Photos by Stacey Verbeek
The tough Daniel Diaz (20-5-1) from Nicaragua stunned WBO contender Roberto Marroquin (23-3, 16 KO’s) in the very first round with a looping right hand that put the crowd favorite on the canvas. Marroquin quickly got up and continued the fight, but he suffered an ankle injury as he went down. As the fight continued with a stunned crowd, Marroquin started landing several combinations, but as he was moving back, Diaz landed a straight right hand that put Marroquin on the canvas for the second time. He got up quickly again, but this time he was limping from an obvious injury to his right foot. The bell sounded right after the referee announced for them to begin.
In what appeared to be very bad news for Marroquin, he came out in the second round by forcing the action by landing strong punches with both hands as he reestablished his presence in the ring and winning the second round. In the third, Marroquin continued to land the most punches and quickly landed an uppercut that shook back the head of Diaz. Diaz went on the defense in this round as Marroquin pressed the fight and landed a big combination. Marroquin followed that with another combination at the end of the round as the confident Diaz walked to his corner with his hand raised, although Diaz appeared to have lost that round as well.
With a sigh of relief from the crowd, it appeared that Marroquin was on his way to a comeback after winning the second and third rounds. Coming back from a two knockdown round in the first was a big hill to climb, but Marroquin was on a good start as he came out for the fourth round. In the fourth round, Marroquin looked like he had shaken the rust out of his ankle as he was landing sharp punches, but Diaz was doing a good job of blocking most of them. The taller Diaz stood his ground as he jabbed away at Marroquin to keep the distance and landed a hard left at the end of the round. This round was very close and it could have gone either way.
In the fifth and sixth round Marroquin was forcing the action by using his jab and landing his left hand that had Diaz on his heels, but the tough Nicaraguan landed a few of his own combinations that made those rounds very close. In the seventh round, Diaz appeared to slow down as Marroquin connected with both hands. As the fight continued and as Marroquin appeared to gain momentum, it was apparent that he had to have at least a knockdown to make the fight closer to make an impact on the scorecards. Before the eighth round, Diaz’ corner were working feverishly on his left eye with a cold iron and another trainer was massaging his left leg, which made one think that he was starting to be effected by the punches from Marroquin. But when Diaz came out for the eighth round, he was still ready to mix it up with Marroquin. Marroquin quickly landed a left hand and another right, and it made Diaz move back in his stance. Diaz then came back by landing a hard left jab on Marroquin as he tried to steal the end of the round. Marroquin’s ankle injury reappeared at the end of this round as he limped back to his corner, favoring his right ankle.
As the final two rounds approached, Diaz’ corner were working again on his left eye which was now starting to swell. At the beginning of the ninth, Diaz attempted to land the big right hand but Marroquin slipped the punch and landed a nice right hand. As Diaz pressed the fight in the round, Marroquin had to counter punch his way around the ring. Diaz appeared to be slowing down in this round or maybe he was saving his strength for the final round. Marroquin looked good in this round and it appeared that he had won the round. As the final round was about to begin, it was apparent that the fight was close but in the favor of Diaz. The last round had Marroquin forcing the action and finishing with a nice right hand to the head of Diaz, but it just wasn’t enough. Diaz went on to win by a split decision, 96-92 and 96-92 for Diaz and 95-93 for Marroquin.
