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Duenas Sheds Rust, Baier, In Pomona

BY David A. Avila ON February 13, 2011
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POMONA-After a long layoff due to a foot injury El Monte’s Ricky Duenas returned hoping to knock off the rust and he knocked off Arizona’s Diamond Baier (2-1-1) in quick fashion on Saturday.

Fighting outside adjacent to the Pomona Fairgrounds drag strip used for the Winternationals, Duenas (7-1, 3 KOs) got off to a fast start and ripped through slick fighting Baier’s defense like tissue paper in a junior welterweight contest.

The fight between slick southpaws looked on paper to be a match displaying smooth defensive tactics with feints, poses, slips and counters. Instead Duenas went right through Baier’s shoulder rolls and slips and pounded and pounded with five and six punch combinations that found holes in the defense.

A left hook in the first round floored the Arizona boxer who seemed surprised that Duenas found an opening. The visiting boxer beat the count easily and once again Duenas attacked and though he missed with two punches a right uppercut slipped through the gloves and down went Baier again. This time he seemed more than stunned. Again Baier was allowed to continue and quickly Duenas was on top of him cutting through the defense with accurate volume punching that snapped Baier’s head back. The referee stepped in right before the bell at 2:45 of the first round.

“We knew he had some slickness and we didn’t want to get into that kind of thing,” said Ben Lira, the renowned trainer for Duenas. “We made him fight.”

Riverside’s Daniel Franco (2-0) won a majority decision against San Bernardino’s Juan Sandoval (2-6) after four rounds of a featherweight bout.

Sandoval, a fighter whose record is very deceiving, fooled Franco several times in the opening round with his ability to land the right cross. The first time it connected Sandoval went racing across the ring expecting Franco to be out of sorts, instead the youngster fired back with composure and the pair continued firing.

The second round saw Franco using some body shots and jabs but there was too much space. Sandoval was able to land left hooks and right hands that seemed to shock Franco. Before the second round ended Franco blasted a one-two combination at the bell.

Franco’s weakness was always starting his punches with the left jab or a few times with the left hook. Never did he begin with a right lead to change Sandoval’s view. That kept the San Bernardino boxer in the fight.

Speed and aggressiveness allowed Franco to take over the last two rounds. Though Sandoval was not ever in danger, he was kept on his heels and seemed like he couldn’t find the antidote for Franco’s charges. The judges’ scores were 38-38, 40-36 and 39-37 for Franco.

Bell’s Rufino Flores (2-3) upset Van Nuys boxer Alexander Podrezov (3-1) with some awkward aggressiveness that seemed to confuse the Russian. A right hand floored Podrezov and that proved to be the difference in the fight after four rounds of the junior welterweight meeting. Judges scored it 38-37 for Podrezov and 38-37 twice for Flores.

Whittier’s Alex Luna (5-0, 5 KOs) blew out Victorville’s William Fischer (0-2) with two knockdowns in two rounds of a lightweight match.

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