Photos by: Luke Massy
WCB had a nice little 150 mile drive down to Indio from the Antelope Valley last night and man, I saw a little bit of everything. From a 6’7, 250lb guy v. a 5’9 298lb guy, an HW that threw about 3 punches a round, a near shocking upset to a hot prospect and a lot more. One of the reasons for making this journey was the appearance of the Watts twins, Tevin and Kevin, from Lancaster, in fact they live less than three miles from me.
The Main Event
Antonio Orozco (18-0-14k) vs. Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1-18k)
It’s always interesting to see how a much-hyped hot prospect will react when he faces adversity. This went down last night in the desert, as hard-punching San Diegan; undefeated Antonio Orozco faced battle-tested Miguel Angel Huerta. I saw Orozco when he fought at the Stubb Hub Arena a while back and he was a vicious punching machine that battered his hapless opponent unmercifully ‘til the ref pulled him off. I knew this guy was gonna’ be a real fan favorite. I saw that night why he’s called ‘Relentless’. Despite the string of knockouts he has, he’s patient and doesn’t really seem to be looking solely for the early ending. He started out against Huerta in the opening round pacing himself and not wasting shots. He boxed well, moved well and basically just checking Huerta’s goods. Huerta decided early to test this ko artist to see how he felt about backing up. He pressed Orozco and midway through the opening round, landed a left to the body, quickly followed by a big hook on Orozco’s chin. Antonia was shaken to his roots and there’s no telling what was going through his manager Frank Espinosa’s head. It would be interesting to know if he was wearing an extra pair of shorts at the time. The emboldened Huerta was in beast mode, driving Orozco across the ring and hurting him again. The crowd was in shock at the prospect of a huge upset. But Antonio survived the onslaught and was fighting back at the bell. The biggest problem for Huerta was the bell ringing for round two. I imagine his corner sent him out to see if Antonio was fully recovered because he went right after him. During a heated exchange, a big looping overhand right from Orozco spun Huerta around and he dropped face first to the mat. It was one of the most vicious knockdowns I’d ever witnessed. How (or why) Huerta got up was a mystery, but as he wavered like a sail in the breeze, Antonio fired a fuselage at him along the ropes, causing ref Pat Russell to intervene. Huerta protested, but, c’mon now, he was about to get hurt really bad. This was both vicious AND violent. So, as Espinoza breezed a big sigh of relief, his young hotshot passed a major hurdle, proving he could take it as well as dish it and no doubt, increased his fan base. I’m so glad this one was stopped when it was.
Manny Robles Jr. (4-0-2k) v. Rick Lopez (10-2-4k)
In a spirited featherweight hookup, Manny Robles Jr. of Los Angeles pretty much had his hands full with the persistent, never-give-up Lopez from Denver, Co. The younger Robles showed he’s very skilled for such a youngster and he was fighting 6 rds. In only his 5th outing. He got off early, nailing the aggressive Lopez with swift combos including double hooks downstairs. Lopez was bothered by Manny’s speed and throughout the match; he was unable to get his opponent’s timing down. On the occasions he did close the gap, Manny showed good defense. Lopez was like a mini-tank, constantly coming forward, being out boxed as he advanced. He finally landed a flus right hand on the fleet-footed Robles and Many accepted it well. This was a good test for Manny and he had no issues with the distance so obviously, his team knows what’s up. The decision was a no-brainer with Robles winning pretty much every round.
Julian Ramirez (9-0-6k) vs. Derrick Wilson (10-5-2K)
Fantasy Springs is doing a fine jb of showcasing young, up and comers and mostly they’re matched against good opponents. This was certainly the case for the unbeaten Ramirez from E. LA. Last seen stopping Abe Rubio at the StubHub Center, Ramirez was busy, fighting 4 times last year. On paper, tonight’s opponent looked pretty safe. Derrick Wilson proved that being from Florida; he was not here for the weather and gave Ramirez all he wanted and then some. Ramirez started quickly and he seemed to feel this would be another quickie as he dropped Derrick with a straight left from his southpaw stance. Wilson proved worthy from then on however, forcing Julian to do more boxing than wanted to and using the entire ring, which was huge for these featherweights. While holding a slight edge, Ramirez was never really in his ‘zone’ and was using a lotta’ lateral movement. There were plenty of exchanges and both guys were given to throwing combos. In the 6th round they took it to the next level, to the crowd’s delight and both guys landed clean shots. Wilson was backing Ramirez up and finding him with left hooks and body shots. But it was too little, too late as Ramirez closed the show with a two-handed assault, causing the Floridian to cover up along the ropes. I can easily see these two hooking up again in the future. The scores were, 79-71 and 78-72 (twice) for the still unbeaten Ramirez.
