Adamek decisions Arreola
Ringside by Felipe Leon and Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
With a sizable contingent of his fellow countrymen in the stands, two time world champion Tomasz Adamek (41-1, 27 KOs) of Jersey City, NJ, by way of Zyweic, Poland, successfully defended his IBF International heavyweight title over Chris "Nightmare" Arreola (28-2, 25 KOs) Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. The 12-round war had a series of ebb and flow, as well as high drama that made it into one of the most exciting fight between big men in recent years. The atmosphere was electric as the battle raged inside the ring as well outside of it with the fans of each fighter fighting to be loudest.
Arreola took the fight to Adamek early in the beginning seconds of the first round as he missed a right hand with bad intentions but his strategy was clear, to make it into a brawl. Adamek had other ideas as he dictated the pace of the bout, controlling the distance between the fighters to deny Arreola an inside game. Arreola landed multi-punch combinations with ease but with chants of "Mexico, Mexico" barely audible over the screams of the Polish fans. Arreola continually attempted to trap the Pole against the ropes.
In the third, Adamek continued to score with sharp combinations that although not hurting the visibly bigger Arreola, did their job in keeping the southern California native at the end of his punches. Near the end of the round, Arreola caught Adamek with a left hook that seemed to bother him as he made his way back to his corner. Arreola's left eye began to swell from the constant jabs.
The tide turned in Arreola's favor in the fifth as fatigue began to set in. Arreola was able to catch Adamek with a left hook. As Arreola chased Adamek around the ring and trapped him against the ropes, he began to land a series of power punches in hopes of finishing the night early. Despite the rally, Adamek was able to survive the round. After a delay before the sixth in order to tape Adamek's shoe, the Pole returned to is strategy of lateral movement and quick combinations. Arreola landed another left hook behind the ear of Adamek which made the former light champion take a step back. With his man hurt, Arreola tried again to finish him off but Adamek survived.
By the seventh, Adamek was back to commanding the action. Despite Adamek landing hard punches and often, Arreola walked through them as he stalked Adamek around the ring with a frustrated look on his reddening mug.
In the ninth round, the crowd began to get impatient with Adamek's strategy as well as with Arreola's failure to catch the fleet-footed European. Arreola finally got his wish in the tenth as he landed a thundering right hand to the chin of Adamek which hurt his opponent. He then followed up with an uppercut. Adamek backed up as Arreola pounced on him and tried to finish him off. Again as Adamek was able to slip and sustain the attack long enough to hear the bell to end the round.
Arreola had his best round in the eleventh although it only last the the first half of the stanza. After landing two hard rights in the beginning seconds and closing the gap between the two, Arreola landed a hard left hook which not only hurt Adamek but also Arreola as the "Nightmare" winced in pain, shaking his left hand. Referee Jack Reiss asks Arreola if he wanted to continue and Arreola quickly waved him off, to the delight of the crowd who rose to their feet. Seeing Arreola as vulnerable, Adamek attacked but his opponent was able to defend himself until the final bell.
In the twelfth and final round, Arreola's heart was evident as he continued to make a fight out of it with a clearly damaged hand as Adamek finished off the fight circling around Arreola and pot-shotting him until the final bell.
Judge Tony Crebs scored it a draw with a score of 114-114 while Barry Druxman saw it 115-113 for Adamek and Joseph Pasquale also scored it for Adamek with a 117-111.
"By far this was the toughest fight of my life," Adamek stated seconds after the decision. "That is why I believe I can be a world champion."
"Adamek is a great fighter. I hurt my hand in the fifth round but I kept going," the outspoken Arreola stated. "I hurt it again in the ninth and the tenth real bad. He's got a hard f'ing head. He hit me so hard, I look like f'ing Shrek now." -- Felipe Leon
Angulo kayos Julio
In the co-feature bout of the eight-bout “Ring of Fire” card, junior middleweight champion Alfredo Angulo knocked out Joel Julio in the 11th round of a 12 round fight. With the victory, Angulo retained his world title.
Much attention was generated on the day of the weigh-in, when Angulo arrived over an hour and a half late. Angulo claimed that he was stuck in Southern California traffic, but the California State Athletic Commission fined Angulo $15,000. Although the money was agreed by both parties to go to Julio, Angulo said after the fight that the fine was only $5,000.
Angulo had won his last two bouts in a row after suffering his only defeat at the hands of Kermit Cintron last May. In his last bout in November, he brutally knocked out Harry Joe Yorgey in the third round of a scheduled 12 round bout.
