photo of Javier Torres by Al Applerose
LOS ANGELES-The L.A. Matadors avenged an earlier defeat to the Miami Gallos on Thursday at the Nokia Theater behind solid boxing from four of their boxers on the World Series of Boxing card.
Javier Torres opened up quickly with one-two combinations that kept Miami’s Craig Lewis (0-2) on his back foot. The same combination worked until Lewis closed the distance. After several rounds both connected solidly with right crosses but neither was hurt. Torres was more effective with a stiff left jab through most of the fight. All three judges favored Torres 48-47, 49-46, 50-45. “I was just trying for the W and that’s exactly what I did,” said Torres (2-1).
Miami’s John Joe Joyce blasted L.A.’s Russell Lamour (3-0) with a right hand at the end of the first round that shook the Haitian boxer. But he was very conservative with his punch output. Lamour’s attacks to the body seemed to knock some steam out of Joyce (0-1) until the fourth round when a well-placed counter right jolted Lamour again. Judges Gwen Adair and Villareal saw it 50-45, and Caiz 49-46 for Lamour. “Keep pressuring him and get at ‘im. He’s a good fighter. I was just staying focused,” said Lamour. “He got me with a good shot but he didn’t hurt me.”
Ireland’s Joyce fought his first pro fight and learned that pro judging is different.
“I thought that I won the fight. I was just trying to box and fight my style and to adjust to his approach but I couldn’t get my right hand to land. It was my first fight in the WSB. I guess the scoring is a little different in L.A.” Joyce said.
A left hook and overhand right connected for Jose Saenz against the taller Adrian Martinez (0-2) in the first round. The Matador’s Saenz opened up the fight with some impressive shots. After that, Martinez began finding the range for some of his counters. A right uppercut and right cross landed flush for the Miami boxer in the fourth round. The judges scored it a split decision in favor of Saenz. Both Raul Caiz and Villarreal scored it 48-47 for Saenz. Judge Adair tabbed it 48-47 for Medina. “Thank God it was going my way,” said Saenz (1-0).
LA Matadors Fernando Martinez (3-0) edged Miami’s Jose Ochoa (1-2) by scores of 48-47 after five rounds of a bantamweight clash. The fight was won by Martinez with a blistering overhand right with seconds left in the fight in the last round. “I went with everything the last round,” said Martinez adding that he dedicated the win to his family.
Dorian Anthony was scratched due to a cut suffered during training. Miami’s Kenny Egan was the walkover victor.
The Matadors reside in first place in the America Conference.
One of the ring girls, Natalie Tenerelli, has been chosen for the Survivor reality television series and begins on that show in a few weeks. She’s based out of Los Angeles.
Evander Holyfield was present to talk about his upcoming heavyweight showdown with Sherwin Williams.
“These guys fight a lot faster than the pros. Most U.S. fighters fight a slower style when they fight internationally so they get beat. Now that the U.S. has the World Series of Boxing I’m sure we’ll win a lot of medals because this is giving us an opportunity to fight international opponents,” said Holyfield. “The Matadors are my home team. I love these guys, they fight with a lot of heart.”