowd was going crazy, chanting “PERRO! PERRO!! PERRO!!!” as Angulo began to land his right hand and hard left hooks to the body more and more. For his part, Gutierrez was still landing the occasional hard single shot but it didn’t seem to be having an effect.

The fifth round was the best of all as the two warriors met again at center ring and dug into each other. After a flurry from Angulo, a hard left hook from Gutierrez shook ‘Perro’ and sent him staggering across the ring. Gutierrez seized his chance and went for broke, throwing everything and the kitchen sink.

Unfortunately for him, Angulo recovered quickly and the earlier bodywork kept Gutierrez from sustaining any attack. Angulo not only recovered, he rebounded beautifully, attacking in combination and getting off shot after shot to the ribs and head of Gutierrez. A hard right put the hurt on Gutierrez and Angulo poured it on, calmly and efficiently beating Gutierrez from pillar to post until the referee stepped in at 2:48 seconds of the fifth round. Angulo improved to 13-0 (10) while Gutierrez dropped to 24-2.

“It was a difficult round,” Angulo said afterwards. “But thanks to my conditioning, I was able to come through. A left hurt me but I couldn’t let the people and HBO down.”

In the main event, much talked about junior lightweight prospect Yuriorkis Gamboa 10-0 (8) got all the experience a young fighter can ask for from Darling Jimenez 23-3-2 (14) as the two went toe-to-toe for all ten rounds. Gamboa, a young Cuban national with quick feet and hands, seemed a class above Jimenez from the start. But the old school boxing skills of Jimenez would keep him in the fight all the way down the stretch.

The two started fast, working behind jabs and boxing smart. But Gamboa would soon take over with his speed and power edge, pot-shotting and moving around the ring elusively. Jimenez, for his part, seemed to be calibrating to Gamboa, finding the range with one hard shot every minute or so.

As the fight progressed, Gamboa got cockier, fighting with his hands at his sides, and darting in and out with ease and seemingly landing at will. But Jimenez would get back into the fight in the 4th when he landed a right hand high on the head of Gamboa and dropped him to the canvas. Gamboa would rise on shaky legs and Jimenez tried to capitalize but the younger, fresher man recovered and came back strong to finish the round.

The fight became a cat and mouse affair from then on as Gamboa moved between arm punch flurries, hard inside shots, and eating right hands and the occasional left hook from Jimenez.

Down the stretch though, Gamboa looked to finish strong and finish off Jimenez but the game challenger did what veterans do in hanging on, tying up, and throwing back hard leather down the stretch. Judges at ringside had it 97-92 and 99-91 for Gamboa, who takes home the vacant WBC International super featherweight title.

Gabriel at:
Coyotefeather@gmail.com .
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