By Phil Doherty at ringside
photos: Photos: Carlos Suarez Jr./FightImages.com
Acquinity Sports stormed onto South Florida’s boxing shores beginning last January with a dynamic duo of fight cards from Hollywood Beach. Tonight, they moved a few miles inland and light years upwards in visibility with a scintillating six-bout show from the prestigious Seminole Hard Rock Live. The six-bout “D Day II: Dominican Domination” card featured four undefeated Dominican prospects itching to take the next big next step in their young careers. Each scratched that itch as Acquinity made a dominating statement during their debut show from the esteemed Hollywood boxing venue.
As current Dominican kingpin Joan “Baby Tyson” Guzman provided color commentary from ringside, his young countrymen dominated and dismantled a bevy of stubborn and experienced Mexican, Puerto Rican and Jamaican opposition. (Guzman eyes a return to the ring for Acquinity Sport’s next card at the Hard Rock July 21st after suffering a broken right hand during his 8th round KO victory over Jesus Pabon in March.)
In the 10-round main event, undefeated featherweight Claudio “Matrix” Marrero (12-0, 9 KOs)) controlled every round against Mexican Emmanuel “The Butcher” Lucero (26-10-1, 14 KOs). The awkward Lucero, a veteran of past fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, didn’t seem to want to engage the dangerous Dominican, content to duck, showboat and dance away most of the night.
Marrero outclassed the experienced vet with much faster hands and movement, earning a relatively easy unanimous decision by way of 100-90 scores from each judge.
The evening’s co-main event highlighted Marrero’s fellow southpaw compatriot, bantamweight Juan Carlos “Baby Pacquiao” Payano (10-0, 5 KOs) against Mexican vet Luis “Titi” Maldonado (36-9, 27 KOs). Payano displayed the quicker, sharper shots from the opening bell, dropping Maldonado in the second with a short right uppercut.
Although Payano received warnings from referee Frank Gentile for hitting behind the head in the second and third rounds, this seemed due more to “Titi” lowering his head than intentional fouls from Payano. Both men displayed cuts over their right eyes in the fifth as Payano started to pull away with superior boxing. Payano introduced Maldonado to the canvas a second time in the 9th; this time with a punishing left uppercut upstairs. The Mexican soldiered on and managed to finish the round and the fight. Judges scored it unanimously for Payano with scores of 99-89 and 100-88 twice.
By far the biggest fight of the night and possibly the year in South Florida belonged to two men from islands not named Dominican Republic. Former world champion Richard “The Destroyer” Hall (30-10, 28 KOs) of Jamaica and Cuban Humberto “El Don” Savigne (9-1, 7 KOs) bludgeoned each other over six rounds in a scheduled ten-round affair. Savigne attempted to outbox the savvy 40-year old veteran early, only to receive hellacious shots in return. Hall appeared to drop Savigne in the third and fifth, but referee disallowed the first and didn’t catch the second. In an inspiring turnaround, Savigne dug deep and started punching his way back as blood flowed from his nose. Mixing up a powerful body attack added some heat to his offense and weakened Hall slightly for the picture-perfect left hook upstairs that followed.
Hall crumpled to the canvas but bravely beat the count and absorbed repeated one-twos until referee Frank Santore Jr. mercifully waved it off, awarding Savigne the TKO victory at 2:47 of the sixth. (Hall was ahead on one scorecard 48-47 at the time of the stoppage.)
In other undercard action, light heavyweight Lennin Castillo (6-0, 3 KOs) defeated Alvaro Enriquez (11-10-2, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision. Super bantamweight Jessy Cruz (7-4-1, 2 KOs) earned a unanimous decision against Jamal Parram. Former Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (11-0, 6 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory against Javier Perez (8-6, 5 KOs).