If you’re a regular at the Bobby D. Presents boxing events and you missed the Friday, April 4th show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, let me be the first to bum you out… you missed a dandy.
In the Main Event, they had flyweight sensation Kenia Enriquez (10-0, 5 KOs) of Tijuana, ranked #7 by the WBC, dropping the necessary four pounds to face the former two-time Jr. Flyweight World Champion, Jolene “Classy Assassin” Blackshear (8-4, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight rounder for the NABF Jr. Flyweight Title.
In Enriquez’s last fight, on February 28, 2014, her first on U. S. turf, the 20-year-old went six hard fought rounds against Noemi Bosques from St. Petersburg, Florida. In that contest, she sent the previously undefeated fighter to the canvas in the first round en route to winning a lopsided unanimous decision.
Blackshear, the former IFBA champ, now 43 years of age, was coming off a tough loss to the undefeated Maria Suarez. You knew she was looking forward to this match as a bit of redemption. A win over Enriquez would get her right back in the mix for another title shot.
In reality, no one really knew what to expect. Oh, if only all of Tijuana could have witnessed this classic.
In Round one, Jolene, who has a reputation for being a slow starter, allowed the taller Enriquez to dictate the pace and establish her dominance in the center of the ring. Her stiff jab ruled and the shorter Blackshear could not get close. It was as if a wide moat had been dug around Enriquez to protect her and it was rare to see Blackshear land anything more than a meaningless jab to the midsection.
Round #2 started out the same. Blackshear’s short arm punches were ineffective while Enriguez maintained the proper distance to score almost at will with the straighter shots to the head and body. Midway through the round both ladies landed big punches that gave their respective cheering sections something to crow about. After Kenia blasted Jolene with a hard right, Blackshear mirrored her efforts with her own blast to the chin.
By the end of round four, Blackshear’s reddened face made it obvious that the peppering of jabs was taking its toll. The only indicator that Blackshear had made some headway was when this trickling of blood started coming from Enriquez’s nose.
Near the close of round five, the first major blow of the fight landed. A punch you figured would put anyone on their derrière. A well-timed, devastating uppercut that caught Blackshear square on the chin. Somehow, some way, she absorbed the blow and finished out the round.
In Round six, you could see Blackshear had lost a step and was no longer pressing the fight. Oddly enough, she started walking into punches. The odds of her defeating Enriquez had hit at an all time high.
By the seventh round, Blackshear may have reached the point of desperation and sensed the need for a knockout. Enriquez’s corner was likely telling her to be careful and at the same time get ready to load up with strong counter.
Then, as if Enriquez were following her corner’s script, there was the Blackshear miss and Enriquez countered with an overhand right to send Blackshear reeling back against the ropes. This time Enriquez could smell blood and jumped on her opponent with one accurate punch after another.
Like a tumbling surfer who just fell off her surfboard, Blackshear was unable to do anything but curl up and try to weather Kenia’s onslaught of punches. The problem was the punches came from every angle. Referee Jose Cobian could see Blackshear was in big trouble and wasted little time in jumping in to stop the fight.
With the TKO win, Enriquez captured the vacant NABF light flyweight title and moved up to 11-0 with 6 KOs. Blackshear now drops to 8-5, with 3 KOs.
In what had to be the second most popular bout of the night, Amaris “Diamond Girl” Quintana (6-2-2, 1 KO) of San Diego was back home to face Susan Reno (1-1-1) from New York, N. Y.
After fighting her last two championship bouts in Sindy Amador’s backyard, as they say in a hostile environment, you could see the delight on Quintana’s face as she entered the ring then circled about waving to her “peeps”, an almost boundless group of supporters.
After that first bell, the ladies went nonstop. Quintana used her legs to dart in and out with the well placed combinations. The gutsy Reno tried to match her efforts but like Blackshear her arm punches were often falling short. She was like a youngster flinging a net at an elusive butterfly that had already moved in a different direction.
Simply put, Quintana’s punches were quicker and harder, while Reno’s were more like glancing blows. Quintana enjoyed much success with the left hooks to the midsection coupled with the big over hand rights.
By the close of round six, those hard, overhand rights had developed a large hematoma on the left side of Reno’s head and according to her husband, a New York firefighter working her corner, no amount of ice could prevent this bump from blowing up.
As a novice in regards to these types of injuries, I felt her man had taken a cavalier attitude. Especially, since the two main causes of death from boxing are the subdural hematoma, a rupturing of the veins between the brain and the skull, and cerebral edema, a buildup of water in the brain. In this case, the bout was already over.
Studies have shown that the number of real solid, hard punches landed was significantly higher in fatal matches, with 22.9 for the fighter who died and only 9.4 in an average match.
When a boxer reaches his or her punishment limit or when a referee spots one of these injuries, it becomes more and more important that the referee jump in and stop the bout immediately. Plus, the attending physician needs to instruct the injured fighter and his corner about aftercare.
On Tuesday afternoon, three and a half days later, we checked back with Mike Reno, Susan’s husband. He confirmed that the swelling had finally gone down and all that remained was this black and blue bruise.
