By Francisco Salazar
There were those who felt that Junior Middleweight titleholder Sergiy Dzinzurik would not be as sharp due to ring rust of having not fought in over 18 months. They were right. For a round or two, at best. The rest of the fight was a showcase of Dzinzurik showing why he is a force to reckoned with at 154 pounds. Unfortunately, his opponent, Daniel Dawson, was on the receiving end of those sharp snapping jabs and stinging left hands to the head by Dzinzurik. Dzinzurik slowly figured Dawson out, breaking him down as the bout progressed to earn a 10th round stoppage before a crowd of 1,300 at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA. With the victory, Dzinzurik retains his world title belt.
The bout headlined a seven-bout “ShoBox: The New Generation” card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions, in association with Banner Promotions.
Dzinzurik was making his debut on American soil after having fought in Europe and Asia. The former amateur star and European champion had not fought since a 12 round unanimous decision over Joel Julio in November of 2009. He signed on with promoters Gary Shaw and Artie Pelullo after his contract with Universum ended.
Dawson received the call to fight on two weeks notice after original opponent, Sherzod Husanov of Uzbekistan, was not able to come to the United States because of problems securing a visa. Dawson had won five bouts in a row since suffering his only defeat at the hands of Daniel Geale in December of 2007.
Both fighters started out cautiously in the opening round, feeling one another out as the brawler Dawson surprisingly stayed on the outside of the southpaw Dzinzurik. Dawson was able to connect with a few counter right hands to the head, as Dzinzurik tried to follow up with jabs to the face.
As Dawson pressed the action, Dzinzurik began to counter with straight left hands to the head. At times, he would go to the body as Dawson tried to land more right hands.
By the fourth round, Dzinzurik found a rhythm, letting his hands go more frequently and landing more left hands to the head. This prompted Dawson to hold his right hand high as to not get hit by Dzinzurik. Since Dawson threw less right hands and attempted to go at times with jabs, Dzinzurik pressed the action, backing Dawson up.
But, as Dawson came forward with no head movement, it was easy for Dzinzurik to throw and land a two or three-punch combination and then, stepping away.
By the seventh and eighth rounds, Dzinzurik was landing frequently and at times, stunning Dawson with hard left hands to the head. Dawson finally opened up in the ninth round, but Dzinzurik again countered effectively.
Sensing he could end the fight, Dzinzurik rained down an abundant amount of punches, going right his opponent. With every thudding left hand, Dawson threw less and tried to cover up. Once it was apparent that Dawson was being stunned repeatedly, referee Jose Cobian did the right thing and stopped the bout at 2:12.
“We saw tapes of him and we knew the early rounds were going to be tough,” said Dzinzurik, who with the victory on Friday night, defended his title for sixth time. “After taking it easy early, our plan was to apply pressure as the bout progressed. Our plan was to use the jab often. Whatever we planned, it worked. I am happy with my performance and the victory.”
Asked about future plans, Dzinzurik said, “It is always interesting to think about fighting the top champions. I would like to collect all of the belts in the 154-pound division. I’m happy with the speed I possess, but I need to now work on improving my strength.”
Dzinzurik, from Los Angeles, CA by way of Brovari, Ukraine, improves to 37-0, 23 KO’s. Dawson, Hollywood, CA by way of Perth, Australia, drops to 34-2, 24 KO’s.
Paris gets by Santiago
In the co-feature bout, overblown Welterweight Vernon Paris did just enough to win an eight round split-decision victory over Juan Santiago.
Paris is hoping to resurrect his career after suffering through personal problems that have caused brief lapses in his career. His bout against Santiago on Friday night was the fifth time he has stepped inside the ropes in six months, albeit against limited opposition. In his last bout, Paris won a six round unanimous decision over faded world title challenger Oscar Leon.
Santiago was originally scheduled to face Archie Ray Marquez. However, Marquez was involved in legal trouble the previous week and had to back out of the fight. He has faced strong opposition, losing to Diego Magdaleno and Eloy Perez. Santiago does hold a unanimous decision victory over previously-unbeaten Ty Barnett.
Paris started the bout strong from the opening bell and controlled the first two rounds. He was much quicker than Santiago, beating him to the punch with left hooks and straight right hands. Paris was deducted a point in the first round by referee David Mendoza for landing a punch that was below the belt of Santiago, causing him to go down on the canvas because of the impact of the blow.
Undaunted, Santiago came on the third round, pressing the action by going forward towards Paris. Starting in the third, Paris was throwing less punches, fighting in spurts as he was backing up and fighting against the ropes. Although he missed badly at times or landed punches on Paris’ arms, Santiago was a lot more busier than his opponent.
Paris came back in the fifth round, landing the cleaner and more effective punches to Santiago’s head. He also scored with occasional hooks to the body.
Santiago came back strong in the sixth round, again pressing the action as Paris went back to retreating backwards against the ropes. When he had Paris against the ropes, Santiago let his hands go.
