INDIO, California – The long arm of Eddie Sanchez decided the middleweight match against Abdias Castillo at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday.

A crowd of more than 900 at the Event Center saw middleweight contender Sanchez outbox the sturdy Castillo of Texas in a six-round bout promoted by Ringside Ticket. Boxing trainer Jack Mosley was in attendance.

“I thought it was going to be an easy fight but as soon as I saw him I got rid of that mindset,” said Sanchez describing the muscularly built Castillo.

With his long reach Sanchez kept Castillo at arm’s length but every so often the Austin, Texas boxer crept inside and delivered some heavy punches. It just wasn’t enough to convince the judges.

“I knew before I came here that I had to knock him down at least,” said Castillo (10-15, 8 KOs). “I fought him in his home area.”

Sanchez’s best round came in the third round when a counter left hook wobbled Castillo who struggled to keep on his feet and soon recovered.

“I didn’t know I hurt him,” said Sanchez. “I thought he just lost his balance.

Sanchez, who now trains out of the Lincoln Boxing Club in Riverside, fought best when he was in the middle of the ring and able to use his reach as an antidote for Castillo’s marauding style.

“I seldom used my jab. But in this fight my corner told me to stay in the middle of the ring and jab,” Sanchez said. “It worked and I actually got more rest by using it.”

Castillo connected well from the third round on with big right hands fired when he trapped Sanchez in the corners.

“I thought I won the fight,” Castillo said. “He was a good boxer and he ran a lot.”

The judges scored it 60-54. There were no knockdowns.

Sanchez said his team is now organized and he’s ready for another match.

“Whenever my team says to fight, I’ll fight,” said Sanchez.

Henry Ramirez, who now helps train Sanchez, said his fighter is making little adjustments that will bring him to the top.

“When he fights in the middle of the ring, he’s untouchable,” Ramirez said.

Kaliesha West Victorious

In just her second pro fight Kaliesha West met New Mexico’s hard-hitting Tonia Cravens in a bantamweight showcase of tomorrow’s champions.

Too bad it was only four rounds.

West used a toe-to-toe body attack against the fast charging Cravens who displayed grit and solid punching throughout the fight.

“I had heard about her and she did what we expected,” said West (2-0), a former National amateur champion from Moreno Valley. “I used the first round to find out what she had.”

Craven raced toward West with both punches blazing but West fended them off with her gloves and ramrod stiff jabs. Unflinchingly, Craven continued to fire away at the composed teenager but found it difficult to land many clean blows. A few did land.

“In my first fight I was way too excited,” said West about her debut win a month ago in San Bernardino. “This time I watched carefully to see what she was doing and countered it.”

From the second round until the end, both needed little more than a five feet square to do their work. Craven’s two-fisted attack was met by West’s thudding body shots and left hooks.

“She was pretty tough,” said Cravens (2-2-1), who fights out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “I tried my best.”

Few knew of Craven’s boxing ability and figured an easy win for West. Though the judges scored the fight 40-36 for West, each round was hotly contested.

“We don’t want any easy matches,” said Juan West, Kaliesha’s father and trainer. “She’s here to win a world title.”

Craven, whose last three fights have come against tough competition, said she felt it was a close fight.

“I was just trying my best,” Craven said, who fought as an amateur three years. “I felt I did good.”

Her trainer Richie Masciotti said Craven only wants tough fights.

“We don’t want any dead bodies. We want real fights,” Masciotti said.

West’s team wants five more fights this year.

“We’re looking for five more fights than she’ll look for five more next year,” said Juan West. “Then, we’ll start looking for a world title fight in the bantamweight division. We don’t want any fights against bigger girls, just girls in this division. Real bantamweights.”

Tyrone Harris Wins

In a junior lightweight title fight, Tyrone Harris (15-1, 13 KOs) got back in the win column with a stunning second round knockout of Armando Cordoba (21-21) of Panama.

“Last time I listened to the fans. This time I took my time and found the opening,” said Harris who was defending his GBU America’s lightweight title.

In his previous bout, the southpaw speedster from Michigan met Mexico’s Israel Hernandez and traded bombs with the bomber. In that January match, he ultimately was counted out in the fourth round.

Against Cordoba, the Michigan boxer resorted to his peck-and-retreat method despite the boos that rained from the crowd. At 2:07 of the second round, a razor-sharp left jolted Cordoba whose leg wiggled, then a four-punch combination followed by another left hand put the Panamanian fighter on all fours. Then he slowly sunk face first to the canvas.

“I was just letting my hands go,” said Harris, who couldn’t recall the actual punch that paralyzed his opponent.

The left-handed boxer-puncher is in one of the deeper divisions in boxing. In California alone there are an abundance of prospects on the edge of stardom like Vicente Escobedo, Josesito Lopez, Dominic Salcido, Steve Luevano and Robert Guerrero.

Harris is unfazed.

“It’s my time now,” he said.

An added female bout saw world-class boxer Lisa Holewyne (23-17-2, 8 KOs) meet Tania Gallegos (4-6) of Denver in a scheduled six round super middleweight bout. It lasted 28 seconds into the third round until a one-two combination by Texan Holewyne put down the Colorado boxer for good. She had been knocked down previously in the first and second rounds, all with right hands.

Though Gallegos showed decent boxing skills, her power couldn’t keep the harder-hitting Holewyne from launching head-snapping right hands through the guard.

A battle of junior welterweights ended with Jesus “Pitbull” Rodriguez (7-1) belting out Michigan-based Reggie Nash (9-14-1) in 31 seconds into the second round. A five-punch combination with Nash trapped in a corner allowed Rodriguez to unload the heavy artillery. Rodriguez, out of Los Angeles, proved too experienced for Nash despite his 23 pro fights.