By Phil Doherty at ringside
Richard “El Tigre” Abril (13-2, 6 KOs) captured the WBC Latino lightweight belt with tonight’s unanimous decision victory over game Jose “El Gallo” Reyes at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL. Reyes falls to 23-9 with 8 KOs. The taller Abril controlled the action with solid right hands catching Reyes as he vainly charged to close the distance. Referee Frank Gentile issued the first of many warnings to Abril for holding behind the head to begin the first round. Despite Gentile’s warnings to both fighters in the first, fourth, eighth and ninth rounds, “El Tigre” showed good speed and accuracy considering his recent 10 month layoff away from the ring. Reyes fought back valiantly in the middle rounds, landing a flush right hand which snapped Abril’s head back to close the ninth.. Unfortunately, it was too little too late as Abril regrouped to win the final round. The three judges scored it 99-91, 97-93 and 98-92 for Abril.
The Heavyweight Factory boxing director, Enrique “Henry” Rivalta expressed pleasure with Abril’s performance. Mr. Rivalta further disclosed Abril shed 30 lbs in just 3 ½ weeks leading up to the bout, yet his skill and precision preserved his strong start.
The co main-event showcased Cuban heavyweight Luis “El Mercedes” Ortiz (4-0, 3 KO’s) against Zach Page (21-31-2) in an 8-round bout. Ortiz leveraged his superior power and speed to force Page into retreat before finishing him off 42 seconds into the 8th and final round.
In undercard action, Azea Augustama (9-0, 6 KO’s) scored a TKO over Reggie Pena (6-5, 1 KO) at 2:14 in the 4th round of their cruiserweight contest. The victory avenges Azea’s brother’s loss to Pena last September.
2008 Cuban bronze medalist, Yordenis Ugas (5-0, 3 KO’s) dominated Anthony “Psycho” Woods ( 7-14, 3 KO’s)with a four round unanimous decision . All three judges scored the bout 40-36 for Ugas.
Russian jr. welterweight Khabib Allerkhverdiev (13-0,6 KO’s) controlled his six round bout with Juan “Dirty” Nazario with a unanimous decision. Each judge scored it 60-52 for the Russian.
Rising Cuban welterweight prospect Innocent Fiz (4-0, 2 KO’s) continued his winning ways by unanimous decision victory over experienced vet Jose Angel Roman (11-28-5, 5 KO’s)
Heavyweights James Bryant (4-1, 4 KO’s) and Deuily Aristilde(7-4, 1 KO) slugged out a four round brawl ending with a TKO victory for Bryant at 1:38 in the final round.
Local fan favorite Joey “Twinklefingers” Hernandez (17-1-1, 10 KO’s) crushed Mexican Saul Duran (30-17-2, 30 KO’s) with his power-punching combinations. Hernandez ended the bout at 2:28 in the second round.
Also, cruiserweight Nicholas Iannuzzi scored unanimous decision over Columbian Jose Luis Herrera in 6 round fight. Scores were 60-54, 59-54, 60-52 for Iannuzzi.