By Eric ‘Sugar Foot’ Duran
Photos: Visions By Quote/www.VisionsByQuote.com
On a beautiful night in Sheridan, Colorado, Steve Mestas and Airtight Boxing packed the Red N Jerry’s Event Center. An estimated crowd of between 700 and 800 fight fans were treated to an evening of good boxing and knockouts. In a much anticipated match-up between 25 fight veteran Brad ‘B-Loko’ Jackson and Giovanni ‘Predator’ Merceron the fight quickly turned into a one-sided bout with Giovanni Merceron doing his best to make a fight of it while Jackson was reduced to holding and trying to see the final bell. In the co main Alejandro Castillo made a triumphant return to the ring over former Olympic alternate Torrence ‘Dynamite’ Daniels.
Showdown Turns Into Shutdown as the ‘Predator’ Sends ‘B-Loko’ Into Survival Mode
In the main event, Brad ‘B-Loko’ Jackson’s bark proved to have very little bite. Jackson decided to make things personal with his opponent, Giovanni ‘Predator’ Merceron, blasting him with racial slurs in prefight interviews and generally being disrespectful. Merceron on the other hand was pure class as he didn’t take the bait and he let his gloves do the talking. In a slow first round, with both fighters pawing and trying to figure each other, Jackson landed his best punches of the fight a nice double right hand to the jaw of Merceron. Merceron landed some shots of his own making it a very close round to score. FightNews/RMB scored it even.
The second round saw Merceron controlling the pace of the fight and the real estate of the ring with straight lefts to the body of Jackson and deft footwork. Midway through the round Merceron stunned Jackson with a straight left upstairs that carried the round. In the third, it was more of the same, Merceron touching Jackson with straight lefts to the head and the body. At this point, Merceron’s footwork and head movement is proving to be too much for Jackson.
By the fourth, Merceron is in a groove, blasting Jackson with straight lefts followed by right hooks. Jackson is forced to hold on instead of fighting back, too much risk with no reward, against a slick Merceron. Merceron enjoyed a huge round five, including a straight left early in the round which visibly hurts Jackson. Towards the end of the round, Merceron drills Jackson again, turning Jackson’s legs into spaghetti. Fortunately for Jackson, the bell saved him from a knockdown.
The sixth was ugly as Jackson is doing more holding and surviving than fighting and finally referee Stephen Blea has seen enough and deducts a point from the reluctant fighter. The sixth round plays out like the previous four with Merceron gliding around the ring and drilling Jackson with pinpoint, accurate lefts hands.
Judge Jeanne McEvoy and Rob Mullins score the bout 59-54 while Judge John Ulibarri scores it a shut out at 60-53. RMB/Fightnews scored it 60-54.
Giovanni ‘Predator’ Merceron improves to 3-0, 2KOs while Jackson drops to 15-9-1 7KOs.
Castillo Dominates, Drops and Stops Daniels with Body Shots
In the co-main, once promising prospect and Olympic alternate, Torrence ‘Dynamite’ Daniels absorbed a beating from the younger, stronger, Alejandro Castillo. It was evident from the start that Castillo was out to make a statement. The only thing question was whether or not Daniels was going to be able shut him down. Turns out Daniels wouldn’t be able to do so. Castillo dominated from round two on, ripping Daniels with body shots and 4-punch combinations along the ropes.
It was much of the same in the third as Castillo pounded away against a tiring and deflated Daniels. Castillo is just too fast and powerful for Daniels, trapping him in the corner and blasting him with powerful hooks. Daniels has the look of a beaten fighter by round four, relying on his experience and ring generalship to survive. Daniels may be losing the fight but he isn’t giving up, a testament to his heart, trying to respond with shots of his own. Castillo’s relentless body punching is beginning to slow Daniels down. It’s another round in the bank for Castillo.
Castillo comes out pressing in the fifth and final round sensing he has a wounded and fading fighter in front of him. Midway through the round, Castillo drops Daniels with a left hook to the body. Daniels decides to fight on but Castillo smells blood and goes for the kill, as another body shot towards the end of the round drops him again, this time for good.
Castillo is your winner at 2:29 of the 5th round. Castillo improves 5-2, 2KOs while Daniels drops to 12-11-1, 5KOs.
Cardona Continues KO Streak
Undefeated Colorado Springs super middleweight Isaac Cardona returned to action following his third round KO over Joe Hill in June. His opponent was the rugged Rufino Soltero. Although Soltero was out-skilled and out-gunned, he pressed the action, taking the fight to the taller Cardona.
Cardona used round one to warm up, touching his opponent with jabs and looking to find the range for his big right hand. By the second round, Cardona began letting his hands go, putting together lethal combinations. A big right hand from Cardona punctuated a great round. Midway through the third, Cardona drops Soltero with an overhand right. Soltero beats the count and continues on but not for long, as a barrage of punches from Cardona moments later has referee Stephen Blea stepping in to stop the fight at the 1:40 mark of the third round.
Cordona improves to 3-0, 3KOs while Soltero drops to 0-4.
Torrez Twists Knee; Rodriguez Gets the Win
Armando Rodriguez improves to 1-1, 1KO with a first round stoppage over Johnny Torrez, 1-1. An apparent slip left Torrez unable to continue due to an injured knee in the lightweight bout.
‘Kansas Savage’ De-Livers Hiser
Heavyweight Shane ‘Kansas Savage’ Grant ‘de-livered’ his opponent Tony Hiser with a thunderous body shot at 38 seconds of the opening round. Grant opens his career at 1-0, 1KO while Hiser is 0-1.
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This was the last AirTight Boxing show at the Red & Jerry’s event center and they sent fight fans home with something to remember as Steve Mestas takes his shows to a new home, The Stampede in Aurora, Colorado, with the next show scheduled for late August or early September. This show could see the ‘homecoming’ of Manny ‘Manos’ Perez after his highly debatable loss to Vernon Paris on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights back in May.