SAN DIEGO, October 5, 2014 – Saturday’s best fights weren’t seen by most Americans, but thanks to YouTube you’ll be able to catch up.
In the most notable from Orlando, Florida, Puerto Rican Olympian Felix Verdejo (15-0, 11 KOs) remained undefeated and showed why people are so excited about his future in the sport. Verdejo scored an impressive third round knockout over Sergio Villanueva (26-5-2, 13 KOs). The fight started off fairly even, but “El Diamente” showed why he’s a rising star in the lightweight division by landing a lights out right. Verdejo seems destined to be a champion and he is already the kind of fan-pleasing fighter than needs to be on the major cable networks regularly.
Two Mexican veterans battled for their countrymen in Los Mochis, Sinaloa in Mexico, televised in the U.S. by beINSports on some cable and satellite systems (I never heard of it before Saturday either).
Jorge “Travieso” Arce (64-8-2, 49 KOs), 35, briefly retired after losing to Nonito Donaire in 2012. Arce returned to the ring, and took this fight with lightweight title holder Jhonny Gonzalez to try and win a title in his sixth weight class before calling it a career. Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs), 33, made the second defense of his featherweight title.
Arce said he would be willing to meet St. Peter in his effort to win, and Gonzalez did what he could to make it happen. It was hard to watch the once great champion being knocked down repeatedly by Gonzalez, twice in the third round, again at the end of the fourth round and in the ninth round. Still, Arce kept coming, telling Gonzalez to bring it, gesturing and egging him on in front of his home town fans. After the round, Arce told his corner not to stop the fight. Seeing the condition of Arce, Gonzalez appeared to ease off just enough to try and let Arce finish the fight on his feet, but the damage was too much. The referee stopped the fight at 2:43 of the 11th round.
After the fight, Arce called Gonzalez a gentleman, breaking down in tears and admitting that his career is over and will go home to his family for good.
On Showtime’s event from Connecticut, junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) paid tribute to late promoter Dan Goossen with his unanimous decision win over Willie Nelson (23-2-1, 13 KOs). Martirosyan helped his cause in a very active weight division.
Both fighters put in a good effort in a bout a bit on the tactical side. As predicted, Nelson had the edge in jabs due to his exceptionally long reach, but it was Martirosyan who landed the majority of power shots and was busier overall. Matirosyan had Nelson wobbled a few times but didn’t get a stoppage, good news for Nelson who has been criticized for having a weak chin.
It was an important win beyond the record. Martirosyan’s promoter Dan Goossen, brother of Martirosyan’s trainer Joe Goossen, died earlier this week from liver cancer. It meant a lot to both of them to get a victory Saturday.
“It’s been a hard week for us,” said Martirosyan, holding back tears. “I thought about him. This is for Dan, we fought a hard fight, but it’s nothing compared to his fight.
This fight is for Dan, we love him and we miss him.”
Martirosyan can look forward to a matchup with any number of contenders in this busy weight division. Not a terrible setback for Nelson. He held up well, and if he can learn to put his long reach to better use, stay busier and connect from the outside he can still accomplish a lot.
Former light heavyweight champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (32-4, 18 KOs) saw his career comeback stall, living up to his nickname in the worst possible way losing a split decision to journeyman Tommy Karpency (24-4-1, 14 KOs). The nurse from Pennsylvania in his starched white trunks took the fight on just a few weeks’ notice, and it showed in a slight lack of stamina. But he connected sharply and was not in the least bit intimidated by Dawson. He won the mental game and it made the difference. Two judges gave it to Karpency by 96-94; the third to Dawson by the same score.
Dawson was angry after the fight, saying it was “effing BS” and claiming ““They must want me out of the game.” Dawson is simply not the fighter he once was after his losses to Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson. He appeared to hurt his left shoulder in the third round and didn’t throw anything with the left hand the rest of the fight, but it wasn’t the difference.
Contrast Dawson’s effort with that of Arce, a great champion who also lost, but did so going out on his shield as a warrior, giving his all for the fans and for his own pride.
Expect to see Karpency served up to someone like Adonis Stevenson or another light heavyweight looking for a win in the near future.
We will make it quick and not waste too much of your time discussing the unanimous decision by junior lightweight beltholder Rances Barthelemy of Cuba (21-0, 12 KOs) over veteran Fernando Saucedo of Argentina (52-6-3, 8 KOs). It was a sparring session for Barthelemy in which he landed more than twice the number of total punches and 50 percent of his power shots. Fans didn’t even bother to stick around to hear the judges’ scorecards. Cuban boxers are generally quite competent, but they often lose where it really counts, with the fans.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat coverage in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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