Carlos Ocampo vs Alvaro Robles & Jose Uzcategui vs Fabiano Pena
From Baja California, Mexico, came another exciting beIN boxing card. This fight is taking place in the Guadalupe Valley at La Cetto Vineyards and I gotta say that this is one of the coolest looking fight venues you will ever see.
First up was the always exciting and underrate Jose Uzcategui (25-1, 21KO's) vs Fabiano Pena (19-5-1, 14KO's). The first round was a feeler for both men as Uzcategui judged his distance and range while Pena was boring inside and looking to do damage at close range. Early in the second round Uzcategui landed a right hand to the chin of Pena that sent his man down on his rear. Pena rose but he was still clearly hurt from the shot and on wobbly legs. He fought back however, and then one of the strangest TKO wins happened that I have ever seen as Pena was on the ropes and put everything he had into a looping right hand that landed on Uzcateguis chin flush. The shot sent Pena down, instead of Uzcategui, and he was counted out by the referee. Yes - you did read that correctly. No doubt Pena was on his way out but it is stranger than fiction that a powerful shot he landed ended up being the one that got him counted out. It should be noted that by no means do I think it a fixed fight as I hold Uzcategui in high regard as a very underrated and dangerous fighter.
Main event time featured Carlos Ocampo (19-0, 12KO's) vs Alvaro Robles (19-5, 17KO's). I still think it's funny that Jimmy Lennon Jr. Gets pulled down to Mexico for these beIN cards, but it is definitely a good thing to get them more exposure for the fantastic boxing cards that they are. In the first round Robles was looking to crouch and work his way inside on the taller man. It was working to get him in but he was not getting any meaningful shots off because Ocampo was gone out of range by the time Robles loaded up his shots to throw since he is not working off of any jab. Robles was able to find some success in the second round due to getting off a bit quicker on the inside and leading with punches instead allowing Ocampo to shoot and get away. In the third round Ocampo went back to boxing his an beautifully. Robles got wild with his shots and was missing by feet instead of inches while Ocampo kept his long arms working behind a beautiful jab while circling the ring. He was the matador to the bull. Ocampo wisely started going to the body of Robles in the fourth round and by the fifth round you could see the damage it was doing as Robles was breathing heavy and looking the much worse for wear. One got the feeling that Ocampo was toying with Robles at this point as well, as he could back his man into the ropes and unload whenever he wanted to but preferred to to be light on his feet and dance around the ring, only doing it in spots. As the rounds wore on the fight was definitely still in Ocampo's hands. Robles was trying his damndest to change the course of it by throwing wildly at times while trying to work his way inside in different ways at other times. But nothing was working as Ocampo is not fading at all whatsoever and just knows how to master the distance on a guy like Robles. This was the pattern of the fight until the ninth round when Ocampo started to look weary also and it definitely showed as he stood in the pocket and traded shots wiith Robles. This was not to his benefit and it was not doing him any favors on the cards but he showed that he can Robles power (at least at this point in the fight for Robles) and isn't afraid to stand and trade with an aggressive pressure fighter. I would nearly eat these words in the tenth and final round, however, when nearing the two minute mark Ocampo landed a left hook to the liver of Robles. The shot caused his face to twist in pain as he turned and started to walk away and bend at the knees like he was going down. Ocampo turned and started walking to a neutral corner but Robles did not go down! He was either very wise in pulling a veteran move and tricking the younger fighter into thinking he was going down or it was simply no act at all and it worked ouut in his favor. Upon seeing that the referee was not counting Robles Ocampo rushed his man to try and hurt him further but it was too late within the next five seconds as Robles recovered and eventually started fighting back when Ocampo had tired himself out. These beIN cards are always so exciting! Going down the stretch we also saw an older tradition that I do still see happen in Mexico when Ocampo was looking to coast to the decision and on his wheels. Robles looked at the referee and gestured, as if to say "I can't catch this marathon runner" and the referee walked between the two fighters and told them to start fighting. It was too little too late but it was a great finish of a fight and for both guys. Ocampo showed he can stand and trade with a banger, nearly taking his man out in the late rounds, while Robles showed a big heart from a limited fighter but one that did at one point rise to welterweight champion of Mexico. Great fight