Dominic Breazeale (8-0-8k) vs. Homer Fonseca (10-6-3K)
It was good that this one was on TV, because, for as brief as it was, it was a real crowd please. In one corner stood the 6 foot –seven, 254 pounder former Olympian Dominic Breazeale (trained by former Olympian, John Bray), and across the ring was 5 foot nine, 298 lbs. Homer Fonseca. With his Butterbean-like body, my first thought was, “seriously”? This guy looked as much like a fighter as I do, and that’s, ‘not very’. I knew, if he could fight at all, he wouldn’t be doing it for long. This was a real Mutt and Jeff hookup. Actually Dominic is no Adonis and still seems to be a work in progress, physically. I was considering going for pop corn, but without warning, the Galento-like Fonseca had Dominic pinned against the ropes and was nailing him with looping, hard rights and lefts. Dom’s eyes were like dinner plates. Fonseca was pretty strong and Dominic had issues trying to find operating room. Needless to say, the crowd was in love with Homer, at this point. When he was able to extricate himself from the ropes, it was bombs away for the now, fully awake, Breazeale as he was landing flush right hands on Fonseca’s sizeable cranium, wobbling him. Somehow, Homer came out for the second round and again started his kamikaze attack and again, landing on Dominic, but now, Dominic was not spending as much time on the ropes and was able to find Homer with everything, nearly dropping the fast-fading big man. Homer was fighting out of an Archie Moore crossed arms format, but now, it was c becoming only a matter of time. At the end of the third rd., Homer walked back to his corner like a man that had spent too much time at the bar. The ref visited his corner and the outcome was obvious, this was over. The crowd cheered the preening Fonseca, as he strutted around with his arms raised, I wonder how he would’ve acted had he won? He poses for pics with his newly-acquired fans long after Breazeale had left the ring. Afterwards, Bray said to me, “man, that s.o.b scared the hell outta’ me”.
Gerald Washington (10-0-7k) vs. Arron Lyons (12-14-1-9k)
Whenever the announcer, when introducing a fighter says, “a veteran of 25 professional fights” without listing his won-loss records, usually I know it’s gonna’ be a b.s. fight, and this one was. Gerald Washington, looking like a young Ken Norton and a former pro (Seattle Seahawks) and college (USC), faced a sparring partner-looking Arron Lyons. Now, a day later, I’m still wondering, “has Lyons thrown a punch yet”? This guy was about as passive as a pro fighter can be. I’m still trying to find the 14 guys he beat. He did squat for 4 rounds as Washington teed off with all but the kitchen sink. Between rounds at one point ref Pat Russell went to his corner and told him to “fight, man”. I thought they only did that in the ams. After each round of pummeling, Lyons would bang his gloves together as if he was about to do something. Finally after one particular assault, Russell put us outta’ our miseries, by rescuing the helpless, hapless Aaron. To no one’s surprise he was trying to push the ref away saying, “Why” (are you stopping it)? That was the epitome of his emotional displays the entire 4 rounds. I think if he’d attack Russell, he’d lose that, too.
IBF Junior Middleweight Final Eliminator
For this to be any sorta’ eliminator, I was bored to death as were many of the fans, and it went twelve painful rounds.
Cornelius (K9) Bundrage) 32-5-19k) vs. Joey Hernandez (23-1-1-13k)
Bundrage is from Detroit and Hernandez is Florida, so, with did they bring this mess to Cali? Wth did we do? When you lay eyes on K9, you think, ‘man, this guy could knock down a building with those body builder arms. Turns out, he couldn’t even drop Hernandez who after glaring at Bundrage during the introductions and giving that throat-slashing gesture, proceeded to hold and wrestle for twelve interminable rounds. Bundrage complained of head butts, started talking to Hernandez late in the fight, and still did enough to win this “eliminator”. The less said the better on this one.
In other action…..Santiago Guevara (5-0-3k), won a split decision after 4rds. Against Rocco Espinoza (4-7). This was a back and forth match of two evenly matched Jr. Lights. Each guy had his moments, neither scoring a knockdown or doing anything specific to make the judges’ night easy. Rematch, ok, I’d go.
Kevin Watts (3-0-2k) of Lancaster, one half of the Watts twins, continues to improve as he boxed and brawled his way to his 4th straight win, dropping the game Julian Cruz of Acapulco, Mex. With a sharp right hand in the third round. Cruz tried his damndest, but couldn’t match Watts in skill, speed or power.
Tevin Watts (1-0) brawled his way to a draw over 4rds. Against Gustavo Lopez (0-1) of King City Az. Lopez introduced Tevin to the rougher side of pro boxing as he hardly gave the more skilled Tevin to establish a rhythm with his mauling anything goes attitude. He head butted Watts in the 2nd (I guess by accident) and roughed Tevin up enough to make him fight his style. Tevin landed the cleaner, harder shots. The scores were: 39-37 Watts, 38-38 and 38-38. In a battle of debaters,
Kirk Bills and Jesus Delgado battled to a hard –fought 4 rounder. Things didn’t look so promising for Bills as he was rocked big time early in the first rd. Bills, from ‘Vegas had his friend, former champion Zab Judah among his entourage, screaming instructions from ringside. He closed strongly, but Delgado had built too big an early lead and held on to win the decision.