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Valero batters DeMarco
Abregu stops Gutierrez on Monterrey Showtime card

Ringside by Felipe Leon
Photos courtesy of Tom Casino/Showtime

In front of nearly 8,000 mainly hostile fight fans, lightweight king Edwin “Inca” Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) of Merida, Venezuela, kept his WBC lightweight crown, as well as his KO streak, intact as he stopped former interim WBC champ Antonio “Tony” DeMarco (23-2-1, 17 KOs) at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico in a much-anticipated 12-round championship fight.

Despite bleeding early from a punch from an accidental elbow, Valero was able to control the action with a frenzied attack, which prevented the 24-year-old DeMarco from setting up his own offensive. Valero was in command the entire bout except for spurts of action from DeMarco in which he was effective with his straighter, longer punches.

Valero, no stranger in winning in Mexico against hometown fighters, was coming off a stoppage of Tijuana’s Hector Velazquez and a title against Mexican-Colombian Antonio Pitalua in Texas last year. DeMarco had not fought in his native country since June of ’07 when he stopped Jose Rivera in his native Los Mochis, Mexico.

As DeMarco made his way to the ring to the sounds of his native Sinaloa’s banda music, the energy inside the arena was electric even after Valero made his ring walk to a not-so-friendly reception.

In the first round, both southpaws were cautious as many boxing pundits in the week’s leading up to the bout expressed, each ones opponent was to be the toughest of their career so far. Valero began to throw jabs but without effect and mostly as a range finder. Once the Venezuelan began to let his hands go, DeMarco had no trouble picking off the shots with his gloves. Early in the round, Valero began to bleed from his right cheek caused by a punch. Valero, as expected, became the aggressor from the center of the ring and tried to push DeMarco against the ropes. Valero kept pushing forward and near the round landed a two-punch combination shook DeMarco for a moment.

In the second, DeMarco asserted himself and began his attack with a firm jab in hopes of setting up his distance. Valero tried to trap him against the ropes, but DeMarco was able to use lateral movement to escape the champion. The taller DeMarco began to throw more punches but Valero was successful in catching most of them with his gloves. DeMarco landed a stiff jab that jerked Valero’s head back and then with the crowd behind him, DeMarco landed a straight hard left hand that stunned Valero. As he followed up with a left hook, DeMarco’s elbow accidentally grazed Valero’s forehead, which caused a deep gash. As Valero attempted to inform the referee that it was an elbow and not an actual punch, DeMarco continued to try to land punches until Lawrence Cole of Texas, the third man in the ring, stopped the action so that the ringside doctor could check the cut. As the action resumed, Cole was forced to penalize DeMarco with a point according to the WBC rules while Valero continued to bleed profusely from the cut. When the fight resumed, Valero attacked his opponent with more punches in bunches but DeMarco was able to either slip or block them. DeMarco was able to land another straight left that Valero felt and soon the blood boiled in both fighters as they stood in the center of the ring in a Mexican-style showdown and exchanged leather.

DeMarco came out more confident in the third and began to throw more jabs as he attempted to find a hole in Valero’s defense. By this point, Valero’s strategy began to become apparent as he used lateral movement and more caution instead of his all out onslaught that he had displayed in more recent fights, which ended fairly early against weaker opponents. DeMarco kept boxing as he began with his jab and paired it with an upper cut, straight left hands or hooks. DeMarco became the counter puncher as he let Valero be first and then tried to score with his own. Near the end of the round, Valero began to breathe thru his mouth but showed no signs of slowing down.

In the fourth, Valero kept up the aggressiveness and stalked DeMarco. DeMarco’s punch output began to diminish but still was able to throw an occasional jab and more rarely, a straight left, to hold Valero at bay. The crowd began to grow impatient with DeMarco as they tried to will him to throw punches with chants of “Tony, Tony” and “Mexico.” DeMarco survived two hard lefts to the head as Valero continues to bleed from his forehead while the cut on his right cheek was controlled. Being that the bout was a WBC championship fight, the scores were announced after the round and all three ringside judges had Valero ahead.

