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Report/gallery: Morales vs. Maldonado

By Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Melissa Jewel Ott

History was made on Saturday night when the youngest brother of the famed Morales dynasty, super flyweight Ivan “Terrible II” Morales, made his US debut in front of a packed house at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Ivan (18-0, 12KOs), the younger brother of former world champions Erik and Diego Morales, took the biggest step of his career when he earned a tough unanimous decision over former world title challenger Luis “Titi” Maldonado (36-10-1, 27KOs) in the ten round main event. With the win Morales defended his WBC International Silver super flyweight title for the first time. The bout was broadcast by Telefutura’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate” and presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Patrick Ortiz’s Ringside Ticket, Inc.

After a slow first round in which both were content to circle around each other, the veteran Maldonado of Mexicali, Mexico, who challenged Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel for titles but came up short every time, threw a curve ball and turned southpaw to mimic Morales’ natural stance.

Tijuana, Mexico’s Morales began to box from the outside from the second and began to find a home for his straight left which immediately opened up a cut over the left eye of Maldonado which never stopped bleeding and was severe enough to call for the bout to be stopped at any moment.

Through out the fight Maldonado was the aggressor, stalking Morales and attacking to the body with hard power punches to the mid section but Morales was more effective in counter punching and landing the harder punches to the of “Titi” especially that straight left flush to the chin.

Maldonado began to slow down by the sixth as Morales kept boxing. When Maldonado was able to catch up to him and force an exchange, the mature beyond his twenty years Morales would not hesitate to go toe to toe and get the better of the mix-ups.

Despite Maldonado’s left eye looking worse for wear as the fight went on, his corner kept sending him out and Morales was more than content to welcome him with the straight lefts which Maldonado had no answer for.

Morales got stronger as the fight wore on and smarter as he had better success in making Maldonado miss his punches and then making him pay although Maldonado kept pushing and attacking.

In the ninth Morales stepped up the rhythm and looked to be going for the finish, either by knocking out Maldonado or forcing the stoppage by attacking the left eye. Morales was most successful when boxing from the outside but the veteran Maldonado was able to at times nullify his success but forcing him into the corner and attacking which would sway the crowd to his corner.

As Morales tried to continue the strategy in the tenth, both fighter’s heads clashed and Morales came away with a deep and long laceration over his right eye. After ringside doctor examined the eye, he advised referee Tony Crebs to halt the bout. Once the scores were announced, 97-93 by Pat Russell and David Denkin while Ray Corona saw it 98-92, Morales was called the winner. Fightnews scored it a slightly closer 96-94.

After the bout Morales was honest about the assessment of his performance, “Maldonado had a lot of experience and he came prepared to fight which is good because I wanted to get the rounds because that is the way I am going to learn. I know there is some details that I need to work on but I feel I fought well and was able to do what I needed to do to win.”

“El Camaron” Demolishes Mendoza

In highly dramatic fashion, East L.A.’s Julian “Camaron” Ramirez needed only forty-two seconds to force referee Eddie Hernandez to halt the punishment Noel Mendoza (6-2, 1KO) was receiving and stop the scheduled for six round contest. The southpaw Ramirez welcomed Mendoza to the featherweight bout with a stiff left seconds into the fight that sent Mendoza straight back to the canvas. Mendoza recouped but on wobbly legs as Ramirez went in for the kill and landed a barrage of punches that left the referee with no choice but to stop the fight.

Martinez Ruins Porras’ First Time

In a great high clip fight, featherweight Cesar Martinez (4-1, KO) looked impressive to earn a unanimous decision over tough as nails first timer Jorge “Cheke” Porras (0-1) in a four rounder. Porras took the first round as he stalked the much quicker Martinez and landed hard shots to the head. Martinez of Los Angeles concentrated more in the body and went to work with thundering left hooks to the liver of the popular Porras of nearby Fallbrook, CA. Martinez took it to Porras in the third and intensified the attack to the body. Porras looked to be fading fast but was right there with Martinez taking everything. Martinez scored with double hooks, first to the body and then to the head, but Porras kept going and throwing but with not much on his punches. Martinez continued the assault in the fourth to take the contest with scores of 40-36 three times.

Diaz Beats Gonzalez

After four identical heavyweight rounds, Francisco Diaz (3-6, 2KOs) took a unanimous decision over the much taller Daniel Gonzalez (2-2, 1KO) with a steady diet of right hooks while in the inside. All Gonzalez of Bellflower, CA, tried to do was land a big right hand on the squirrely Diaz but was not successful as the Murietta, CA, fighter was able to dart in and out from his much bigger opponent’s reach and score with looping right hands to the face of Gonzalez. At the end, judges Ray Corona and Pat Russell saw it 39-37 and David Denkin scored it 40-36, all for Diaz.

Sandoval Takes Acevedo to School

Mexico City’s Juan Sandoval (6-10-1, 3KOs) ruined Aaron Acevedo’s night as he took the Moreno Valley, CA’s undefeated record and wiped the floor with it. Sandoval was in control for entire four round super featherweight bout as he combined punches to the head and body with ease as well as slip the majority of Acevedo’s attack. Acevedo (2-1-1, 2KOs) never was able to put up any kind of meaningful offensive until the last round but even still Sandoval closed the show with a hard right upper cut that hurt Acevedo at the end of the bout. All three judges, Ray Corona, David Denkin and Pat Russell, had it an identical 40-36.

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