3/9/2018-Aside from those two sluggish, lumbering heavyweights, plodding about the ring with the speed of a duck billed platypus, on Showtime, most of the action was pretty entertaining. Hell, even the female fight on ESPN were better than those behemoths. So, let’s get the big boys outta’ the way first.
In Deadwood, South Dakota, a fitting place for these two slugs. Junior Fa (13-0-8K) whom the networks seem to be promoting as a future star, from New Zealand like he’s the second coming of Jimmy Thunder. I’d seen Fa before against a guy that looked like he’d just HEARD about boxing and didn’t know it required training. The worse aspect of it, was they did this for EIGHT rounds, with Fa awarded a majority decision. How the judges remained awake long enough to score it was a mystery to me.
In a grueling, hard fought junior welterweight eliminator, short, stocky, hard punching Ivan Baranchyk (16-0-10K), landed enough looping power shots on the body (everywhere) of game but outgunned Petr Petrov (38-5-20-18K) for the better part of eight rounds in a Jr. welterweight eliminator. This was an entertaining affair with Petrov wanting to work from distance, something , something the bomb throwing Baranchyk wasn’t even REMOTELY interested OR concerned with. Round after round, Ivan would wade, in hurling looping lefts and rights at the game Petrov, with absolutely no regard for where they landed. Poor Petr was so overwhelmed, it didn’t matter HOW game he was. A stiff jab knocked Petrov off his feet in the opening seconds which was a bad omen. Over the course of eight rounds, Petr was dropped a total of four times, each seemingly coming from a different assault. Many of those hard shots landed behind Petrov’s head which I’m SURE didn’t feel good. Baranchyk’s attack was especially dangerous given his disregard for the ultimate locations of his shots. There were multiple times this carnage could’ve been called off but Petrov had a really BRAVE corner. Finally, after being battered along the ropes and dropped for the fourth time, this beating was interrupted by the ref. Petrov indeed, had his moments, landing big shots and often backing up the shorter Baranchyk, but he was in with a guy possessed tonight. The stoppage came at 1:12. The short flame thrower will prove to be no walk in the park for ANY ’40 pounder. I knew Ivan was tough when they announced he was born in New York but moved to Russia, who DOES that?
In the main event, rampaging Jr. Welter, unbeaten, Regis Prograis (20-0-17K) showed a TOTAL lack of respect for his elder as he went up one side and down the other on the veteran Julius Indongu. Last time I saw Indongu (22-1-12K), he was ko’d, courtesy of a debilitating body shot from superstar, Terrance Crawford, which should be nothing to be ashamed of. Crawford stopped him in three rounds and the cocky Regis wanted to play ‘ I can do it better’. Prograis, seems to be a combination of Errol Spence and Gervonte Davis. Ironically, they’re all Black and lefthanded AND relentless. He’s cocky and talkative, like Davis and a relentless body puncher ala Spence. Indongo looks really weak and seems like any decent shot causes him to unravel, which put him in a dangerous place tonight. Skittering around the ring, landing occasional flurries, it was obvious, this was not gonna’ end well for him. Nearly every time the stalking Regis put his hands on him, Indongo seemed ready to vacate the premises. Prograis realized early (maybe at contract signing) that he had nothing to worry about and bit down on his mouthpiece and just unloaded on poor Indongo, dropping him four times in two rounds. Body shots, straight lefts, right hooks, I can’t recall anything he DIDN’T hurt Indongo with. Seems like he was down more than up. Afterwards, Regis went into Davis mode, yelling “can’t nobody fk wit me, I’m the best at this shit”. He called out everybody and let it be known he wanted to stop Indongo quicker than Crawford, which he did. This dude is a problem. He’s strong, tough and seems to have that much needed nasty streak. He complained that his fights don’t last long enough to display all his talents.He should wear his new strap with pride.
