Lorenzo hits the canvas: HoganPhotos.com
By Albert J Howell and Mike Sloan in Las Vegas:
Lorenzo wins via 4th round disqualification over Soto!
In a strange twist of events, Francisco Lorenzo 33-4 (14) who appeared to be on his way out of the fight after suffering a brutal knockdown in the fourth round ended up winning the Interim WBC super featherweight championship strap via disqualification over Humberto Soto 43-7-2 (27).
Thanks to an errant blow to the back of the head that landed while Lorenzo was on the mat and was ruled intentional, Lorenzo was awarded the victory after it was determined that he would not fight on.
Round one was a feel-out round for both boxers. Soto fought a patient round looking to mix up his punches in a smooth tempo. He worked his uppercut and his hooks behind the stiff left jab. With about 10 seconds left in the opening stanza Lorenzo connected upstairs with a right hand. The shot served to sober up Soto who immediately returned the favor and pressed the action for the final seconds of the round.
Both men opened up in round two. Soto hurled bombs as he pushed Lorenzo to the corner. A huge left hook by Soto hammered the chin of Lorenzo stunning the fighter. Lorenzo labored to come in under the jab of his taller foe, but Soto was successful in keeping a safe distance that favored his long jab. The shorter Lorenzo could not find his distance against his polished adversary. Lorenzo did connect on a solid right hook to the body near the end of the second stanza but Soto walked right through the punch.
Lorenzo emerged from his stool for round three intent to press the action. However Lorenzo’s aggression was thwarted by Soto’s ability to outbox his opponent. The heavy-handed Soto soundly counter-punched when Lorenzo came in and smartly pressed the action when Lorenzo laid off. Lorenzo was clearly outgunned in the match against the bigger, stronger, and more experienced Soto. Soto suffered an accidental head butt in the third which produced a cut above the fighter’s right eye.
To begin the fourth round Soto pushed Lorenzo to the ropes and unloaded a series of power shots. Lorenzo landed a hurling left to the head of Soto but the Mexican walked right through his foe’s power shot. A right uppercut by Soto stunned Lorenzo who was now bleeding from his face. Lorenzo suffered a cut above the bridge of the nose and a second cut above the left eye. A smashing left uppercut by Soto put Lorenzo to the floor in the fourth. Lorenzo beat the count but was visibly shaken. Bleeding from the nose Lorenzo absorbed another crushing left uppercut that wobbled him. Strangely referee Cortez moved in between the two fighters. It looked as though Cortez might call another knockdown or even halt to the fight. Lorenzo was visibly hurt and either call by the referee would have been justified at this juncture even though Lorenzo was still on his feet. Instead it was a very brief no-call break in the action by Cortez who allowed the boxers to resume fighting
Allowed to fight on after the brief break in the action by Cortez, Soto seized the opportunity and pressed forward to finish off his battered combatant. Soto unleashed a series of body punches punctuated by a glancing punch to the top of the head. Lorenzo voluntarily took two knees to the canvas. While on his knees, Lorenzo absorbed a Soto left hook to the back of the head. The shot appeared to be a brushing blow, but Lorenzo grabbed the back of his head signaling that the stray blow did damage. Cortez called a timeout and Lorenzo lay flat back to the ground as the ring doctor looked him over. The ring doctor, the Nevada Athletic Commission and the referee huddled when Lorenzo refused to rise from the canvas.
The time out lasted a good five minutes. After determining that Lorenzo would not continue the bout and may have suffered a concussion due to the foul shot, it was ruled that the illegal blow to the back of the head was intentional. This led to the decision to grant Lorenzo the victory by disqualification to the dismay of the fans in attendance that did not agree with the ruling and felt that Soto’s errant punch was not grounds for a disqualification. The official time of the victory for Lorenzo was 2:43 of round four.
Afterwards Promoter Bob Arum announced that the WBC had ruled that they would not recognize the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision and thus would not award Lorenzo the interim championship. Rather, they would declare an immediate rematch between Soto and Lorenzo for the WBC Interim 130 pound belt.
Speaking to the media, Soto said, “I feel sad for the performance of the referee.” He continued by stating, “The WBC is not going to give Lorenzo the title but they should award him the ’Oscar’ for his outstanding acting performance.”
