At the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, TX, Pandora International and Premier Boxing Champions promoted this event over USA FOX Saturday night! In the main event it featured Devon Alexander against Victor Ortiz. Both former world champions only fought once in 2017. Alexander won his last fight but is 2-3 in his last 5 fights with 2-years of inactivity during that time period. Ortiz won his last fight in 2017 but was 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Former IBF and WBA Super Lightweight and IBF Welterweight Champion southpaw Devon Alexander “The Great”, 27-4-1 (14), of St. Louis, MO, seemed unlucky to get a majority draw with former southpaw WBC Welterweight Champion Victor “Vicious” Ortiz, 32-6-3 (25), of Ventura, CA, over 12 rounds.
In the first round Ortiz was the aggressor landing body shots while Alexander countered. The round was close. In the second round Alexander landed a 3-punch combination with the final left hand to the head getting the attention of Ortiz. A cut over the left eye of Ortiz from a Alexander right hook. In the third round Alexander landed a solid right hook to the head of Ortiz. Right hooks from Alexander have the left eye of Ortiz starting to swell up.
In the fourth round Ortiz continues to follow Alexander around the ring. Halfway through the round Ortiz landed his best punch of the fight from him a right hook to the head of Alexander. Alexander is out landing Ortiz catching Ortiz with a lead left to the chin. In the fifth round Alexander’s hand speed was causing Ortiz problems getting hit by right hooks from Alexander. Ortiz landed the final punch a left to the head. In the sixth round Ortiz keeps pressing but Alexander’s hand speed keeps him at bay. Ortiz inside landed a double right hook but got caught by an Alexander right hook to the head. Ortiz landed a hard left to the head of Alexander causing the crowd to cheer for him.
In the seventh round Alexander came out landing a right uppercut to the chin of Ortiz. Ortiz came back with a combination while Alexander stays in the middle of the ring not moving. Ortiz is making a fight of it when Alexander keeps the fight inside. In the eighth and ninth rounds Alexander started being the aggressor with right hooks to the body of Ortiz. Ortiz kept throwing punches looking to hurt Alexander knowing he is behind in the fight.
In the tenth round Ortiz seems to be doing more arm punches. Alexander is not taking advantage allowing Ortiz to get the best of him in the round. In the eleventh round both fighters have slowed the pace keeping the action inside. In the twelfth and final round both fighters stayed inside with Ortiz landing more in what turned into a brawl inside. The fans loved it.
Judges scores Griffin 115-113 for Ortiz, Crocker and Martinez had it 114-114. This writer had it 116-112 for Alexander.
Super Middleweight Caleb “Sweethands” Plant, 19-0 (10), of Ashland City, TN, won an easy but not exciting win over Rogelio “Porky” Medina, 38-9 (32), of Sonora, MEX, over 12 rounds.
In the first round Plant is keeping his left hand to his side yet jabbing Medina with no problem. He lands an occasional left hook to the body and right to head. It didn’t seem Medina landed a punch. In the second round Medina finally was able to back Plant against the ropes and landed several punches to the body of Plant. Plant landed a lead right to the chin of Medina. Plant finally opened up in the final 15 seconds. The fans are not pleased so far though this was a close round though Plant won it.
In the third round Plant landed 3 jabs to the head of Medina who continues to go forward. Plant landed a double left hook to the head followed by a right hand that drew blood from the nose of Medina. Plant halfway through the round has both hands to his side with Medina finally landing a right to the head of Plant. Plant landed 3 jabs, a left hook and a straight right without return. In the fourth round Medina waves Plant to come in and fight but Plant is not seeing it that way. Medina only landed a straight right to the mid-section halfway through the round. Plant is moving and jabbing. His feet are moving too fast for Medina. Against the ropes Plant got hit with a chopping right hand to the head by Medina.
In the fifth round Plant landed first after 20 seconds with a lead right to the chin of Medina. The first clinch of the fight after a minute in the round. Plant landed a lead right followed by a left hook both to the head of Medina. Plant landed a stiff jab knocking back the head of Medina with about 10 seconds left in the round. Medina continues to follow Plant around the ring. Plant’s style is not pleasing but he is winning each round. In the sixth round Medina landed a left hook to the body as Plant allows him to clinch. Referee warns Medina in a clinch not to hit the back of Plant. Medina ended the round with a body shot on Plant. It was the closest round since the second round.
In the seventh round a Plant double jab knocked Medina’s head back. Plant landed a lead right to the head. Plant started showboating and the Mexican fans were not pleased with it. Medina got away with a low blow as the referee’s vision was blocked. In the eighth round Plant landed first with a lead right hand to the head. Plant landed a left hook to the body of Medina. Plant lands another hard right to the head of Medina. Medina has a brace on his left leg and when he gets inside he cannot move to catch Plant. At the end of the round Plant went down after a border left hook after the bell.
In the ninth round Plant starts to favor his left lead foot which could have been from dropping to the canvas at the end of the previous round. Plant is very relaxed not favoring his left anymore. At the end of the round Plant starts walking toward his corner looking back at Medina.
In the ninth round Medina walked into a right uppercut to the chin from Plant. Plant backs into the ropes giving Medina a chance to land several punches and then Plant moves away. Medina near the end of the round throws an overhand right that missed as Plant countered him with a right uppercut to the chin. In the tenth round it was more of the same with Plant moving and sticking Medina with the jab with occasional lead rights to the head of Medina.
In the eleventh round Medina landed a pair of left hooks to the head of Plant. Against the ropes Plant took a hard left hook to the body. Medina does well when Plant moves against the ropes. It was one of the better rounds of the fight at this point that Medina may have pulled out. In the twelfth and final round Plant threw punch with power more than at anytime in the fight. Medina keeps coming and walked into a right uppercut to the chin from Plant. Plant landed five consecutive jabs. Against the ropes it was Plant landing punches. For the first time the fans from El Paso started cheering at the end of the twelve rounds.
Plant fought a smart fight having the right opponent in Medina for his fourth straight bout going the distance. Whether the TV people liked Plant’s performance will only tell in time.
Judges scores were 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 while this writer had it 118-110.
USA 2016 Olympian Lightweight Carlos Balderas, 4-0 (3), of Santa Maria, CA, won a spirited decision over Jorge Rojas, 4-3-1 (2), of Puebla, Mexico, over 4 rounds.
In the first round after half a minute a lead right from Balderas buckled the knees of Rojas. Referee Mark Ko’ly warned Rojas of a low blow. Rojas landed the final punch of the round a left hook to the head of Balderas. It was the first fight for Balderas to go into the second round. In the second round Rojas got a couple of punches in while close on Balderas. Balderas rocked Rojas with a right to the chin. Balderas is looking to end it but Rojas is not going for it. Balderas landed a left well under the top of the trunks of Rojas and was warned giving Rojas several minutes to recover.
In the third round Balderas landed a pair of left hooks to the body of Rojas. Rojas carries his hands high protecting his head. With a minute left in the round both fighters clashed heads with Balderas complaining to the referee blaming Rojas. In the fourth and final round Rojas is making a fight of it backing up Balderas. Halfway through the round Balderas lands a hard right to the chin of Rojas with little effect. Just under a minute left in the round Rojas rocked Balderas with a left hook to the head. It ended with the closest round of the fight. Rojas had swelling under his left eye at the end.
All 3 Judges scored it 40-36 as did this writer.
The 21 year-old Balderas didn’t recover well after the clash of heads. He had Rojas hurt in the first but didn’t follow-up.