By Marc Livitz at ringside: Combative worlds collided on Saturday evening as a split boxing and MMA card was showcased at the Parque Zaragoza Event Center in east Austin. Local area fighters Brian Vera, Kurtiss Colvin and Tyrell Herndon meant a packed and inspired house.
The evening began with a bang as Tyrell "Too Real" Herndon (4-0, 1 KO) scored a first round knockout win over Jose Collazo in a heavyweight contest.
In the night’s main event, Austin fighter Brian "The Warrior" Vera (24-11, 14 KO’s) topped Juan Carlos Rojas (8-18-1, 3 KO’s) of Mexico in a super middleweight bout. Vera doubled the jab early and did his best to consistently force Rojas into a corner. Juan Carlos was indeed a game challenger despite his record which held more than twice as many losses as victories. A hard left hook wobbled Vera in the opening seconds of round two. Moments later, a strong combination from Brian concluded with a hard right hook which sent Rojas’s mouthpiece flying directly into the hands of his trainer. He laid back on the ropes for the final twenty seconds of the period and threw as well as absorbed.
Rojas took all that Vera could fire at him and continued to charge head first towards him. A grueling pattern took over throughout the third and fourth. Brian landed the cleaner shots, although Mario’s were equally loud. The bout’s first knockdown came a minute inside the sixth and final round. A well timed right hook from Vera sent Rojas to the canvas. Then, the call was reversed and there was no official trip to the canvas for Rojas.
He arose and the bout continued. Mario shook off the knockdown indeed. He didn’t seem to care in the least. He continued to hand out the punishment to Vera as the last bell rang. The final tallies from the judges read as follows: 58-56, 57-57 and 58-56 to award Vera the split decision victory.
The co-main event was headlined by middleweight Kurtis "Mr. Oohwee" Colvin (10-2, 8 KO’s). He made his return to the ring after a three year layoff and he used a high left jab and vigorously tried to split the guard of his opponent, Rick Graham. An overhand right almost got his attention as it just grazed his head. The pace slowed just a bit as the two fighters settled in. The noise level was deafening for the local boxer as the high walls of the basketball court turned boxing arena meant echoes aplenty.
In the dying moments of the second, Colvin began to land the jab with more frequency and to greater effect. The third was Graham’s finest of the bout as he was able to move in close and land short hooks. As the fourth commenced, each man seemed to feel the urgency to up the pace, yet Graham was becoming more and more focused on the hometown foe he was facing.
Throughout the course of the last two rounds, Colvin attempted several times over to break Graham’s tight and high guard. The six round affair was indeed entertaining, yet most in attendance would likely agree that Colvin had a more difficult outing than expected. The three ringside judges turned in scorecards of 60-54 (x2) and 58-56, respectively to award the unanimous decision victory to Kurtis "Mr. Oohweee" Colvin.
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October 15 2016