Thu Nov 10th, 2016
Special to the Drum
Tags: Daniel Gonzales, Edgar Pedraza Palma, El Coyote, Elco Garcia, Fright Night, House of Pain Boxing, Ironman, Joe Gomez, Juan Bladimir Hernández Campos, Miguel Gallegos, Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center, Steve Marquez, Steve Victor, Sugar Bear, Tony Zaino, Zamir Young
‘Fright Night’ ferocity yields Round 6 stoppage
So hyped to answer the fourth-round bell that he forgot his mouthpiece, relatively unknown Juan Bladimir Hernández Campos managed to escape a developing trap in his opponent’s corner late, while continuing to land quality 1-2 combinations all the way through the fifth, setting himself up to ultimately shock the Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center crowd.
Having totally forgotten about a first-round cut on his left temple – a target any fighter, certainly La Plata County, Colorado’s own Elco Garcia, would love to exploit and expand – Hernández’s roundhouse lefts and straight rights allowed him to finally get inside Garcia’s defense during the sixth of eight scheduled stanzas headlining Left Hook Promotions’ “Fright Night” professional boxing card Saturday, Oct. 29.
A wicked left uppercut drew blood from the local’s nose as Garcia recoiled into the ropes, and about three more such shots had referee Tony Zaino rushing in to save the dazed, defenseless veteran – waving off the bout, contested at an announced 170-pound limit (the gray area between super-middleweight and light-heavy), 1:06 into the round and awarding the elated Hernández a technical knockout.
Born in Mexico’s Durango state and still hailing from that nation, ‘Bladi’ improved to 5-2 overall with four KO after his first reported pro fight since last June, while ‘The Animal,’ whose best round may have been the third, dipped to 29-10 (13 KO) in his first action since last August.
Hernández could not be found for comment after the fight, while Garcia was no doubt resting and receiving medical attention. A follow-up phone call went straight to a full voice-mail account.
‘HALF A COMBO’ TO GO, PLEASE
Finishing the first round with a nice flurry and able to withstand some of his foe’s fiercest blows, middleweight Daniel Gonzales finally weakened for good in the fifth of a scheduled eight-round, co-main against Steve Marquez.
“We came here expecting to fight eight rounds; we had no intent of knocking him out,” said Marquez, representing his Denver-based House of Pain Boxing corner-men. “We know he’s tough. Took a good punch!”
“Daniel could fight; I appreciate it very much.”
Wobbled thrice during the fifth and saved only by the bell, Gonzales could take no more in Round 6 and Marquez won by TKO after an elapsed 2:41 – plenty reason to flex a right biceps tattooed with the Colorado flag.
“A straight right, with a left follow – Coach calls ’em ‘builders,’” Marquez said, detailing his decisive punches. “Right, left, another right…we build ’em up: Stomach, chest, face! I finished him with half a combo.”
With his sixth consecutive win and fourth KO running, Marquez improved to 15-17-2 overall while the game Gonzales – showing extensive swelling above both eyebrows – dropped to 12-40-2, despite a strong Round 3 in which he regularly peppered Marquez into the ropes before Marquez battled back in its waning ticks.
“I was trying to catch my breath,” Marquez admitted, “but I was also trying to catch him slipping. You know, it’s catch and throw! He just kept pressuring me – he wasn’t stopping!”
“I got in there and banged it out. I had fun – always do – and didn’t get ‘hurt’…lived to do it again another day if I choose,” said Gonzales. “And that’s what matters; nobody got hurt and the crowd liked it.”
“Unfortunately it didn’t go my way – I think a little premature on the stoppage – but it’s like this, man: I’m a single father with five children, four of ’em at home – got a son that passed away – I work full-time and…worked 15 days to get a day off,” he continued.
“Honestly…I wasn’t in the gym a day – the boxing gym – for this. I do get up in the morning, jog to the YMCA and catch a little dips, some pull-ups, sit-ups and stuff, so…. I gave it a whirl. Unfortunately caught a little more than I should have but…I’m going home, so everything worked out. Plus I get a paycheck out the deal!”
Coming down from Billings, Montana, to rumble with Marquez in place of Aztec, New Mexico’s Joe Gomez, Gonzales indicated he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and atmosphere regardless of the outcome.
“While I’m still here I’m going to do a little sight-seeing,” he said. “A great place…clean city, and I like it, so hopefully they’ll have me back! I didn’t finish…but hopefully the crowd liked it and they’ll have me back!”
Marquez actually began his comments wanting to pass along his best to the Four Corners’ ‘Ironman.’
“Joe, I hope your baby’s O.K.,” he stated. “I’m praying for him!”
YOUNG GETS IT DONE
Broadening his training recently down in Gallup, N.M., a slimmed-down Zamir Young – originally from Cortez, Colo. – appeared properly fit for a four-rounder at 150 against Durango, Colorado’s Miguel Gallegos, and earned a 40-36, 38-38, 40-36 majority-draw victory.
“Mixed-martial arts…that’s what I’ve been doing to get conditioning. Wrestling is very good…for your cardio,” Young said, of his out-of-state preparations. “So I’ve just been staying on top of it, grinding every day. This is what I’m good at; I love it. I have some losses … but, you know, I’m willing to get better. I’m not a quitter.”
Able to shake off a nasty left from ‘El Coyote’ which stunned him in Round 2, Young looked the aggressor throughout, even if a good number of his punches weren’t as precise as Gallegos’ belt-high body shots, and rarely let the oft-crouching Gallegos (4-1-1) inside to test his tightened core.
“I dropped a lot of weight for the fight, and I think I made a big statement – a good statement,” said Young (3-1-1, 1 NC). “It’s only going to burn my fire more, in my scenario.”
“I’ve been doing training, I’ve been putting in the work in the gym – blood, sweat, tears – and it was ‘Just have fun!’ tonight.”
VICTOR VICTORIOUS IN OPENER
Getting the night underway, Shiprock, New Mexico’s Steve Victor managed to open a cut above well-traveled Edgar Pedraza Palma’s left eye early in the first of their four rounds.
“I think that happened with an overhand right,” said Victor. “And then the second time we collided heads, so I think that opened it up more.”
Linking better combinations in Rounds 2 and 3, Victor pushed the Mexican national into the ropes on three sides of the ring during Round 4 en route to winning a 40-36, 40-37, 40-36 unanimous decision.
“He gave me a few uppercuts here and there, and a few hooks that…he stung me with. I struck him back, hurt him a few times, and he came back – he’s a tough opponent!” Victor said, following his second pro triumph.
“The fight went pretty good, pretty smooth,” he continued, “and I’m just trying to get…on a winning streak. This is just the beginning; I need to run more, do more conditioning, and train harder to get the next win!”
‘Sugar Bear’ Victor improved to 2-6-1, and Pedraza dropped to 2-26-3.