From Downtown Las Vegas to London: Notes on Two Friday Events

From Downtown Las Vegas – Demond Brock pounded out a 10-round decision over Chuy Gutierrez in the featured bout at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center on Friday evening, winning the lightweight contest by scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 97-93. While Brock was the rightful winner, those scores were misleading. It was an entertaining scrap that had the fans on their feet applauding the efforts of both gladiators as the final bell sounded.

The 35-year-old Brock, who improved to 12-3-1 (4), launched his pro career in 2012 after spending half his life in Louisiana prisons on a charge of armed robbery. A well-conditioned boxer who can take a hard punch without flinching, he landed the cleaner shots against the previously undefeated (14-0-1) Gutierrez, a Las Vegas resident who wears the name “Culiacan” on his shorts in honor of his Mexican birthplace. There were no knockdowns, but Gutierrez suffered a cut above his right eye in the third stanza that worsened as the fight progressed.

The 6-round co-main, a junior middleweight contest pitting Mexico’s Rolando Garza against Erasmo Garcia, was also entertaining. Both exchanged hard uppercuts during a ferocious second round. Garza, a former Mexican national amateur champion, had faster hands and landed the heavier shots to earn the decision. The scores were 59-54 twice and 58-55. Garza moves to 9-0 (6). Garcia, a former U.S. Marine who fights out of Little Rock, Arkansas, suffered his first pro loss, declining to 5-1-1.

The Brock-Gutierrez and Garza-Garcia bouts and a 4-round contest between Jeremy Nichols and Adam Vasquez comprised the TV portion of the show which was aired on the CBS Sports network. Nichols, from North Las Vegas, pounded out a lopsided decision over Vasquez, a resident of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Vasquez made it to the final bell, but just barely after being dropped twice in the final round, the second the result of a body punch with less than 10 seconds remaining.

In the non-TV portion of the show, Max Ornelas, a local lad who brought a large rooting contingent, made an impressive pro debut with a first round stoppage of San Antonio’s Robert Ledesma in a junior featherweight contest. It was a whirlwind week for the baby-faced Ornelas who graduated from high school, won his pro debut, and turned 18 years of age – all within a span of only three days.

In the other bouts, both 4-round heavyweight contests, Jonathan Rice used his longer reach to win a unanimous decision over spunky Edgar Ramirez and Tracey Johnson outpointed Cashton Young by split decision in a contest that many thought should have gone the other way.

The show was part of the “Knockout Night at the D Series” that will resume in September. Although the temperature in Las Vegas peaked at 102 degrees on Friday, a steady breeze dropped the temperature into the high ‘80’s inside the cozy outdoor arena, making for a pleasant evening under the stars. The crowd was enthusiastic and well-mannered.

Across The Pond

Former WBO World cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli announced his retirement following his brutal first round knockout at the hands of Dmitro Kucher on Friday at London’s York Hall. “Sorry guys felt OK in there then got tagged absolutely devastated I had to end my career like that,” Maccarinelli tweeted after the match for the vacant European 200-pound title.

Assuming that Maccarinelli holds to his promise and stays retired, he will leave the sport with a record of 41-8 (33 KOs). All eight of his losses came inside the distance. Twenty-one of Maccarinelli’s 49 fights were slated for 12 rounds, but he invariably sent the fans home early. The china-chinned knockout artist from Wales answered the bell for only 192 rounds during his 17-year career.

Kucher countered a wild right hand from Maccarinelli with a left hook that staggered the Welshman and followed up with a combination that put him on the deck. Maccarinelli rose to his feet but was in dire straits. His corner was poised to throw in the towel when the referee intervened. With the victory, Kucher, a 31-year-old Ukrainian, advances to 24-1-1 (18) and puts himself in line for a world title fight.

From Downtown Las Vegas