However, on Saturday, during their return flight home to New York, an almost six hour plane ride, he said the soreness and swelling had gone back up appreciatively. That seems to be a strong indicator that travel by plane should be out of the question until an injured boxer has had a chance to recover fully.
On the undercard:
In a four round super welterweight clash David Barragan (8-0-1) from the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, San Diego earned himself an unanimous decision victory over Eddie Cordova of Clearfield, Utah with scores of 40-36 from judges Alejandro Rochin and Jose Cobian while judge Fritz Werner had it 39-37.
For three of the four rounds, you could see a marked difference in the accuracy and ferocity of punches thrown by Barragan who worked over Cordova’s midsection and occasionally landed the big left hook to the head. As far as the scoring, this boxing pundit agrees with Judge Werner’s assessment, especially after seeing Barragan get outboxed in round two.
Adrian Vargas (8-0-1, 6 KOs), from the Undisputed Gym, in San Diego’s downtown, looked impressive in his destruction of the tough Luis Cervantes (7-7-3, 2 KOs) from the Palm Springs Boxing Club, Palm Springs, CA.
You could see both boxers trained hard for this match-up, especially since both were making their first return to the ring after a two year layoff.
The difference maker in this match turned out to be the mouse that developed under Cervantes’ left eye. That situation worsened with an assist from Vargas’ overhand rights. The puffiness went quickly from a welt to almost complete closure. At the 1:29 point of the third round, referee Jose Cobian stopped the bout and sought the advice of the attending physician who advised Cobian to stop the match, which he did.
In the opener, it was lightweight Jarrod Tennant (3-0) of Los Angeles, CA having a relatively, easy time against 35 year-0ld Mario Angeles (1-5-1) of San Diego. For the majority of the fight, it was like watching a dog chase a cat. In the fourth and final round Tennant caught up to the cat, landed a body shot and Angeles dropped to one knee. Angeles beat the count and made it to the final bell.
Deep down you knew the judges had a smirk on their face when the scores were read, all had it 40-35 in favor of Tennant. If possible, I’m certain the judges would have given Tennant an even higher score.
Boxers are fans too and on this night there were a plethora in attendance: super bantamweight Kelsey “Road Warrior” Jefferies, who won three world titles in two divisions, heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, welterweight Josesito Lopez, light welterweight Carlos Molina, ex-Olympian, now pro boxer Oscar Molina, super bantamweight Christopher Martin, interim WBC Latino light welterweight champ Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles, boxing brothers Christian and Emilio Bojorquez, undefeated light welterweights Antonio Orozco and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, plus undefeated light heavyweight Ulises Sierra. The NFL was represented by former San Diego Chargers, FB Nate Colbert and DE Ogemdi Nwagbuo.
Reflections from our combatants:
Kenia Enriquez: “Thank God, today I was able to make another big step towards my ultimate goal. I am very grateful to my rival Jolene Blackshear for giving me the opportunity and give me a great fight.
Even more so to my family for their motivation, my father Gustavo Enriquez, Gabriela Roses and uppermost my sister Tania Enríquez.
I’m grateful to Amaris ‘Diamond Girl’ Quintana and Andrea Medina for helping me out with my sparring. I’m grateful to David Gutierrez and Juan Medina Jr. for opening the doors of their gym (Bound Boxing Academy). I want to thank my corner Gerardo Mendoza, Vince Parra and mainly to my promoters Bobby D. Presents and Mayen Promotions and to all the beautiful people that are always there to support me.
When my supporters cheered for me, it motivated me to reach this grand achievement. I performed for the many who saw it, and the many more who missed it. The folks who supported me all the way up from when I was just an amateur. For those who missed it, there were people on the edge of their seats for a fight that was fought before a packed house. There were even people outside who couldn’t get a ticket.”
Jolene Blackshear: “All right ya’all…I lost the fight, but it was a war against a very tough and bigger opponent, but we knew that going into it. For all of you who came out to support me…I LOVE YOU and really appreciate that you came. I’m sorry I lost, but I hope you enjoyed it and aren’t too disappointed. The biggest win for me was finally fighting in my hometown for the first and only time in 20 years and having all of you there in person and spirit. Thank you for being there!!! xoxo.”
Blackshear’s coach, Jose Cital: “We lost a hard fight to the next world champion. Much respect to Enriquez from Cital Boxing and the Jolene Blackshear team.
Felizidades a Kenis Enriquez! Buen trunfo seras campiona del mundo.
Now that I gave our opponent her props. I turn to one of the best people, fighters and friends I’ve ever had Jolene Blackshear. You fought like the champ you are. You have taken me through an awesome journey that’s not over till this fat man sings, hah hah hah! I have so much love for you, thank you for always fighting your heart out. You’re the best fighter I’ve ever trained.”
Edward Cordova gave similar props to David Barragan: “Well I lost a very close decision. Oh well, his crowd, his judges! He is a very cool guy though. Good job Barragan.”
No one was more gracious than Susan Reno who couldn’t stop praising her opponent, Amaris Quintana. “What a fine person, fine athlete and a genuinely nice person all around. Believe me, I didn’t want to lose but losing to someone like her softens the blow.”