By David A. Avila
ONTARIO, CALIF.-The north beat the south as San Francisco’s LaRon Mitchell out-hustled Moreno Valley’s Scott Alexander to win the vacant junior NABF heavyweight title on Friday on a bustling boxing card.
Mitchell (15-0, 13 KOs) used his experience to defeat the younger more athletic Alexander (12-2-2, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds at the Doubletree Hotel in front of a full house. The Thompson Boxing Promotions fight card was not televised live.
After a close first round fought inside, the second round showed that Alexander had the quicker hands and equal power as Mitchell. A right uppercut wobbled Mitchell but he hung on before Alexander could follow up with more bombs.
Mitchell turned it around in the third round as he connected with a left while Alexander slipped to the ground. Though he was not hurt, he coincidentally went down while getting hit so it was scored a knockdown. Alexander rallied that same round behind some good combinations and showed his flashy speed.
“He hit me with a shot that I didn’t see,” said Mitchell, 36. “I kind of got hurt a couple of times.”
From the fourth round on Mitchell grinded out an inside war as he pinned Alexander to the ropes and leaned on him while connecting with blows up and down. Alexander responded with flurries throughout the last six rounds. But the judges were not convinced of their effectiveness.
“He was trying to park his shots from the outside but I wouldn’t let him,” said Mitchell, who teaches middle school in the Bay area when not boxing. “Once the fight wore on, I was able to absorb his shots.”
Alexander seemed to stun Mitchell in the fifth but did not follow up. For most of the fight he allowed Mitchell to dictate where the fight was fought, pinned against the ropes. Though never in danger, Alexander never forced Mitchell against the ropes. Though he scored throughout the fight, the judges didn’t favor his output.
“I went inside hitting him with the taps and touches,” he said. “My goal was to get him out of there. But I decided to go inside and touch him with whatever I could.”
All three judges scored it for Mitchell 97-92, 98-91 twice.
Henry Ramirez, who trains Alexander, said he could not understand how the judges ended with those scores.
Maybe it was having former super flyweight world champion Martin Castillo in the audience. Tijuana’s Ricardo Espinoza (10-1, 8 KOs) survived two vicious first round knockdowns to nearly knock out Obregon, Mexico’s Francisco Lapizco (7-5, 2 KOs) in the first round. Both survived and blasted each other around the ring for five more vicious rounds in a display of well above average power for 115 pounders. After six the three judges scored it for Espinoza. The crowd was not happy but the fight was electrifying.
Riverside’s Juan Reyes (13-3-3, 2 KOs) moved up to the lightweight division and upset Colombia’s Cesar Villarraga (9-3, 4 KOs) by unanimous decision after six rounds. Reyes looked like a Mexican version of Jake LaMotta as he bored inside of Villarraga’s guard and whaled away. The Colombian fighter was unable to keep Reyes from firing his combinations at will. There were no knockdowns but Reyes was able to maintain his faster pace. Villarraga could never figure him out. The judges scored it 60-54, 59-55, 58-56 for Reyes.
Eridanni Leon (4-2) used his height and distance to outpoint Jacob Szilasi (4-2) of Spokane, Washington over four rounds in a welterweight bout. Inglewood’s Leon landed the better blows to the head while Szilasi scored well to the body. The three judges preferred the head blows and scored the fight 40-36 for Leon.
Alimkhan Jumakhonov (2-1) and Mexico’s Alex Solorio (3-2) clashed nonstop over four blistering rounds with the Reseda based fighter winning by unanimous decision. Both fighters stood their ground and pounded each other nonstop with Jumakhonov getting the nod on all three cards. But each round was very close in the featherweight bout. The crowd was pleased by the performance of both fighters.
Michael Dutchover (1-0) of Midland, Texas won his pro debut with a technical knockout of Yuma, Arizona’s Cesar Partida (1-1-1). Dutchover had fast hands and lethal combinations, but Partida was no slouch. He shortened his punches in the third round to great effect but was caught with a right cross and floored. Though Partida finished the round the fight was called at the end of the round giving Dutchover a knockout win.
Venezuelan welterweight Juan Ruiz (17-0, 10 KOs) defeated Mexico’s Wilberth Lopez (15-6, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a very slow action fight.
Photo credit: Al Applerose