Eugene Hill knocks out another!
By Vikram Birring at ringside (Jan 18, 2009)  
If Eugene Hill was a basketball player, his dunks would be described as thunderous and rim rattling.

Take the analogy and adjust it to boxing; Hill is a pure puncher, his hands blessed with unearthly power. Opponents walk into the ring, seeing a short, mean looking man, but also one that seems to be a bit heavy for his height. Sometimes smiles adorn their faces, as journeymen are known as not just professional losers, but survivors, boxers that know all the tricks to last the distance of the match.

Minutes after the bout begins, the opponents’ eyes widen; they knew he hit hard, but not this hard. Grown men feel the fear of God in their veins. This experience can simply be referred to as experiencing the epiphany that is Eugene Hill.

On this night, the poor sap who dared to match fists with Hill was Clinton Boldridge 8-13-1 (6) of Saint Joseph, Missouri. A closer look reveals that all of his thirteen defeats were by way of knockout. The result of the match was a foregone conclusion.

The first round was rather uneventful. Hill 16-0 (14) stayed in defensive mode, figuring out what Boldridge had to offer (not much), and planning for the next round. A couple of shots at the end of the round gave Boldridge a preview of what was to come.

Hill, admittedly, is not in peak condition. He is a large man, not all muscle. But he seems to know this. He does not throw punches all one hundred eighty seconds of the round. Instead, he picks his spots, staying defensive for most of the round, and when he chooses to, opens up.

It is at this moment, that all the fans are witnesses to the power of God that lay in Eugene Hill’s hands. At the end of the second round, Hill blasted Boldridge and sent him down. These are not normal punches, but concussive, sickening, inhumane blows. Boldridge somehow made it up, and the bell signaled the end of the round.

In the third, Hill would put Boldridge out of his misery. Hill opened a flurry of punches, concluded with a devastating right cross. Boldridge appeared to be a dead man on his way down. His body shook, twisted, and slowly fell to the canvas. One expected convulsions as his body thudded against the ground. At one minute, thirty seconds into the third round, the referee had seen enough. Eugene Hill does what he always does, line them up, and knock them out.

To describe Crystal “Choo Choo” Delgado’s style as reckless would be something of an understatement. There is nothing fancy about her boxing technique. It is to come forward and throw punches. And throw, throw, and throw some more. Usually, as a result, she eats just as many in this process. On this night, her skills would be put to the test, against an experienced, strong, determined veteran named Michelle Nielsen.

As the crowd got a look at Nielsen, they knew that this was no ordinary girl. Her muscles were toned, her body strong. Her frame was much bigger than Delgado’s, and she had years of experience to her credit. It had all the makings of a barnburner.

The match was just as predicted. Delgado 8-0 (1) applied relentless pressure, constantly throwing and eating punches. At times, Nielsen 8-4-1 (2) used her size to bull Delgado around the ring and throw 1-2 combinations, one after another.

In the third Delgado found her mark. Her trainer, father Phillip Delgado, told her to look for the left. Delgado listened and looked for a counter looping left hook. The first few times, it didn’t work, and just missed. Then, it happened. The wide left connected, and down went Nielsen.

This only made her fight harder, and the two fought evenly after that. The way the two women refused to quit despite relentless punishment was in a way, admirable. They took punches, shook them off, and threw some more in return. Some may not advocate women’s boxing, but if their lack of technique is made up by courage, then why not?

After the bell, nobody really seemed to know who won. It was a closely contested bout, nobody really deserved to lose. If there was an advantage, it could simply be attributed to the knockdown. In the end, Delgado won by the wide scores of 59-54, 58-56, and 57-56 (a realistic score). One aside must be made. If Delgado continues to fight straight forward without any regard for defense, at some point, the freight train will come to a halt.

Aside from Hill, Alfonso Lopez may be the brightest prospect in the Houston area. He has it all: fluid boxing technique, excellent defense, conditioning, and most importantly, a willingness to learn, which shows as he shows improvement in every bout.

His match against James Johnson of Louisiana was announced as a title match. The trinket on the line? Something called the NABC championship, surely a belt that was found in a cereal box.

If Johnson 23-32 (18) is a champion, then the situation of the world must be examined. How bad is he? Against Lopez 11-0 (9), there were periods where he didn’t throw punches for minutes. The one punch that he ever threw was the counter left hook, but it was so wide and off the mark his entire body would go off balance after releasing it. Johnson himself knew this, and beginning in the third round, did his best John Ruiz impersonation, as he began to hold constantly, as if the sweat that rolled off Lopez’s body would give him magic powers. In one instance, he went so far as to attempt to throw a knee at Lopez.

That turned Lopez off, and he began to toy with Johnson. It was like watching Muhammad Ali against Floyd Patterson. Lopez stood in front of him, hands down, and pounded him with jabs. He stayed at a distance where Johnson had no chance of hitting him back. Finally, in the fifth round, Lopez closed the show. He trapped Johnson against the ropes and hit him with a countless array of punches, sending Johnson’s body through the second and third ropes. The referee wisely called a halt to the bout twenty-one seconds into the round.

Maurenzo “T Diddy” Smith is too nice to be a boxer. Unlike Eugene Hill, he doesn’t close the show when he has the opportunity. Instead, he boxes cautiously. When he lands a punch, he does not follow up, as if he does not want to seriously injure the opponent. In his last match, this came back to bite him, as he suffered a draw against a journeyman named Killer Guzman. This time, he suffered the same fate against Theo Kruger, a guy who seemed just happy to be there. As Smith walked to the ring with his notably sized entourage, Kruger smiled and bobbed his head to the music.

The bout followed the sad story of the Guzman bout. “Tuffy” 7-2-2 (6) would land two or three good punches on Kruger 9-7-1 (3), and to follow up, he simply stood and watched. It’s not as if he lacked a following, the audience was lined with his fans, including his mother and father who begged him to take care of business. After all, Kruger was finished off in five rounds by Alfonso Lopez not long ago. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Smith didn’t do enough to sway the judges, and suffered a draw, in his own hometown. Official scores were 58-56, 56-58, and 57-57.

Jose “Topita” Gutierrez suffered a setback in his last bout against San Antonio boxer Gilberto Elizondo. Elizondo took the match on two days notice and outboxed Gutierrez to take a decision. This time, the matchmaker wisely put him in against a style that suited Gutierrez. The man standing at the other side of the ring was Omar Ballard.

Ballard 7-15 (2) seemed to have the speed advantage, but had not much coordination to use it properly. Gutierrez 12-5 (9) stalked him, and began to open up in the second round with a startling left hook. Ballard’s body swayed horizontally and Gutierrez landed a left and right hook on him. Every punch was followed by oooh’s and aaah’s from the crowd.

Then, something surprising happened. Gutierrez turned into a counter punch. Instead of following Ballard around the ring, he waited for Ballard to make mistakes, and punished him in return. The only punch that Gutierrez had not connected with was the right uppercut, so he threw that with authority and landed it frequently. In the third, he landed such a stunning uppercut that Ballard finally took a knee. Before he had a chance to get up, the referee stopped the bout twenty-eight seconds in.

In the opening two bouts, Willie Edwards 5-0 (2) beat up Joseph Crawford 0-1 all around the ring before the bout was stopped twenty-four seconds into the third. And to start things off, rising prospect Omar Henry 2-0 (2), who sported Puerto Rican colors to the surprise of many in the audience, was a one minute man as he closed the show after sixty seconds against Justin Davis 1-6 (1).

Questions or comments,
Vikram at:

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