By the fifth, it seemed that DeMarco had no trouble taking Valero’s punch but he seemed stiff and not able either physically or mentality let himself throw punches. Mid way thru the round, they exchanged the ring real estate as DeMarco set up camp in the center of the ring and Valero circled around but still throwing more and landing more punches. DeMarco began with a series of jabs to the head and body to start the sixth. Valero was more aggressiveness and deterred DeMarco’s offense with his own leaving “Tony” to defend himself by constantly moving. By this point, it was evident that DeMarco was slowing down and throwing even less punches but sporadically was able to land stiff jabs that would snap Valero’s head back. Valero was not to be undone and he scored with a hard left hand. DeMarco began to move around with his mouth open as fatigue began to set in.

Valero’s cuts were under control to begin the seventh as the blood just trickled down from the right side of his forehead. As DeMarco began to slow down, Valero was more effective in trapping him against the ropes and landing a series of power punches. DeMarco pace slowed down considerably and was now using a one-punch attack with an occasional upper cut or right hook while Valero was still throwing two and three punch combinations.

In what turned to be DeMarco’s best round, he began the eighth by landing a right jab/left hand combination that Valero felt. He picked up the pace and it seemed that he would begin to push Valero as DeMarco scored to the body. Valero landed another hard right but DeMarco walked right thru and scored with an uppercut. Near the end of the round, DeMarco scored again with a right hook that pushed Valero against the ropes. At the end of the eight rounds, the ringside scores were announced as 79-72 from all three judges.

In the ninth, Valero once again took control of the action as he resumed his aggression by throwing more punches. DeMarco circled to this right as he tried to escape the Venezuelan’s attack but visibly tired and breathing hard.

At the suggestion of his corner, DeMarco does not respond to the bell for the tenth round awarding Valero the TKO victory and his 27th straight win by KO.

“To date, this has definitely been my best performance. I learned a lot from this fight,” Valero stated immediately after his win. “I learned that I have to pace myself. I can’t just come out in the beginning rounds so aggressively. I have to save some of that for the later rounds.”

“A star is born! The people have in me a great boxing champion and with tonight’s performance they have the proof,” he stated.

As far as DeMarco after the bout, the former champ had nothing but respect for his conqueror.

“I fought a champion, a champion of the world… I went in the ring and wanted to do everything I could to win the fight,” DeMarco said. “It wasn’t my night. He got the best of me. I went there tonight to fight but it just wasn’t my night. Valero was the better man tonight.”

Abregu stops Gutierrez

In the semi main event, Luis Carlos “Potro” Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs) of Salta, Argentina, kept his perfect record intact and his WBC welterweight FECOMBOX title with a unanimous decision over tough Richard “Toro” Gutierrez (24-4-1, 14KO) of Miami, Fla., by way of Colombia, in a ten-round bout.

The bout began tame enough with Abregu beginning the action in the first with quick jabs to the head and body while Gutierrez tried to counter punch. The Abregu jabs took their toll early as Gutierrez developed a small bruise under his left eye that grew with the fight. Abregu attacked the body, which seemed to bother Gutierrez. Gutierrez continued to try to counter punch but did not have the speed.

Abregu began the second round with a quick two punch combination that landed flush but seconds later, Gutierrez countered with a hard left hook to the chin of Abregu that sent him down to the canvas. Abregu beat the count but on shaky legs. Abregu started circling the ring, trying to gather his bearing while Gutierrez stood at the center asking him to stand and fight. Gutierrez landed another left hook to the head of Abregu trying to finish him off. Gutierrez continued to stalk Abregu as the Argentinean tried to keep his opponent at bay with pawing jabs. Abregu began to develop his own attack, as he seemed to recuperate, landing a left hook to the body followed with an upper cut. Abregu found success with a lobbing right hook that found its way around the high guard of Gutierrez.

In the third, Gutierrez began the three minutes in the center of the ring, trying to control the action but Abregu soon took over and landed an upper cut coupled with a hard left hook that hurt Gutierrez. Abregu followed with another left hook to the chin that put Gutierrez down. Gutierrez beat the count and looked at his corner for guidance. Abregu welcomed him back to the fight with two over hand rights. Abregu swarmed his opponent trying to finish him off but Gutierrez’s experience surfaced as he clinched in all the right moments to slow Abregu down and make it to the end of the round.

