RINGSIDE REPORT: Down and Dirty Series Hits Melrose, Mass
On Friday night, Reyes Boxing aired its second “Down & Dirty” installment via PPV at ThrowdownSports.com. “Down & Dirty” which made its debut in Portland, Maine on August 14 of this year, is the only regional pugilistic promotion of its kind – focusing on fighters in the New England area.
The night’s fights at Melrose Memorial Hall were called by Michael Woods of NY Fights, who kept the energy going and the quips flowing (“How about punching first and then the sportsmanship?”) throughout the evening.
The series is the creation of Michael Reyes, a Boston businessman and boxing lifer.
The night’s featured attraction showcased Colombian super welterweight contender Jeovanis “Meque” Barraza (23-1, 15 KOs) against Jorge “Tomatito” Martin Garcia (13-8-1, 6 KOs) in an 8-round bout for the vacant ABF Continental Americas Super Welterweight Championship (how does all that even fit on a belt?).
Barraza (pictured atop the story, pic by Emily Harney) earned a dominant, if not otherworldly, unanimous decision against his Argentinian opponent.
Barraza pitched a shutout through five easy rounds before dropping Garcia twice in the sixth. Garcia surprisingly survived, and despite looking like a drunk about to slide off his stool, came out for the seventh and hopped on his bicycle for most of the round. Garcia hugged Barraza at the end of the seventh as if the fight was over, but sadly, he miscounted.
Garcia got put down again by a left to the body in the eighth. Garcia slipped and fell twice in the final round and looked up at the ref as if he wished the man in the bowtie would put him out of his misery.
The notable difference in class was evident early on. Garcia was used by Barraza as a stone to the sizable step up Barraza will be taking in just two weeks against the 17-1 (w/ 11 KOs) Alexis Rocha on the undercard of the Munguia-Rosado scrap on November 13.
Barraza’s only loss came against current WBA welterweight title-holder Gabriel Maestre over two years ago. Barraza had won both of his subsequent bouts and was attempting to further his prospect to contender path against Garcia, who hadn’t been in the ring since scoring a unanimous decision, just over two years ago, against journeyman Dario Nestor Baigorria.
While Barraza didn’t do anything to hurt himself, I don’t know that he did enough to make the pulses of fight fans quicken the way they do when they know they are seeing something special.
That being said, a W is a W, and Barraza’s career momentum was not stalled, even if it would be hard to argue that it was greatly accelerated.
The voluminous 6-fight undercard began with a foursome of 4-rounders (although none of them went the distance).
The night’s opening bout saw the hard-bodied Providence, Rhode Island heavyweight Sean Bey improve his record to 3-0 (w/ 3 KOs) by trouncing the less than svelte Brandon Grundy of Utah (who was making his debut and hopefully his departure) in the first round via TKO. Bey is a physical specimen, but it’s hard to know what kind of prospect he is based on this fight.
Grundy claimed to have hurt his hand early, but I think it’s his reputation as a boxer that took the biggest hit. Grundy turned away from Bey twice and left the referee no choice but to call the fight off early.
In the second bout of the evening, undefeated heavyweight from Lynn, Mass, Dennis Ventura (4-1, w/ 3 KOs) became “formerly undefeated” after suffering knockdowns in both the first and fourth rounds at the hands of the less than distinguished Vercell Webster (2-4-1, w/ 2 KOs).
In-between, the two combatants exhibited more hugging than fighting, but the clearly out of shape Ventura never got in the fight. Ventura got up from knockdown number two, but he was clearly gassed and the referee rightly stopped the fight before Ventura collapsed from exhaustion or another Webster right hand (whichever came first).
Fight number three of the evening ended early when New London, CT lightweight prospect Alejandro “El Abusador” Paulino (5-0, 5 KOs) knocked down Christian Danilo Guido (8-21, w/ 6 KOs) four times before the referee waved off the fight just before the end of the second.
Paulino has fast hands and some definite pop in his gloves. Hopefully, he will step up in competition for his next fight and we can get a better idea of just how talented he is.
Fight four between Massachusetts lightweights Gabriel Morales (3-0, 2 KOs) from Dracut and Woburn product Paolo DeSouza (0-24 NOT A MISPRINT) came off as a bit of an upset after DeSouza made it out of the first. It’s entirely possible, (as Woodsy pointed out) that DeSouza showed up for the fight in his swim trunks (they were colorful and I’d bet my bum they had a drawstring).
Morales sent DeSouza to the canvas with a minute to go in the second, and another knockdown followed quickly. Morales continued to whale away on DeSouza while DeSouza’s tuchus was against the canvas, and probably should have been disqualified for it, but the ref showed mercy on both fighters and awarded Morales the TKO and kept DeSouza from getting knocked around some more.
Maybe Morales was embarrassed for not taking the unfeated (probably not a word, but I like it and you know what I mean) DeSouza out in the first.
The first 6-round fight of the undercard between Boston lightweight Jonathan DePina (5-1, 3 KOs) vs. Virginian Stacey Anderson (0-7 NOT A…you get the idea) ended with DePina crushing Anderson with quality combinations in the third round, sending him to the canvas twice, after two relatively competitive rounds.
Both fighters came in fit and ready to fight, but the scrap ended in the third in just the way one might have expected with a winless fighter in the ring. This is the fourth time DePina has been in the ring with a guy whose record starts with an 0. If he’s looking to become a true prospect, he’s going to need Anderson to be the last goose egg fighter on his resume.
In the second 6-round fight of the evening, ABF Atlantic Middleweight Champion (I’m sure that title matters to someone) Anthony “Big Daddy” Hines (8-0, w/ 4 KOs), out of Dorchester, defeated veteran Colombian journeyman Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (39-27-1, w/ 31 KOs) by unanimous decision.
It was the first fight of the night between two guys with winning records, and the step up in class was notable. While neither fighter is going to be confused with a world-beater, they both looked like they knew what they were doing in the ring.
Hines scored a knockdown in the third that didn’t seem to hurt Munoz and the Colombian fighter protested the ruling.
All that early fight professionalism broke down when Munoz appeared to suffer a near-death experience after taking a couple pitter-pats behind the head from Hines. Most likely, Munoz was practicing some gamesmanship to catch a second wind.
In fact, after getting a several minute break from the referee, Munoz returned to the scrap as the aggressor and likely won the round. After hitting Hines low multiple times in the fifth, a modest clash of heads once again had Munoz clutching his pearls and going into what Woodsy correctly described as “histrionics.”
Munoz managed to survive the head-tap and the round, and the judges scored the fight correctly (a victory in and of itself).
Hines likely learned a thing or three against Munoz, who knows how to fight, and how to get “down and dirty” (see what I did there?), but I wouldn’t bet money on Hines advancing to contender status.