HBO Latino Undercard Fights
From Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio California came an HBO Latino fight card the night before Bernard Hopkins swan song.
First up was the blue-chip prospect Ryan Martin (17-0, 10KO's) vs Yardley Suarez (19-5, 10KO's). It was interesting to see him taking the next step up in class as he is now training out of Big Bear with Abel Sanchez. He is promoted by K2 promotions and has been fighting on all kinds of fight cards - having no preference for GBP only or Top Rank only or PBC only. In the first round Martin was looking his usual sharp and fast self as he pressed Suarez around the ring. In the second round Martin was looking to sit on his punches and do damage with his right hand - which he was no doubt doing but at the expense of staying on the inside and taking some punches. One problem Martin seems to potentially have is admiring his work after unloading, which can get him in trouble as he steps up. In any case he disposed of Suarez early in the fourth round with a left hook followed by a helping right hand that sent him to the canvas. He rose and got in one good shot on Martin before the referee stopped him from taking further unnecessary punishment. Martin looked good but not great this time around like he has in previous fights this year. I would like to see a little more defense out of him because it makes me wonder if he gets hit too much. He should be taking some steps back or sliding to the side after unloading. Small critique, not a huge gap though.
Next up was Alexis Rocha (5-0, 4KO's) vs Abraham Calderon (1-3). Rocha came out super aggressive looking to damage right away and was taking some shots himself. It wasn't until the second round that he cracked the armor of Calderon with a left hook to the body that dropped him early on. He rose and recouped, making it through the round surprisingly game for a 1-3 fighter. In the third round Rocha ripped away at the body and dropped Calderon again. But, yet again, Calderon rose and this time nailed Rocha with a right hand that stunned him and caused him to fall in. Calderon made it through yet another round and showed that gameness in the fourth and final round when Rocha hit him low, causing him to bend over in pain but the referee dropped the ball frozen in time and Rocha slugged away at the wide open Calderon. The referee warned him for the low blow only afterwards, somehow mystifyingly missing all the other late punches and wanting to make up his miss. It mattered not though as Calderon made it through the round with the infraction not having an influence on the decision loss outcome.
Next up was Vergil Ortiz Jr. (2-0, 2KO's) vs Nestor Garcia (0-1). The fight lasted less than a round - just barely - as Ortiz was simply too fast, too powerful, and too skilled for Garcia. Ortiz really looks like a blue chip prospect to watch and he has veteran trainer Joel Diaz behind him.
Next up was Javier Padilla (1-0, 1KO) vs Jose Mora (0-1). Padilla was quick to break through Mora's defense and knocked him down twice to end the round - barely making it. He wouldn't last long into the second due to Padilla's superior judging of distance as he slammed home more right hands to score another knockdown and end the fight early in the second round.