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20 NOVEMBER 2018


Sammy Vasquez Jr. Destroys Mosquera in 1, Remains Unbeaten

By Derek Gionta, from press row: Sammy "The Who Can Mexican" Vasquez Jr. extended his record to 17-0 (13) and knockout streak to eight by destroying Alberto Mosquera, 21-2-2 (14), of Panama, by a first round knockout at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on Friday night (11/14) in front of thousands of local fans in attendance.


The card billed as "The Pride of Pittsburgh II" was promoted by Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions and televised on BeIn Sports, where Sean O’Grady and Steve Kim called the fights from ringside along with Iron Mike Tyson.


Vasquez, the rising prospect from Monessen, PA, and promoted by IMP, is now the holder of the WBC Fecarbox welterweight belt, while also currently holding the USBA welterweight title.


A major ticket seller on the local scene, Vasquez has the skills to couple with that important trait promoter’s are looking for when moving a fighter.


Mosquera, a fellow southpaw, came into unchartered territory, fighting in the US for the first time.


His most notable fight was a draw against Johan Perez, who defeated Paul Spadafora last year in West Virginia.


Vasquez came out snapping his right jab, while scoring two knockdowns, the latter of the two from a body shot that Mosquera could not recover from. Referee Gary Rosato counted Mosquera out as the night ended early and fitting for the former Army National Guard Veteran.


Vasquez, trained by Charles Leverette and managed by his father Sam Sr., trains in Colorado where he resides with his family.


In the evening’s ten round co-feature, lightweight "Lightning" Rod Salka, 20-4 (3), of Bunola, PA defeated Rankin, PA’s Monty Meza-Clay, 36-4 (22), by a ten round unanimous decision, retaining his WBC Fecarbox lightweight belt.


The two local Pittsburgh rivals reportedly have a history of dislike towards one another. This was made public in recent news appearances and other public events leading up to the fight, where Meza-Clay assumed the role of trash talker.


In many cases, trash talk, pre-fight brawls, and weigh-in scuffles, mean we’re all in for a dull fight.


That wasn’t the case on this night as both put it on the line in front of the raucous local crowd.


Salka, known for his smooth boxing style met the contrasting style of Meza-Clay, whom is known for his relentless pressure.


Salka, with a height advantage, began the fight boxing on his toes, snapping his jab, and landing a clean right hand to Meza-Clay’s head early on and again late in the first. That punctuated the opening round, while Meza-Clay patiently stalked and looked to make his way inside behind his jab.


Much of the same continued over the next couple rounds, with both fighters having success. Meza-Clay suffered a cut from an accidental head butt showing traces of blood in the second, leaving some work for cutman Eli Babich in between rounds. Salka took a headbutt to the nose in the third, causing his eyes to swell and bruise in the most exciting round so far.


Meza-Clay had his best round so far in the fourth, landing some big shots, mainly an overhand right on his taller opponent.


Meza-Clay’s offensive success maintained in the fifth round, while Salka clearly won the ring generalship battle and continued firing off combinations to the head of his opponent.


With both fighters cut and bleeding, the final half of the fight was intriguing as the contrasting styles painted a picture of war, with plenty of blood flowing.


Punch stats were nearly even after six rounds.


The next few rounds Salka was in and out, throwing consistent combinations to the head of Meza-Clay. Meza-Clay looked for the overhand right often, and had success in spurts on the inside.


Meza-Clay went on the attack in the final round, landing a few good shots, while Salka measured the distance and continued to box well behind his jab and fast combinations.


Salka threw and landed more punches while connecting at a slightly higher percentage with stats of 226/797, while Meza-Clay was 180/764 according to CompuBox.


Final scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 97-94 for Salka.


Salka will move forward looking for bigger fights, while Meza-Clay will look to re-group and sit down with IMP to discuss what’s next.


The opening TV bout featured highly touted junior middleweight prospect Erickson "The Hammer" Lubin, 8-0 (6), of Orlando, Florida defeating Mexico’s Norberto Gonzalez, 20-6 (13), by an eight round unanimous decision, earning the young southpaw a WBC Fecarbox title.


Lubin hit the canvas for the first time in his young career in the opening round compliments of a Gonzalez counter shot. He made it back to his feet on steady legs, ensuring his chin can hold equal weight with his skill set.


Lubin later scored a knockdown of his own in the fourth round, taking a 38-36 lead on secondsout’s scorecard after four rounds.


The second half of the fight was all Lubin as he continued to snap his jab with authority and land numerous check hooks to Gonzalez’ head.


Final tallies read 78-73 and 78-72 x 2 for Lubin. The 5’11 southpaw with power in both hands recently made the transition to training with Vasquez’ trainer Charles Leverette in Colorado.


At just 19 year old, this young gun has been tested a few times, none more valuable than this fight which saw him hit the canvas for the first time and seeing the eight round distance for the second time.


Junior middleweight prospect Dominique "3D" Dolton, 15-0 (8), of Detroit, scored a one-sided unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista, 14-5 (7), of Santo Domingo, P.R. over six rounds.


The styles of each made for a less-than-entertaining fight, with clinching and holding throughout. Batista looked to deter Dolton’s style by making it an ugly fight, which was effective but unsuccessful on his part. Scores were 60-54 across the board.


Brooklyn featherweight Dennis Galarza, 6-1 (4), stopped Miguel Soto, 12-5 (12), of Arecibo, Puerto Rico in the opening round following two knockdowns. Soto, a big puncher himself, landed a nice looping counter shot early on that left Galarza unfazed and on the hunt. His second knockdown before the two minute mark left Soto on the wrong end of a fight he’s used to engaging in. The fight was scheduled for six rounds.

Galarza, now trained by Leverette, bounced back from his lone career loss in his first appearance at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center, and did so in a big way.


Detroit, Michigan’s Leo Hall, 4-0 (4), scored a second round technical knockout over gritty Forth Worth, Texas’ Kentrell Claiborne, 4-10 (3) in a scheduled four round light heavyweight affair.


Hall, clearly the better skilled boxer of the two, won the opening round.


Claiborne looked to make it a brawl in round two, pressuring and throwing looping punches while drawing a nice reaction from the crowd. Hall wasted little time obliging to Claiborne’s proposal, dropping him twice with big shots while maintaining form and ending the fight.


Cleveland junior featherweight prospect Antonio "Carita" Nieves, 9-0 (4), registered a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Jiovany Fuentes, 5-6 (4), of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.


Nieves, also of Puerto Rican decent, methodically broke down Fuentes to the head and body, outworking and out-maneuvering his way to a clean shut out on the judges’ cards, 60-54 x 3.


Super middleweight Viacheslav Barsukov, 1-0 (1), scored a dominant second round knockout over unmatched Brownsville, Texas native Ramiro Arreola-Garcia, 0-2.


Barsukov, a former Russian amateur standout, now living in New York City, started quickly as he dropped Arreola-Garcia twice in the opening round.


His foe could only counter with a grimace and slight retreat. The Russian’s body work stood out among his vast range of physical traits. Barely making it out of the opening round of a scheduled four, it took one more knockdown in the second with a body shot that put Arreola-Garcia down and out for the count.


Barsukov is said to be training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood leading up to his fights and may be a prospect to keep an eye on moving forward.


Iron Mike Productions has made significant progress in attracting fans to the Sammy Vasquez show, while grooming other prospects in the process. With their second show at Consol seemingly seating more fans than the previous, it looks like they will be back soon. Vasquez continues to improve and climb the rankings, with his sights set on the big prize.


November 14, 2014

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