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Boxing marathon in Grand Prairie, Texas

By Robert Hughes at ringside
Photos by Sierra Dawn

The Standing 8 Promotions Friday night boxing event outdoors on the minor league baseball field at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie, Texas was anything but a quick trip to the fights. Which, on this night, was not a bad thing as the more than 3,000 loyal Dallas-Fort Worth area boxing fans saw a from a new and active promoter as all seven fights went the distance.

I guess in this case it was good that all but one were scheduled for four rounds, or fans could have been at QuikTrip a lot longer than three-and-a-half hours.

But the show was good and that is what why they come, as the main event sent DFW boxing fans home with something they could hang their gloves on: A good fight between two tough and motivated fighters. Jr welterweight DeSean Williams of Gavelston (4-12-1, 2 KOs) would stand tall against a stronger and faster Jose Rodriguez of Fort Worth (6-0, 2 KOs) but was no match for Rodriguez, the crowd’s favorite fighter. Rodriguez was in control of every round and earned the unanimous six-round decision in part by pounding on Williams’ body pretty much all night, repeatedly scoring with hard upper cuts down low, classic kidney and rib work that slowly sucked the energy from Williams’ lean body. Williams tried to laugh off the powerful shots but did so only for the first three rounds. After that they hurt him.

The co-main event could have gone either way but the cards fell in favor of Alex Lopez of Fort Worth (5-4-0) who earned a majority decision against Jesse Rocha (2-2-1) in four rounds of tough lightweight action. The loudest fans, who loved the fight, would have called it for Rocha, as did Fightnews at ringside, but veteran Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation combative sports judges Orem Shellenberger, Jesse Reyes and newcomer David Iocobucci gave it to Lopez.

The event’s lone bantamweight fight was the best of show, as Adam Lopez of San Antonio (5-0) stayed perfect against A.J. Ochoa of Amarillo (2-2-1) in an action-packed unanimous decision. Lopez twice dropped Ochoa at the end of the first round with consecutive right hands, after which the fight was pretty even and entertaining.

In his professional four-round debut, a shorter and smaller Shamarian Snider of Tyler decisivly cut up John Shipman of Dallas (2-1), disappointing Ship’s loud and local supporters on the field. It was interesting to watch ‘Duke’ Snider score on Shipman with right and left hands that, due to Snider’s height disadvantage, looked as much like upper cuts but were arrow straight coming from down low. One of them sent Shipman’s mouthpiece into the crowd. Whatever they looked like they must have impressed the fans who had no problem with the judging of this bout.

Another local favorite also went down to out-of-area competition as Jas Phipps of Killeen (1-0) won his pro debut against Curtis Howell of Dallas (2-1) in light heavyweight action.

But the night’s most unpopular decision was given to Mike Lemelle of Arlington (1-0) as he somehow walked away with a four-round victory against a stronger and faster Noe Santamaria of Brownsville (0-2) who should have left the park with his first professional win.

The boxing marathon began with Ivan Esparza (1-0) winning a unanimous decision against Gaudalupe Perez (2-9) in four rounds of featherweight action.

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