Amuzu passes 1st test with win over Rubillar

June 21, 2013 No Comments
Slowly but surely John Amuzu (c) the bantamweight standout from the small West African country of Benin and his support staff are plotting their most direct course for a title shot. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Slowly but surely John Amuzu (c) a bantamweight standout from the small West African country of Benin plots his course to get a title shot. Photo: J. Wyatt

Friday, June 21, 2013

In Friday evening’s Main Event at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, presented by Jorge Marron Productions in association with Andy Perez of the A&T Gym, along with Paco Presents, featured 28 year-old boxer John Amuzu from Benin, a small country in West Africa, taking on 36 year-old Juanito Rubillar, one of the best fighters to come out of the Philippines.


 

Amuzu (13-0-0, 13 KOs) who now lives and trains in Riverside, CA but is from Benin, began his boxing career in Accra, Ghana. The Filipino standout, Rubillar (49-19-7, 24 KOs) who now resides in Mission Beach, San Diego, CA is originally from Mati City, Davao Oriental, Philippines.

Even though Ghana has a long and storied history in the sport and Amuzu, who speaks English, benefitted big time from having his father as his coach, knew the day was coming when he’d have to make the transition and emigrate to the United States to advance his career. Leaving his father had to be difficult, especially since he worked with the legendary Azumah Nelson, the three-time world champion, widely considered the greatest African boxer ever. 

Since his opponent, Rubillar, had never fought anyone heavier than 114 pounds, and Amuzu was much taller and had always fought as a featherweight (122-126 lbs.), you would have thought something was screwy when their official weights were announced at the weigh-ins on Thursday. Rubillar, at 119 pounds, weighed three pounds more than Amuzu at 116 lbs. 

On Friday night, Amuzu didn’t look any bigger, still lean, still cut – like one fine thoroughbred. From Round #1 through Round #5, Amuzu showed off his fire power, lightning speed, above average footwork and ability to slip punches. Succinctly put, Amuzu is the real thing. The only thing he didn’t do was stop Rubillar the same way Oscar Ibarra (27-9), Giovanni Segura (29-3), Edgar Sosa (49-7), Medgoen Singsurat (74-6) and Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (88-5) did.

For the sixth and final round, Amuzu was told to circle, stay out of range, and he did as told until Rubillar cut off the ring and forced their final exchanges, exchanges won by Amuzu who clearly took every round.

Judges scoring the bout gave Amuzu every round.

At 36 years of age, Juanito Rubillar may have lost some speed but he still has tremendous stamina. Photos: Jim Wyatt

At 36 years of age, Juanito Rubillar (center) may have lost some hand speed but he still has tremendous stamina. Photos: Jim Wyatt

John Amuzu (14-0-0, 13 KOs) had his KO streak broken by the always tough Juanito Rubillar.

John Amuzu (14-0-0, 13 KOs) had his KO streak broken by the always tough Juanito Rubillar.

On the undercard, junior bantamweight Aracely “Chelly” Tinoco of Ramona, CA (2-0-0) gave Blanca Reymundo (1-9-0) of Riverside, CA a boxing lesson. From the outset Tinoco established her dominance with five, solid, in-your-face punches that were clearly head-snappers. Even while Tinoco was landing these hard shots, Reymundo showed her toughness and every once in awhile counter with her own short right, left combination. Both gals showcased their amazing stamina.

Aracely Tinoco (bottom, right) gets the victory over Blanca Reymundo.

Aracely Tinoco (bottom, right) gets the victory over Blanca Reymundo.

Bt 3 bCollageIn a Super Middleweight clash, it was Ulises Sierra Jr. (3-0-1, 2 KO) from the Downtown Undisputed Gym having  his way with the 40 year-old, first timer, Darnell Walker from the Sweet Science Boxing Gym in Hawthorne, CA. Even though Walker went down in Round #2, his hijinks of dropping his hands and playing peekaboo lasted all the way until 1:34 of the final round before referee Jose Cobian stopped the bout.   

All of his sparring with the likes of the three Molina brothers, Kid Chocolate Quillin, Fernando Guerrero, must have helped to stiffen him up. However, his moniker of, “Anything is possible,” has run smack into a detour.

(Top left) Darnell Walker added a little bit of showmanship for his pro-debut by wearing a monster mask. His opponent, Ulises Sierra was all business. All photos: Jim Wyatt

(Top left) Darnell Walker wanted to add a little bit of theatrics for his pro-debut and wore this mask. His opponent, Ulises Sierra was all business. Photos: J. Wyatt

Bt 4 b Sierra over Darnell WalkerCollage

Bt 4 cCollage

Lester Gonzalez and Ulises Sierra Jr. worked out for a full month in preparation for Sierra's bout with Darnell Walker.