However, Paris did enough in the final rounds to steal rounds in his advantage. Santiago had his hands down, which allowed Paris to land right hands or counter with an occasional left hook to the head. Both fighters traded punches in the final round, but Paris again mustered enough to win rounds, despite looking out of shape and weighing seven pounds more than he did a month and a half ago.
One judge scored the bout 77-74 in favor of Santiago, while the other two judges scored the bout 76-75 for Paris. Fightnews.com scored the bout 76-75 in favor of Paris. After the scores were announced, most of those in attendance booed the decision.
“The fight was scored as it should have been,” said Paris, who also has three no contests in his professional career. “It was a close fight, but the judge got it right. He was aggressive and strong and he did land good blows, but he missed a lot too. At the same time, my punches landed. Maybe I should have been sharper.”
Obviously, Santiago had a different take on who should have won the fight.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Santiago, who has lost two of his last three fights. “I knew I won the fight. Everyone knew I won the fight. I don’t know what else I needed to do to win the fight. I did everything possible.”
Paris, from Detroit, MI, goes to 21-0, 13 KO’s. Santiago, from Denver, CO, falls to 12-4-1, 7 KO’s.
Kayode stops Herrera
Cruiserweight Lateef Kayode remained unbeaten with a second round knockout over hard-hitting Jose Luis Herrera in a scheduled eight round bout.
Herrera attempted to counter as Kayode circled around him, jabbing and trying to land right hands in the first round.
More of the same in the second round as Herrera began to jab more. As soon as Herrera threw a jab, Kayode landed a well-timed hard right hand to the head that dropped Herrera down to the canvas. Referee John Schorle did not bother counting and stopped the bout at 2:02.
Kayode, from Hollywood, CA by way of Lagos, Nigeria, improves to 12-0, 11 KO’s. Herrera, from Miami, FL by way of San Onofre, Colombia, drops to 16-7, 16 KO’s.
Byrne too much for Sanchez
Junior Welterweight Dean Byrne stopped Justo Sanchez in the fifth round of a scheduled six round bout.
From the opening bell, Byrne was too fast for Sanchez, consistently landing strong right hands to the head. With the amount of punches Byrne was peppering Sanchez with, Sanchez’ nose began to bleed in the second round.
Although Byrne was busy, he did not attack the body and was content to fight on the inside with Sanchez. At times, Sanchez did catch Byrne with an occasional left hook or counter right hand to the head. However, it did not slow Byrne down, who peppered Sanchez with more punches, this time opening up a cut over his right eye.
Byrne pressed the action and landed harder shots to the head of Sanchez. Although Sanchez started the fifth round well, he was tagged repeatedly with more punches. Referee John Schorle saw enough punishment that Sanchez was receiving and stepped in to stop the bout at 2:18.
Byrne, from Crumlin, Ireland, improves to 12-0, 5 KO’s. Sanchez, from Howell, UT, drops to 17-25, 10 KO’s.
Tolmajyan bests Wampash
Super Featherweight Gabriel Tolmajyan won a four round unanimous decision over John Wampash.
The southpaw Tolmajyan fought in close with the shorter Wampash for most of the fight. At times, the fight was sloppy due to clenches or both fighters missing with their punches. However, Tolmajyan landed the more effective punches. Wampash would land the occasional right hand to the head, but few and far between.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Tolmajyan.
Tolmajyan, from Glendale, CA by way of Yerevan, Armenia, improves to 9-1, 3 KO’s. Wampash, from Miami, FL, falls to 1-4-1.
Welterweight Michael Anderson stopped Joshua Rodriguez in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Anderson started out aggressively, backing Rodriguez up against the ropes. A right cross hurt Rodriguez, prompting Anderson to land at will. While Rodriguez did not go down, referee John Schorle saw enough and stopped the bout at 1:12.
Anderson, from New York City, NY, goes to 6-0-1, 4 KO’s. Rodriguez, from Beloit, WI, drops to 2-5, 1 KO.
Junior Featherweight Luis Rosa dropped Jairo Delgado once, but settled for a four round unanimous decision.
Rosa was the aggressor throughout the entire fight. Delgado was knocked down with a left hook to the chin by Rosa in the second round. Since then, Delgado was in survival mode, doing little to engage with the aggressive Rosa. He was able to hold on until the final bell.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 40-35 in favor of Rosa.
Rosa, from Hartford, CT, goes to 2-0, 1 KO. Delgado, from Denver, CO, drops to 3-6, 3 KO’s.
– Interim world champion Alfredo Angulo, former world title challenger Alex Ramos, and Super Bantamweight Rufino Serrano took in the action from ringside.
– Curt Menefee, Steve Farhood, and Antonio Tarver called the action from ringside for Showtime.
– Two amateur/exhibition bouts took place before the undercard bouts started.
– Next scheduled fight card to take place at the Chumash Casino Resort will be in September. Stay tuned for details.
– Ring announcer was Sonny Franco. It was Franco’s first time as a ring announcer for a nationally-televised show.