Ringside report by David Finger
It can’t be easy to compete with an exciting PPV event like Pacquiao-Marquez 4, but for the roughly 300 boxing fans in Roswell, New Mexico who elected to support the local boxing scene last night, promoter Isidro Castillo made sure that their sacrifice was worth it with one of the best boxing card to hit the state of New Mexico this year.
In the main event, local journeyman John “Smiley” Herrera, 121.4, electrified the crowd with a devastating first round knockout over Amarillo, Texas’ Cristoval Larazolo, 119.8.
Herrera is known as a tough journeyman who has shown flashes of real brilliance in the ring, but after fighting bigger men for his entire career, he was finally able to showcase something that boxing fans hadn’t yet seen from him: bone-crushing power. As Larazolo tried to outhustle the normally slow starting Herrera, the Roswell native timed a picture perfect right hand counter to the chin that dropped Larazolo just forty seconds into the round. As the visibly hurt Larazolo began convulsing in the ring referee Richard Espinoza wisely waved the fight off at 0:47 of the opening round. With the win Hererra improves to 4-4-1, 1 KO and makes an argument that he may be more than a “tough opponent” but could be a potential prospect. With the loss Larazolo drops to 1-4.
De La Parra decisions M. Herrera
With the exception of the main event, the local Roswell fighters struggled as the tough matched card played no favors for the hometown boxers. In the co main event Michael Herrera (brother of John), 152.6, failed to capture his first win when he was decisioned by El Paso’s Oscar De la Parra, 153.4. Herrera was known as a fighter who had shown real talent in the gym, and many were wondering if the pudgy Texas was being brought in as a sacrificial lamb for the local kid. But two things became abundantly clear as soon as the bell sounded: both fighters were considerably more talented then their records would indicate, and neither was willing to take a backward step. Both fighters fought aggressively in the opening round, and although Herrera appeared to edge out the round, there was little question that he was in for a fight.
The second saw more of the same; however De La Parra clearly began to gain steam as he wore down the local boy with devastating hooks to the body. Although the second was another close round, many ringsiders could see that momentum was clearly with the Texan. By round three De La Parra began to take control of the fight, as he pinned Herrera in the corner midway through the round. After winning the fourth round, many local fans were wondering if Herrera’s solid start was enough to capture the decision. Although Judge Richard Espinoza had the fight even at 38-38, he was overruled by Judges Levi Martinez (40-36) and Joel Perez (39-37). Fightnews/New Mexico boxing scored the fight 38-38. With the win De La Parra improves to 1-0 while Herrera drops to 0-3. Referee was Rocky Burke.
Feliciano and Urquizo slug it out
In an early candidate for New Mexico fight of the year, local cruiserweight Lizandro Feliciano, 179.8, and Clovis, New Mexico’s Ricardo “Rico” Urquizo, 178.4, engaged in a crowd pleasing brawl for the better part of four rounds in a fight that had much of the crowd on their feet. Feliciano’s fans undoubtedly were hoping for a short night as the chiseled brawler stepped into the ring looking like Frank Bruno. His opponent, in contrast, looked to be carrying at least 20 extra pounds around the midsection and with his clean shaven head, resembled George Foreman. As soon as the bell rang, Feliciano exploded out of his corner and attacked his opponent. However, what soon became clear to ringsiders was that Feliciano was extremely tense in the ring whereas his opponent was extremely relaxed. Rico stood and willingly brawled with the local bomber, and even trapped him on the ropes briefly.
However, Feliciano spun him around and tried to unload on the Clovis native. Rico easily deflected most of the shots, however, and by rounds end looked to be teeing of on the visibly tired Feliciano. Feliciano appeared to have won the round, but what was clear was that he was in for a much tougher fight than he planned for. By round two Rico began moving Feliciano back with the jab while Feliciano tried to load up with hard counterpunches. But although Rico appeared to be taking control, a wild hook found its mark and stunned Rico, sending him into the ropes. Although he covered up and was able to weather the storm, what was clear was that Feliciano did have some serious pop in his punches. However, the hard bunching Feliciano again punched himself out and by the rounds end he was the fighter reeling as Rico spun him around and landed hard shots to the chin. As the momentum again seemed to shift in Rico’s favor, many of the local fans wondered if Feliciano had one more ‘Hail Mary’ in him. But questions of if Feliciano could recover were put to ret when a hard uppercut and hook put Rico out on his feet as he stumbled across the ring. Feliciano again tried to finish Rico off, but the cagy Clovis boxer survived the flurry again. Feliciano again punched himself out as Rico began to turn the tide again in his favor before another uppercut hurt him as the round closed.
The fourth round saw more action as Rico was able to outwork the clearly winded fighter, while Feliciano was able to land several hard shots of his own. After four rounds of action, the fight was ruled a draw as Judge Levi Martinez scored the fight 38-38 while Judge Rocky Burke scored the fight 39-38 for Feliciano. Judge Joel Perez scored the fight 39-37 for Urquizo. Fightnews/New Mexico Boxing scored the fight 38-38. Feliciano sees his record now stand at 0-1-1 while Urquizo now sees his record at 0-0-1. The referee was Rocky Burke.
Silva stops Pemberton
In a interesting fight between two hard luck journeymen, winless Victor Silva, 142.6, from Socorro stopped lanky local boy Bobby Pemberton, 144.2, in the third round. Pemberton, who may be the tallest welterweight in the country, towered over Silva but never really got his jab working. Although Silva had trouble finding the chin of Pemberton, he clearly would rattle the Roswell native whenever he did get inside. Although Pemberton started to use his obvious advantages in size and reach in the third round a quick combo to the chin dropped him for the count at 2:11 of the third round. With the win Silva improves to 1-2, 1 KO. Pemberton, who may want to consider hanging up the gloves, drops to 0-2.
Quintana destroys Serrano
In an explosive performance, undefeated Hobbs prospect Gerardo Quintana, 157.4, destroyed Roswell’s debuting Steven Serrano, 159.8, at 2:22 of the opening round. Serrano had a bad habit of lifting his chin and backing away whenever Quintana threw a hard shot his way and Quintana exposed the mistake when he dropped Serrano in the corner with a devastating left hook to the chin. Referee Richard Espinoza wisely waved the fight off in mid count as the badly dazed Serrano was nowhere near getting up. With the win Quintana, who has to be considered one of the top prospects in southeast New Mexico, improves to 2-0, 2 KO’s.
Orozco beats Bautista
In the opening fight of the night, 42-year old Roswell native Antonio Orozco, 133.6, won his professional debut (yes, you read that right) over 18-year old Diego Bautista, 140, from Albuquerque. Orozco had a solid amateur background, but most ringsiders assumed that the younger man would carry the day. Although Bautista boxed and countered well in the end Orozco was the more aggressive fighter, which ultimately carried the day. There were no knockdowns after four action packed rounds. Judges Levi Martinez and Joel Perez scored the fight for Orozco (39-37 and 40-36 respectively) while Judge Richard Espinoza scored the fight 38-38. Fightnews/New Mexico Boxing scored the fight 39-37 for Bautista, who drops to 0-1. The referee was Rocky Burke.