During the weekend that my favorite sport suffered its greatest loss, we were treated to some outstanding fights, a fitting sendoff. Muhamad Ali, the self proclaimed Greatest of them all passed on after a long illness. Ali was undoubtedly the most recognized man in the world, which sounds like such a ridiculous statement but who can dispute it? I will do a piece on this giant of the fight game in the near future but today’s column is all about the action this weekend, so let’s do this.
6/03/2016 Hollywood Fla.—I guess somebody must’ve picked up former champ Anthony Tarver from the bust stop because he was on tv babbling away as if he was still on his meds. It’s amazing how some people can jump into a pool of shit and still come up smelling like a rose. This guy has had many shots at a good job while some more deserving folk struggle for one opportunity.
Caleb (free hands) Plant (12-0-9K) v. Carlos Galvan (12-4-1-11K)
This was a middleweight skirmish on the undercard of the Mickey Bey- Rances Barthelemy title fight. The talented Plant seems to spend more time showboating and bullshitting than fighting and actually he’s pretty good at both but trust me Mr. Free Hands, as you move up the ladder the good guys will put some of that shit on ice. After shuckin’ and jivin’ through the first three rounds, Plant sunk a big left hand ass deep into the gut of Galvan and down he went taking the count on his knees. Plant remains undefeated and it’s high time he upped his comp. He’s a slick fighter which is and I’ll SAY it is pretty unusual for a White guy. I’m anxious to see what his next move will be.
Mickey Bey (22-1-1-10K) v. Rances Barthelemy (24-0-1-13K)
Once promising Mickey Bey, once touted by Floyd Mayweather as a Money Team future star made a rare appearance last night. I don’t know what it is with these guys that fight so hard to win a belt, then you have to set their damn houses on fire to get them to come out to defend it. Bey claimed money issues management and all sorts of shit as his reasons, but as I always say, “who cares”, if you don’t fight you don’t fight and we move on. Then when a guy finally does fight, he blames rust as his excuse. Tarver described the Cuban Bartkelemy as “one of the great Cuban defectors” No shit, that’s what he said. Are their levels of defections? I had no idea. Bey, never lost his belt in the ring, which is understandable if you don’t fight and I’m surprised Bey didn’t put it on E-Bay. Bey’s effort was so uneven, dare I say ‘lack luster’, that his corner man, Floyd Mayweather Sr. had no instructions other than, “man, you ain’t’ fightin enough, you ain’t movin’ enough, you ain’t doin’ shit. I can only imagine how uplifting this must’ve been for Mickey.” The long, lanky Rances did pretty much whatever he chose to do and all Bey did was get a constant tongue lashing in his corner. With Floyd Jr. jumping up and down imploring Bey to “do something, man”, Bey acted like he didn’t have a clue as to who he was talking to. I always get a big kick outta’ Mr. Delusional yelling and screaming at his fighters as if he sets the world on fire when he’s in action. Do as I say, Mickey Bey. Even that sight impaired official that scored the fight for Bey couldn’t help him, then again, how can you pick the winner when you can’t even see the fight?
The Belasco Theater, DWTNLA
Normally when the ladies are in action, my attention tends to drift but not for this fight. Christina (Mandy) Fuentes (4-7-5) faced Siniesa (Super Bad) Estrada (6-0-1K). These to roughnecks carried on as if the hated the smell of one another. Estrada was the more skilled of the two and had a little flair about her as well. In the run-up, she professed how she “has always loved boxing” and it showed. She’s well trained and has all the (dare I say) ‘guy moves’. She got a bit carried away in the third round though. She had the rugged Fuentes on the ropes blowing her up when outta’ the Blue came a big right that dropped her on her butt. This wasn’t good enough for Fuentes as she landed another blow to the sitting Estrada, though it was a glancing shot. This fight was very competitive as the undaunted Fuentes showed zero fear as she ate shot after shot but still pressed Estrada and landed her fair share. In the end, the call was unanimous in favor of the talented Estrada. Rematch, I’d watch.
Zachary Ochoa (14-0-6K) v. Luis Joel Gonzalez (11-3-1D6K)
This one damn near put me to sleep until a big overhand right by New Yorker Ochoa put Gonzalez out like an evicted tenant. There was a lotta’ posing and profilin’ for seven rounds when finally Ochoa backed Gonzalez to the ropes and unloaded an overhand right that was like a lightning bolt. There was no need for anything other than the doctor, as Gonzo was gone zo’.
