LAS VEGAS-Former middleweight champion David Lemieux pummeled Mexico’s Marco Reyes all 10 rounds but he couldn’t put him down on Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo fight card.
Big-hitting Canadian Lemieux just doesn’t have much luck when it comes to Mexican middleweights but though a knockdown or knockout wasn’t attainable, he dominated Reyes in front of a sold out crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
The first time Lemieux tasted defeat as a pro came against Marco Antonio Rubio many years ago, this time he was not going to let that happen.
Lemieux blasted Reyes from the first round on with an assortment of blows. Overhand rights, left hooks and sneaky uppercuts snapped the head of Reyes almost every round. But the taller Mexican just would not cooperate. Still, the Canadian bomber had his way in every round.
After 10 rounds two judges scored it 99-90 and a third saw it 98-91 for Lemieux. A point was deducted from Reyes in round eight for hitting after the bell.
“He’s a solid fighter,” said Lemieux of Reyes. “He went the full 10 rounds.”
The machine Lucas Matthysse (pictured on the right) needed a few rounds to get the gears oiled before lowering the boom on steady veteran Emmanuel Taylor in the fifth round. But the rise in weight seemed to suit the Argentine bomber.
Matthysse had spent more than 17 months out of the ring but showed an increase in power in the increase in weight. Taylor was the recipient of some hellish firepower from Matthysse who floored him in the third round and then a final time in the fifth with a four-punch combination that was climaxed by a vicious left uppercut that rendered Taylor unable to continue at 2:21 of the fifth round.
“This motivates me. This is exactly what I needed to come back where I left off,” said Argentina’s Matthysse. “I felt like I dominated the fight at the pace I wanted.”
Lightweight Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (9-0, 8 KOs) continued to excel in the professional world in stopping veteran Tyrone Luckey (8-7-3, 6 KOs) in the second round. Garcia caught Luckey early in the opening round with a check left hook that was a blur and dropped the veteran. Garcia remained calm and stalked Luckey looking for another opening and impressed the crowd with his sizzling speed and power. It was a wake-up call for the crowd and soon they were shouting for the youngster to open up with his artillery.
Luckey was on full defense mode in the second round but Garcia’s speed still allowed him to create openings with his shots to the body. Garcia slipped into another gear and Luckey was scrambling to get out of range when several looping right hands connected and down went the veteran. Though his gloves never touched the ground referee Russell Mora had seen enough and stopped it at 2:20 of the second round.
“The better the competition the better the fight for me,” said Garcia, 18, who lives in Victorville, Calif. “People think because I’m small (weight), I don’t have power-but I have explosive power and speed. I’m ready to make history from here.”
Former US Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (2-0) defeated Samantha Salazar (2-4-1) by unanimous decision after four three-minute rounds. It was erroneously announced as history-making but that claim was made long ago and many times earlier this year. Still, it went quickly.
“I loved having the extra minute. When I only had two minutes, I felt like my punches were reactive rather than being proactive,” said Esparza of Houston, Texas. “The extra minute gave me time to think, and be more thoughtful and strategic in my punches. I felt like a board game, where I could be able to plan and be able to go four steps ahead.”
Esparza looked super sharp with her combinations against a much better opponent than in her pro debut. Her combinations were fired with precision and her defense was stiff against Salazar who also showed very good skills. But after four rounds it was clear Esparza was the clear winner 40-36 on all three judge’s cards.
Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios (28-1, 13 KOs) started calmly against Mexico’s Daniel Noriega (28-11-1, 5 KOs) but by the third round began dominating. A Rios left hook sent Noriega to the mat on all fours. He beat the count but took a beating from that point on as Rios delivered pinpoint blows until referee Vic Drakulich stopped the fight at 2:22 of the fourth round for a technical knockout. Rios is rated in the top 20 as a super bantamweight.
“I need to clean up a lot of my mistakes including leaning forward too much and loading up my punches,” said Rios. “I’m ready for a title shot.”
A battle between Mexican lightweights saw Cancun’s Joseph Aguirre (17-0, 9 KOs) remain undefeated by unanimous decision after six rounds against Culiacan’s Angel Aispuro (8-5-2, 5 KOs). Aguirre was much more accurate than Aispuro and won all three cards by 60-54.
“I was and still am nervous, but at least I can say I fought on such a big card,” said Aguirre.
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