By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
Photos by Robert Hughes
On a beautiful spring evening in Dallas, Texas last night, The Real Estate Council hosted their 26th annual FIGHT NIGHT fundraiser at the glamorous Hilton Anatole. Dubbed FIGHTNIGHT XXVI – Still The Original – is the brainchild of local boxing fixture Steve Crosson, an event that has raised $22 million for The Real Estate Council Foundation to help more than 90 community organization to make Dallas a better place to live.
This black tie affair included live and silent auctions, casino games, cocktail reception and a seated dinner for the hundreds of real estate professionals in attendance. The event also attracted several members of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, including legendary Cowboy and real estate tycoon, Roger Staubach. Long time Hollywood actor and former golden gloves champion Burton Gilliam was also in attendance. And the ring announcer was the great Jimmy Lennon Jr, a staple at FIGHTNIGHT, to highlight professional boxing as the big draw for this annual event.
In the main event of FIGHTNIGHT XXVI, Light welterweights Karim Martinez (14-1, 6KO) and John Thomas Montes (4-5, 3KO) battled over 8 rounds. Martinez, a southpaw, was clearly the more polished fighter and out boxed the game Montes to win a fairly easy unanimous decision. Martinez dropped Montes in the 1st round with a flash knockdown but could not finish the job and had to settle for the decision to earn his 14th win.
Montes tried to be the aggressor through most of the fight and landed an occasional wild left hook that landed on the jaw of Martinez but never hurt him. Martinez used his ring generalship and quickness to keep Montes at bay. Montes had his shorts unusually high, which may have caused Martinez to land a couple of low blows that eventually cost him a point from Referee Laurence Cole in the 6th round. Martinez was also deduced another point by Cole in the 8th round for trying to head butt Montes. The lost points had little impact on the final cards as judge Javier Alvarez scored it 77-72 while judges Aladin Martinez and Don Griffin scored it 78-71 for Martinez.
Undefeated welterweight Regis Prograis (8-0, 5KO) used his superior speed and power to pound the tough Felipe Reyes (5-2, 3KO) over 5 plus rounds before Referee Neal Young finally stopped the action with 15 seconds remaining in the fight. Prograis, a chiseled southpaw, started quickly dropping Reyes in the 1st round. The shorter Reyes recovered and tried to take the fight inside, but ate several combinations and straight lefts that eventually shut his right eye. The ringside doctor kept a close watch, checking it between rounds, but let the fight continue, before the ref finally called it at 2:45 of the 6th and final round.
Light welterweight southpaw Jesus “Speedy” Gonzalez (2-0, 1KO) knocked out Rex Jackson, Jr (0-2) with a devastating left hook at 2:42 of the 3rd round. Gonzalez overcame a head-butt in the 1st round that caused a cut over his eye that forced Referee Laurence Cole to stop the action temporarily for the doctor to evaluate. The fight was up for grabs, when Jackson got careless coming in with his hands down and got caught with the knockout blow. As he laid flat on his back, Jackson made an attempt to get up, before Cole officially waived it off to end the fight. Gonzalez earned his 2nd win as a pro with the KO.
Light welterweight DeAnthony Bonner (7-1, 2KO) and Guadalupe Perez (2-16) went the distance in the opening bout of FIGHTNIGHT XXVI. Bonner came out from the opening bell throwing combinations to the head and body of Perez. Perez could never mount any offense, letting Bonner control the action and land his shots at will. Bonner did his best to finish Perez in the 6th round, but had to settle for the unanimous decision. All judges scored it 60-54 for Bonner.