Bernard Hopkins and Danny Garcia Win in Philly!
By Ken Hissner at ringside (Dec 3, 2009) DoghouseBoxing  
The former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, 50-5-1 (32) easily defeated Enrique Ornelas, 29-6 (19), over 12 rounds at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia Wednesday night. It was “homecoming” for Hopkins who hadn’t fought in Philly since 2003 and 1993 before that. An estimated crowd of over 6,000 filled about two-thirds of the Temple University facility promoted by Golden Boy Promotions East. It was billed as “Broad Street Brawl”.

This was a warm-up fight for Hopkins preparing him for a March rematch with another former world champion in Roy Jones, Jr. Only problem was Jones was stopped in the 1st round by Australia’s Danny Green down under the night before. On top of that Hopkins was upstaged by popular Danny “Swift” Garcia’s, 15-0 (10), whose home debut as a professional was a devastating knockout over Enrique Colin, 23-5-3 (19), in 0:55 of the 2nd round! Both fights were seen over the VERSUS network.

Hopkins didn’t rule out a fight with Jones though he was down on the list of half a dozen offers. One possibility would be fighting IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute, a Romanian, who fights out of Montreal. One thing they have in common is they both beat brothers. Bute last Saturday scored a knockout over Librado Andrade who is half brother to Hopkins opponent Ornelas. It was said they could fill the arena of 60,000. Only thing is Hopkins earlier said of the Jones defeat “that is why I don’t fight out of the country”. Seems that’s a contradiction to the Bute bout that would certainly only draw well in Montreal. Earlier in the week Hopkins talked about moving up to heavyweight after the Jones fight possibly meeting newly crowned David Haye. This writer would advise staying at light heavyweight. IBO and WBC interim champion Chad Dawson has called Hopkins out saying Hopkins promised he would fight the winner of Dawson and Glen Johnson twice and it hasn’t happened.

The fight between the 44 year old Hopkins and Ornelas, who lives in LaHabra, CA, was even over the first 4 rounds with Hopkins taking the middle rounds. After that it was all Hopkins fighting his usual cat and mouse game of inside hold and hit with Ornelas not experienced or simply not good enough to know how to combat this technique of the former champions. “Inside he knew how to position his body sideways while holding which made it difficult to hit him,” said Ornelas. Referee Gary Rosato had his hands full separating the two fighters do to the holding and hitting. The fight was fought at the light heavyweight limit though Ornelas has mostly fought at middleweight with an occasional super middleweight fight. Hopkins was the stronger of the two even though Ornelas was never in danger of going down up until the 12th and final round when Hopkins seemed to come out and make a statement. By then Ornelas knew how to survive. He has only been stopped once in his 35 bout career.

The show stealer was the way Garcia entered the ring and what he did in the ring. His opponent, Colin, had defeated Mike Stewart in Philly and lost to Demitrius Hopkins by decision. In all fairness, he was defeated 6 weeks ago by technical knockout in 2 rounds. Though Garcia is not known for his jab, he has quick combinations that make him one of the top prospects in the country. He is one of the “Fab Five” of unbeaten Philly junior welterweights that include Hank Lundy, Rock Allen, Ray Robinson and Ray Serrano, all promoted by out of the area promoters.

With about 15 seconds to go in the 1st round Colin threw a left hook that missed while Garcia countered with a straight right hand that electrified the crowd when Colin hit the canvas. He was obviously hurt but beat the count and was saved by the bell. Garcia came out aggressively in the 2nd round looking to finish it off before Colin’s head cleared. After about 50 seconds Colin made the mistake of leading with a right uppercut and was caught flush on the jaw by a Garcia right hand that dropped his opponent for good. Referee Steve Smoger began to count but realized Colin was not getting up and wisely waved the fight off. Garcia was paraded around on the shoulder by one of his entourage to the delight of the crowd. He could not have made a better showing if he planned it. Garcia is also with Golden Boy.

Another Golden Boy fighter Philly’s Karl Dargan, 6-0 (2), a former Pan Am Games champion in 2003, looked like he might make it a short night for Samuel Santana, 2-4-2 (0), of Puerto Rico, dropping him in the 2nd round with a straight right to the chin. Dargan didn’t seem to be in any hurry to follow up and switched to southpaw and back to orthodox the rest of the way gaining the 6 round decision in a junior welterweight bout. Judges scores were Steve Weisfeld 59-54, Alan Rubenstein 57-54 and Rich Hopkins 60-53 all for Dargan. Smoger was the referee.

Golden Boy’s Michael “Michael Angelo the Artist” Perez, 6-0-1 (3), of Newark, NJ, made his second Philly appearance. His opponent Ron Boyd, of DC, seemed to take the 1st round using his southpaw stance to good effect. In the 2nd round after referee Blair Talmadge broke the fighters Boyd grabbed the back of his own head and took a knee forcing a count. Perez went right after Boyd and hit him with a straight right causing a delayed knockdown. Up again, Boyd was dropped again for the third time with a combination as the referee waved it off at 2:09 of the 2nd round of this lightweight 6 rounder.

In an all Philly cruiserweight 4 rounder Lamont Barnes, 3-3 (2), dropped Teneal Goyco, 3-1 (1) early in the 1st round. It seemed to wake Goyco up as he seemed to come back and take the next two rounds. In the 4th round a bloody (nose) Barnes seemed to pull out all stops to take the round. Based on this the knockdown was the difference in the fight. Judge’s George Hill 39-36, Rubenstein 38-37 and Weisfeld 37-37 awarded the bout to Barnes by majority decision. Rosato was the referee.

In the only mismatch of the night Jess Vargas, 7-0 (3), of Las Vegas, NV, brutally beat the body of Travis Hartman, 10-16-1 (7), in a welterweight 4 rounder, until referee Smoger called a halt at 2:31 of the 2nd round. Vargas scored two knockdowns in the 1st round with left hooks. In the 2nd round he scored two more knockdowns with left hooks to the rib cage of Hartman who showed guts hanging in there.

Prior to the main event ring announcer Nino Del Buno gave a tribute to the fallen Chicago boxer Francisco Rodriguez who two days after his possible Philadelphia Fight of the Year with Teon Kennedy passed away on November 22nd. Timekeeper Freddy Blumstein gave the 10 count to a silent crowd. There is still some honor in boxing.

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Ken at: kenhissner@yahoo.com

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