At Complejo Ferial, in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Saturday Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions over ESPN put on a special boxing event in order to show the damage to the island for all witnessing this event can see along with the slow recovery.
In the Main Event in a rematch Super Flyweight Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez, 20-0-2 (13), of Los Marias, PR, and Alex “Peque” Santiago, 15-2-4 (7), of Tijuana, MEX, battled to another draw in their rematch in a WBO NABO Super Flyweight title over 10 rounds.
In the opening round both fighters fought on an even basis. Inside the last minute of the round Santiago landed half a dozen unanswered punches before fighting back and driving Santiago to the ropes at the bell. In their previous fight that ended in a draw it seemed like Santiago may have won. He agreed to come back some sixteen months later in the same facility feeling he will win more clearly. In the second round it seemed each fighter would land several punches while the other would cover up and visa versa with little mixing it up.
In the third round Martinez was more of the aggressor while Santiago was countering. In the fourth round the taller Martinez used his jab while Santiago worked the body to the head. In the fifth round Martinez landed a good left hook to the body. Santiago came right back with a flurry of punches driving Martinez into the ropes. Martinez came back on the attack. It was back and forth with each fighter taking turns on the offense. Santiago landed a double left hook to the body of Martinez. Santiago landed a flurry driving Martinez to the ropes at the bell.
In the sixth round Santiago countered well as the upright style of Martinez was following with rights being set up by his jab. In the seventh round both boxers continued to mixing it up taking turns on the offense. In the eighth round of a close fight neither fighter seems to overtake the other. The fight could be up for grabs but the hometown fighter Martinez may have an edge with the judges being from Puerto Rico.
In the ninth round Martinez drove Santiago into the corner forcing Santiago to tie up Martinez. Both fighters are doing more clinches in the round showing some fatigue. Santiago landed a good left uppercut to the body of Martinez. In the tenth and final round the referee failed to have the boxers touch gloves as if he isn’t aware it’s the last round. The crowd seemed to get into the fight more than at any other time in the fight. Both fighters knowing it’s a close fight are trying to land the big punch. Santiago landed a good right to the head of Martinez forcing him to hold. Martinez came back prior to the bell with his own combination.
Judges scores were 96-94 for Santiago, 96-94 Martinez and 95-95 as did this writer.
Super Flyweight Joshua “El Professor” Franco, 13-1 (6), of San Antonio, TX, was stopped in a mild upset by Lucas Emanuel Fernandez, 12-1-1 (9), of Rosario, Sante Fe, ARG, at 0:46 of the eighth round.
In the first round Franco had his way before finally busting Fernandez’s left eye and dropping Fernandez with a left hook to the body. Fernandez beat referee Jose H. Rivera’s count as blood was flowing from his cut but he fought back well against Franco up until the bell. In the second round there was plenty of action as Fernandez got cut by the right eye just prior to the bell.
In the rounds three through five it was a very competitive bout with Franco looking slightly ahead. In the sixth round both boxers worked the body well but there were too many clinches and referee Rivera was not helping the situation very well. In the seventh round Fernandez was getting the better of Franco working the body well. By the near end of the round it was Franco landing a flurry of punches.
In the eighth round it all turned around as a left uppercut from Fernandez hurt Franco landing half a dozen unanswered punches. The referee seemed to possibly prematurely stop the fight. Franco’s trainer the well known Robert Garcia was very upset for the stoppage of his fighter.
In the opening bout Super Flyweight Josean Serra, 12-1 (8), of Ponce, PR, stopped Marco Sanchez, 12-6-3 (7), of Mexicali, Baja CA, Mexico, at 1:23 of the third round in a lopsided bout.
In the first round Serra was obviously much better than Sanchez. In the second round Serra dropped Sanchez with a left hook to the body. At that point upon rising the referee Ramon Navedo should have stopped the fight as Sanchez spit out his mouthpiece biding time to get through the round. In the third round another body shot by Serra dropped Sanchez to his knees. For some reason the referee didn’t stop the fight but the corner of Sanchez finally did.
Welterweight Danielito Zorrilla, 5-0 (4), of Rio Piedras, PR won a lopsided win over Clifford Gray, 1-4 (0), of Miami, FL, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Zorrilla was getting the best of the shorter Gray. At the warning ten seconds left in the round Zorrilla rocked Gray with a right to the chin. In the second round Zorrilla landed a right to the head and a left following to the head of Gray. Zorrilla is a well known former amateur in Puerto Rico who was fed a losing record inferior boxer in order to build up Zorrilla’s record.
In the third round Zorrilla landed a chopping right followed by a left hook to the chin of Gray. With a minute left in the round Zorrilla hurt Gray who recovered well. In the fourth round Gray landed his best punch so far in the fight a straight right to the chin of Zorrilla. Zorrilla came right back and scored a flash knockdown over Gray. Zorrilla was landing double left hooks to the body of Gray. Zorrilla started showboating with his hands to his side.
In the fifth round Zorrilla landed a right to the head and a pair of left hooks to the body of Gray. A solid right from Zorrilla to the chin of Gray dropped him with seconds left in the round. Gray was able to last out the round. In the sixth and final round Zorrilla was looking to finish Gray and started looking for that punch doing very little in the meantime but Gray kept his hands high in a defensive position. Zorrilla is doing a lot of feinting and not enough punches causing him to have his first of five fights to go the distance.
All three judges and this writer had it 60-52 for the winner.