Ponce De Leon destroys Lucero in three
By Victor Garcia (October 25, 2004) 
Ponce De Leon
Spanish language network Telefutura broadcast another excellent boxing event during its weekly Solo Boxeo series on Friday evening. The main event was an intriguing match-up between an unbeaten prospect and a former rising star who is now struggling to get his career back on track after suffering two losses in his last three fights. With both men desperately looking to advance their respective careers, the bout came to a sudden and violent end at 2:51 of the third round.

Showcasing the tremendous stopping power he has become known for, former Olympian Daniel Ponce De Leon of Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico won the NABO super bantamweight championship by knocking out former world title challenger Emmanuel 'El Carnicero' Lucero of Mexico City, Mexico. The bout, held at the El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas, was part of a fight card presented by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

Both combatants looked relaxed during the introductions and the now common stare-down did not occur when the two met center ring for final instructions. However, after the bell marking the start of the contest sounded, Lucero wasted little time in asserting himself with power shots. His punches were wide and looping but they managed to back up the normally aggressive De Leon. For his part, the awkward ex-Olympian did his best to cover up and avoid the early barrage. After this initial exchange, Lucero chose to box from the outside, using the full area of the ring, while De Leon worked to walk down his opponent by stepping forward and cutting off the ring.

For the most part, it appeared that the Mexico City native had a healthy respect for De Leon’s power. The exchanges were short but frequent enough to satisfy the audience in attendance. Nonetheless, it was clear from the beginning that the southpaw, De Leon, is a work in progress. His footwork was lacking as was his defense. Still, he managed to land some very telling blows from odd angles, while generally avoiding his opponent’s bombs.

The second round started where the first ended. Lucero, who now fights out of and represents New York, circled the ring, picking his shots, while his unorthodox rival came forward, landing blows of his own. The crowd in attendance cheered loudly whenever the fighters traded whacks. Each man was intent on working the body as well as the head.

The real fireworks were to follow, however. Though De Leon had established himself as the aggressor, Lucero attacked first in the third frame. Following a short exchange, ‘El Carnicero’ pinned his unbeaten foe against the ropes and went on the offensive, scoring with wide hooks. De Leon worked ineffectively to block the punches with his gloves before deciding to return fire. As their feet became tangled, De Leon landed a right that sent Lucero stumbling backward. A glove seemed to touch the canvas, but referee Rocky Burke allowed the fight to continue without interruption.

Sensing his challenger was hurt, De Leon pressed the attack, landing thudding shots but expending a lot of energy with the ones he missed. This eventually slowed his punch output. As an already shaky Lucero attempted to mount an offensive, he was caught by an uppercut that clearly wobbled him. A seemingly winded De Leon came to life again. His opponent, the Bronx resident, fought back only to be floored by a straight left to the solar plexus—a shot that was reminiscent of Manny Pacquiao. Lucero was able to beat the tally and made it to his feet just as the third man in the ring reached the count of nine. A roaring throng of supporters encouraged De Leon to finish his man off. Without hesitation, the undefeated Mexican rushed forward when the action was called. Lucero, protecting his body by holding his hands low, immediately decided to bend at the waist in an effort to avoid punches by bobbing and weaving. This proved to be a brutal mistake.

De Leon landed a short left uppercut to the right temple of the former world title challenger. The blow hurled Lucero backward and flat on his back as his eyes seemed to roll to the back of his head. For his part, the referee immediately called a halt to the bout without initiating a count. It was obvious that Lucero was out.

The knockout victory improves Daniel Ponce De Leon, who is rumored to be struggling to make the 122 pound weight limit, to 21-0 (20), while Emmanuel Lucero, whose other notable loss is to Manny Pacquiao, falls to 22-3-1 (13).

The co-feature bout of the evening was a ten round affair between noted spoiler and former Olympian Juan Carlos Rubio of Guadalajara, Mexico and unbeaten Adrian Mora of Denver, Colorado. The welterweight match-up was intended to be a test for the lanky Mora who seemed to tower over the smaller Rubio.

The opening frame established the tone and pace of the fight. In an attempt to utilize his superior reach advantage, Mora wisely used his jab to keep the very aggressive Rubio at bay. Not to be outdone, Rubio used his own jab to set up the rest of his arsenal. From the beginning both men instituted their respective fight plans. Mora would utilize the ring and box from the outside, while Rubio would press the action by coming forward as the aggressor.

The former Olympian attacked the body early, hoping to chop down his lofty opponent. During his attack, the noted spoiler’s punches strayed below the belt line. For this, he was twice warned. Seemingly following Rubio’s cue, Mora initiated a body assault of his own with limited success.

The action picked up in the third as the taller man was now carrying his gloves low, attempting to protect his bruised body. An aggressive Rubio took full advantage of the situation, landing head snapping shots that roused the crowd. A reenergized Mora came out for the fourth stanza shooting straight punches that seemed to momentarily stun the aggressor each time they landed. An angry looking Rubio relied on his experience to close the gap, stepping in with each jab. To great fanfare, the exchanges grew more intense and more frequent. When the ten second warning sounded, both men attempted to finish strong and a slugfest was born.

The sixth produced the only scare for the more experienced Rubio. The aggressive Mexican initiated an exchange that produced an accidental clash of heads. As the fighters separated, it was evident that Rubio was cut. Time was called and an ungloved ringside physician examined the gash over the former Olympians right eye. Rubio, seemingly enraged by the incident, could be heard yelling accusatory remarks across the ring to Mora who was standing in a neutral corner. After the fight was allowed to continue, Rubio charged forward with a sense of urgency and attacked haphazardly. A composed Mora was able to avoid and counter the wild swings coming at him until the bell sounded an end to the round.

The ninth episode proved to be Mora’s best. Though he was still taking punishment, he managed to take complete control of the round by landing the cleaner, harder shots. In the second half of the round, Rubio was hurt by a tremendous right hand that sent him reeling backward. The blow momentarily changed the scheme of the bout. Mora became the aggressor as Rubio backpedaled, circling the ring.

The bout ended in the tenth with Rubio attacking and Mora boxing and counterpunching. The last round was not as good for the tall man as the previous one was. He came up short during their exchanges and seemed to tire with each passing minute. Still, he was able to land cleanly every time they traded hits. As the final bell chimed, both raised an arm in victory. It appeared that Rubio controlled most of the fight. However, his face was worse for wear.

The scorecards were widely booed as a majority draw was announced. The scores were 96-94 for Mora and 95-95 twice. The draw gives Juan Carlos Rubio, who gave Francisco “Panchito” Bojado his first loss, a 30-7-3 (12) mark and Adrian Mora suffers his only blemish, walking away with a 12-0-1 (7) record.

The only other televised bout was a six round match-up between Armando 'El Policia' Cordoba of Darien, Panama and Ivan 'Relampago' Valle of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Judging from his performance, Cordoba was merely in the ring for a paycheck.

Valle pressed the action throughout as Cordoba jabbed and backpedaled. By the third round the audience in attendance had grown restless. Catcalls and whistles poured in when the fighters chose to jab and pose for extended periods. The action picked up when ‘El Relampago’ backed the man from Panama against the ropes and worked the body and head successfully.

A frustrated crowd urged the boxers to kiss with chants of ‘beso’ in the fifth, and as the bell sounded to end the fight in the sixth, the audience booed.

Valle was warned twice for low blows in the second round. For his part, Cordoba was warned for leading with his head in the fourth and fifth. The scores were 58-56, 59-55, and 60-54, all for Valle, the announced winner.

The win ups Ivan Valle’s record to 23-5-1 (19), while the loss drops Armando Cordoba to 20-15-1 (15).
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