David Sanchez vs Luis Conception & Julio Barraza vs Adrian Young
BY KID HERSH
BeIN card from Sonora Mexico. First up was Julio Barraza (12-0, 9ko's) vs Adrian Young 22-1-2, 18ko's). This is an interesting prospect matchup here and it showed straight from the opening bell as both fighters came out swinging while also showing great technique. Barazza had great success going to the body and used great athleticism to get the edge on Young, who had success countering. In the second round Young was pressuring Barraza and trying to create openings but Young is just quicker and athletic enough to catch Young with punches that he cannot predict or react to quick enough. Young had his moments still with good straight shots landing flush but this all changed in the third round when Barrraza backed up Young for the round after hurting him with flush, powerful right hands in the first minute of action. Both men were punishing the body heavily in the fourth round, with Barraza looking like he needed a breather after his big third round. He gave ground to Young, who is now looking like the more energetic fighter as the action changes hands yet again in this great matchup. The pace slowed over the course of the next two rounds, with both fighters bleeding and tired from all the punishment and the pace set. Barraza grabbed control of the fight in the final minute of the sixth round when he sent Young backwards with his power shots hurt and followed up with a barrage of combinations to attack him. Young is a very very tough hombre though and not only took the pummeling but was firing back before the end of the round. Great fight! Young's right eye was pretty badly bruised and starting to swell shut in the seventh round as he fought onwards and traded shots while showing great conditioning. The difference appears to be that Barraza has heavier hands than Young for the exchanges as he is taking more damage and you can just tell that he is getting the worse of the action at certain times even though his punches look good and solid as well. The damage was mounting on Young and it showed even more in the eighth round when a little over a minute into the action he took a three punch combination ending with a left hand that sent him backwards into the ropes, noticeably hurt for the first time in the fight. Barraza ensued and went for the kill but Young (again one tough hombre!) was able to weather the store and got light on his feet to create just enough distancing to weather out the storm and finish the round. Young clearly will never say quit, because this was a point that not too many fighters would make it through or choose to go through in a losing battle. Young showed why he is one of my favorite fighters in the ninth round when he came out after the beating he took in the previous round and attacked Barraza with everything he had, hurting him with a left hook at the end of a combination that kept Barraza on the ropes so he could attack more, despite his right eye being completely closed at this point. He nearly returned that favor as well though, with Barraza's right eye bruise - which has been there for nearly the entire fight - started bleeding from the attack to interfere with his vision now as well. Young continued the big round with reserves of stamina from seemingly nowhere until near the end of the round he just couldn't physically step on the gas anymore (surprised he is not dropping dead!) and then Young came back to press his man and land some shots to end the round. WOW! Fight of the year candidate right here. In the tenth and final round it was more great action, with Young pressing the fight over and over despite taking severe punishment from Barraza every single time he came forward in his attempts to get a knockout. Barraza would blast him with powerful counters and send him backwards, only to have him coming right back in for more - sometimes with success. He just could not do it though and both men showed amazing stamina and heart to finish this grueling fight in the manner that they did. I am extremely impressed and think that this fight is one the best I have watched in some time. Th cards would come in a UD win for Barazza. I agree with the clear decision for him but this fight was much, much better than the score would indicate despite my card being much the same. Rare display of heart and toughness.
Main event time, featuring David Sanchez (28-2-2, 22ko's) vs Luis Conception (32-4, 23ko's). Less than a minute into the round Conception landed a right hand that put Sanchez down. Sanchez rose and although clearly hurt he composed himself and fired back enough to keep Conception from running him down again. At the end of the first Conception almost scored another knockdown though when he trapped him in the corner hurt again from combination punching. In the second round Conception kept the pressure on and is still hurting Sanchez with powerful shots. Sanchez has feet under him though, recovering from the first round, but is still getting caught with shots as he gives ground to the smaller man. Conception was giving his man different looks from the his orthodox and southpaw stances, with Sanchez trying his best to land shots but Conception is just too shifty and quick for Sanchez to have continued success against. He is also fighting blood in his left eye from a cut that developed early on but was clearly affecting his vision by the fourth round. The fight turned into a grueling inside fight in the fifth round where both men were trading powerful shots and both were holding their ground. In the sixth round Sanchez's face was very bloody - flowing from the eyes an nose. He was loading up on shots, trying to damage Conception and turn the fight around because you could tell that he knew the end was nearing unless he changed things around and so he had better land something big. Conception was taking his time and picking his shots on the wounded man, adding to the intensity for Conception because he does not have any chance of winning if that continues. Conception continued to pick his spots on the wounded man over the next couple rounds, with Sanchez having a rally in the eighth. Unfortunately his rally was not enough because he landed the best he had and Conception barely flinched (surprisingly - Sanchez has good power and is the bigger man). Both men were slipping in the ninth round, likely due to the amount of blood in this ring tonight. Conception piled on the damage heavily in the ninth, looking like he was on the verge of taking his man out by the end of the round due to the steady and constant beating he taken to this point. In the tenth round we saw yet again tonight a massive display of heart and toughness as Sanchez came out looking for a knockout blow that he needed again. Conception answered in kind, knocking him right mid-round from a left hook followed by a right hand that spun him around and down to the canvas. He fought for his life, masked and basically bathed in blood while beaten to a pulp but still somehow is firing shots back with the Mexican crowd behind him. Something else to see right here - and for the second time tonight, back to back! He somehow made it through the round but his corner stopped the fight nearly right away, no doubt seeing that their fighter is brave but he needs to be saved from himself tonight. Wow what a fight and what a card - this is my pick for boxing card of the year hands down.