LEMOORE, CALIF.—-It was a tale of two cities for a pair of Northern California fighters as Carina Moreno proved victorious again but Ana Julaton fell short in her title bid against New York’s Dominga Olivo on Thursday.
First, Watsonville’s Moreno was unable to beat Puerto Rico’s Yahaira Martinez (7-3) for the vacant WIBA because of that fighters' inability to make weight, so she beat her in the ring after a lukewarm start at Tachi Palace in a Goossen-Tutor Promotions fight card.
“I don’t know what was wrong with me,” said Moreno (19-1, 5 KOs), who was hit with counter left hands for the first three rounds. “Maybe it was because she’s a southpaw. I hadn’t fought a left-hander in about three years.”
But once Moreno figured out the difference, she began to take pieces from Martinez’s defense and slowly started to dominate the Puerto Rican boxer.
“It was my pressure and combinations that won the fight,” said Moreno, who also has the WBC and IFBA titles.
During the weigh in yesterday, Martinez nearly pulled out. She arrived more than four pounds over the required weight limit and refused to lose even a half pound. That would have left Moreno without an opponent.
“I was so disappointed,” said Moreno of the fact that Martinez did not make the weight. “She had nearly a month to prepare.”
After negotiating with Martinez’s manager the match was maintained when the southpaw agreed to make the required minimum weight to allow the fight to continue.
“I didn’t want to have to tell my fans that the fight was canceled. They make the three-hour drive to see me,” Moreno said.
In the eight round fight for the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title, a few hundred fans showed up to support Daly City’s Ana Julaton in her very first title opportunity. They left disappointed.
Brooklyn’s Dominga Olivo proved experience helps by capturing her first title after several disappointments, including less than two weeks ago when Ela Nunez beat her for the super featherweight title. She had also lost a lightweight world title bid to Layla McCarter and suffered a draw to junior lightweight champ Jelena Mrdjenovich of Canada.
Dropping down from 135 to 120 was no problem for Olivo. She seemed quick and strong.
“I have two children I have to take care of so it took me a while to lose weight,” said Olivo (7-4-1). “But I feel very good at this weight. It was no problem.”
Though Julaton had only five pro bouts she had unflinchingly accepted a match with Olivo after several other bouts had disintegrated. It was a very gutsy move by the pretty brunette whose fans arrived in busloads.
The New Yorker’s strength was obvious from the start as she planted her feet and swung for the fences from both sides. Julaton was effective with her speedy jabs and combinations throughout the bout, but was hit during the infighting.
“I put a lot of pressure on her,” said Olivo. “I just fought two weeks ago but I felt great in there. I was too strong for her.”
Julaton had her moments too. At times her jab seemed to be able to score whenever she fired it. But after the jab or a combination, that little pause opened up the door for Olivo to retaliate.
“It was a good action fight,” said Freddie Roach, who trains Julaton. “She (Olivo) was more active with the body shots.”
Olivo said her plan was to work the body and then go to the head.
“I was landing uppercuts after the body shots,” said Olivo.
Roach said that he expected Olivo to tire because of the weight loss from 135 to 120. It never came.
“I was surprised she never did tire,” said Roach of Olivo. “I thought she might slow down.”
Julaton also was able to maintain a steady pace in her first eight round fight.
“I was glad I was able to find out that I can go eight rounds and not get tired,” said Julaton (4-1-1). “And I was glad the people got to enjoy the fight.”
From round one until the eighth round there were few dead moments in the boxing match. Julaton fought inside and outside and seemed to have her moments when using a stiff and accurate jab that snapped Olivo’s head back many times.
“I knew she was game and tough,” said Julaton. “She came in strong.”
Olivo proved very effective whenever the fight became an inside war.
Roach liked what he saw in Julaton and hopes a rematch can be made.
“I see some things that we can change that would make a big difference,” Roach said.
The judges scored the fight a split-decision win for Olivo 79-73, 77-75 and 75-77.
“I dedicate this fight to my brother who died of cancer in 1998,” said Olivo who seemed to get more emotional after realizing she had won her first title. “I promised to win a title for him.”
Heavyweight Manuel Quezada (24-4, 15 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Andrew Greeley (14-23-2, 8 KOs) in a 10-round affair. There were no knockdowns and the judges scored it 100-90 twice and 97-93 for Quezada.
Super middleweight Joaquin Marquez (4-0-1, 3 KOs) won a four-round majority decision over Fresno’s Loren Myers (6-4). Though Marquez suffered a bloody nose in the second round, he was able to mount a series of stunning combinations.