It was an all-actionSaturday nightat the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, CA
as “Top Rank Live” brought the fights to the desert. Welterweight Alfonso
Gomez, 23-4-2 (12), made very quick work of Calvin Green, 21-6-1 (13), stopping
him at 1:24 of the second round. Gomez was sharp in the first round, working
his way around Green and boxing smart but it was in the second round that Gomez
did the damage. Aleft hookgot things going, followed by a
one-two that drove Green, who has now been knocked out by two members of the
first season of “The Contender”, into the corner. Gomez saw his opponent
vulnerable and let his hands go. A left hook, followed by a right hand started
a long barrage that saw Green disappear gradually into unconsciousness.
Finally, referee Tony Crebs had seen enough and jumped on in to stop it.
Riverside, CA super featherweight
Michael Franco, 19-0 (12), and New Jersey’s Rafael Lora, 11-6 (5), put on an
action-packed eight-rounder in the co-feature. Lora started out sharp, getting
to Franco off angles, using hooks and a solid right hand. Franco followed a
lot, eating leather and waving in Lora but, bravado aside, Franco was getting
worked and by round’s end, he had a red face and a mouse under his right eye.
Franco spent a lot of the
second headhunting the shifty Lora. The New Jersey native stayed on the outer
edges of the ring, utilizing a jab and staying out of exchanges. Franco did get
to his body a few times but overall, it was Lora who dictated pace and further reddened
The pressure of Franco began
to wilt Lora just a bit in the third. Rights to the body and an uppercut found
their home as Franco got closer and closer to the target. Lora was still
landing seemingly at will, though, and got in a brutal left hook/right-hand
combo to the stationary head of Franco. It was a close round but it felt like
Franco’s and certainly the momentum moved in his direction.
An early fourth round left
hook buckled Franco but he answered soon after with a right/left of his own.
Suddenly, during an exchange, Lora lost his mouthpiece. Trapped in the corner
and complaining of low blows that were not there, Lora lost his mouthpiece
again. While he was turning Franco into shots, the bigger fighter from
Riverside, CA was getting to Lora more and more and the early pace Lora set for
himself seemed to be moving against him. In a clinch, Lora yet again lost his
mouthpiece, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Referee Zac Young wisely took a
point, as it felt more like a tactic to stem the tide of Franco than a legit
cause from a punch.
Franco continued to close
the gap and trap Lora on the ropes. Once again, Lora responded to the pressure
by losing the mouthpiece. Franco began to get very physical, bullying Lora into
the ropes, working his body and then working to the head. Lora was looking
worse and worse each time Franco dug to his body. The crowd was going crazy
chanting “Franco!” as the two traded left hooks that Lora got the worse of.
Lora seemed to be about to go along the ropes as Franco dug to the body. Lora
looked to the ref to complain of low blows but the ref missed the display and
the action continued as Franco teed off. Lora seemed very discouraged in the
corner between rounds.
Both men dug very deep in
the sixth. Lora put his head down and dug to the body of Franco as he churned
his legs forward. Franco knew the drill and returned the favor. Sloppy right
hands from both men landed but it was Franco who landed the harder, straighter
right hand that backed up Lora. A tough round to score as the windmill right of
Lora landed several times and Franco did better work to the head and body. This
was a full-on war of attrition.
Lora began to mix his attack
in a seventh that saw a slower pace than the ferocious sixth. Lora slowed
things down to a jab to the body and jab/right upstairs. He’d follow that up
with movement, reset and do it again. Without a willing brawl partner, Franco
was alone in the middle of the ocean, reaching for land that was not there.
Lora boxed the majority of
the eighth and well but once again, he lost his mouthpiece, which sat for a
good minute. Referee Zac Young finally saw it and took a point once again. Lora
went for broke to finish the round and Franco obliged. Losing the mouthpiece so
many times may have cost Lora a fight he was winning.
In the end, the judges had
it 77-73 twice and 76-74 for Franco, who won byunanimous decision.
Santa Ana, CA lightweight
Jose “El Gato” Roman, 10-0 (8), was impressive in taking out Jose Mendoza, 7-2 (3),
in just one round. Roman dropped Mendoza with a counter left hook along the
ropes that put him on his knees to the count of nine. Mendoza was on shaky legs
as Roman followed up with left hooks and a right hand that dropped him again in
a heap. Mendoza thought hard about getting up but shook his head slowly to
himself as the count reached ten. The time was 2:03.
prospect Gabino Saenz, 3-0 (3), stopped James Owens, 4-4 (2), at 2:40 of the
first. The action was hot from moment one as Owens tried to rush Saenz. Gabino
stayed patient, working in uppercuts and left hooks to the body. A left hook to
the body right on the beltline hurt Owens and he teetered before the follow-up
dropped him. He complained to ref Zac Young but the blow was rightly ruled
legal. Saenz followed up and rocked Owens, who was soon after waived off by ref
Young. The kid seems to have a nice following here in Cabazon, CA near Indio,
CA, where he hails from. He is one to watch.
In a tough fight, Nigeria’s
Daniel Attah, 25-7-1 (9), lost amajority decisionto Michael Farenas, 31-3-3 (26), by
scores of 75-75, 79-71, 78-72. Attah lost a point in the sixth round for
holding and was knocked down in the seventh.
Super bantamweightRoman Morales, 3-0 (2),
stopped Santiago Alonso, 0-2, at 2:51 of round one with an overhand right.
Morales scored a knockdown moments earlier and jumped all over Alonso once the latter
got up, dropping him moments later.
In an entertaining
welterweight scrap, Ricky Duenas improved to 9-1 (3), with a unanimous decision
over Alfredo Rivera, 1-8. The records did not show how competitive this one was
as both men stood and traded, boxed when they needed to and put on an
entertaining show. Scores were 55-56 twice and 59-55.