Tolucan readers didn’t have to go farther than their own backyard to enjoy the sweet science.
The recently refurbished Belasco Theater (built in 1926) right here in Los Angeles, has become a great joint for a gent to take his gal to see prizefights.
That’s the way they spoke in 1926.
There were no belts on the line at the Belasco, just a handful of young pugs trying to add another “W” and become relevant in their respective ranks.
Undefeated Super Welterweight Ferdinand Kerobyan (9-0, 5 KO’s) took on Edgar Garcia (7-17-1, 2 KO’s).
Looking at the disparity in their records one might think these two were unevenly matched…and one would be correct.
Kerobyan is nine years younger and sports a three inch reach advantage over Garcia.
More importantly: Garcia is actually a schoolteacher.
And Kerobyan is actually a boxer.
For two-rounds he peppered Garcia relentlessly, until the referee stepped in to call a halt to the contest.
Good call, ref.
Ferdinand Kerobyan notched another win and, hopefully, Garcia learned a lesson.
There was no love lost between Lightweights Hector Tanajara Jr. and Roger Gutierrez.
Look up “unsportsmanlike” in the dictionary and Gutierrez’s picture is right next to the word.
At the weigh-in Gutierrez couldn’t stop talking trash and when Tanajara offered to shake hands; Gutierrez turned his back and walked away.
On fight night he continued to mad-dog Tanajara while the ref gave final instructions.
But Tanajara got the last word.
He stayed calm, found his timing and distance in the opening rounds, and let Gutierrez come forward into counter-punches.
Although Gutierrez was the aggressor, Tanajara was in control of the action and he consistently landed the harder more effective blows.
The bout went the distance and the scorecards reflected Tanajara’s dominance.
Winning by unanimous decision (one judge gave him every round) Hector Tanajara Jr. improves his campaign to 14-0, 5 KO’s.
The main event was in the Super Lightweight division. Undefeated Vergil Ortiz (10-0, 10 KO’s) Jr. stepped into the ring across from Juan Carlos Salgado (27-9-1, 16 KO’s).
This was a short and sweet pas de deux…and no surprise considering Salgado is a dreadful 1-7 in his last eight-bouts.
Another piece of trivia, which is of significant importance (shades of Damon Runyon) is that knockout artist Ortiz (no fight has gone past the 3rd round) has been laying them out so fast, he has only chalked up a total of 14 rounds in his entire career. Salgado has weathered 232.
Ortiz’s speed and overhand right were factors from the start, and he stung Salgado with it in the first 30-seconds.
Salgado let his hands go in the 2nd, but Ortiz answered with those lightning mitts, countering from belt to brow.
Salgado was slower in Round 3 and less inclined to come forward.
Ortiz muscled him into a corner and unloaded more than a dozen shots before Salgado wrapped him up.
Moments later Ortiz cranked off a body shot that folded up Salgado like damp laundry.
The ref didn’t bother to count.
Vergil Ortiz Jr. remains undefeated, continues his knockout streak, and still hasn’t gone past the 3rd.
The vacant IBF North American Light Heavyweight title was up for grabs in Detroit when Umar Salamov (21-1, 16 KO’s) laced them up against Brian Howard (13-2, 10 KO’s).
Howard took three-years off and has only fought once each year, since 2016.
Salamov last fought in December 2017.
They set a good pace in the opening frames; but the action was clumsy and lacked finesse. Salamov did just enough to keep an edge in every round.
Howard’s inactivity might have made him lazy. He kept waiting to land one big punch…and he waited too long.
Thirty seconds into Round 9 Salamov landed a combination, which set up a chopping, overhand right.
It took the starch out of Howard’s legs, and it was over.
Umar Salamov scored a knockout and took home the title.
God Bless and don’t talk trash.
Mark Felicetti agrees with Damon Runyon: “Life is tough…and it’s really tough when you’re stupid.” Reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.