To start the fourth, Abregu tried to repeat the recipe that worked so well a round earlier and landed a left hook but Gutierrez was able to assimilate it. Gutierrez responded with his weapon of choice, a hard right hand to the chin of Abregu but Abregu had no trouble walking thru it. Mid way through the round, the action slowed down as they begin to have a jab contest in the center of the ring. Gutierrez began to up the ante and throw more punches as he tried to take the role of the aggressor. Abregu tried to counter punch but Gutierrez was able to block most of the punches with his high guard. Near the end of the round, Abregu hurt Gutierrez again with a hard left.

Gutierrez took the initiative in the fifth as he comes out to the center of the ring with left jab/right hand combination that landed on Abregu’s face. Both fighters load up with everything on every punch while the roles reversed and now Gutierrez becomes the attacker while Abregu is content with circling the ring and counter punching. To end the round, Abregu landed two hard rights at the ten-second mark to steal the round.

By the sixth round, the pace began to slow down and they began the stanza with a clinch. Early in the round, Abregu landed a hard right hand upper cut that stunned Gutierrez. Abregu seemed to be the more tired of the two since he tried to push his opponent against the ropes and once there, try to clinch. Abregu started to throw more punches in the last minute of the round as he began to throw his hands go but not enough this time to take the round.

To begin the seventh, both fighters tried to slow the other down with jabs to the body. Abregu, tired, began to clinch more often. Still, the Argentinean continued to land some solid punches, especially a lobbing right hand that went around Gutierrez’s defense. Abregu developed a cut over his left eye and picked up the pace landing hard punches but Gutierrez hit him with a hard right hand that made Abregu clinch once again.

The ringside doctor checked Abregu’s cut over his left eye to begin the eight round. Gutierrez took over the center of the ring while Abregu circled around the perimeter. Gutierrez tried to score points with jabs to the body. Abregu attempted to counter punch Gutierrez’s jabs and when he failed, he resorted to clinch. Soon after, Abregu landed two hard left hooks. Abregu continued to score with the harder punches. In the last minute of the round, Abregu began to throw more punches and land more, which began to take their toll on Gutierrez.

Abregu met the canvas once again in the ninth but only after Gutierrez pushed his head down after a clinch and was not ruled a knock down. Abregu continued to counter punch and became the more aggressive fighter as he picked up the pace while still clinching occasionally.

According to the WBC ruling, the scores were announced at the end of the fourth and eight rounds and in both announcements, Abregu was well ahead of his opponent.

In the tenth, Abregu, knowing that he was winning by points, decided to get on his bicycle and circle the ring trying to will away the seconds. Gutierrez tried to stalk Abregu but to no avail as the Argentinean was still able to land punches while moving. Mid way thru the round, Abregu slow down enough to score with a series of hard punches that not only sealed the round but the fight.

At the end of the ten rounds, judge Javier Camacho saw it 97-91, Omare Mintun 97-91 and Ernesto Saldivar 98-90, all for Abregu. Fightnews.com scored it a much closer 95-93 for the Argentinean.

Off-TV results
Quintero makes quick work of Gonzalez

Marvin "Cachorro" Quintero of Tijuana, MX, stable mate of Antonio DeMarco, ruined the night for many of the Monterrey fight fans when he did quick work of local favorite Luis "Tribi" Gonzalez in the second round of a scheduled lightweight eight.

The first round was one of study as both fighters used it to gauge the speed and distance of their opponent. Near the end of the stanza, southpaw Quintero began to put combinations together but with out much luck since Gonzalez was able to move around the ring and escape most of Quintero's attack.

In the second, Quintero came out with guns blazing, showing his speed and his feints as he beat Gonzalez from pillar to post with quick jabs and even quicker left hands. Near the end of the round, Quintero trapped Gonzalez against a neutral corner and connected with a hard right hook to the chin that crumpled Gonzalez to the canvas. "Tribi" used to ropes to pull himself up to beat the count but only to have Quintero smother him with a rain of punches that forced the referee to intervene.

