By Sam DiTusa at ringside
Chicago-based welterweight Carlos Molina improved to 14-4, 5 KOs Saturday night with a ten round unanimous decision over Colombia’s Jailer Berrio (11-5, 7 KOs) at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. The last minute replacement main event headlined a six-bout card and was contested at a catch weight of 152 lbs.
Neither fighter was hurt throughout the affair which saw Molina pressing the action most of the night. What success Berrio did have was on the inside when he was able to unleash his two-fisted body attack. Molina on the other hand used the classic jab and straight right hand to keep Berrio at bay. There was a little rust on each fighter due to the virtual last minute notice, but the crowd was treated to watching two accomplished prospects ply their trade.
Many insiders at ringside were anxious to see what Eric Fields would bring when he stepped back into the ring following last year’s disappointing loss at this same casino. But matchmaker Bill Hunt had the right recipe for Fields in Francisco Mireles from Sonora, Mexico. Though Mireles record of (5-1) was respectable, he was not in Fields’ league. Using patience and a nice jab Fields used the opening stanza to get some rust off. He finished the show in round two sending Mireles to the deck twice with hard body shots which prompted a referee’s stoppage. Fields improves to 12-1, 10 KOs with the win.
In the fight of the night, fan favorite Dashon Johnson from Escondido, California came from behind to pull out an impressive six-round majority decision over tough Jorge Barajas in a battle of welterweight prospects. Barajas pressed the action early and used a good body attack to try and slow his younger opponent. But Johnson’s own left hook to the body and superior hand speed turned the tide in rounds 3-6. In round six Johnson had Barajs badly hurt and reeling on the ropes as the final bell rang. The much improved Johnson now sits at 4-2-2, 1 KO.
In a major step up fight, heavyweight Bowie Tupou eked out a close decision over veteran Cisse Salif (23-13-2, 21 KOs) in a six-rounder. Tupou pressed the action ala Mike Tyson, using quick slips and head movement to get inside where he did his best work. Salif appeared to stun Tupou in round two with a straight right hand to the head which prompted the Las Vegas native to grab and hold. Unfortunately the fight was marred by a point deduction on Salif for pushing (a questionable call at best), which swung the scoring in Tupou’s favor for the unanimous decision. Tupuo is a legitimate prospect who passed the biggest test of his young career while improving to 16-0, 12 KOs.
Light heavyweights Eddy Ellis and Ty MacDougall entertained the crowd for four rounds going back and forth enroute to a majority draw. Macdougall (0-0-2) is trying the waters as a boxer after a successful career on the MMA circuit. He shows skill and good conditioning. The Canadian Ellis was the more polished of the two and looked more relaxed in the ring though it was his pro debut. Neither fighter had a problem with the draw.
Two more pro debuters started the nights action with heavyweight Freddie Miller getting the four round unanimous decision over Fabiano Scherne. Conditioning was the factor for both big men here, but the fight was well matched and entertaining.
During the intermission promoter Brian Halquist was presented his Fightnews.com Northwest Promoter of the Year Award. Also long time trainer and manager Wally Jorgenson was presented with Raphael Ortiz’s (who tragically passed away several months ago while still the state lightweight champion) permanent Washington state boxing championship belt. Wally was visibly moved as the huge crowd came to their feet in appreciation of their fallen champion.
The fights were entertaining at the “Battle at the Boat,” and the fans were treated to some impressive prospects. The next fight is scheduled in two months. Stay tuned.