Turkey, stuffing and those who ate leather

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There were no belts on the line or titles on the table in Philadelphia last Friday.

But the card featured some undefeated fighters.

Super Bantamweight Arnold Khegai (14-0-1, 9 KO’s) faced off with Jorge Diaz (19-6-1, 10 KO’s).

Khegai delivers a kiai when he punches.

A “kiai” is a short, explosive shout used when attacking.

But Khegai’s vocal register is rather high; so instead of being the harbinger of hurt and harm, it sounded more like someone stepping on a small dog’s tail.

Diaz was like gum on the bottom of Khegai’s shoe…that couldn’t be scraped off. Khegai became frustrated, fought sloppy, and allowed Diaz to remain competitive.

A clash of heads in Round 3 opened a gash over Khegai’s left eye and an accumulation of punches put Diaz on his knees in the 6th.

The bout went the distance and Arnold Khegai was awarded a unanimous decision victory.

***

Undefeated Welterweight Jaron Ennnis (22-0, 20 KO’s) slipped between the ropes to meet Ray Serrano in a match scheduled for ten rounds.

”Scheduled” being the key word in that phrase.

Although Ennis is listed as “orthodox” he switched to southpaw in the opening frame. Doubling and tripling up on jabs he followed with overhand lefts that found a lot of face.

By Round 2 Ennis had his range. He jabbed to the mug, closed the distance with left to the body, and winged in a right hook to the jaw that put Serrano on his back pockets.

He got up, took the mandatory 8-count, and fought on.

Ennis targeted the torso until Serrano had his elbows tight to his sides.

Back to orthodox, Ennis tossed out a left jab, followed by an overhand right that twisted Serrano’s head around and returned him to the canvas.

Still in a fog, Serrano got up and took the count. His balance was off and his legs were rubbery.

Ennis pressed Serrano to the ropes and whipped his head back-and-forth with lefts and rights.

Serrano did a final face-dive to the floor and the referee immediately called a halt to the competition.

Good call, ref.

Jaron Ennnis added a knockout win to his record and takes another step toward a title shot.

***

Two undefeated boxers vied for the WBO World Super Lightweight title on a card out of Oklahoma.

In the first defense of his title, Maurice Hooker took on Alex Saucedo…and they went at it like they were killing snakes.

In Round 2, Saucedo landed a right that put Hooker on the seat of his satins and bloodied his nose.

The leather continued to fly; Hooker took the 4th and Saucedo muscled the 5th.

As Hooker was getting his distance and rhythm, he landed with increasing regularity and opened a bad cut over Saucedo’s left eye in Round 6.

A right to the jaw in the 7th left Saucedo so dazed, he drew a standing 8-count.

When the action resumed, Hooker fired a half-dozen unanswered shots to the head and the referee called an end to the contest.

Another good call, by another good ref.

Maurice Hooker (25-0, 17 KO’s) remains undefeated and retains his title.

***

My life has been abundantly blessed, and I have much for which to be thankful. Listing even a small portion would sound like bragging

But I need to mention The Tolucan Times.

I am thankful for this paper, and I’m honored to write for it.

I’m thankful for Mardi (“Mr. Tolucan”) and proud to call him my friend.

I’m thankful for the wonderful staff at The Tolucan Times, especially Sergio and Salvador…both of whom continue to show me patience and friendship.

And I am very thankful for all the people who read my column.

It is my hope that what I report, and the anecdotes that are woven into each piece, are found humorous as well as informative…and perhaps have brought a smile.

God Bless and be thankful for His gifts.

Mark Felicetti is extremely thankful for leftovers. Reach him at mark@tolucantimes.com.

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