Santiago in action against Johnson
By Ron Valderrama at ringside: It was a hot night of boxing in Phoenix, Arizona as Alma Canez and Estrella Promotions hosted "Deulo De Campeones" to a capacity crowd at the El Zaribah Shriners Auditorium.
Boxing fans were treated to bonanza of exciting fights as the main event showcased Alexis "Beaver" Santiago improving his record to 10-1-1, 3KO’s by defeating Steven Johnson via knockout after 0.10 of the fifth round. Santiago displayed some solid punches and amazing speed as he hammered Johnson making it a short night for him. Something big is on the horizon for this kid, he just gets better every fight.
Fernando Samaniego Jr. improved his record to 3-0, 2KO’s by defeating Raymond Torres by knockout in the first round. Samaniego Jr punished Torres with some hard lefts and left upper cuts together with a furry of combinations that dropped Torres to the canvas, leaving him stunned and confused.
Abel Ramos made his pro debut and won his bout against Derrick Lopez in a fight that went the four round distance and his first win by unanimous decision. Ramos looked like a veteran fighter displaying some good ring skills. He impressed the crowd by giving them some toe to toe action.
Cesar Valenzuela won his four round bout by defeating Julio Pinal by unanimous decision. Valenzuela was knocked down in the first round but came back strong in the second sending Pinal down for a count. Pinal looked dazed and continued to get picked apart one punch at a time.
Victor Castro continued his winning streak by bringing his record to 3-0, 2KO’s defeating Thomas Herrera. Castro being the smart fighter that he is sized up Herrera in the first round and let things loose in the second by throwing some very strong combinations and moving well with confidence. The judges gave Castro the win by unanimous decision.
Paul Romero made his pro debut with an impressive win over Eric Henson. Romero came out focused landing some jabs and moving well and displayed some great defensive skills by countering well. Romero would proved to be too much for Henson winning by unanimous decision.
One of the best fights of the night had to be Erick Delgado taking on Jensen Ramirez. The two fighters exchanged heavy blows from start to finish with Ramirez getting the victory. It was Delgado’s pro debut and he has been training with Jose Benavidez Sr., Delgado has to pleased with his performance despite the loss.
Top Rank prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. was at the fight taking a break from training and to support Delgado for his first fight. Benavidez Jr. has been training at the famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
This reporter was seated ringside with Benavidez Jr. at the event and had a chance to ask him about his hand. He said the hand is doing fine, a little sore but getting better every day. He also said the training was going well, his day starts at 4am with a 6-7 mile run. At noon he trains a few hours and then goes to LA Fitness for strength and conditioning and ending his day around 10pm, he said it’s a long day but the dedication will pay off.
“I think I’m a year or so from a shot at a title”, he said. Benavidez Jr. has also been sparring with Sugar Shane Mosley and Mercito Gesta at the Wild Card and has been gaining in experience. One has to be impressed with the dedication this kid has. He knows the opportunities that are before him and knows he is truly blessed. Benavidez Jr. fights Sept.17th at the BlueWater Resort Casino in Parker. Boxing fans who will not be able to attend can watch the action live on Fox Sports.
September 3, 2011