– Albert Howell
Barrett Knocks Out Fields in 57 seconds of First Round!
Heavyweight Monte Barrett 33-6 (19) scored a sensational first round knockout victory over the bigger Tye Fields 40-1 (36). The gargantuan Fields came into the ring with a 45 pound weight advantage and a 5 inch height advantage. But none of that mattered against Barrett who had faced the stiffer competition in his fighting career. Fields came off his stool and tried to rush his adversary to begin the fight. It was a mistake. Barrett found his mark against the porous defense of the lunging big man and landed two monstrous rights in a row flush to the chin of Fields. The two right hands stunned the taller Fields.
Sensing the end was near Barrett kept up the pressure by tossing more bombs at his combatant. He connected with a strong left to the chin of Fields then put his foe down with a right hand to the temple. The large Fields thudded to the canvas from the temple shot. Referee Kenny Bayless began the ten count. Fields tried to rise to shaky legs but could not continue the fight. Bayless ruled a knockout. The official time of the knockout was 0:57 of the first round for the victor Barrett.
Afterwards Promoter Bob Arum said, “I feel sorry for Tye (Fields).”
Arum said that Fields was in against a major leaguer and simply could not step up his game against the stiffer competition. About the match Barrett spoke, “Tye is just an average fighter.” Barrett said that Fields tried to rush in on him and it proved to be the wrong decision."
– Albert Howell
Santiago draws with Luevano
Steven Luevano was dropped onto the seat of his trunks seconds into the second round of his contest with Mario Santiago. Seconds after Luevano rose to his feet after the flash knockdown, Santiago was sitting on the seat of his trunks. From there the two featherweights played a game of round robin, each taking turns dishing out as much punishment as the other, if not more.
A scintillating affair from the outset, Luevano and Santiago wound up fighting such a great, competitive fight that the three ringside judges couldn’t figure out who the true victor was. Judge Harry Davis had it 117-111 for Luevano, Duane Ford saw it 115-113 for Santiago and Dave Moretti favored nobody; he scored it even at 114-114. The SecondsOut.com reporter at ringside favored Santiago 115-112.
Luevano, 35-1-1 (15) appeared to the busier of the two, but Santiago, 19-1-1 (14), was clearly landing the harder punches. Luevano was wobbled a few times throughout the fight but he never considered folding; he simply put his head down and fired back. Though the fight was about as close as they come, the crowd lustily booed the judges’ verdict. The media section was split almost directly down the middle as to whom they felt deserved to win.
– Mike Sloan
Off TV bouts
Super bantamweight prospect Jesus Rojas inched closer to contender status with a thorough shellacking of grizzled veteran Alex Ali Baba. Rojas, who hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico, steamrolled the Ghanaian from the start and wound up stopping him at 1:18 of the sixth. Rojas, who improved to 12-0 (10) floored Baba with a left hook in the first and battered him along the ropes until referee Jay Nady stopped it. Ali Baba fell to 25-13-1 (19).
Filipino lightweight contender Dennis Laurente, now 29-3-4 (15), pummeled Californian Steve Quinones en route to a TKO at the end of the fourth round. Laurente was busier and much more accurate with his punches and wound up dropping his opponent with a right cross late in the fourth. Quinones, 29-13-1 (9), got up and fell down after he missed on a wild right hook, though it was mistakenly ruled a knockdown by referee Kenny Bayless. Quinones injured his ankle when he fell and after the fourth ended, he decided that he couldn’t continue.
Las Piedras, Puerto Rico’s Luis Cruz was too much for Houston, TX’s Miguel Albares to handle as he stopped his featherweight opponent at 1:39 of the third. Cruz dropped Albares with a right hand moments before the stoppage as he bolstered his pro ledger to 6-0 with his 4th career KO. Albares dipped 5-5-1 (1).
In a super lightweight bout, California’s Khadaphi Proctor improved to 2-2-1 with a majority decision over Carlos Tangrago after four rounds. Proctor was given the judges’ decision via tallies of 38-38 and 39-37 (twice). Tangrago, also from California, fell to 2-1.
– Mike Sloan