He never rests and always gives it his all every time he steps into the ring. And I am talking about lightweight Alexander Lopez (6-5, 1KO) from Fort Worth, Texas. His opponent was the undefeated Ivan Najera (11-0, 8 KO’S) from San Antonio, Texas. Before the fight, I knew the crowd was going to enjoy this match, and Lopez did not disappoint. In the first round they both came out trading jabs and combinations and it was an even round. In the second round they went toe to toe early with the southpaw Lopez connecting with a body punch and following it up with a right hand. Najera returned the favor with a right hand and a triple combination and a left hand to the body of Lopez as the bell sounded. As the third round started you could feel the crowd getting excited as these two quick-handed punchers were about to begin. Najera then moved his way in and landed a right hand on Lopez and followed it up with another right hand. As the round went forward, Najera caught the quick Lopez with a triple combination. At this point, the first sign of blood was noticeably coming out of the mouth of Lopez. The round ends. In the fourth round, Najera was starting to force the action and landed a hard right hand as Lopez countered his way out. Najera continued to pressure Lopez and landed a body punch and a right hand that hurt Lopez. Najera followed that up with huge body punch to the mid section of Lopez that had Lopez hurt again. Najera then pounded on Lopez until the end of the round, and Lopez went to his corner shaking his head to the crowd that he was alright. The action up to this point was non-stop but the momentum was shifting towards Najera. Najera started the fifth round by getting Lopez on the ropes and landing several combinations and punches to the body as Lopez was starting to develop a mouse under his left eye. Lopez then landed a nice left hand but Najera came back with a combination and hit Lopez with a low blow. Time was temporarily stopped and then the bell sounded. The final round ended with Lopez holding his ground as Najera was landing punches in bunches as they went toe to toe until the last second of the round. Lopez gave it his all, but Najera would be the winner on the score cards by unanimous decision. 58-56, 58-56, 59-55.
In the welterweight division, Henry Auraad (14-8, 11KO’s) went against Brad Solomon (20-8KO’s). Solomon did not waste time in the early rounds as he began to go for the knockout against Auraad. Solomon just missed landing a big right hand in the first hand, but connected with a right hand in the second that put Auraad on the canvas. Solomon tried to finish the fight at this point, but Auraad survived by the sound of the bell. Auraad got caught again by Solomon and he went down in the fourth round. The end was near as Solomon caught Auraad with a huge right hand and he hit the canvas for the final time. The fight was stopped at 1:23 of the fifth round by TKO.
Welterweight Alex “el Cholo” Saucedo (9-0, 6 KO’S) went against the tough Wendel Henley from Kansas City (11-3-1) and they both went at it from the get go. The chanting of “Cholo” started at the beginning of the second as Saucedo started landing stiff jabs and right hands as he began to find his range. The tough Henley came to fight as Saucedo did and he held his own by landing his jab and right hand. In the third round, Henley forced the fight the entire round, as Saucedo kept his distance with his own counter punches. The fight was supposedly scheduled for six rounds but it was changed to four rounds. In the final round with Saucedo ahead, Henley came out with combinations on Saucedo as he was on the ropes. After a few exchanges between both fighters, they suddenly went toe to toe to the delight of the crowd. Suddenly Saucedo landed a huge right hand that temporarily stunned Henley, but he fought on. Saucedo finished with a big left at the end of the round and the bell sounded. Saucedo who fights out of the Maple Avenue Boxing gym in Dallas, Texas and is from Oklahoma, continued his winning streak by unanimous decision with 40-36 on all three cards.
In a fight of undefeated fighters, Isaac Zarate (5-1) of San Pedro, CA had his hands full against Tramaine Williams (8-0, 2KO’s) of Houston, Texas in this super bantamweight match. The southpaw Williams used his speed against Zarate in the first three rounds as he was able to gain a quick lead on the cards. Zarate tried to get his distance, but Williams was always first with the quicker punches. In the fourth round, the tough Zarate was starting to get some swelling under his left eye. Williams went on to a unanimous decision with all cards reading 60-54.
Daniel Calzada (8-7-2, 1KO) from Denver Colorado had an easy night against Wilbert Mitchell (1-8) from Dallas in the Super Lighweight division. Calzada overwhelmed Mitchell the entire fight and even knocked him out of the ring in the final round. Unanimous decision for Calzada with 40-35 on all three cards.
Olympian Jose Ramirez (4-0, 3KO’s) from Avenal California had a quick night against Christopher Williams from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico (1-2) as he landed a huge body punch on Williams, who turned his back to the fighter and the referee stopped the fight. Stoppage was at 1:30 of the first round by TKO.