Mexican monkey wrench: Vasquez spoils Prescott's plans with split win
Hot Cuban prospects pick up easy wins; Bogare still undefeated
Ringside report and photos by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
Breidis Prescott might’ve gained his limelight with a one-round destruction of Amir Khan, last year in England, but, last night at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, the undefeated Colombian “Khanqueror” lost it in ten to underdog Mexican Miguel Vasquez.
Taking the fight on two weeks notice, the Mexican who goes by the nickname of “Titere” (Puppet), proved anything but, weathering a first round knockdown and dozens of chopping right hands that would’ve killed a hundred rabbits, in his thrilling split decision victory over Prescott.
The fight, headlining a card featuring hot Cubano prospects, was televised on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” and promoted by Roy Englebrecht Events, DeCubas Presents and Jaoli Fight Promotions.
Cubans Erislandy Lara, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yudel Johnson and Yordanis Despaigne picked up easy wins on the undercard while, in the walkout bout, rising Vegas attraction Sharif “The Lion” Bogare closed the show with his 11th win. Except for a right hand that nearly bagged Bogare, there were no surprises on the show.
Other than the main event, that is.
It looked as if Vasquez had been the right choice for an easy win in the first round, when he was dropped by a jab. The knockdown, and a half-dozen chopping right hands through the first two heats, many to the back of Vasquez’s head, had it looking like an early night.
The third round was a better one for the Mexican, though Prescott’s sloppy, choppy rights continued to land all over Vasquez’s anatomy, from his thigh to hip, neck and skull.
But Vasquez refused to back down and, by the end of the third, had his jab in play. By the fourth, Vasquez had added a crisp, straight right and, proving a superior infighter, had Prescott missing more shots than he was landing.
One round later, Vasquez was driving Prescott back, landing sharp rights. Near the end of the round, a big overhand right sealed the round for the Mexican.
Prescott turned up the heat in the sixth, but Vasquez’s jab and one-two edged out the Colombian’s raw assault. The seventh saw the best exchanges yet, but, once again, Vasquez retained control. After outboxing Prescott in the pocket through the eighth, it was anyone’s fight going into the final two rounds.
A big right uppercut and continued straight rights had Vasquez edging a now-desperate Prescott in the ninth. In the tenth, the Colombian came on strong with more clubbing rights, but Vasquez battled him back with his sharper, cleaner shots.
The judges were split. Judge Dave Moretti somehow saw Prescott ahead, 97-92, while judges Duane Ford and Jerry Roth tallied it for Vasquez, 96-93 and 95-94.
Fightnews had it 96-93, Vasquez, who was clearly the house favorite by the end of the night.
Prescott, ranked from 5th to 12th in the four ABCs, suffers his first loss, falling to 21-1, 18 KOs.
Vasquez, no doubt headed into top ten contention, rises to 25-3, 12 KOs.
Cubans clean up
In the six-round, jr. middle co-main event, 2005 World Amateur Champion Erislandy Lara (7-0, 4 KOs) had to settle for a near-shutout decision over Atlanta’s Darnell Boone (16-12-2, 6 KOs).
Straight left after straight left landed through the first two rounds for the southpaw Lara. Catching Boone pulling away, Lara applied the pressure, then went to the body in the third. In the fourth, Lara took most of the round off, allowing Boone to get back into the fight, though with ineffective attacks.
Unfazed by anything thrown by Lara, Boone got braver in the fifth, but Lara continued to routinely outbox his foe. Finally, in the sixth, Lara’s lefts had an impact, but Boone, dazed, survived.
The cards read 59-55 and 60-54 twice, all for Lara.
Rigondeaux right hooks Guillen
In the opening TV bout, a scheduled sixer at super bantam, Olympic gold medal winner Guillermo Rigondeaux (2-0, 2 KOs), had little trouble with Roberto Guillen (4-3-3), of Glendale, Ariz.
The Cuban southpaw allowed Guillen to come on in, than nailed him, time after time, with a left hand. After nearly an entire round of getting hammered with the left, Guillen forgot about the right.
With just seconds left on the clock, Rigondeaux blasted Guillen with a right hook to the body that floored him for the count.
The official time was 2:57.
In another easy matchup, this one four at jr. middle, Olympic silver medalist Yudel Johnson (2-0, 1 KO) outclassed Justin Paulo (1-1, 1 KO), of Massachusetts, through four punishing rounds.
Johnson, yet another Cuban southpaw, landed an endless stream of straight lefts through four rounds on Paulo, whose only connect shots in the first three frames, were accidental headbutts.
Paulo had no answer, but, with a look of confusion, and, oftentimes, of horror, turned into a human punching bag.In the fourth, however, Rigondeaux, maybe feeling sorry for his foe, throttled down the thrashing, allowing Paulo to, at least, cruise to the finish line.
All three judges saw it 40-36.
Heavyweights open show
In the curtain raiser, Los Angeles heavyweight Scott Alexander (2-0, 1 KO) outboxed Las Vegas’ Benjamin Lee (1-2) for a unanimous decision.
Round one was close, with Alexander the busier fighter and Lee, throwing but three wild hooks. One landed flush, one grazed and one missed completely.
After a fast exchange in the second, Alexander showed a reluctance to swap shots in the pocket. With Lee a sloppy aggressor – though, at least trying for a kayo – Alexander was content to outbox from a safe distance. In the third, at least, Alexander saw his opening and floored the lunging Lee with a big right. With ten seconds left, Lee got up and made it to the bell.
Pressuring Alexander throughout the fourth might’ve been enough to win the round, but Lee was unable to incite his victor into another slugging match.
The cards ranged from 40-35 to 39-36 to 38-37, all for Alexander.
In an off-TV bout, Cuban cruiserweight Yordanis Despaigne (2-0, 1 KO) blasted away at San Diego debuter Johnny Marino (0-1) for a third round TKO win.
Marino was game in the first, but Despaigne easily outboxed his opponent with a jab that, when thrown, landed with ease.
After a thousand uppercuts on the inside, Marino head popping back like a Pez toy at the hands of a candy-craving kid, Despaigne was on the verge of a kayo.
It was more of the same in the third, until Referee Joe Cortez waved off the slaughter.
Official time was 1:16.
The ‘Lion’ roars again
After 11 fights, Uganda-born Las Vegas lightweight Sharif “The Lion” Bogere (11-0, 6 KOs) is becoming quite a local sensation. It could be his speed or punch – but it’s probably his ring entrance that has made him a Vegas favorite.
Usually it’s jungle music and the trademark lion’s head he wears, that gets the crowd cheering his name. But last night, he was carried to the ring in an iron cage.
Milwaukee’s Mike Gonzalez (10-6-1, 9 KOs) never had a chance.
Well, until round two, anyway.
Clearly the faster, harder hitting and superior fighter, Bogare had Gonzalez staggering multiple times through the first round. But in the second stanza, Gonzalez let loose with a straight right hand on the chin that had Bogare an inch from floor before he wrapped himself around the waist of his near-vanquisher.
Somehow, Bogare survived and, by mid-round, his once-wobbly legs were once again beneath him. A big hook took the round and he finished in strongly, outboxing Gonzalez.
For the next four rounds, it was all Bogare. Unable to score a repeat right, Gonzalez was at the short end of anything and everything Bogare threw at him. Unable to floor his foe, though sending him reeling back in the fourth, Bogare dominated and showboated his way for shutout scores of 60-54 thrice.