Nokia Theater, October 10th, 2009.
In the main event of the evening, a ten rounds featherweight bout, Israel “El Magnifico” Vasquez returned to the ring against a Colombian, Angel Priolo. After a very competitive fight Vasquez stopped his opponent at the conclusion of the ninth frame, but not before a lot of drama unfolding. Vasquez had a swollen left eye after the end of the third round and was constantly catching right hands, not being able to see them coming.
Vasquez a slow starter by nature seemed to be sleepwalking at the beginning of the fight; his movements were mechanical, his punches lacked sharpness and power. His opponent determined Colombian looked sharp and often beat Vasquez to a punch landing crisp right hands almost at will.
“ I was rusty,” admitted Vasquez who has been out of the ring since last March when he scored a split decision victory over Rafael Marquez in one of the most memorable, brilliant and violent slugfests in boxing history. Following that victory Israel underwent five eye retina surgeries. According to the doctor the eye was repaired. But the brain remembers the trauma, so Vasquez could not see the right hands coming and they kept coming. Israel did some good work on the inside in rounds two and four and was landing a counter rights of his own, but his punches lacked crispness and power and seemed to do little damage to his opponent who stood his ground and gave back as good as he got or better.
Anxiety was in the air among approximately three thousand mostly pro Vasquez fans as they came to support their hero’s comeback to the ring and were witnessing life and death struggle, round after round against a Colombian fighter who has lost his last six fights and who has not fought since last May. Contributing to the drama was Israel’s swollen left eye that kept getting worse as rounds went on despite all the efforts of a very experienced cut man Miguel Diaz. Fans held their breath in between rounds seven and eight as the ring doctor examined Vasquez and severe gash on his left eye. A sigh of relief was heard throughout the arena as the doctor allowed the fight to go on. Vasquez upped the pressure sensing that his future might be in jeopardy, but the Colombian fired back with a vengeance inspired by the possibility that the fight might be stopped at any moment on cuts. After eight rounds the outcome of the fight was still in the air. Two judges had the fight dead even 76-76 and one judge had Israel leading 78-74.
The violent conclusion and a knock out, which fans expect from all the fights that involve Israel Vasquez, came in the ninth frame. In desperation Izzy mounted a fierce attack and finally dropped his adversary with a short right hand and a follow up. Brave Colombian got up and fought back, but Vasquez, one of the best finishers in the business, was relentless and dropped his foe two more times forcing the referee to stop this bout at 2:10 of the ninth. “I was a little rusty, but I wanted to knock him out,” said elated Vasquez after the fight:” I am hungry for another world title.”
Golden Boy promoted night of boxing featured a sereies of knock outs.
In the opening bout, debutant, junior featherweight from Los Angeles, Oscar Venegas stopped Misael Martinez (0-5) at the conclusion of round three. It was all out action brawl culminating with heavy bombs landing in the third round in which Martinez took a lot of hard shot, but was able to stay on his feet .Referee Pat Russell consulted a ring doctor in between rounds three and four and waved it off. It was a great fight to get the crowd into it immediately.
El Monte’s super welterweight Ricky Duenas (4-1,2KO’S)dominated and stopped outgunned Jose Cardenas (1-3,1KO) from Santa Ana, California with accumulation of hard punches at 2:09 of the third round.
In a dramatic four round junior feather weight battle, after being down in rounds two and three, Khabir “Crazy Russian” Suleymanov (9-0,4KO’S) battered and finally stopped Hugo Ramos (2-4-1,1KO) from palm Springs at 2:39 of the fourth and final round. Syleymanov, probably behind on points brutalized and bloodied his opponent in last two frames forcing the referee and ring doctor to end it.
In the first bout scheduled for TV, two undefeated Mexican junior middleweights Luis Grajeda (6-0,5KO) and Juan Carlos Diaz (3-0,2KO) collided in a six round scrap. Grajeda used his height and reach advantage and superior boxing skills to dominate his adversary, Diaz who looked more like a street fighter than a boxer. Diaz was warned for hitting behind the head, but it was a moot point. Luis Grajeda unleashed a variety of punches and dropped Diaz once in the first round and twice in the second. The bout was stopped at 2:48 of the second after a third knock down. Managed by Shelly Finkel, Grajeda looks like an exciting prospect to keep an eye on.
Santa Ana’s unbeaten featherweight prospect Ronny Rios (9-0, 4 KO’S) looked very sharp delivering combinations with bad intentions, pulverizing his opponent John Wampash (1-3-1,1KO) from Miami, Florida. Tough as nails Wampash was there to do battle; he kept firing back managing to deter aggressive Rios several times during the fight. Rios set a furious pace and kept punishing his adversary with punches from all different directions. By the sixth round Wampash was bloodied and bruised and his corner decided to throw in a white towel .Referee Ray Corona followed the direction of the corner and stopped the massacre at 1:53 of the last stanza.