Holyfield decisions Oquendo
Ringside by Jose Reyes and Byron Spurlock
Photos by Robert Hughes
Former Heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield continued his quest to become a five-time heavyweight champion Friday night in San Antonio, Texas, as he defeated former NABF Heavyweight Champion Fres Oquendo in front of a crowd of 10,133 at the Alamo Dome.
Coming off an impressive win in August against tough challenger Jeremy Bates, Holyfield took care of business by going the distance and getting a twelve round decision.
Holyfield didn’t waste any time getting into the groove of things, as he sent Oquendo down in the first round by a right hand. Oquendo managed to make it his feet and receive a standing eight count.
Oquendo would resume the action by putting out a pawing jab that was just enough to keep Holyfield at bay. Holyfield seemed content with being the counter puncher early in the fight, as Oquendo didn’t leave him much time to get off his own punches first.
Oquendo seemed to be frustrating Evander by getting off first and tying him up. Holyfield attempted several times to close the gap between the two fighters, but Oquendo was not having it. He continued to get off the first punch of the exchanges and kept Holyfield at bay. Holyfield seemed to be looking to land one big right hand to turn the fight around.
As the middle rounds began, Oquendo look to have taken back the momentum. With a little sense of urgency and his trainer Ronnie Shields yelling at him to pick up the pace, Holyfield began to pick up the pace and started coming forward, looking to mix it up with Oquendo. With each passing round, the corner of Holyfield appeared to get a little more animated about his performance, begging him to keep busy and close the gap.
In the sixth round, it was apparent that Holyfield was not getting any quicker as right hand after right hand by Oquendo would continue to land to the head. Combinations to the body from Evander lead to a low blow that sent the corner of Oquendo into a panic, as if the punch was on purpose.
The 10,000 plus crowd stood on their feet at the beginning of the seventh round, waiting for the fireworks to continue. And that’s just what happened as Evander delivered a left hooks to the head of Oquendo that sent him back against the ropes. Evander showed glimpses of his younger self as he walked through Oquendo’s punches to deliver his own.
In the eighth round, referee Lawrence Cole warned Oquendo for moving in such a way as to be accidently hit by low blows.
Oquendo continued his game plan of landing the jab mixed in with two and three punch combinations to the head. As the fighters fought into the championship rounds, it appeared that Holyfield was looking to land that one good right hand to end of the fight.
As the twelfth round began, Holyfield had the bounce back in his step that was missing from earlier rounds. A left hook from Holyfield stopped Oquendo in his tracks, but didn’t put him on the canvas. Both fighters finished the round throwing punches and managing to stay on their feet.
In the end, Holyfield won a unanimous decision by scores of 116-111, 114-113, and 114-113. He gets back in the heavyweight mix and improves his record to 40-8-2 (26). Oquendo falls to 26-4 (16).
Navarro wins NABA title
Former 2000 Olympian Jose Navarro 25-2 (11) captured the NABA Super Flyweight title by outlasting Gabriel Elizondo 22-2 (10) over ten rounds.
In a fight in which both guys had their moments, going back and forth, it was hard to get a sense of who was actually winning the fight. Both fighters displayed tremendous endurance, throwing punches in bunches and neither one giving much ground.
In the end, it was Navarro getting back into the mix by winning a split decision by scores of 97-93 Navarro, 96-94 Elizondo, and 97-93 Navarro.
Johnson stops Diaz
In a fight that had a bit of everything, Golden Johnson defeated Oscar Diaz by technical knockout in the eleventh round, winning the NABF Welterweight title.
Both fighters being from San Antonio just added to the attraction as they mixed it up the entire night.
Johnson would grab the spotlight early in the fight by landing left hook after left hook, a punch that Diaz appeared not to be able to stop.
Diaz would suffer a cut on the right eye lid in the second round.
After the first three rounds, many wondered if Diaz could keep this type of fighting up, as he continued to get hit by hard left hooks from Johnson.
Round five proved to be urgent for Diaz as he came out trying to take away the momentum from Johnson. Both fighters began to fight toe-to-toe, giving the crowd something to cheer about. Diaz continued to bleed and now his right eye was closing shut as well.
Just when it was clear that Johnson was winning the fight, Diaz put together a seventh round that had Johnson out on his feet. He managed to stay up and was saved by the bell.
Round eleven proved to be the one Johnson needed to get over the hump and stage an upset. He landed a straight right hand that had Diaz almost tasting the canvas. Johnson then put together a combination that had referee Rafael Ramos jumping in to stop the action at the: 53 second mark of round eleven.
He improves his record to 25-7-3 (18), while Diaz falls to 25-2 (12).
Richards demolishes Woodword
Heavyweights: Adam Richards 15-1 (11) defeated Vernon Woodard (8-15-1) by TKO in round 1
Shea outpoints Franks
Super Featherweights: Maureen Shea 7-0 (3) defeated Tammy Franks (1-2) by unanimous decision 59-55, 60-54, and 60-54.
Ledesma shuts out Chapman
Super Welterweights: Emanuel Ledesma 9-1 (4) defeated Jeremiah Chapman (3-6) by unanimous decision 40-36 on all cards
Rios tops Campos
Bantamweights: Joseph Angel Rios (1-0) defeated Rolando Campos (0-2) by unanimous decision 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.