The night before perhaps the biggest fight ever in North Texas at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas, another Filipino other than Manny Pacquiao was the star.
Headlining the Top Rank-promoted card televised on Fox Sports, Richie Mepranum (16-2-1, 3 KOs) scored a huge upset by beating previously undefeated Hernan “Tyson” Marquez (25-1, 18 KO’s) of Mexico. Like his fellow countryman, Mepranum played the role of “Mexicutioner” as Pacquiao is often referred as from beating the great Mexican champions such as Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.
Mepranum beat Marquez to the punch all night, shocking the heavy-handed Marquez by winning a unanimous decision with scores of 99-91, 96-94 and 98-92.
Marquez had a tough time landing his bombs on the slick and elusive Mepranum and, at times, became frustrated by getting Mepranum in a head lock a few times or hitting him on the break that drew a warning from Referee Laurence Cole in the fifth round.
Marquez had no answer for the straight left that kept landing flush on the face of Marquez and when he tried to counter, Mepranum had already moved out of harms way. As the fight wore on, Mepranum was clearly gaining confidence and showed this by doing a little shuffle at the end of the seventh round as both guys teed off.
In the ninth and tenth rounds, Mepranum seemed to tire and was continually going to the ground as he would crouch down to avoid Marquez’s punches. But out of nowhere, he would land a solid uppercut or a straight left that had the raucous crowd on the edge of their seat.
Peter pulverizes Aguilera
In an IBF Heavyweight Eliminator, Samuel Peter (34-3, 26 KOs) put himself back in the title hunt with an impressive beating of the rising Nagy Aguilera (15-3, 10 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled 12.
After a slow start to the first round that saw Peter stalking Aguilera around the ring with his jab, Peter started touching him with an occasional overhand right just enough for Aguilera to feel his power.
If that was a precursor to what lied ahead, nobody saw this coming, especially Aguilera. The second round started with some good combinations from Peter that backed up Aguilera and then BOOM, Peter dropped Aguilera with an overhand right. Aguilera crumbled to the canvas like a sack of potatoes. Somehow Aguilera made it to his feet and soon after was flying across the ring from a powerful straight left from Peter.
Once on the ropes again, Peter ended the night early with some brutal shots forcing referee Laurence Cole to save him at 2:24 of the 2nd round by TKO.
Peter says he is ready to fight Vladimir Klitschko again or Alexander Povetkin next, who’s ever willing to step up first. As far as his thoughts on beating Aguilera so soundly, Peter offered this up.
“He talked too much yesterday, he put a lot of things on my chest, that’s why I had to pay him back with his quickest night.” Added Peter, “You know I tell him I would pay him back tonight so I paid him back.”
After most promoters turned their back on Peter, he was happy to be with Top Rank.
Peter said, “Top Rank is the best, they put me back there. Everybody thinking Sammy is done, I am not done yet, this is the beginning. Thank you.”
Peterson stops Cruz
Anthony Peterson (30-0 20KO’s) showed his full arsenal of punches tonight with a third round TKO over the tough, but over matched Juan Ramon Cruz (16-8-1 12KO’s) in a lightweight affair. Peterson found his jab early and an overhand right and a double left hook to end the first round, which at that point it was just a matter of time for Cruz. Quickly in the 2nd round, Peterson rocked Cruz with a combination in the corner and shortly later sent Cruz to the canvas for the first time with another pretty combination. Although Cruz gamely survived the round, he hit the canvas for a 2nd time when he was forced up against the ropes and Peterson unleashed a flurry to the head. And finally, the beating was over as the ref called a halt at 1:11 of the 3rd round.
Peterson is clearly ready for his championship moment.
“Oh yea, no doubt, 25 years old, 30-0 20KO’s, if I ain’t ready now I ain’t never be ready.
On how he took the life out of Cruz and made it an early night.
“The jab definitely opened him up and I was able to get the body. I didn’t get to fight like I wanted to because the right hand pretty much cleaned him up. He had a real hard head; I hurt my left hand from jabbing him in the head. My coach told me to me to hit him in the temple or chin and that’s what I caught him with [on first knockdown]. The next two were right hands too; it was a culmination of punches, variety of punches, the combination that put him down,” added Peterson.
Peterson looks forward to the opportunity to fight Humberto Soto at Yankee Stadium if Soto wins Saturday night against David Diaz at Cowboys Stadium.
“I’ll be going for Soto, it’s time. I definitely want a championship. I feel like I don’t got long in this sport because of a couple of things I want to do as far as broadcasting and commentating, stuff like that.”
And Peterson has been helping his brother, Lamont, get back on track against a tough loss against Timothy Bradley earlier this year.
“Oh yea, definitely, I want to say Timothy Bradley, watch your back because we’re definitely coming back for you. We got to get Timothy, we got to get Timothy, even if I step to 140 to get him, we got to get Timothy,” repeated Peterson.
Peterson added, “I love Timothy, he’s a good person though.”
Laurente decisions Tackie
In an entertaining 8 round welterweight clash, Dennis Laurente (34-3-4, 17KO’s) was able to survive the always tough veteran Ben Tackie (29-12-1 17KO’s) and win a unanimous decision – 77-75 twice and 78-74.
Laurente did his best work in the corners of the ring, where he was most of the night. He was able to let his hands go more regularly than Tackie and clearly landed the bigger blows throughout the fight.
Tackie got a surprise visitor midway through the fight as, Joshua Clottey, showed up at ringside to catch a glimpse of his fellow Ghanaian.
O. Henry blazes through Reza
In a super welterweight bout, Omar Henry (8-0, KOs) destroyed Francisco Reza (5-2, 4 KOs) at 33 seconds of the very first round.
From the opening bell, Henry bulled rushed Reza and sent him to the canvas with a series of devastating punches.
Somehow Reza survived the count, although within seconds he was knocked silly again and the fight was over.
Benavidez stops Hill
One of Top Rank’s hottest prospects and a former 7-time U.S. Amateur Champion, the tall, lean Jose Benavidez (3-0, 3 KOs) displayed his pure boxing skills on the tough, stocky but clearly outclassed Bobby Hill (1-4) with a TKO at 2:59 of the 3rd round. Although they were super lightweights on the scales, their differences in body type made for an interesting fight.
Benavidez dropped Hill in the 2nd and twice in the third, with a shot to the midsection being the decisive blow.
Vargas wars with Calzada
Former Mexican Olympian, Francisco Vargas (1-0) had a tougher than expected pro-debut against Daniel Calzada in a grueling super featherweight battle. Although he won a unanimous decision, 40-36 on all three judges scorecard, it was a battle all the way through as Calzada came to fight from the opening bell. But in the end, Vargas did just enough to win every round and get out of there with a hard earned win.
Ruiz stops Vaughn
Andy Ruiz, Jr (3-0 3KO’s) put a heavyweight beating on late sub Luke Vaughn (0-1) and knocked him out at 1:55 of the 1st round. With legendary trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Ruiz made quick work of Vaughn.
In attendance: Joshua Clottey, Marco Antonio Barerra, Antonio Margarito, Paulie Ayala, Donald Curry, Harol