Ronny Rios (25-1-10K) v. Efrain Esquivias (17-4-1-10K)
Now, let’s see if I can figure the reason for this hookup. Ronny Rios, 26 years old, hard punching, heavy handed prospect on a tear against 33 year old Esquivias, last fight, 5-29-15 (V. Raphael Marquez whom he upset and stopped), his last win was 9-7-13. This deck was stacked worse than the Titanic. Efrain, from carson seemed to wish he were ANYWHERE but downtown LA last night. He didn’t look a damn bit interested in the proceedings and whatever his reasons were, Rios didn’t give two squats about it. This was nowhere a fair fight and to his credit, Ronny was like Rambo, he went up one side of Efrain’s ass and down the other. Rios from Santa Ana was closer to Efrain than his protective cup as he launched missile after missile at Efrain, finally had him falling down from the onslaught at the bell. Efrain walked to his corner like a child taking his first steps. I didn’t see a doctor visit him and I also didn’t see a reason for a second round. Out came rampagin’ Ronny, with destruction on the brain. Bomb after bomb bounced off Efrain’s dome and it was a merciful intervention when the ref stepped in. Efrain complained to the ref, but the only complaint he should’ve had was, ‘what the hell took you so long, ref’ ? Efrain is sponsored by Lucas Oil but he needed some WD40 to get Rios off his ass . Rios has to be close to a big fight after that one stumble he had way back when he was upset by (who he) Robinson Castellanos on a really bad off nigh two years ago. I was there and wrote that Rios didn’t look like himself that night and I caught hell from a certain lady friend of mine from Santa Ana. I bet you couldn’t melt that guy and pour him on Rios now.
There was a six rounder on the card last night , the type of fight that prompted me to start writing about these unknown pre lim fighters. Pablo (the Shark) Rubio Jr. (6-0-3K) took on one Jorge Perez (2-3-1K). This was a torrid affair with two guys that fought their asses off and hearts out for six grueling rounds. If it’s true what they say about sharks and blood, this was a prime example. Both warriors were bloodied and battered and it was a shame one had to lose. Rubio was the better all around guy but Perez had a huge heart and often when he looked ready for the ice house, he’d roar back blood and all to defend himself. I don’t know WHAT these guys were paid but I ASSURE it wasn’t enough and they don’t need to do this again any time soon.
Carson Ca. The Stub Center.- In what proved to be a prelude to what was forthcoming, Julian Ramirez (20-0-10K) took on the determined Abraham lopez. It took all of a single round for the ‘feeling out’ stage ended in this slug fest. The second round turned into a body punching contest as both guys delivered. Most times, guys get accused of ‘head hunting’ these two fought as if battling the Headless Horseman. Back and forth this went with the punches flying non-stop and already the crowd was wondering how the main event was gonna’ top this. Ramirez suffered a cut that was correctly called by ref Jack reiss, something that Roy Jones Jr. and Jim Lampley refuted openly. Finally the replay proved it. Lopez is a lefty and Lamply who always sounds like he’s giving Roy lap dances off the air said, “Roy did you have much trouble with southpaws” Roy snarkily said, nah, I beat ‘em all kinds of ways. I sure wish Tarver had been sitting there when he said that dumb shit.. At one point during a clinch, jack Reiss yelled, “pull your arms out”. He seems to become a coach at least once in every fight he does. These two were handling their business on the inside DAMN well, and didn’t need help from Jack. When the decision was announced in Ramirez’s favor I said, what the hell, I thought the other guy was Ramirez. The crowd was puzzeled as well and the boos were heard loud and clear. Now THIS one calls for a do over, a helluva’ fight.
The Main Event
Orlando Salido (42-13-3D29K) v. Francisco Vargas (23-0-1D-17K)
It’s rare indeed when a great fight is equaled by the rematch. It’s nearly impossible to see a trilogy that measures up, the one that comes to mind immediately is Israel Vasquez-Raphael Marquez. After reading and hearing about this Salido-Vargas redo, I figured hey, even if it’s close to the original, I’ll take it. Well trust me it was. It’s always a great letdown when you sit through a great sporting event and at the end, there is no outcome and to me, a draw is no outcome. It’s like nothing happened and we know damn well something happened, for twelve rounds last night shit happened.. I hate draws. Orlando Salido, the original roughneck and Francisco Vargas waged holy hell back and forth last night with neither guy tasting the deck, though both were buckled on occasions. These two promised that a phone booth would provide all the space required and they were NOT bullspittin’. This was a classic night for up close hand to hand or hand to jaw and hand to ribs, contact. With the action fierce from the start, I was surprised nobody required a count of any kind. There was a time about the sixth round Vargas seemed to be wilting and his cornered needed to fire him up. It was said that Salido suffered many ko losses early in his career and if anybody seemed to require testing, it’s him. That bald head soaks up shit like a sponge and aside from a few lumps, he’s a very durable fighter. Vargas is no slouch, either but he doesn’t have the experience that Salido has. Can you imagine Salido turning down a street fight? He used an array of dirty tricks on the inside, more than they used in Nixon’s campaign (wasn’t THAT a reach). Each of these combatants switched turns going on the attack, even during rounds. Vargas seemed ready to go at one point but he returned fire, slowing Orlando’s roll but only for a second. This fight seemed like a continuation of the Ramirez-Lopez fight, actually, or of the first Salido-Vargas fight. It was the type of fight where there were so much ebb and flow that it was difficult to say who was ahead. Obviously it was difficult for the judges as well, since they deemed this a draw. After all that hell, not to mention LUMPS, being raised, there SHOULD’VE been a damn winner. Too much took place. I’d rather see a wrong decision than NONE at all.
So next weekend promises to be another one of non-stop action and WHO was that delusional dude that ‘retired’ and thought the fight game would perish without his presence, oh, that’s right, Mr. Delusional..