Ringside by Chris Morris/RockyMountainBoxing.com
Photos by Michael V. Ornelas/RockyMountainBoxing.com
Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith and Poor Boys Pro Boxing, in association with Steve Mestas and Airtight Boxing, put on a good show for Colorado fight fans Monday night that was appropriately titled “Winter War.” The five-bout card was headlined by an all-out war between lightweight southpaws Sammy Martinez, of Rawlins, Wyoming, and Ronnie Reams, Colorado Springs.
Martinez, (6-0, 4KOs) won a razor thin split decision over Reams (1-2) in a fight that saw both fighters hit the canvas, but get up to show the true heart of a champion. Both men were highly skilled and they put it on display with speed, power and accuracy.
The opening round was close, with Reams firing off three- and four-punch combinations while Martinez was aggressive and pressing the action. By the round’s end, Martinez had a cut on the outside corner of his right eye. Martinez won the round on the FightNews/RMB card, with sheer aggression.
In the second, Reams fought off the ropes, landing nicely placed counters while Martinez continued to come forward with the jab and body work. Midway through the round, Martinez landed a left hook just as referee Curtis Thrasher was stepping in to break them up. The punch landed flush and sent Reams to the deck, stiff. Surprisingly he bounced right back up and finished the round strong.
The third round saw Martinez mauling Reams and chopping on the inside until made to break. Martinez’ cutman, Scott Schultz, had a cut under control making it a non-issue for their charge. Reams continued to use combinations while diving in from the outside. Reams began making a concerted effort to work the body landing a thudding left hand to the chest. His counter punching was sharp, too, as he landed a beautiful counter left hand that stunned Martinez and carried the round.
Reams opened the fourth looking a bit Adrien Broner-esque with the high shoulder landing a hard straight left while shortening his shots. Martinez began to show some effects of the bodywork and began his own assault on Reams mid-section. Reams landed two hard right hands to the body that noticeably hurt Martinez.
Martinez fought back but was quickly wearing down as the body work began to reap benefits. Reams began to use his footwork to turn Martinez into hard right hooks to the head. Exhausted, Martinez was reduced to arm punches and trying to keep Reams off of him.
Reams showed he can fight in the pocket in the fifth by landing short shots on the inside. He landed two hooks to the body and Martinez crumbled to the canvas. Martinez rose to his feet and landed a nice overhand left and right hook combination. Reams continued to use pretty footwork to turn Martinez into hard shots. Reams finished the round with a shoe shine to the body, then finishing with a right hook to the head.
Reams won the round and fight on the FightNews/RMB card, 47-46. The first two rounds were clearly won by Martinez with the last two won by Reams in similar fashion. The third round, which was very close and could have gone either way, proved pivotal.
Judge Stephen Blea scored the bout 48-45 for Reams but was overruled by judges John Ulibarri and Tyrone Short who had Martinez up 47-46 earning him the split decision verdict.
Martinez was candid and honest in his assessment of the fight: “The 4th and 5th rounds were tough; I think he probably won those. When they said it was a split decision I tried to remember how I did and knew I did good early and had a chance to win.”
What carried him through to the end and victory?
“Heart. I knew I had to hang in there and my knee was giving me trouble. I had ACL surgery back in March. I just had to fight through it.”
Martinez was also cut and took three stitches to close the wound suffered from a headbutt in the first round.
When asked about a possible rematch with Reams he was very clear: “I’m moving on to other opponents. He came down to this weight and I want to be at 130lbs, I don’t think he would want to come down there. I’m 5’5” and would like to fight guys closer to my own height. Even though the reach wasn’t really a factor.”
What’s next for Martinez?
“We will go home and rest the knee and see how it feels. Smitty has a show in March and we hope to be ready for that one.”
Arceo Wins By KO
The knock out of the night was scored by heavyweight Hugo Arceo (2-0, 2KOs) as he drilled Mike Seymour (0-2) with a straight right, left hook combination that landed right on the button. Seymour was out before he hit the floor. Seymour, whose frame was chiseled compared to Arceo’s soft physique, tried to go to the body which left the opening Arceo capitalized on. The end came at :59 seconds of the opening round.
Ramos Punishes Garcia
In Jr. middleweight action Jeremy Ramos (3-0, 1KO) was impressive in hunting down and punishing Cruz Garcia (0-1) over four rounds. Ramos threw everything in his arsenal and landed almost at will. Ramos landed a hard right hand to the head that put Garcia down on the seat of his pants, near the end of the opening round. Garcia proved his mettle as he rose to his feet and continued doing his best to fight Ramos off of him.
Once Ramos concluded Garcia couldn’t hurt him he began wading in with bombs from every angle. He used a stiff and educated jab throughout and was highly tuned to his corner’s instructions. As the corner called for specific punches and combinations, Ramos obliged and executed very well.
First round was scored 10-8 due to the knockdown and the last stanza could have been the same despite no knockdown being scored.
FightNews/RMB scored the bout 40-34. Judges ringside Tyrone short, John Ulibarri and Stephen Blea all scored the bout 40-35. Ramos is a fighter to keep an eye on for sure.
Merceron Debuts In Style
Giovanni Merceron (1-0, 1KO) debuted in style earning a second round knockout over tough as nails Anthony Lovato (0-1). Merceron brought the entire house down when he made his ring walk to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’sporting a Santa Claus hat.
In the opening round, Jr. middleweight Merceron went right to work using the jab to the head and body to find the range for his right hand. He used crisp combinations to bloody Lovato’s nose early. Near the end of the round Merceron lands a left hook to the head then body to score a knockdown.
The second round saw Merceron come out in the southpaw stance, working up and down well while picking his spots and creating openings. Lovato was tough and refuses to back down and tries to land his own shots as well. Merceron caught and blocked the attempts returning fire with a right hook to the body then head that put Lovato down for the count at 1:25 of the round.
Merceron looks to be a highly skilled fighter with power in both hands.
In the opening bout of the evening heavyweight Reyes Diaz (1-0, 1KO) made short work of Cruz Chacon Soltero (0-2). Diaz was very aggressive and had Chacon on his heels from the start quickly working him back into a corner. From there it was bombs away with two flush right hands putting Chacon down and out at the 2:00 mark.
There was also a very spirited exhibition between Terry Butterbaugh and Brad Jackson that could have easily been mistaken for an actual bout as neither man took it easy on the other. Butterbaugh pressed the action committing to working the body while Jackson used footwork and combinations to pepper him throughout.
Ring announcer Al Charron did an excellent job of charging the crowd for the fights while reminding them to remain respectful to the fighters and one another and should be commended for his wise words.
‘Mile High’ Mike Alvarado was in attendance and drew a crowd of fight fans eager to get a picture and autograph with the Top Rank contender.
Poor Boys Pro Boxing’s next scheduled show is set for Friday March 15th at the Denver Athletic Club.