Shades of the 1880s or the 1980s.
Kendall Holt and Ricardo Torres let the punches fly and when the dust settled it was like the shootout at Tombstone and the winner was Holt the lightning bolt.
New Jersey’s Holt survived two knockdowns and avenged an earlier controversial loss to WBO titleholder Torres before an electrified 3,226 fans at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on Saturday.
Forget Wyatt Earp and his brothers or the Clanton clan, Holt and Torres fired more deadly blows in one round than a year’s worth of heavyweight title fights. They managed to condense the epic Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns three round battle into a mere 61 seconds.
Whew. Strike up the Tivos.
With Mike Tyson and Paris Hilton in the crowd Holt proved that he is the real junior welterweight world titleholder.
Last September, Torres had won a controversial win by knockout over Holt when the referee stepped in to halt the fight. Holt’s camp protested vehemently and was told to wait and he could get a rematch if he continued to win.
Holt (24-2, 13 KOs) kept his part of the bargain.
When the first bell rang both fighters did not feel a need to warm up gingerly, they immediately clashed like two junkyard dogs and fired power punches with little care of defense.
A perfect right hand counter dropped Holt within seconds of the first round’s beginning and down he went.
“I told myself I just got to let it go,” said Holt about getting dropped in the opening seconds. “I may go down but I get back up.”
Holt looked steady so the fight resumed after the count. Torres walked in firing big blows once again and landed a left hook that dropped Holt once more. He got up immediately and was caught again but referee Jay Nady stopped the action and began the count. Again Holt looked steady.
“I wasn’t hurt,” Holt maintained.
The fight resumed again and another furious exchange ensued with both fighters disregarding safety and letting punches fly. A left hook to the body landed, and a side-winding right hand caught Torres on the jaw and down he went dangling alongside the second strand of the boxing ring ropes, unconscious. Nady waved the fight over at 1:01 of the first round.
Five minutes after the last punch was thrown, Torres sat on his stool with an icepack on his head.
“I had him, he was in my hands. I got careless, he caught me,” said Torres after the fight. “A head butt caught me and made me off-balance and I never saw the last punch.”
The fight was one of the most electrifying in decades.
“It was unbelievable,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum. “That was boxing history.”
Lamont Peterson, who recently along with twin brother Anthony signed with Top Rank, overwhelmed Sacramento’s Rogelio Castaneda, who tried to stay with the quicker fighter, but to no avail, in a junior welterweight fight.
A switch to southpaw along with a right hook dropped Castaneda. Peterson quickly jumped on Castaneda forcing his own corner to ask the referee to halt the fight at 2:50 of the ninth round for a technical knockout victory for Peterson.
“I love him like a brother,” said trainer Israel Piceno of Castaneda. “He took too many punches.”
Peterson had been out of action for six months but looked in top shape.
A battle between two undefeated female fighters ended in a draw between Ana “Hurricane” Julaton and Johana Mendez (3-0-1) in a six round featherweight bout. The smaller Mendez moved up from bantamweight and gave angles and movement to keep Julaton from loading up.
Julaton (4-0-1), who suffered a cut over her right eye due to an accidental head butt, pressed the issue in the last round to salvage a draw against the clever Mendez. The taller Filipina fighter managed to out-punch Arizona’s Mendez and salvage the fight.
The judges scored it 59-55 Julaton, 58-56 Mendez and 57-57 a draw.
Riverside’s Michael Franco (12-0, 8 KOs) was matched against Mexico’s Javier Lagos (15-11-2) who had fought to the distance against champions Brian Viloria, Jorge Arce and Victor Burgos. So it was no surprise he lasted the six-round distance against big punching Franco, who proved too strong even for the veteran Lagos.
A counter right hand sent Lagos to the floor in the fifth round but he beat the count. In the sixth round Franco opened up the offense and landed several big left hook, but the cagey Mexican fighter managed to survive the onslaught.
The judges scored the fight 59-53 and 59-54 twice for Franco.
Carlos Vinan (8-6-3) handed Andrew Cancio (8-0-3, 8 KOs) his first loss winning by majority decision according to the judges 57-56 twice and 57-57 in a junior lightweight decision.
Filipino featherweight Glen Gonzalez (6-0, 4 KOs) powered his way through Florida’s Robert Da Luz (11-12-2, 9 KOs) after six rounds. No knockdowns were scored in the fight that saw both fighters cut due to punches. The judges scored it 60-54 and 59-55 twice for Gonzalez.
New York’s Omar Coffi (1-0-1) scored his first pro win by dominating Texan Trinidad Marry (0-3) in a four round junior middleweight match. Judges scored it 40-36.
Joseph Judah (2-0), younger brother of former world champion Zab Judah, scored a unanimous decision over L.A. fighter Luis Tapia (0-1) making his pro debut. Judah had a five-inch height advantage but Tapia proved resilient in the junior middleweight four-rounder. Judges scored it 40-36, 39-37 twice for Judah.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV