Split-decision unsatisfying to Garcia

With everything he's got, Elco Garcia (right) follows through on a swinging right hand to Patrick Thompson's head during the "Boxing Is Back In The Rockies" main event.
Joe Gomez splits Terry Buterbaugh's mitts and busts his nose with a straight right during the "Boxing Is Back In The Rockies" co-main event.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Patrick Thompson took bad news like someone who’d been there, done that before.

Because he is, and in both senses of the phrase considering his extensive fight record, and now having twice traveled to Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center after stepping inside the ropes Saturday night, May 9.

Ignacio, Colorado’s Elco Garcia also manned up to the tell-all moment in veteran fashion, and after hearing the verdict wasted no time commandeering the public-address microphone to say to fans assembled at ‘Boxing Is Back In The Rockies’ something he sensed a majority was likely thinking:

The better fighter had lost.

Awarded a 77-74, 75-76, 76-75 split-decision victory – he’d received a unanimous nod in the pair’s first meeting back in 2011 – Garcia wrapped his right arm around Thompson’s shocked shoulders and stated to the effect that things hadn’t (and/or shouldn’t have) gone his way.

“I respect him as a man,” he said unambiguously, a large lump prominent upon his left eyebrow as a result of a fifth-round haymaker right and knockdown which stunned his hometown faithful.

Later in the same frame referee Tony Zaino gave Garcia (28-9, 13 KO) a standing-eight after another potent Thompson attack, and onlookers assumed the main event was firmly in the visitor’s control.

His own left eyelid also bulging when all was said and done, Thompson (18-19-1, 8 KO) lost a point for a low blow in Round 7, but regrouped to engage Garcia in a massive swap of punches ending the round akin to the display of flying fists which had punctuated Round 2, after Zaino had to separate the men from multiple clinches.

The eighth and final round was what one would expect with one boxer looking to maintain what he thought was an advantage on the judges’ scorecards, the other putting forth everything he had left in hopes of convincing the ringside trio, and both battlers able to hit and be hit with relatively little slowing.

But after hearing the numbers announced and Garcia’s subsequent speech, Thompson also spoke to the spectators and delivered a similar, respectful message – but minus an overt ‘I won’ he no doubt thought he’d earned.

“Thanks for coming out and supporting us,” were his parting words, and those of the entire event.

“It’s fun down here,” said co-main competitor Terry Buterbaugh.

“Oh it was awesome. Everybody was loving, you know; they were open-arms,” second-bout participant Shane Moore said.

“I’m happy at the result of … the promoter who put this whole show together, Byron Frost,” said Ignacio-based GB Boxing Club’s Brian Frost, instrumental in organizing the itinerary’s earlier amateur fights.

POGLINE BEATS DEADLINE

Dressed to the nines afterwards, Colorado Springs super welterweight Tyler Pogline had reason to celebrate after a technical knockout of Edgar Pedraza in the night’s opening pro bout.

Well ahead in the judges’ eyes after registering knockdowns of the well-traveled Mexico City veteran in the first and second, Pogline nailed down three finishing floorings in Round 4 with the match slated for five at 148 pounds. Pedraza dropped to 2-25-3 (1 KO) while Pogline climbed to 6-11 (5 KO).

MOORE THE MERRIER

Trapping Manuel Corona against the ropes, then dropping the Durango local to his knees for good after a flurry finished by a hard right hand, was somewhat of an ironic ending for Denver, Colo., light heavyweight Moore in the other pro undercard pairing.

Moore had actually helped hoist his opponent to his feet earlier in the decisive second round after a slip, with Corona (1-5-1) landing in Moore’s corner – the fellows there verbally against their man lending a helping hand. But Moore soon finished what he’d started with a crowd rousing left in Round 1 and Corona, who’d left his corner without a mouthpiece to start the second (of five scheduled), was knocked out 1:46 into the frame.

“You know, I’d give myself maybe a ‘C’ on that fight, said Moore (3-1, 2 KO). “I was standing still, I was waiting on him a little bit, but I got the ‘w’ and that’s what counts at the end of the day. I give him mad props, but I got the win and that’s what it’s about.”

 

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

Only Buterbaugh knows for sure exactly what each punch-narrating utterance he blurts out really means. Cracking a smile at one point in the heat of the co-main event versus the plaid-clad enemy, Aztec, New Mexico’s Joe Gomez certainly didn’t.

But he knew what it was all about.

“His experience showed – him trying to get in my head,” Gomez joked afterwards. “We were talking in the middle of the ring and stuff like that, but it was cool.”

‘The Ironman’ certainly wasn’t laughing, however, about his Colorado Springs foe’s durability; Gomez’s left hand, knuckles battered blue, was an unlucky trade-off for a 79-73, 79-73, 80-72 unanimous-decision victory.

“I really thought I was going to take the guy out,” he said, in reference to numerous well-placed blows, “but his head is hard! It was like hitting a rock – I think I might have fractured my hand or something! But he was tough, and I knew that after almost two years off I needed the eight full rounds.”

“He was quick and he was busy,” Buterbaugh (10-11-3, 4 KO) said, his left eyebrow also moderately swollen. “I stayed busy too – I think I hit him with the harder shots – but he was a little bit busier.”

Reliant primarily upon his left jab during the first three stanzas, Buterbaugh – owner/product of Old School Boxing in the Springs – came alive with an aggressive right in the fourth, probably the one round awarded him by two of the three wise men, and did some damage.

But not to Gomez’s patience, as Gomez often backed Buterbaugh into a corner or against the ropes, then tapped away with some light left-right combinations before firing in heavier through Buterbaugh’s penetrated guard.

“One of my biggest problems is trying to throw hard shots, like, every time and tire myself out a little bit,” Gomez (20-7-1, 9 KO) said. “So that was the game plan … go in there, pat-pat-pat and then BOOM! … we threw over a hundred punches every round; that’s what we were going for.”

Pumping in a vicious right about one minute in, Gomez closed out Round 5 strong and also controlled Round 6. Buterbaugh battled back in the seventh and eighth, but was unable to do enough to sway the selectors.

“I was sick during two weeks of my fight preparation, missed two weeks of sparring. That kind of hurt,” Buterbaugh said. “Those were my sparring weeks … can’t get those back.”

“Trained super hard for this fight,” Gomez said conversely. “It was exactly what we’d trained for … he’s a very tough fighter, and I’m looking to the next one. Hopefully we get the next one quick!”

 

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