Ringside by Gerardo Martinez
“A Fight for the Cure” might’ve had an honorable mission – to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, by way of the Susan G. Komen Foundation – but a championship fight and three former Holly Holm opponents for New Mexico’s first all-female fight card could do no better than a meager crowd of 500.
The card, promoted by yet another former Holm foe, Stephanie Jaramillo, and her Golden Girl Promotions, headlined a 130-pound championship fight for a handful of belts that ended with a controversial draw between Melissa “Huracan” Hernandez and “Lethal” Lindsay Garbatt.
Hernandez was the slicker boxer and animated; Garbatt, the more effective and reserved.
“Tah, tah, tah” was heard coming out of the always-animated Hernandez, every time she threw a punch at the Canadian who beat her earlier in the year. Many of her punches landed in the first couple rounds. Unfortunately, Garbatt was also landing.
Hernandez came out more aggressive in the third, going after her taller and stockier opponent. The fourth and fifth rounds were hard to score. Both women were exchanging leather and finding their mark.
Garbatt took over with her aggression in the sixth and seventh rounds, connecting with shots while Hernandez threw wide. Hernandez turned it on in the last few seconds of each of those rounds to try and steal them, to no avail.
After some pleading from her corner, Hernandez came out swinging in the eighth – but swinging too low, for she was warned by Referee Tony Rosales.
Garbatt came back in the ninth and tenth, landing hard rights to the face. The two women exchanged in the center of the ring to end the fight.
Turns out neither woman came out as a champion last night as the judges scored the fight a draw with scores of 95-95 twice and 98-92, Hernandez. That decision came after more than ten minutes of discussion between judges and everyone else inside the ring.
NewMexicoBoxing/Fightnews scored it for Garbatt, 96-94.
“I believe one day she’s gonna be one hell of a champion . . . just not on my ribs” said Hernandez in a post fight interview.
“Heck yeah, I’m ready for the trilogy” said Garbatt.
There will have to be a trilogy between these two world class fighters so that one of them may actually take home the belts in contention (GBU, WIBA and WBAN 130 pound titles).
Hernandez moves to 13-2-3, 4 KOs and Garbatt, 5-3-1, 3 KOs.
St. John finishes with finished fighter
Fighting at 135 in the last bout of her 13 year career was 43 year-old Oxnard, CA native Mia St. John (46-11-2, 18 KOs), who was given an opponent who’d lost ten straight bouts in San Antonio’s Tammy Franks (2-12-1).
Though she did not look good winning, St. John had little trouble with the virtual punching bag.
Neither woman threw or landed much in the first two rounds. St. John began landing one punch combos in the third. Combinations were lacking throughout the next three rounds as both women seemed content to dance around the ring and throw an occasional punch.
Looking like she wanted to finish her career with a KO, St. John came out in the last round trying for a one punch bomb. She was able to land a few hard overhand rights to the head of Franks, but only one seemed to daze her opponent. Both fighters exchanged in the center of the ring to end the contest.
“Everyone’s tough at this point for me” said St. John who ended her career with unanimous decision win over Franks with scores of 60-54 times three.
Laracuente gets soft foe
In the undercard at 135 lbs, former Holly Holm foe and Hernandez stablemate Belinda Laracuente (25-25-3, 9 KOs) took care of her inexperienced Billings, Montana opponent DJ “So Fly” Morrison (2-6).
Although she was the quicker and more skilled combatant, Laracuente seemed unwilling to throw punches in the first two rounds. Morrison took advantage and tried to land against the slick New Yorker. Laracuente stepped it up after that and was able to land the harder punches through the next few rounds. Most of those punches were overhand and straight rights.
Morrison was deducted a point for holding in the fourth and was also stunned. Laracuente looked like she ran out of gas in the last round, while Morrison just kept coming forward, landing what she could. After six, the judges scored the fight 60-54 times three for Laracuente.
Gonzales wins debut in mismatch
Making her debut at 135 lbs by KO’ing the inexperienced and also debuting Stephanie Maestas (0-1) was Moriarty’s Brenda Gonzales (1-0, 1 KO). Gonzales looked like the more skilled fighter and, as soon as the bell rang, she threw clear and crisp punches at the backward-moving Maestas.
Lacking movement and skill, Maestas was catching all of Gonzales’ punches with her face. After being backed up close to one of the corners, Maestas body could take no more and her legs buckled and bent from the onslaught of punches coming from Gonzales. She was unable to get back and the fight was waved off at 1:23 of the first.
Roy gets Lucky in debut
In the opening bout of the evening at 118 llbs., Alyx Luck (0-2) was quickly taken apart by debuting Santa Fean Natalie Roy (1-0, 1 KO) at 1:10 of the first round.
Luck came into the ring sporting a knee brace and after getting cornered and pummeled by the oncoming Roy her knee seemed to have given way and she was unable to get back up. Referee Tony Rosales ended the bout soon after.