Martinez wins again
Ringside by Jacob Chavez
Photos by John Booz
It was a night of solid boxing action Friday at the UIC Pavilion near Chicago’s downtown, where Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions presented “Windy City Fight Night 2”.
The main event featured local favorite Jaime Sandoval (15-4-1, 12 KOs) who looked to avenge his most recent loss against Juan Carlos Martinez (16-10-1, 7 KOs). The rematch was for the vacant WBF All-Americas lightweight title, but Martinez, once again, scored the upset over Sandoval, despite having big brother, former two-division champion Jesus “El Matador” Chavez in his corner.
The fight got off to a slow, feeling-out type of start, with the shorter Martinez circling the ring and Sandoval studying his opponent while being very conservative with his punches. Martinez took the initiative in the second and landed a crisp right-cross to the head early on. Midway into the stanza, Martinez pinned Sandoval against the ropes and connected with a series of hard combinations to the head and body. Sandoval looked to have a late rally by connecting with a quick one-two upstairs, but his success was very limited beyond that.
The first half of the third went to Sandoval, as he now looked to increase his punch output by popping the jab and following-up with the right. Martinez wisely picked up the pace as well, midway into the round, connecting with a stiff right uppercut and a left hook to the head.
Sandoval further increased his activity in the fourth and did a better job at neutralizing his faster opponent with the jab and combinations on the inside. The fifth and sixth were very competitive with Sandoval boxing and focusing on sneaky combos from various angles. His activity level was still too low to keep the explosive Martinez at bay.
Moments before the bell for the seventh rang, one could hear Jesus Chavez in the corner aggressively yelling at Sandoval and pleading for more activity. This definitely moved Sandoval, as he came out and engaged Martinez in terrific exchanges. Martinez welcomed this, however, and landed the more effective and accurate punches as they traded. Nearing the end of the round a warning for a low blow was given to Martinez by referee Geno Rodriguez.
Round eight saw Martinez still landing the more effective, accurate blows while Sandoval continued to box and look for openings. In the ninth, Sandoval was hit with another hard low blow and Martinez was penalized a point. This only gave Martinez a sense of urgency and he pounced on Sandoval with fast combinations to the head. Sandoval managed to close the round with a good right cross upstairs but Martinez took it well.
The final round had fans cheering with excitement, as both combatants came together and traded in exciting fashion. Sandoval boxed well in the first half but Martinez, again, took over with hard combinations near the end.
All judges gave the fight to Martinez, scoring it 96-93, 98-91 and 97-92.
Estrada wins, fans boo
The co-main event pitted super bantamweight Eric Estrada (8-0, 3 KOs) against rugged, Olvin Mejia (3-3-3, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Mejia showed very good hand speed from the start and the local favorite, Estrada, who also is known for quick hands, looked to match Mejia’s assaults. The left-handed Mejia had a big first round when his taller opponent was lured into trading heavy punches and was rocked. Quick combinations to the head and solid body shots had Estrada walking backwards in the second half of the stanza.
Getting an earful from his trainer and cornermen between rounds prompted Estrada to adjust and fight smarter as the second got underway. He came out with his guard very high and refrained from engaging in wild exchanges. Mejia continued to press the action but was simply headhunting and loading up with big shots.
In the third, their heads came together and a cut was opened in the top of Estrada’s head-just above the hairline. The cut did bleed considerably but this did not bother Estrada very much and he remained focused.
During the fourth and fifth Estrada continued to control the action and Mejia pressed forward in hopes of connecting with another big shot, but often Estrada blocked and countered well.
Early into the final round, Estrada used the ring and was careful not to take too many risks against his dangerous opponent, as Mejia walked forward relentlessly despite eating quick jabs down the middle.
As the decision was announced, the fans booed in disagreement as the judges all scored the match for Estrada, 59-55 twice and 58-56.
Featherweight Sergio Montes De Oca (3-0, 0 KOs) survived first round knockdown against journeyman Le Shaun Blair (4-18, 0 KOs) and won their four round match-up by unanimous decision. De Oca showed an aggressive and busy style from the start, and just when he thought he was overwhelming Blair with pressure, a big counter right to the head dropped him in the center of the ring. To his credit, De Oca got up and continued to pressure but with a tighter guard. The remainder of the fight saw intense action with De Oca pressing forward aggressively. The shorter Blair countered well through out but he continued to look for that opening again, but it never came. The judges scored it 39-37 twice and 38-37.
Lightweight Russell Fiore (2-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of Derek Hill (0-3), knocking him out in the second round. The taller Hill tried using his height by fight tall, but he failed to use footwork to offset the aggressive Fiore. It was only a matter of time before one of the big shots from Fiore would connect, and it came in the second half of round two. During an exchange a hard right to the head rocked Hill. This set up a crushing right uppercut followed by a left hook. Hill crumbled to the canvas and the fight was stopped by Referee Gerald Scott. The time was 2:27.
In another lightweight bout, Sergio Orantes (1-1, 0 KOs) issued Jose Luis Hernandez (0-1) a defeat in his first fight as a professional by frustrating him with quick counters on the inside. The southpaw in Orantes was too complex of a puzzle for his opponent, as, from the start, Hernandez tried to cope with Orantes’ craftiness by switching to the lefty stance himself numerous times. There was good action throughout the fight with Hernandez pressuring and Orantes very relaxed but countering effectively. All judges scored it for Orantes, 39-37 twice and 40-36.
Welterweight Antonio Maldonado (1-0, 1 KO) easily beat outmatched Justin Ray Muse (0-2), scoring a knockout in the third round. Maldonado looked to pick his opponent apart but Muse had significant problems scoring against Maldonado. Muse began to tire in the second and Maldonado made him pay in the third, as he clubbed him with a right cross to the nose. Muse went down and refused to continue as his nose began to bleed. The end came at 1:52.
Both Juan Carlos Fernandez (1-0, 0 KO) and Sergio Cristobal (0-1) of the super bantamweight division, fought hard during their pro-debut on Friday, but it was Fernandez who managed to win a majority decision. Fernandez showed the better skills while Cristobal aggressively looked to brawl. Fernandez, at times, was lured into wild exchanges but, to his credit, he boxed and put good combinations together in rounds three and four. The judges scored the fight 39-37 twice and 38-38.