By: Jose E. Santiago
Photos: Robert Tapales
Last night in Atlanta GA at the Buckhead Theater in front of a standing room only crowd, Delgado Promotions, along with Mazereon Management managed to put together a very exciting night of boxing and entertainment for a very raucous crowd. The event was not only successful based on the hard hitting action in the ring, but also due to a special appearance by two time former world champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams. Williams was presented with an honorary “Georgia Fighter of the Decade” award by promoter Lisa Hudson-Webb and Alan Santana of the WBF. When presented with the award the sellout crowd rose to their feet as camera flashes went off throughout the venue. Williams graciously accepted the award and spent the rest of the evening taking pictures and signing autographs.
In the main event, hometown favorite Paul “The Truth” Delgado (26-12-1, 4 KOs) fell short of winning the vacant WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight title, as Mike “El Cangri” Ruiz (17-8, 9 KOs) of New York traveled south to Atlanta with an upset on his mind.
The first half of the scheduled ten rounder had both fighters coming out strong and dictating the back and forth action. At a blistering pace each would take turns countering and landing hard shots to the head and body. As the frantic pace ensued, the question on the minds of the hardcore boxing aficionados’ ringside was if Delgado, now 36 years old can keep up the pace through ten grueling rounds with the younger 27 year old Mike Ruiz.
It wasn’t until the sixth round that Ruiz looked to have the momentum on his side. After Delgado sat on a few punches and landed well to start the round, it was Ruiz that ended stronger and the momentum shift was on. The sixth was a close round that could have been scored either way, but Ruiz definitely landed the harder shots.
In the seventh, both fighters came out strong again taking turns landing hard rights and left hooks to the head. Ruiz found success bouncing and moving which allowed him to counter a slow jab by Delgado with an overhand right. Delgado pursued his younger counterpart pressing the action and looking to land something big. At the end of the seventh Delgado seemed pleased with his performance thus far as he raised his hand while walking slowly to his corner at the end of the round. Ruiz didn’t raise his hand but looked to be fresher than Delgado as he went back to his corner for instructions.
While in his corner, Ruiz’s trainer, Moises Roman Jr of Universal Boxing Gym in Queens NY urged his fighter not to stay flat but rather work the entire ring “post to post”. He also instructed Ruiz to shift to the right and counter Delgado’s jab with an overhand right.
In the eighth Ruiz followed his Roman’s requests to a tee as he countered a slow jab by Delgado with a right that dropped “The Truth” in the center of the ring. Delgado was seriously hurt as he fumbled on his first attempt to get up. As he regrouped his senses he was just able to beat the count being issued by referee Jim KOsrb. Ruiz immediately jumped on Delgado who went down again due to pressure being applied by Ruiz. The second visit to the canvas was ruled a slip but it was evident that Delgado’s legs were failing him as he was once again slow to get up.
In between the eighth and ninth, Delgado’s corner tried passionately to revive their fighter, but their attempts were futile as the Ruiz capitalized by dropping Delgado seconds into the ninth with a left hook. Although Delgado got back to his feet quickly, it wasn’t his consciousness abandoning him but rather his legs as he wobbled across the ring. He would go down two more times under a vicious attack by the younger and fresher Ruiz. Delgado barely made it out of the 9th, but his no quit attitude carried him into the 10th. Looking to end it with a bang, Ruiz dropped Delgado once again with a barrage to start the 10th as KOsrb stepped in and waived it off 1:11 of round number 10.
After the fight Ruiz, the newly crowned WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight title holder said he was delighted to have won the belt and congratulated Delgado for showing so much heart in a hard fought battle. He also thanked the Atlanta crowd and promoters for being so welcoming to him and his team. Wilson Naranjo, Ruiz’s manager and promoter told FightNews “We are very proud of Mike, he has put in a lot of work to get to this point. He’s going to take a little break then its back to work now that we have a title to defend. We may want to explore options to have him fight either for the welterweight title, his natural weight, or defend at super welter in New York if possible.”
Delgado too was very gracious as he said, “I may have underestimated his power a little bit. He hit me with a shot that knocked my equilibrium off and I had a hard time recovering and getting my legs under me. He’s a good fighter and I congratulate him on a good fight”. Delgado went on to say, “This may be it, I might go ahead and hang them up and start working on some other goals I’ve set for myself.”
In the co-main event Jared “The Quiet Storm” Robinson improved his undefeated record to (11-0, 4 KOs) as he dismantled tough Mexican Jesus “La Sombra” Tavera (4-2 1 KO). Although Tavera had his moments in the fight, Robinson’s speed and overall boxing prowess was too much for “La Sombra” to handle. Robinson peppered and countered Tavera throughout and avoided most hard looping shots to win a unanimous decision. Final scores read: 60-54, 59-55, 57-56. Fightnews scored the contest 60-54.
In a trash talking affair, Mike “Cannon Handz” Seals (12-0, 8 KOs) destroyed “King” Joe Harris with a first round T KOs. Seals, ranked as a cruiserweight, agreed to fight Harris in the heavyweight division and giving up 30 pounds to make it happen. At the previous night weigh-ins Harris faced off with Seals vowing to knoc KOsut his taller but lighter opponent. Much to his surprise it was Seals with the power to make it happen as he used his speed to dismantle Harris. After blooding Harris with a cut over his right eye, Seals pinned Harris in a neutral corner and landed shots to the head and body as Harris crumbled. At the 2:37 of the fight the referee mercifully stepped in and stopped it.
In other action:
Cross-state rivals Tim “The Boss” Hall (7-12, 4 KOs) of Athens GA and Jose Felix (11-13-2, 4 KOs) of Richmond Hill GA locked horns in a very entertaining middleweight bout. Although most of the action was back and forth it was Hall who landed the crisper shots throughout the fight. Scores read: 60-55, 60-54×2. Hall won via unanimous decision.
In a female bout junior welterweight Jackie Breitenstein (7-2, 5 KOs) of Decatur GA out boxed and outclassed Racquel “Rocky” Bailey (1-3-1). Breitenstein used a solid jab to keep Bailey at bay, and peppered her with rights and lefts to the head when Bailey attempted to get inside. Breitenstein won unanimously with scores: 40-37, 40-36×2.
In the opener it was a rematch of sorts as Quatavious Cash (3-0 1, KOs) looked to avenge an amateur loss against Will Waters (0-1). Meeting for four rounds in the super middleweight division Cash used his superior hand and foot speed to pepper Waters throughout the contest. After scoring a flash knockdown in the first Cash remained composed and won with scores of 40-35 on all scorecards.