Julio won a six round unanimous decision over Clarence Taylor in his last bout in October. Prior to the Taylor bout, he had lost two bouts in a row, losing by decision to world champion Sergiy Dzinziruk and by knockout to James Kirkland.
The Gary Shaw-promoted Angulo was on the attack from the opening bell, pressing the action and backing Julio up. Angulo set up his right hand behind his jab, while Julio looked to counter with left hands to the head.
Julio began to effectively box in the third round as he was busier, connecting more to the head of Angulo. At times, Julio would make Angulo miss as Angulo tried to cut off the ring.
By the fifth round, Angulo began to increase his punch output. It looked as though Angulo was attempting to time his punches, succeeding by landing hard right hands to the head of Julio.
After good two-way action in sixth round, Angulo began to dominate more from the seventh round on. As Angulo stalked Julio around the ring, he would throw more combinations, often connecting to the head of Julio.
With the pro-Angulo crowd barking “woofs” throughout the arena, Julio was cut over the left eye by an Angulo punch in the ninth round.
Just when it looked as though Angulo was on cruise control to a decision, he landed a well-timed right cross to the head, dropping Julio to the canvas. Julio stayed on one knee until he got up at the count of nine. However, referee Raul Caiz, Sr. wisely stopped the fight at 1:39, despite protest from Julio that he was able to continue.
Angulo threw 880 total punches, connecting on 167 of them, while Julio connected on 175 of 762 punches. Power punches were almost identical with Angulo connecting on 122 to Julio’s 121 power punches.
“I was focused on the fight as money is not important,” said Angulo, when asked about the fine. “It’s important that I perform well for the fans that came to see me. Joel never hurt me. I knew that the fight was over when he had trouble getting up. If he had gotten up, it would have the same result.”
Julio had a different point of view of the fight.
“I made mistake and paid for it,” said Julio, who is promoted by Main Events. “I wasn’t hurt and they stopped it. Angulo was tired and the referee stopped it too early. I was winning the fight on the cards. I would have on the fight.
Entering the 10th round, Angulo was up on all three judges’ scorecards, with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 96-94. Fightnews.com had Angulo up 97-93 as well.
Angulo, from Downey, CA by way of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, improves to 18-1, 15 KO’s. Julio, from Monteria, Colombia, falls to 35-4, 31 KO’s. - Francisco Salazar
Molina rallies to stop Izquierdo.
Lightweight John Molina knocked out Jose Antonio Izquierdo in the second round of a scheduled eight round bout.
Molina was coming off a first round knockout over Ricardo Medina last month. Prior to that, he suffered his first defeat of his career to Martin Honorio.
The Cuban-born Izquierdo had lost his last five bouts in a row. He was knocked out in the first round by unknown Carlos Cardenas.
Both fighters started strong from the opening bell. Izquierdo was effective early, stunning Molina with a barrage of punches. Just as Izquierdo was going in, he was dropped by a counter right hand by Molina. Izquierdo beat the count and survived the round.
In the second, both fighters fought in close. Molina was landing the better punches during the exchanges between the two. Towards the end of the round, Molina landed an overhand right hand to the top of Izquierdo’s head, dropping him to the canvas. Referee Jerry Cantu immediately waved the fight over at 2:55 despite protests from Izquierdo.
Molina, from Covina, CA, improves to 19-1, 15 KO’s. Izquierdo, from Chihuahua, Mexico, drops to 17-6-1, 14 KO’s. - Francisco Salazar
Avalos stops Molina.
Bantamweight Chris Avalos won by technical knockout when John Molina did not come out for the third round of a scheduled 10 round bout.
Avalos dwarfed over Molina, punching down on the former world title challenger in the opening round. Molina tried to get on the inside of Avalos’ longer arms, attacking the body in the process.
Avalos was in complete command in the second round. Avalos caught Molina a number of times flush on the chin. Molina tried to fight back, but his punches did not have the same effect as Avalos’ punches did.
Prior to the third round, Molina remained on his stool, to which referee Jerry Cantu waved the fight over.
With the victory, Avalos wins a regional title.
Avalos, from Lancaster, CA, goes to 16-0, 13 KO’s. Molina, from Cartagena, Colombia, falls to 27-13-3, 18 KO’s. - Francisco Salazar
Ramos decisions Lopez
Local super bantamweight Rico Ramos (16-0, 9KO) of Los Angeles, CA, kept his perfect record intact as he earned a unanimous decision with scores of 80-70, 79-71 and 78-72 over the hard-hitting Reynaldo Lopez of Santa Fe Springs, CA, by way of Colombia.
