ONTARIO, CALIF.-Southern California prospects James “Choco” Parison and Pomona’s Ivan “Sitting Bull” Stovall clashed in a middleweight showdown at the Doubletree Hotel on Friday with Parison getting a majority decision.
But it was razor close.
Before more than 1,000 Parison used his silky smooth style of combination punching and a rapier-like jab to make up for a second round knockdown he suffered from a blistering right hand from Stovall to win a close decision.
“If I attribute the win to one thing it’s that I fought,” said Parison (9-0, 3 KOs). “After I got knocked down I knew I had to get in there and fight.”
The first round saw Parison use his quickness and defensive ability to slip the big bombs fired from Stovall. But toward the end of the round it was apparent that the San Diego fighter leaned on the ropes a little too much.
Parison maintained an advantage with his slickness for most of the second round, but while leaning against the ropes with 20 seconds left, both fighter fired exchanges and Stovall’s right fist dropped Parison in a thud right at the bell. He survived and walked groggily back to his corner.
Pomona’s Stovall (9-2, 6 KOs) tried to end the fight in the third round but Parison still had his movement. Though Stovall won the round he wasted a lot of punches in the air. Parison seemed to regain his legs toward the end of the round.
After failing to stretch Parison for good, Stovall tried once again with his big right hand, but a stiff right hand counter snapped his head and that was followed by a right uppercut. The San Diego fighter began finding the range and Stovall slowed a bit.
Stovall tried to return the momentum back to his corner with a strong three-punch combination. But a snappy right hand by Parison with a three punch combination kept his momentum in the fifth.
Parison opened the sixth round with a fluid jab that found its mark repeatedly. A lightning three-punch combination followed by some more jabs kept the momentum. The jab seemed to work in the seventh round as well for the San Diego fighter.
With the momentum shifted back to Parison, Stovall opened up the eighth and final round with his best combinations of the fight. A left hook seemed to stun Parison but he kept on his feet. Stovall kept the pressure on Parison who tried to fight his way through the attack but was absorbing too many right hands. The Pomona fighter kept punching to get the knockdown but it never came.
He needed it.
The judges scored it 75-75, 77-75 and 76-75 for a majority decision in Parison’s favor.
Paramount’s Manuel Roman passed his biggest test yet with a majority decision win over the swarming style of Benjie Garcia (12-9-3) in a flyweight bout.
“He was pretty difficult,” said Roman (11-0-1) who remains undefeated.
Difficult is what Garcia poses for every opponent the San Diego fighter ever faced. Like a Mexican version of the Tasmanian Devil the short fighter has made fighters like Giovanni Segura and Sergio Espinosa frustrated as never before. But after eight rounds the judges scored it 76-76, and 78-74 twice for Roman.
Roman was able to use his jab as a buffer against Garcia’s head-down attack and uppercuts scored heavy for the taller Roman.
Rafael Lopez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Riverside, California captured his third successive knockout victory with a left hook to the liver of San Bernardino’s gritty Alex Deon (0-3) in a junior middleweight bout. For two rounds Deon was able to use his head movement to evade Lopez’s big blows. But at 2:58 of the third round a pinpoint left hook to the liver caught Deon and down he went for the count.
“I knew he was a tough opponent,” said Lopez. “I thought it would end earlier but I hurt my right hand.”
Lopez is the younger brother of lightweight contender Josesito Lopez.
Santa Ana’s Luis Ramos (1-0) came in with guns blazing against Puerto Rico’s Cristian Reyes (1-1-1) in a lightweight fight scheduled for four rounds. It was Ramos pro debut and with dozens of fans driving over from Orange County he let the punches fly. Reyes was hurt several times from Ramos left hand. It was a left hand that dropped Ramos in a heap forcing referee Jerry Cantu to immediately stop the fight at 2:17 of the first round.
Ramos is managed by champion-maker Frank Espinoza who also manages Israel Vazquez and Martin Castillo to name a few. Reyes was in California helping Roberto Acevedo prepare for his fight in November.
Ramos, a former amateur standout, is now a stable mate of Carlos Molina. Both fighters were huge adversaries during their amateur phases, now they fight for the same manager.