By Marc Livitz:Jonathan Maicelo provided multiple knockdowns in an action filled, ten round lightweight contest win over Jose Felix, Jr. at the Don Haskins Center located on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso.
The bout’s first knockdown came in the opening minute by way of a well timed, counter left hook from "El Inca" Maicelo. Felix (35-2-1, 27 KO’s) fell to the canvas in a seated position and slight shook his head to regain his composure. Jose returned the favor, minus the knockdown a few moments later when his left jab knocked Jonathan off balance. An entertaining chess match ensued in the second. Felix, Jr. was the more patient one, though by just a hair as he used his jab to control the distance between himself and his Peruvian opponent. Maicelo (25-2, 12 KO’s) looked to counter when his Los Mochis, Sinaloa, MX moved in closer and he was able to capitalize in the last few seconds as a double left to the body and head sent Jose to the mat. Felix beat the count to end the round.
Maicelo moved his head and upper body at a frantic pace in an effort to confuse the Mexican he had in his face. He was becoming harder to hit and his jab landed at a better rate. Another knockdown came in the opening minute of the fifth as Maicelo got in close and connected with a hard left hook to the chin after a feint right. Felix beat the count but tasted the canvas moments later once again, much in the same fashion. Jonathan unloaded with punches in the last few seconds, which forced Jose to tie up. With half the contest now in the books, Felix, Jr. was likely fighting an enormous uphill battle.
Maicelo continued the assault in the sixth and he had "Josesito" sticking only to his jab. Throughout much of the seventh, Maicelo was having his way with Felix until the last minute or so, when Jose answered with his jab and a few notable rights. A slugfest commenced just seconds into the eighth round. The two men traded shots at ring’s center until a low blow from Jose sent his South American foe to a neutral corner with half a minute to go. As the fight resumed, both combatants appeared to be showing signs of fatigue.
Midway into the ninth, Felix, Jr. landed a quick left hook to the face of Maicelo, who then retaliated with the bout’s next knockdown. Successive head shots sent Jose falling backwards and onto the canvas. He pounded the floor in frustration and was back on his feet by the count of eight. A cold knockout would be necessary for Jose Felix to have any chance of winning as the contest entered the tenth and last round.
Round ten had its moments, though not as much as the previous nine. The fans at the Haskins Center on the UTEP campus were treated to a fine main event. Maicelo evaded well and appeared to coast to a hard fought win. The judges’ scores read as follows: 95-90, 97-88 and 96-90, all for Jonathan Maicelo by way of unanimous decision.
Marquez Stays Unbeaten / Barboza Outclassed by Falcao
Arturo Marquez looked good in his sixth professional fight, a four round welterweight bout. His opponent, Ja’Mykle Wade had his moments, but the son of former IBF light middleweight champion, Raul Marquez was not to be denied.
The two fighters exchanged shots early as both sought to use their respective jabs. Wade did his best to evade his Houston, Texas opponent for a good portion of the opening round. Arturo (6-0, 3 KO’s) came out the aggressor in the second and Ja’Mykle would try to clinch when the action moved too quickly. Still, the West Monroe, Louisiana native managed to throw back but this left him open to counter punches, which Marquez landed with great efficiency.
In the third, Marquez used his jab and threw combinations at Wade, who himself seemed to be looking for the one shot to end the night. The four rounder seemed to fly by as the last period commenced. Wade’s shots were landing, mostly jabs and short rights but they didn’t hold much power. A congratulatory embrace ensued at the final bell and Marquez appeared to be on his way to complimenting his unbeaten record. The ringside judges turned in scores of 40-36 (x2) and 39-37.
Esquiva "La Pantera" Falcao punched hard, punched often and remained undefeated en route to a convincing unanimous decision win over Jaime "El Indio" Barboza in an eight round middleweight contest on the evening’s undercard. The 27 year old former silver medalist (2012 Olympics) from Brazil withstood an early attack from his 38 year old opponent from Costa Rica.
Falcao (16-0, 12 KO’s) kept a high guard from his southpaw stance and looked to capitalize with short shots to the body whenever Barboza (19-11, 9 KO’s) would swing too wide. In the closing minute of round one, Esquiva’s punches were beginning to move Jaime around at will. Brief combinations started at the body and connected to the head, which wobbled his foe slightly. Barboza changed tactics in the second as he forced his head into that of his opponent from Vitoria. "La Pantera" Falcao punched his way out of the rough conditions and landed a solid right uppercut.
"El Indio" Barboza threw his hands up in the air and stuck out his tongue in a gesturing fashion. He beckoned Falcao to throw his best at him, which he did. Jaime’s face was slowly beginning to turn a shade of red as his Brazilian adversary’s shots were getting through. By the end of the third, Costa Rican Barboza was mostly pushing his punches. Falcao continued the punishment in the fourth and as before, Jamie did his best to convince everyone that he could take all that could be thrown at him.
Throughout the fifth, Falcao landed at a notable pace while Barboza would answer, yet not counter on occasion. A one sided shutout had transpired through five rounds. As the sixth came to a close, one would be left to wonder how much more abuse Barboza’s corner would allow him to absorb. In the final minute of round seven, Jaime was looking tired and completely worn out. Esquiva didn’t let up and fired away until the bell sounded. The contest would at least enter the eighth and final three minutes.
Barboza’s jabs were more like a flick of the elbow in the last round. He showed guts and fortitude but had been outworked all night long. Falcao pushed hard for the knockout in the dying seconds but was unable to get one. Jaime Barboza raised his hands in a victorious salute as the bell sound to end the contest, while Esquiva Falcao simply walked back to his corner. The bout appeared to be an easy win and an 80-70 sweep. The three ringside judges turned into scores 80-72 (x2) and 79-73.