PR Beats DR and Kingry Wins Too
Photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos
Boricua Jesus Rojas Wins WBA Interim Title; Ryan Garcia Scores 30 Second KO
David A. Avila
LAS VEGAS, Nevada-Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas snatched the WBA interim featherweight title from Dominican’s Claudio Marrero by knockout in a back and forth battle between Caribbean prizefighters on Friday.
It was no island paradise with Marrero accused of biting Rojas ear twice.
Rojas (26-1-2, 19 Kos) powered his way through Marrero’s (22-2, 16 Kos) southpaw slickness and speedy combinations at the MGM Grand Marquee to prove his last fight was no fluke in defeating an undefeated Californian.
This time Rojas was facing a champion in Marrero who seemed to think he could not be hurt. Throughout the fight the fast hands of the Dominican seemed to provide the openings for the Boricua, especially when firing five-punch combinations.
It was during one of those lightning combinations from Marrero that Rojas found an opening for his own counters. The Puerto Rican’s left hook caught Marrero flush on the chin and down he went for the count at 2:59 of the seventh round. Rojas becomes Puerto Rico’s newest champion.
“It’s been many years of sacrifice. I promised my father I would come with the belt around me,” said Rojas, adding that he joins Miguel Cotto as another Puerto Rican with a world title. Amanda Serrano has five world titles in five weight divisions to lead all the Puerto Ricans.
Throughout the fight Rojas pressed Marrero against the ropes and would not allow Marrero to use his speed advantage. The Dominican never could gain the space he needed
“We worked a lot on counter punching for this fight,” said Rojas.
Rojas said Marrero bit him twice and cried foul to referee Russell Mora. But the referee never acknowledged it during the fight.
Rojas joins Cotto and Cindy and Amanda Serrano as the four Boricuas with world title straps.
A caravan of fans trekked through the desert to see Ryan “Kingry” Garcia chase his first title as a professional.
What they saw was a two-punch execution as Garcia knocked down Miguel Carrizola (10-3, 2 Kos) of Nogales, Mexico to win by knockout in less than a minute.
Victorville’s Garcia (11-0, 10 Kos) won the Junior NABF super featherweight title by knockout of Carrizola in 30 seconds of the first round at the MGM Grand Marquee. More than 1,200 fans, many from Southern California, saw the sizzling knockout that came in blinding fashion.
Garcia, 19, made the 130-pound weight limit despite standing almost 6-feet tall with a long wingspan. He towered over Carrizola by at least three inches during introductions They touched gloves and that would be the only time the Mexican fighter would connect physically.
As they circled Carrizola attempted to fire a punch and was met with a lightning Garcia right cross that dropped the Mexican with a thud. He shakily got up and was looked over and sent back to meet Garcia. A motion by Carrizola was met with a quick left hook and down he went again for good. Referee Jay Nady stopped the fight at 30 seconds exactly to give the win to Garcia by knockout.
“I thought I was going to wear him down,” said Garcia, who had more than 100 fans in attendance. “I have a ton of energy.”
As an amateur Garcia won 15 national titles.
A middleweight clash saw Mexico’s Alexis Salazar (12-3, 3 Kos) win by unanimous decision after six rounds versus El Paso’s Even Torres (6-5, 5 Kos). Salazar was the busier fighter but Torres was always in the fight. The Texan allowed Salazar to dictate the pace and to keep the fight on the outside. No knockdowns occurred with Salazar winning by scores of 60-54, 59-55, 58-56.
In a foul-fest Damon Allen (13-0-1, 5 Kos) avoided the head butts of Honduras boxer Jayro Duran (10-3, 9 Kos) to win by unanimous decision despite losing a point from too many low blows in the eight-round super lightweight contest.
Allen attacked the body early in the fight but drifted too low a number of times. None were egregious but enough to force referee Jay Nady to deduct a point in the second round. No knockdowns were scored by either fighter but after eight rounds Allen was judged the winner 79-72 on all three score cards.
Revenge was sweet for Horacio Garcia (33-3-1, 23 Kos) who avenged a loss to Diuhl Olguin (11-8-2, 9 Kos) four months ago with a sizzling knockout in their super bantamweight rematch. Both were former stablemates in Guadalajara and in their first encounter last May it was Olguin who won. But not this time. A left hook counter followed by an overhand right put Olguin down early in the fourth round. He got up and was met by a five-punch barrage that had him careening off the ropes and then stumbling down. Referee Robert Byrd ended the fight at 44 seconds of the fourth round to give Garcia revenge by knockout.