In the first, the southpaw Lopez showed his hand as he attacked the body of Ramos in hopes of slowing down his slighter taller opponent. Ramos used most of the round as one of study as he tried to find his range throwing sporadic combinations that failed to find their mark. Despite controlling the center of the ring for most of the round, Ramos seemed to be having trouble deciphering the southpaw style of Lopez as he threw two punches combinations that the quick footed Colombian was able to slip with ease. At the bell to end the round, Ramos scored a knock down with a left hook which seemed more of a push. Lopez was able to beat the count with any problem.
The third saw Ramos scoring more frequently as he was able to time Lopez's punches and land counter punches. Lopez kept attacking the body but Ramos had more success eluding the attack. Things heating up in the fourth as Lopez went after Ramos early in the round with punches in bunches and Ramos responded in kind. The tempo slowed for the rest of the stanza as Ramos kept controlling the center of the ring as he cut the way for Lopez.
Ramos welcomed Lopez to the sixth round with a left hook that bothered the Colombian. Both fighters more effective on the inside with both scoring with short hooks in an exchange. After what seemed like a slip and a nothing straight right, Lopez was ruled down by the referee Jerry Cantu. Lopez protested but kept fighting.
The pace quickened for the eight with Ramos again controlling the center of the ring as Lopez tried to get inside. Ramos was able to catch Lopez as he came in with power punches and finish the round strong. -- Felipe Leon
James wins split verdict over Morales
After a sloppy four rounds of heavyweight action, Boston, MA's Nate James (3-0, 1 KO) earned a split decision over Alvaro Morales (4-7-5) of Las Vegas, by way of Mazatlan, MX. Morales stayed in the fight despite being kept at the end of the much taller James' jab for the majority of the four rounds. Morales kept charging and when he got under his opponent's punches, he was able to score to the body. In the fourth and final round, Morales began to let his hands go and landed some nice counter punches to the head of James but it was too little, too late in the eyes of two of the judges. One judge scored it 39-37 for Morales while the other two saw it for James. Scores of the two judges who scored it for James were not announced.--Felipe Leon
Visinia remains undefeated
Samoan heavyweight Natu Visinia (4-0, 3KO) of Gardena, CA, kept his record perfect as he spoiled Lancaster, CA's Geovanni Sarran's (0-1) professional debut with a unanimous technical decision. An unintentional head butt caused a cut over Sarran's left eye forcing referee Jerry Cantu to stop the bout. Visinia controlled the bout with his longer reach and stiffer jab that caught the much shorter Sarran's flush in the face when Visinia decided to unleash it. The highlight of the sporadic action came midway thru the third round when Visinia landed a left hook that hurt Sarran but he still was able to survive the round only to suffer the cut early in the fourth and final round. The official scores were 40-36 three times. -- Felipe Leon
Rodriguez-Bruce fight to a draw.
Junior middleweights Raul Rodriguez and Marquise Bruce fought to a four-round majority draw.
Rodriguez used his long arms and awkward style land his punches over Bruce. Undeterred, Bruce went straight at Rodriguez, at times leaving himself open.
Bruce, who was making his professional debut, came on in the third round. Rodriguez slowed down, throwing less punches as the bout progressed. Bruce, who hails from Los Angeles, came on in the final round by going right at Rodriguez until the final bell.
One judge scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Bruce, but was overruled by the other two judges who scored the bout 38-38. Fightnews.com scored the bout 38-38.
Rodriguez, from Bakersfield, CA, goes to 3-4-1, 2 KO’s. - Francisco Salazar
- Heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko, Heavyweight contender Tony Thompson, Junior Middleweight Sergiy Dzinzurik, newly-crowned Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, Lightweight contender Martin Honorio, unbeaten Mike Dallas, Jr., former world champion Bobby Chacon, unbeaten Welterweight Javier Molina, and HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant took in the action from ringside.
- Bob Papa, Max Kellerman, and Lennox Lewis called the action from ringside for HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
- Towards the end of the second round of the Rodriguez-Bruce fight, a horn sounded similar to that of a horn that is used in hockey when a goal is scored or when a period comes to an end. Both fighters did not stop and fought until the bell sounded. The Citizens Business Bank Arena is the home of the minor league Ontario Reign team.
- Ring announcer was Michael Buffer for the televised fights. Sonny Franco and radio personality Vic “The Brick” Jacobs shared the ring announcing duties for non-televised portion of the card.