At Costa Mesa, on the Golden Boy Card, this was a mixed bag of emotions. In the opener, fast rising, talented, Alex Rocha of Santa Ana (TKO Boxing Club, showed why he’s a fighter to keep your eyes on. Rocha (10-0-7K) is the brother of Ronny Rios, also of Santa Ana. and are extremely tight. Given the fact he seems to have all the tools, there was NO real reason for him to be fighting the guy he fought tonight. This guy, one Miguel Dumas (10-1-7K) looked like he camps out along the Santa Ana River. He entered the ring as if he’d just been aroused from a good night’s sleep. And soon, he was BACK to sleep. I mean, I like Rocha but give me a BREAK. In just 1:49 seconds, Rocha had destroyed this guy and I DO mean, DESTROYED. After scoping his prey out for a few seconds (maybe 10), the hard hitting sharpshooter landed a sizzling set topped off by a devastating left uppercut to Dumas’ chin dropping him. Upon getting up, he was hit with THREE straight right hands allowing him to resume his siesta’. Rocha probably gets more resistance from shadow boxing. The announcer said, DeLaHoya “expected some rounds” from Dumas, yeah, rounds of DRINKS, maybe.
I wanna’ start on the main event by saying this. Ronny Rios (29-2-13K) is as tough and game as they come but I’m starting to worry about him. I was at his fight with Ray Vargas and he (imo) took a bad beating, DESPITE the ranting and raving of his coach. Vargas’ style was a big issue for Rios, because he’s tall, rangy and fights well inside and out. It seems Rios had no SHOT in that fight. In tonight’s fight against Hard core Armenian, Azat Hovhannisyan (13-2-10K), it seemed Rios took even a worse beating. Freddie Roach said before the fight “if Rios tries to ko Azat, he’s gonna’ end up on his ass” and THIS time Roach was right. In the runup, Rios said “I’ve been starting too slow but I won’t, tonight”. Well, maybe he SHOULD have because for every (there were many) assault he launched in front of his fanatical home fans, he was matched by the fiery WBC (Continental Americas version) champ’s two fisted response. There was action from the start and at first it seemed like the quick starting Rios was on point. Digging hard downstairs, Rios had the champ retreating. Azat started taunting Rios with his hands down and paid for it by getting punched in his mouth, TWICE.
Things took a wrong turn for Rios in the third when Azat found his range and unloaded a huge two fisted attack, startling the crowd and nearly dropping their homie. This was a devastating round for Ronny as he needed a GPS to find his corner. It was an emotional scene as his brother was seen praying hard at ringside. It seemed like Ronny never fully recovered from this assault. His corner berated him, swearing at him reminding me of his fight with Vargas. Rios was taking some serious shots and he needed encouragement, not a cussing out. I have trained many fighters and sure, sometimes they need a kick in the ass but when he’s getting beaten up they Ronny was, I don’t see how that helps and it DIDN’T. In the fourth, a head butt (which there many) caused a HUGE (Rachman like) knot near Rios’ right temple. This seemed to be cause for concern and Rios was obviously bothered by it. Each time they clashed Rios would walk away, causing ref Jack Reiss to say, “Ronny, don’t turn your back, you ok”? This was getting bad and Azat was starting to talk shit to Rios while battering him. The fifth was a ‘breather’ round for both guys but the beating resumed in the sixth as Azat was in full killer mode, rocking Rios with a savage two fisted attack. This fight could’ve been stopped then, as Rios seemed to be losing confidence. He was blasted to the canvas by a big right hand, AGAIN time for a “that’s it” which didn’t come. Rios was on his feet but out of the fight. Another huge right hand sent Rios down and badly beaten and FINALLY Reiss stepped in. If that were MY guy, I would’ve been concerned about the knot on his temple as well as the ferocious beating he was taking. I sure as hell wouldn’t be yelling in his face, “ how bad do you want this”? This was a BAD beating, the SECOND one over a short span and good guy Rios’s peeps need to set him down for a long rest before signing another contract. I think he’s a good fighter, talented but THOSE kinds of beatings normally don’t come with a happy ending. Please Hector, WATCH ya’ boy. I felt kinda bad for Azat in a way. After his startling and convincing win, he was in center ring for nearly a minute before his peeps came to celebrate with him. He came to hostile turf and handled his business in a huge way. Big props to the champ.
Oops, in between, there was a female hookup with Lisa Garland (15-9-8K) ran up on Mariela Cornajo and in a fine performance, made her quit against the ropes following a battering. Things ended in the third round.