Kid from the Valley makes good and defensive player of the year makes a stand

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Boxing

The boxing card at the beautiful Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles put a local boy in the spotlight.

Last Friday, San Fernando Valley resident and featherweight prospect Emilio Sanchez (16-1, 11 KO’s) stood across the ring from journeyman Christopher Martin (30-11-3, 10 KO’s).

Sanchez took control of the bout from the first bell, and worked to the body early. Midway through the opening frame he landed a solid right hook to the head, pressed Martin against the ropes, and doubled up on lefts and rights.

Martin barely escaped.

Round 2 was much the same fare.

Sanchez stalked Martin, backed him around the ring, and chopped away at the trunk. He also had increasing success with uppercuts.

Martin did his best to fight back. But as soon as he tried to set up an offense, one of those uppercuts would snap his head back like a Pez dispenser.

It happened again, towards the end of the 3rd when Sanchez sent a meat-seeking missile up between Martin’s elbows, splitting the guard and landing full-force.

Martin staggered back to the ropes. Sanchez followed in hot pursuit, swarmed him with punches and sent him to the canvas.

Martin popped up, took the mandatory count and stated he’d been stepped on.

Referee Jack Reiss (one of the very best) acknowledged the foot entanglement but countered that Martin had taken enough shots to correctly rule it a legit knock down.

For the next two rounds, Sanchez continued to use what was working. He hacked to the flanks and fired off uppercuts.

Martin’s corner could see the danger in continuing and wisely tossed in the towel between rounds.

Emilio Sanchez adds another win by knockout and positions himself for bigger fights with title implications.

Rams

It is impossible to judge where a racecar might finish in the Indy 500 if they’ve substituted in a lesser engine, drive train and tires while taking practice laps.

It’s the same when trying to use a preseason game as an indicator on how a team will do during the regular season.

If the shell (uniforms) and pit-crew (coaching staff) are the only common factors, it’s hard to assess strengths and weaknesses or make any predictions based on performances while using the inferior parts.

So it was with the Los Angeles Rams this weekend.

Playing the Ravens in Baltimore, the Rams didn’t play their starters.

So it was no surprise that Rams quarterback Jared Goff (the NFL’s Most Improved Player of the Year for 2017) was not in uniform.

What is a shocker is that the A.P. Defensive Player of the Year, Rams defensive end Aaron Donald still hasn’t signed a new contract.

He skipped training camp and has not taken part in any OTA’s.

Donald held out last year, folded and wound up being the most prolific player on his side of the ball.

But sources have said that Donald is now asking for “quarterback type” money and the “suits and ties” are not willing to trend in that direction.

Head coach Sean McVay said that there has been “increased dialogue” and the GM stated that the two sides are now “in the same area code.”

After being named the DPOTY, Donald might have a bit more bargaining power for a new deal.

It’s a safe bet that Donald will do much better than the $6.9-million he was scheduled to bank this year… just not “Jimmy Garoppolo better.”

The Ravens scored on each of their possessions in the 1st Quarter (2-TD’s and a field goal).

They added two more field goals before the end of the first half, and Baltimore headed to the locker room sporting a 0-23 lead.

The Rams finally got on the board with a TD midway through the 4th Q to end the game 7-33.

But don’t panic! It’s only a preseason game…right?

God Bless and wait for the regular season.

Mark Felicetti has already begun to panic. Reach him at mark@tolucantimes.com.

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