ONTARIO, CALIF. - It was a double treat at the Doubletree Hotel as local fighters Timothy Bradley and Dominic Salcido both grabbed victories on Friday in a fight card staged by Thompson Boxing Promotions.
Indio’s Bradley jumped to the attack blindly against North Carolina’s Eli Addison a slick boxer and ran into a head butt in the second round that dazed him badly, but he recovered and resumed the body attack that carried him to victory in a junior welterweight bout.
“I can’t remember what happened,” said Bradley (12-0, 6 KOs) who won 78-74, 79-73, 80-72 on the judges' card. “He came across the country and he was tough.”
Addison used his reach and foot movement to keep distance from the heavy-punching Bradley. But at times was pinned against the ropes.
“I could have moved more and kept my hands up,” Addison (8-1, 4 KOs) said. “He’s a great fighter.”
Addison, at 5-11 in height, was taught how to use his reach and circle the ring from side to side. It was definitely needed against the hard-charging style of Indio’s Bradley who goes by the name of “Desert Storm.” But Addison hadn’t faced an opponent the caliber of Bradley.
“He was definitely the best fighter I’ve ever faced,” said Addison, who shot his jab occasionally, but not enough to keep his opponent from getting inside. “I knew what I had to do, but I could have done better.”
The second round proved critical as Bradley jumped into land crunching body shots. As Addison seemed to trip to the floor during an exchange, Bradley suddenly stepped back with a dazed look on his face. The referee gave Bradley a push and nearly toppled him. The Indio fighter staggered with his feet wide apart and his hands spread apart as if trying to maintain his balance like a tightrope walker. Addison rose up, but may have been hurt himself.
“I didn’t know he was hurt, I couldn’t tell,” said Addison, who kept a good five feet of distance from the much more muscular Bradley who stands 5-6. “If I had known he was hurt I would have done something.”
Both circled each other with dazed looks, neither willing to step forward, possibly because both lacked full use of their legs. Then, after about one minute, Bradley stepped into attack once again.
“Man, it was my conditioning that helped me,” said Bradley, whose right eye swelled a little more each round. “I was hurt, I fought dazed but my legs held up.”
Immediately after the round ended, trainer Joel Diaz jumped across the ring and guided his fighter back to the stool.
“I looked at him and told him to talk to me,” said Diaz, who’s the older brother of Antonio and Julio Diaz. “Then I told him to relax. Just relax.”
Though still somewhat dizzy, Bradley resumed the attack. People in the crowd shouted loudly to the Inland area fighter.
“Bradley, be careful,” shouted junior middleweight contender Carlos Bojorquez, who last fought Ike Quartey. “Concentrate on the body.”
From rounds three to eight, Bradley shot wicked left hooks and roundhouse rights to Addison’s body. The North Carolina fighter seemed content to stay on the ropes, but that allowed Bradley to continue to work on the ribs.
“I’ve never faced a fighter like that before,” said Addison, whose face have primarily been in his native state and the surrounding region. “I could have moved to my right more.”
Bradley used a stiff jab to keep Addison from mounting an effective counter-attack.
“I’ve been working on that a lot in the gym,” Bradley said.
Both fighters were happy about facing each other.
“He was an undefeated fighter who moved well in the ring,” Bradley said who remains undefeated. “He definitely was the best I’ve faced.”
Addison, though he has a loss on his record, was content.
“Now I know where I stand in this division and what I need to do to get better,” Addison said. “I’ll take a rematch any time. I know there can’t be fighters much better than him.”
Salcido, who entered the ring after almost a year off and without a trainer for two years, looked fast as ever. After dropping Odi Rivera (5-8-2) with a quick right that the referee missed, Salcido felt a pain shoot up his right arm.
“I hurt it in the first round,” said Salcido, (8-0, 5 Kos) who recently signed with Thompson Boxing Promotions last month. “I knew I hurt him but my hand was hurt and I had to box.”
During his first three years as a professional, the 22-year-old faced tumultuous times including the death of his former trainer Bob Davison. Then, after signing with famed trainer Emanuel Steward, that failed to work out. Under the former Kronk trainer Salcido faced only one fighter.
“It was tough to get a fight,” Salcido said, adding that others in the Southern California area were racing ahead. “But it’s all for a reason.”
Despite hurting his hand in the first round, Salcido used superior speed and power to keep the vastly improving Rivera from gaining momentum.
“Go to the body,” shouted Jack Mosley, father and former trainer to Shane Mosley. The Pomona trainer has known Salcido since his early teens.
Ironically, it’s Shane Mosley whose style Salcido resembles most.
“I think I have a style like Shane Mosley,” Salcido says.
For the next three rounds Salcido whipped out lightning right hands and left hooks to the body while moving from side to side nimbly. Then a quick one-two led was followed by a flurry of two dozen punches that had Rivera covering up and sustaining heavy damage. Referee Jose Cobian stopped the bout at 1:44 of the fourth round.
“That kid is the real deal,” said Johnny Ortiz, a boxing expert who formerly owned the famous Main Street Gym in Los Angeles that is now defunct. “He’s going places.”
Diaz, who trains Salcido and Bradley, wiped the sweat from his brow. The pain in Salcido’s face told the whole story.
“Dominic showed he’s more than just a boxer,” Diaz said. He showed a lot of heart.”
As Diaz carefully unwrapped Salcido’s hand, the fighter winced a bit then smiled.
“I felt a little rusty,” Salcido admitted. “But I’m shooting for the top baby.”
In other bouts:
Sytel Wilburn (1-0) beat Francisco Rubio (0-2) by unanimous decision 40-36 in a featherweight bout.
Rafael Garcia (3-0) out-scored Mario Franco (0-4) in a featherweight bout 39-37.
Adrian Tait (2-0) edged out Felipe Campana (2-3-2) in a junior welterweight bout 38-38, 39-37 twice.
Oxnard’s Victor Ortiz (13-1, 9 KOs) knocked out clever Freddie Barrera (10-1) in one round at the Maywood Activity Center located about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was the heavy-handed Ortiz who fired a straight left that caught Colton’s Barrera and dropped him early in the round. Then, after Barrera recovered, a right hook dropped him again for good.
Barrera had never been down before and suffered his first pro loss.
Ortiz looks ready to step up. Perhaps another Southern California showdown is in order like Indio’s Bradley and Ortiz.
The Oxnard-based fighter is tall and powerful. Bradley has a Henry Armstrong style, or as Bojorquez would say, “he fights like a Mexican.”
“It’s funny,” said Bradley after the fight. “But when I practice in the gym I don’t fight like I do in a real fight. But once the bell rings and I hear those people, I just want to kill in there.”
Maybe Ortiz and Bradley can be arranged in a battle for Southern California.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV