Saturday, November 17, 2018

Raging Babe & Peltz Promotions Presents Valdez vs. Coria Recap

Guerra de Gallos emanated from Casino del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater this evening in front of a capacity crowd chomping at the bit for some pugilistic mayhem. The event, organized by Michelle Rosado’s Raging Babe and Hall of Famer J. Russell Peltz’ Peltz Promotions, boasted a ten fight card with a bevy of prospects and local talent.

Sebastian Fundora (10-0, 6 KOs) vs. Jeremiah Wiggins (10-6-1, 5 KOs)
Six Rounds, Super Welterweights
Decision: Sebastian Fundora KO in round 1

Fundora, who uses the moniker “The Towering Inferno,” showed everyone why as this fighter, who could easily be a basketball power forward, made his way to the squared circle. Fundora had what appeared to be a legitimate six inch height advantage over Wiggins and wasted no time landing a brutal straight right to drop him to the canvas. I can safely say that I did not expect this kind of power from a man in this weight class who appeared to be about 6’5” but nonetheless, he is someone to keep an eye on and if he puts a little weight on, watch out.

Arturo Resendiz (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Brandon Trujillo (0-4)
Four Rounds, Welterweights
Decision: Arturo Resendiz TKO in round 1

Trujillo came out in round one as the clear aggressor, unfortunately for him his punches left Resendiz unfazed. Resendiz, a Tucson native, rapidly took control of the fight landing vicious combos before Trujillo found himself cornered and could not mount any response to the onslaught. The referee finally had seen enough and mercifully called an end to the fight much to the delight of the pro-Resendiz crowd.

Edgar Medina (Debut) vs. David Damore (1-4)
Four Rounds, Heavyweights
Decision: Edgar Medina via UD (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)

The Tucson native, Edgar Medina, had a nearly 40 pound weight advantage entering this fight. Medina used this in conjunction with a very effective jab to repeatedly walk down Damore and establish himself in the first two rounds. The late rounds saw Medina continue to chase Damore in such a manner reminiscent of a grizzly bear stalking it’s dinner as he continued to swat at his opponent. Damore certainly sustained a substantial amount of punishment and the fans could have been treated to an early stoppage had Medina been able to get his legs behind some of his power punches.

Richard Mike Martinez (1-1, 1 KO) vs. Edriech Rosa (Debut)
Four Rounds, Super Flyweights
Decision: Edriech Rosa via TKO in round 4

Rosa displayed an optimal level of cardiovascular conditioning for the duration of the contest as he appeared one step ahead of Martinez throughout. After Rosa had a feel for his opponent, he began to use his speed to create opportunities to land some devastating power punches, most notably his right hook. Rosa’s power punches were able to draw blood in round two creating a target he zeroed in on with increasing precision as the fight progressed. By round four, Martinez found himself donning a crimson mask to the extent that the referee called a stop to the action awarding Rosa a victory in his pro debut much to the dismay of the Tucson crowd.

Jose Amezcua Barrera (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Emmanuel Nieves (4-0, 1 KO)
Four Rounds, Lightweights
Decision: Emmanuel Nieves via TKO in round 1

Emmanuel Nieves came out in round one like a man possessed. Barrera did attempt to keep up with Nieves’ frenetic pace in the early moments of the round until Nieves began to unload several punishing combos to his head. Barrera, after having his head snapped back by a straight right, attempted to find sanctuary in the clench but it didn’t last long. Nieves immediately went back on the offensive and after snapping Barrera’s head back a couple more times without a response, the referee stepped in to offer reprieve to Barrera as he called the fight.

Emmanuel Guajardo (3-0) vs. Daniel Garcia-Flores (0-1)
Four Rounds, Middleweights
Decision: Emmanuel Guajardo via UD (40-35, 40-35, 40-35)

Round one began with Guajardo, also known as Manny Fresh, stepping too far back and almost kicking a ringside official in the face as his foot slipped beneath the bottom rope. Manny Fresh did recover nicely, however, as he landed a multitude of clean shots throughout the round including multiple uppercuts and left hooks to the body scoring a knockdown in the process. Garcia-Flores proved to be resilient as he continued to stand toe-to-toe with Guajardo throughout the fight, despite being bloodied and battered, but it wasn’t enough to sway the decision of the judges.

