By Boxing Bob Newman at ringside
Photos: Boxing Bob Newman
On a beautiful breezy night at the Pharaos Casino in Managua, Nicaragua, a nine-fight card was presented by Prodesa promotions of Nicaragua as part of the 89th WBA convention. Several regional WBA titles were up for grabs on the outdoor card, seven to be exact. Headlining the show was former WBC interim Strawweight champ Juan Palacios of Nicaragua, along with featured bouts involving WBA Lightweight champion Miguel Acosta of Venezuela in a non-title affair and fast rising welter prospect Brad “King” Solomon in a WBA International title go.
Former WBC interim Straw weight champion and local boy Juan “El Exterminador” Palacios tried his best to exterminate his Colombian pest of an opponent in Luis Carlos Leon over eleven cat-and-mouse rounds or the WBA Fedelatin Minimumweight title. The #2 WBA rated Palacios used relentless pressure against the fleet footed Leon, who was on his bicycle after the first couple rounds proved Palacios the stronger man. By the middle rounds, Palacios upped his body attack, almost exclusively forgoing the head of Leon. In the eighth, Leon abandoned his bicycle tactics and seemed to be on a motorcycle, speeding up his retreat and throwing nary a punch. In round nine, referee Julio Cesar Alvarado warned Leon for not fighting and in round ten, again warned the speedster for his pure survival tactics. Leon temporarily went on the offensive, fooling Palacios into walking right into an uppercut that landed flush on the chin. To no avail, the punch did nothing to discourage the Nicaraguan. However, in the eleventh, Palacios played it smart and decided he would ride his bicycle, coasting to the win. Finals scores were unanimous at 108-101, 108.5-101.5*, 110-101 all for Juan Palacios. With the win, Palacios gains the Fedalatin belt and moves to 27-3, 21 KOs, while Leon dips to 11-4, 10 KOs.
*Note- the WBA rules provide for half point scoring in their regional title bouts, as well as nine and eleven round distances.
Streaking American Welterweight Brad “King” Solomon played sharp shooter against stubby Mexican pinata Javier Gallegos. Solomon did as he wanted, waling on Gallego’s body and head, dropping his foe with a liver shot in the second. Moments later, during the follow-up assault, Gallegos’ corner stepped up on the ring apron, summoning referee Takeshi Shimakawa to save their fighter from further punishment. The ref obliged, ending the massacre at 1:31 of round two. Solomon picks up the WBA International strap with this outing, climbs to a perfect 15-0, 7 KOs and keeps his #4 rating with the organization. Gallegos goes to 13-8-2, 5 KOs.
WBA Lightweight champ Miguel Acosta of Venezuela, made quick work of Panamanian sacrificial lamb Armando Cordoba with a right hand to the temple in the first round of a non-title scheduled eight rounder. Referee Enrique Portocarrero reached the count of ten at 2:00 as Cordoba lay in a heap on the deck. Acosta improves to 28-3-2, 22 KOs, and the hapless Cordoba plummets to 24-42-3, 18 KOs.
In the opening fight of the night, Alonso Lopez, son of Ricardo “Finito” Lopez, had to settle for a draw against Gerald Molina over four rounds, flyweights. Two judges had it 38-38, while the third saw it 39-37, Lopez. Lopez remians undefeated at 8-0-1, 3 KOs, while Molina drops to 2-2-1, (2KOs).
Henry Maldonado of Nicaragua took on Venezuelan Liborio Solis for the vacant WBA Fedebol championship at 115 lbs. It was a test of wills as Maldonado went toe-to-toe with Solis over nine rounds. The judges scored it 87-85 Solis, 87-83 and 86-84 Maldonado, now the WBA Fedebol Super Flyweight champ with a 10-1, 7 KOs mark. Solis drops to 9-2-1, 5 KOs.
Local boy Walter Castillo took on Panamanian Augusto Pinilla in a scheduled nine-rounder for the vacant Fedecntro belt at 140 lbs. Castillo was in command all the way, finally scoring a full count KO at 2:00 of round three from a devastating right to Pinilla’s body. Castillo is now 12-1, 10 KOs and the new champion, while Pinilla sags to 14-5-1, 7 KOs.
WBA #9 Minimumweight Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua locked horns with Jesus Jorle Estrada of Colombia in a scheduled nine. Buitrago administered a slow, methodical beat down of Estrada, dropping him in the second, and finally prompting referee Julio Cesar Alvarado to call a halt to matters at 2:25 of the fifth. Buitrago is now the Fedecentro 105 lb. champ at 17-0, 12 via KO. Estrada slumps to 11-4, 3 KOs.
Local lad Carlos Rueda and Krgystan’s Timur Shailezov, WBA #14 Super Fly, clashed for the vacant Fedecaribe belt over nine fould-filled rounds. Jose Ignacio Martinez really had his hands full with this one. Estrada was cut over his left eye in third from an accidental clash of heads. Shailezov was deducted a point in sixth for leading with his head. The Krg fighter was deducted another point in the eighth for holding and hitting. More grappling, falls to the canvas, and assorted rough house tactics ensued to the bitter end. The judges somehow rendered their scores at 86-85 for Shailezov, 87-83 and 87.5-83.5 for Rueda. Rueda is now 15-4-1, 12 KOs and the new 115 lb. Fedecaribe champ. Shailezov dips to 16-4-1, 3 KOs.
In a wild, free swinging affair, Santos Benavides of Nicaragua and Joel Cerrud of Panama nailed each other for six rounds. Benavides was cut over his right eye in second round and then dropped from a left to the jaw with five seconds to go in the same round. Incredibly, Benavides started to wear down Cerrud in the middles rounds, finally cashing in with a barrage of punches in the sixth. Cerrued reeled around the ring, looking ready to go down, but never did to his detriment. Finally, referee Hubert Earle stepped in as Cerrud was out on his feet in the neutral corner. The time was 2:18 of the sixth. Cerrud looked in a bad way as he sagged into a sitting position, then flat on his back. After some scary moments, he seemed revived and left the ring under his own power. Benavides is now the Fedecentro 130 lb. champion, rising to 22-2-2, 17 by KO. Cerrud slips to 20-6-2, 15 KOs.