J. R. Jowett reporting from ringside: The summer outdoor boxing event at the minor league ballpark, Frontier Field, returned after a hiatus. This was the third show for Pretty Girl Promotions (Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons), who staged last summer’s counterpart at the soccer stadium. The rain-sprinkled evening cast an air or tension that carried into the main attraction, an eight between Hector Camacho Jr., 169 1/2, Carolina, PR, 56-5-1 (30), and Ireland’s Lee Murtagh, 157, fighting out of Leeds, 33-15-1 (1).
As a boxing match, it wasn’t. As a fight, it wasn’t much either. But as a spectacle, it was quite an event! Fans were divided between Puerto Rican and Irish, and vigorous in their support. The contest never opened up, had relatively few clean blows, or decisive rounds. As a result, the crowd was riveted on the action.
And there was a lot of that, except most of it was outside the rules. Murtagh pressed the entire fight. Camacho ducked and slip-slided away, sometimes going underneath with counters. The first three rounds were neatly boxed and tight.
The mayhem began to build in round four. Exchanging beltline shots at close quarters, Lee became incensed when he felt referee Charlie Fitch warned only him. He responded with an angry low blow and was penalized, the first of three! Hector had a good round in addition, countering Murtagh’s rushes.
In the fifth, Murtach tried to counter Camacho’s slipperiness by crowding in and brawling. But it only cost him another point for butting. Camacho at one point angrily tossed him off with a shoulder, and it was becoming a challenge for Fitch to keep it from getting out of control. He called them together to start round six and lectured them on the increasingly foul tactics. Murtagh landed a jarring shot that brought up the Irish contingent, but lost a third point for rabbit punching when Hector would duck and fall inside his charges. Loose tape on Camacho’s glove further aggravated the situation and delayed start of the next round. Tension was high and small things meant a lot.
Round seven finally saw some clean, solid shots by both...advantage Murtagh...while a frustrated Camacho hit on the break and suffered his first point deduction. Lee took a minor scalp wound and was briefly escorted to his corner, as much to break the tension as to check the wound. Hector wasn’t faring much better, pawing a puffy left eye.
Camacho finally had a strong final round, showing some initiative instead of countering, and scoring clean blows. But Murtagh mounted a small rally at the ten second tap, and had his fans cheering at the bell. With three fouls against him, there was little wonder about the decision. Judges Terry Beecher-Johnson and Eric Marlinski scored 77-71 and Allen Nace 76-73, unanimous for Camacho. But it could be said no one decisively "won" this match; Hector simply outpointed Lee. That’s how it looked to the many Irish fans who crowded around Murtagh on his way to the locker room.
All the results
Middleweight Hector Camacho Jr w pts 8 Lee Murtagh
Light Heavyweight Ryon McKenzie w pts 8 Hamid Abdul Mateen
Lightweight Brandon Williams w pts 4 Luis Esquilin
Lightweight Lavisas Williams w tko 1 Roel Moreno
Lightweight Alberto Machado w ko 1 Andrew Moreno
Cruiserweight Greg Brady w ko 1 Martez Williamson
Undercard bouts and Murtagh interview to follow.
August 8, 2013