Official time was 2:59 of the second round. With the win, Quintero sees his record go to 19-2, 15 KOs, while Gonzalez drops his second in a row and goes to 19-2, 12 KOs.

Lopez remains undefeated

Tijuana's Juan Pablo "CheChe" Lopez (15-0, 14 KOs) kept his undefeated streak alive as he stopped Leonardo Resendiz (22-23, 14 KOs) of Tutitlan, MX, in the fifth round of scheduled six round junior welterweight bout.

Lopez took over the first round with hard combinations to the body and head with emphasis to the some what soft belly of Resendiz. In the second, Resendiz was able to trap "CheChe" against the ropes and put in some work of his own. Near the end of the round, Lopez punches went south and caught Resendiz with an accidental low blow. Since it worked in the second, Resendiz went after his man in the third, pushing Lopez against the ropes again and landing hard hooks to the head of the Tijuana native. "CheChe" was able to take the fight back into the center of the ring as Resendiz began to show tiredness. Resendiz dropped to his knees after a borderline low blow, which the ensuing recovery time helped his fatigue more than his groin.

Resendiz scored a quick 1-2 combination to start the fourth as Lopez circled around the ring looking for an opening. Again Resendiz has success-trapping Lopez against the ropes and being the aggressor, as "CheChe" seemed complacent to let Resendiz land punches as he tried to slip them. Near the end of the round, Lopez scored a counter right hand flush that dropped Resendiz. The man from Tutitlan, MX, was able to beat the count and see the end of the round. Lopez began to the fifth round with another right hand that hurt Resendiz and sent him across the ropes. "CheChe" saw his chance and went after his opponent landing hard power punches to the body and head. Resendiz dropped again to the canvas as the referee waived the bout off. Official time was 47 seconds of the fifth round.

Rosales blasts Escobar

Michel Rosales (27-3, 22 KOs) of San Luis Potosi, MX, beat Orlando "Torito" Escobar (10-6, 6 KOs) from pillar to post prompting the Culiacan, MX, fighter to not answer the bell for the fifth round. Rosales was in control the whole way as he kept his opponent right in front of him and landing hard left and right hooks to the body and head as well as short uppercuts and overhand rights. Escobar was never in the fight.

Medina stops Valenzuela

Michael Medina (22-1-2, 18 KOs) of Monterrey, MX, stopped journeyman Roberto "Viejo" Valenzuela (29-49-2, 23 KOs) in the first round with a thundering right hook to the body. Medina hurt Valenzuela early on with a left hook to the liver and followed up landing hard punches to both the head and torso of Valenzuela. The right hook came at 1:38 of the first round. Valenzuela did not beat the count.

Perez decisions Calleros

In a spirited six round jr. flyweight round, local favorite Carlos "Puas" Perez (11-3-3, 7 KOs) earned a unanimous decision over Moises Calleros (3-2, 2 KOs), also of Monterrey. Calleros was the aggressor for most of the fight but Perez was able to land a series of hard right hands in the last two rounds. Perez almost knocked Calleros out in the sixth and final round with thundering right hands but Calleros was able to survive the round.

Mucino decisions Torres

Arely Mucino (10-0-1, 7 KOs) was awarded a clear unanimous decision with scores of 59-56 three times over Mexico City's Anahi Torres (4-6, 1 KO) in a female flyweight six rounder. Mucino of Monterrey batted her opponent for the majority of the fight but Torres did not take a step back in the six rounds, which earned her a rousing ovation from the crowd.

Zertuche TKOs Arras

Mexican tough guy Jose Luis Zertuche (21-5, 15 KOs) of Leon, MX, was awarded a TKO win over Antonio Arras (20-6, 14 KOs) at the :17 mark of the sixth and final round. Zertuche was in control through out most of the bout although displaying fatigue in the later rounds. Arras was game but Zertuche threw more punches and attacked the body relentlessly.

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