Alfonso Olvera (10-5-1, 4 KOs) vs. Virgil Green (11-5, 4 KOs)
Six Rounds, Junior Welterweights
Decision: Alfonso Olvera via UD (60-54, 60-54, 59-55)

This contest, which pitted two of the more experienced fighters on the card, matched another Tucson native, Alfonso Olvera (10-5-1, 4 KOs) against Virgil Green (11-5, 4 KOs). Olvera entered this bout losing three of his previous five contests where he found himself on the wrong side of the judge’s cards in each, with the most recent being his last fight against Wilberth Lopez back in July where he lost a tough luck split decision. Olvera last had his hand raised when he defeated Jesus Zazueta Anaya by unanimous decision in October 2017. Green on the other hand had won three of his last five bouts, however, I should preface a couple things: First, Green lost his previous two fights, a ten round UD against Jonathan Chicas and a seventh round TKO versus Miguel Cruz. Secondly, the Chicas fight I just referenced….was in June of 2016, a significant two year layoff for the 30-year-old-so much so that BoxRec still had him listed as “inactive” through the beginning of this fight. Nonetheless, this bout had an interesting narrative, the hometown pugilist looking to right the ship doing battle with a fighter soon to discover whether he still had the hunger to resume his career after a two year layoff.

Virgil Green’s will to fight after his two year absence from the ring was put to the test early in this bout as he was quickly knocked down by Olvera in round one. The knockdown seemed to be the shot in the arm Green needed as he punched the canvas and quickly sprung up to his feet full of vigor.  Green not only displayed a solid chin but an excellent propensity for counter-punching. The judges apparently saw a different fight than I did because I certainly did not believe Olvera pitched a shutout, but unfortunately the rounds where Green landed his most effective shots were the ones where he was portraying the role of the counter-puncher and he really was viewed as the initiator of offense in only two of the rounds of the affair.

Nicholas Rhoads (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. Hamilton Ash (0-1)
Four Rounds, Super Welterweights
Decision: Nicholas Rhoads via UD (39-36, 39-36, 40-35)

This bout was a rematch of their previous encounter back in July at this same venue when Ash found himself on the wrong side of a unanimous decision.  Rhoads, nicknamed Nyquil, attempted to live up to his moniker in round two as he slipped in a solid left hook that dropped Ash to the canvas bringing the crowd to their feet as no one expected him to recover, but he did and after surviving the rest of the round turned this into a very competitive and entertaining fight. Much to the chagrin of the audience, Rhoads was unable to put Ash to sleep with a dose of Nyquil but was able to seal a victory despite the rather bizarre scoring from the judges.

Christopher Gonzalez (3-0) vs. Judas Estrada (1-1, 1 KO)
Four Rounds, Welterweights
Decision: Majority Draw (38-38, 38-38, 39-37)

Tucson’s Christopher Gonzalez was clearly the more polished fighter in this bout as he continued to land his shots with sniper-like precision for the duration of the encounter. Estrada on the other hand was certainly no slouch for what he lacked in skill, he more than compensated for with grit, determination, and punching power as he was managed to cut Gonzalez below his left eye early in the fight and persistently exploited it to the bitter end. This was a rare circumstance where both of these pugilists deserved the recognition of a win and the judges for the most part were in agreement on this notion as it ended in a majority draw.

Thomas Valdez (17-3-2, 7 KOs) vs. Luis Coria (9-1, 4 KOs)
Eight Rounds, Super Featherweights
Decision: Thomas Valdez via SD (78-74 Coria, 78-74, 77-75)

This evening’s card previously garnered attention because the original main event, Jensen Ramirez vs. Thomas Valdez, was scheduled for seven rounds-a first in Arizona’s boxing history. Unfortunately, Ramirez, a Tucson native, chipped a bone in his ankle while training for this fight and was subsequently replaced on short notice by Luis Coria, a resident of Oxnard, CA.  

The Super Featherweight bout between Valdez and Coria was subsequently rescheduled for eight rounds depriving the fight fans in attendance of the opportunity to witness a little piece of boxing history. Valdez entered this fight the winner of eight of his last ten contests, the other two being draws, and had not tasted defeat in five years. The 20-year-old Coria entered this fight riding the coattails of a five fight win streak with his lone loss, a four round unanimous decision, coming back in October 2017. For Coria, this also marked the first time in his young career that he entered a bout scheduled for more than six rounds.

Coria did not give the impression to anyone that he was a fighter who accepted a fight on short notice as his trainer, the legendary Robert Garcia, had him primed to go. Coria looked well conditioned and punished Valdez consistently with clean shots as he allowed him no reprieve by continuously cutting off the ring. By the end of round five, Valdez had a mouse under his right eye and after round six his breathing was heavily labored as he returned to his corner. Round seven showed Coria’s control of the ring continue as his power came to the forefront landing head snapping shots to Valdez.  

Valdez came out in round eight determined to give a show to his home state fans as he threw everything he had at Coria albeit with seemingly little impact as Coria never really appeared to be phased in the fight. Coria put on an excellent show and finished the contest barely looking like he’d been in a fight as he even danced in the ring after the final bell.  \The judges apparently viewed the contest differently than I did, as only one scored the fight for Coria, whereas the other two must have given Valdez credit for his punching volume and sheer will to stay in this bout and remain competitive as they awarded him with the split decision.

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