Lester Gonzalez (above) and Ulises Sierra Jr. worked out for a full month in preparation for Sierra’s bout with Darnell Walker.

 

Sierra, who did his preparation work (sparring) with Lester “El Cubanito” Gonzalez, was much sharper and pounded Walker relentlessly. Sierra’s sparring partner will be off to Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday to face a gent by the name of Jonathan Nelson (18-0-0, 8 KOs) on Saturday, June 29th. The 27 year-old Nelson stands 6’2” tall and weighed 174 pounds for his last fight (a light heavyweight bout???) on December 1, 2012. 

Middleweight Elias Espadas (2-1-0, 1 KO), the Olympic Qualifier from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, showed off his boxing skills against Greg “The Phoenix” Baca (0-3) from the Meadowbrook Boxing Club in San Bernardino. 

On his way to taking every round, the former Mexican National Team member would deliver five rapid fire punches to every one delivered by Baca. Aside from an occasional left hook at or after the bell, the taller and more elusive Espadas was in charge throughout.

Middleweight Elias Espadas (2-1-0, 1 KO), the Olympic Qualifier from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, showed off his boxing skills against Greg “The Phoenix” Baca (0-3)

In a middleweight clash, it was Elias Espadas, the former Olympic Qualifier from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, getting the best of Greg “The Phoenix” Baca. Photos: Jim Wyatt

 

Up and coming stars (l to r) Rey Gamez, Pablo Armenta, Christian Torres, Kandice Williams, promoter/matchmaker Jorge Marron, Kevin Torres and Roque "Rocky" Ramos. The list of Ramos' credits: over 130 amateur fights, 2001 & 2002 Boxers for Christ Champion, 2003 Mexican National Champion, 2003 Pan American Gold Medalist, 2005 Mexican National Bronze Medalist, 2010 B.C.R. Belt Tournament Champ, etc.

Up and coming stars (l to r) Rey Gamez, Pablo Armenta, Christian Torres, Kandice Williams, promoter Jorge Marron, Kevin Torres and Roque “Rocky” Ramos. The list of Ramos’ accomplishments: over 130 amateur fights, 2001 & 2002 Boxers for Christ Champion, 2003 Mexican National Champion, 2003 Pan American Gold Medalist, 2005 Mexican National Bronze Medalist, 2010 B.C.R. Belt Tournament Champ, etc. Photos: J. Wyatt

The final bout of the evening saw Jorge Porras of Lake Elsinore, CA (0-2-1) delaying his first victory by going into the coasting mode in the final round against Adrian “Relámpago” Rodriguez of Oakland, CA who was making his pro-debut.

In Round #1, Rodriguez played the circle game staying away from Porras as much as possible and only for the briefest of moments would he jetison in and out to try and a land a blow or a one-two combination. Therefore, we have Porras taking Round #1.

Round #2 was an all out slugfest with Porras landing the better shots to the head and body. This made Round #3 a pivotal round and most assuredly a critical round for Rodriguez. Since Round #3 was almost dead even, you got to figure the judges gave Rodriguez the nod, especially after he finished with a late flurry. 

Now, between rounds, you have both fighters listening to the advice of their support group. The Porras camp seems smug that they are well ahead on the scorecards. The Rodriguez corner urges their boxer to get inside and go for the knockout – don’t leave this bout in the judges’ hands.

In the final round, Porras mimics the Rodriguez strategy of Round #1 to the point that it’s almost like a parody, as if he were lampooning his earlier efforts. As a result, his lack of offense, cost him the fight.

As the scores were read off, Judge Tony Crebs 38-38, Judge Fritz Werner 39-37 – in favor of Porras and Judge Zac Young 38-38, it dawned on Porras that he had just blown three and a half months of hard work in the gym.

(bottom) At the conclusion of their hard fought battle, Jorge Porras (L) and Adrian Rodriguez (C) posed for photos with the lovely Ring Card girls.

(bottom) At the conclusion of their hard fought battle, Jorge Porras (L) and Adrian Rodriguez (C) posed for photos with the lovely Ring Card girls. Photos: Jim Wyatt

The next local boxing show, or should we say half boxing, half MMA, is Thursday night at the Show Palace, 1527 Mission Ave. in Oceanside, CA presented by PARS Entertainment. They’re featuring local favorites Ricky Gutierrez  going up against Pablo Pantaleon, Matt McKinney vs Anthony Hynson, Jesus Lopez vs Victor Medina, and from the world of MMA, Leo Franklin vs Abisi Lopez, Art Rivas vs Keisha Unhill and Erin Beach vs Karl Santiago.

Following that we have Bobby D Presents in association with the Mossy Auto Group returning to the Four Points By Sheraton, Thursday, July 25th with a star studded cast: Emmanuel Robles, Leon Spinks III, Jonathan Quiroz and Prince Tiger Smalls

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