ONTARIO, CA----An eight-round junior featherweight clash exceeded even the greatest expectations when Riverside’s Juan “Pochito” Reyes (10-1-2) and L.A.’s Daniel “Baby-face Assassin” Roman (8-2-1) tangled on Friday evening.
The firefight was held before slightly more than 1,000 at the Doubletree Hotel by Thompson Boxing Promotions. This Southern California outfit is known for having perhaps the keenest eye for talent and a reputation for making great fights.
They did it again.
Reyes out-worked Roman but also showed the ability to slip more punches, and that benefitted him in the end. Otherwise, these two boxers poured everything into every round and did not pause for breath or to pander to the crowd. It was exhilarating non-stop action.
Roman jumped out in front in the first round when he nearly felled Reyes with a left to the body. That nearly collapsed the Riverside boxer but he managed to continue. But in the second round, Reyes refused to move backwards and that shifted the momentum back his way.
Reyes is not known for slipping punches or countering, but he gave a college education in the art of slip and counter, and that seemed to upset Roman. Well, at least for 2:30 of the round. Then Roman slapped some leather on Reyes to make the round seem even.
Six rounds of back and forth fire was traded by the two 122-pounders. The most remarkable thing was their incredible stamina. The crowd was spellbound by the ring war taking place and almost silent from the fourth round on. The usual cackles and crowd advice seemed to wither away or maybe the action in the ring just transfixed everyone.
After eight rounds, all three judges scored it the same way, 58-56 for Riverside’s Reyes.
Not everyone was happy with the decision but in this fight, someone was going home unhappy. Still, it was one of the best fights of 2013.
Tijuana’s Carl “Memin” Carlson (10-0, 7 Kos) belted out Lupe Barerra (6-2-2) of Tijuana with left hooks to win by technical knockout at 1:41 of round three in a bantamweight fight. Carlson cracked a mean left hook to the jaw to drop Barerra the first time in round one. Left hooks to the body put Barerra on the floor twice in round two. A brutal left hook slumped Barerra almost eight seconds after the punch in round three and prompted referee Wayne Hedgepeth to stop the fight.
San Diego’s Israel Arellano (7-1, 6 Kos) was troubled by Tijuana’s Mario “Popeye” Hermosillo (12-11-3, 2 Kos) for two rounds in their junior welterweight clash. Hermosillo used clutching, grabbing and his head to keep Arellano against the ropes for two rounds. Then Arellano came out in round three and kept his space to fire a wicked three-punch combination to the head and body. One of those body shots sunk into Hermosillo’s belly and three seconds later he sunk to the ground and would not return as referee Lou Moret called it over at 1:48.
San Bernardino’s Joshua “Young Gun” Conley (7-0-1, 6 Kos) waited too long to crank it up against Mexico’s Juan “El Chiflado” Sanchez (5-7, 4 Kos) in a six round junior middleweight round. Sanchez fired more short-range blows while Conley went for the blockbuster that never came. Judges Pat Connolly scored it 58-56 for Garcia and Max DeLuca 58-56 for Conley. Marty Denkin had it 57-57 for a split draw.
Erick Ituarte (6-0-1) used his quicker hands to out-punch Mexico’s tough Roberto Ventura (3-5) after four featherweight rounds. Both were not shy about exchanging blows but Ituarte was firing three-punch combinations while Ventura was single-shot style. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Ituarte.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?