Bobby D pulls another rabbit out of his hat to insure an exciting show

Tianna is the current President of the King Rodney Hernandez fan club. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Tianna Ocasio (r) one of Rodney Hernandez’s biggest fans. Photo: J. Wyatt

Friday, March 20, 2015

As any boxing promoter can attest, being able to put on a good to excellent show hinges on many factors and the problems preventing that goal often blindside you. You have a late injury, a boxer with an expired visa, a failed medical test, the change of venue, or in this case several boxers suddenly unavailable just days before the show. When this happens, a Hall of Fame promoter like Bobby De Philippis with his Bobby D Presents promotions has to go into scramble mode and start calling everyone and anyone who can help him secure those last minute replacements.

Some of these replacements end up with less than 48 hours notice and know little about their opponent. When a replacement then gives the performance of their life, the promoter is so elated, he’d like to give each performer a big hug. Without getting too maudlin or getting into specifics, here are the heroes from Friday’s excellent show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

In the evening’s Main Event, Rodney Hernandez (7-2-1, 5 KOs) of Modesto, CA handed the highly touted Scott “The One” Alexander (9-1-1, 5 KOs) his first professional loss, winning by an unanimous decision in this heavyweight six rounder.

What went wrong for the favored Scott Alexander? In the first round, Alexander appeared to have everything going his way. After all he had the best physique, technique, sound footwork and what looked to be the quicker hands. He also landed the heavier blows with better leverage. In that opening round, Hernandez was on the receiving end of more punishment but he never took a step backward.

Over the next three rounds, Alexander’s dominance dissipated as Hernandez began to wear Alexander down with these two and three punch combinations from in close. He would either tie Alexander up, or he’d be leaning on him to wear him down. He even started putting his head on his chest. Hernandez used verbal taunts to distract Alexander and often smiled defiantly each time Alexander landed a punch. Whether in excellent shape or not, Alexander began to slow down. This downtempo gave Hernandez even more impetus and an opportunity to rip Alexander with these hard shots to the body.

The scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55 all favored the wily “Big Rodney” Hernandez.

(top, left) Coach Courage tells Scotty Alexander, "Go out there and knock this bum's head off." Photo: Jim Wyatt

(top, l) Former heavyweight contender, now coach Courage Tshabalala tells Scotty Alexander, “Go out there and knock this bum’s head off.” Photo: J. Wyatt

At first there were momentum swings as both fighters landed some heavy artillery.

At first there were momentum swings as both fighters landed some heavy artillery.

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At the end of their battle, the two gentlemen shook each others hand and showed

(top) At the end of their nonstop battle, the two gentlemen met in the center of the ring and showed their mutual respect. (below, right) The winner Rodney Hernandez poses for a photo with the lovely ring card gals. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In the opening bout, Bout #1, the matchmaker featured two debutantes from the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Both had similar backgrounds, both weighed the same 150 pounds. It was Isaac “Puma” Freeman from Crenshaw and Jeff Tabrizi from Reseda by way of Ontario, Canada.

From the outset, it was all about lightning fast punches, these alternating, going for broke blows as the two newcomers got rid of their nervous energy.

Twenty-nine seconds into round four, the battle came to screeching halt when Freeman beat his opponent to the punch with an all or nothing overhand right that landed flush on Tabrizi’s chin. After referee Tony Crebs witnessed the solid blow, saw Tabrizi spin around and land on all fours, he was certain it wasn’t necessary to give Tabrizi a 10-count. He immediately called for the fight doctor. Up to that point, you had to figure Freeman was up two rounds to one and appeared to be landing the higher volume of punches.

(l) Super welterweight Isaac “Puma” Freeman from Crenshaw and Jeff Tabrizi

(left) Prior to his super welterweight bout, Isaac “Puma” Freeman (blue trunks) looks across the ring at his opponent Jeff Tabrizi (red trunks).

(bottom, right) the shutter snaps just ahead of the knockout punch being delivered by Isaac Freeman.

(bottom, right) The shutter snaps a split second too soon. A split second later the Isaac Freeman knockout punch, a full blast overhand right, lands flush on Tabrizi’s chin to send him reeling backwards and down on all fours.

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After the dramatic stoppage, everyone and their brother wanted a photo with Isaac "Puma" Freeman. Photos: Jim Wyatt

After the dramatic knockout victory, everyone and their brother wanted a photo with the winner Isaac “Puma” Freeman. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 took all of 36 seconds. In that time, super lightweight Ngoc Truong (1-1, with 1 KO) from the Power House Gym, otherwise known as “the Whack House Gym” of North Hollywood, ko’d the hard charging lightweight Miguelito Marti (0-4), with a straight right as he came charging at him. It was as if Marti had bus to catch. From the opening bell he kept rushing at Truong with his head tilted forward and arms flailing, always in perpetual motion. His style of boxing? A lot of offense but no defense.

The quickest bout of the night saw Ngoc Truong land the perfect punch on the hard charging Miguelito Marti and down he went.

The quickest bout of the night saw Ngoc Truong (red trunks) land the perfect punch on the hard charging Miguelito Marti to stop him dead in his tracks.

In Bout #2, the overly aggressive paid the price when Ngoc Truong caught him coming in with a straight right to the chin and down he went at :33 of the first round.

In Bout #2, the overly aggressive Migelito Marti paid the ultimate price when Ngoc Truong caught him coming forward. The following day, we see Marti has moved on and put that shocking experience out of mind to spend a fun day with his son.

Ever since the announcement of his return to the ring, many local boxing fans were eager to see how Ernesto “Chato” Martinez would do now that he is getting closer to 40 years of age. Like many when they reach these various plateaus in life, Martinez wanted to test himself and see if he’d perform on the professional level. In bout #3 against a 26 year-old power puncher by the name of Jose Alvarez from Sanger, Calif., he got that opportunity.

At the outset, Alvarez was the more aggressive of the two, but as the fight progressed Martinez worked through the rust and began to match Alvarez’s output. In round three and four, it came down to which boxer was the slicker puncher and which wanted it more. Amazingly, Martinez was not huffing and puffing, and from all appearances looked as if he could have gone an additional six to eight rounds. Halfway through the final round, Martinez landed these eight, short but powerful successive blows to his opponent’s head and body which likely convinced the judges that he deserved their support in this tightly contested match.

In the end, you had two judges favoring Martinez, Jose Cobian 39-37 and Fritz Werner 39-36, while the third judge Alejandro Rochin had Alvarez winning 39-36. With the split decision win, Martinez’s record improves to (11-8-1, 5 KOs) while Alvarez’s record drops to (3-4). 

(top, left) Ernesto Martinez salutes the many friends and relatives that came to see him make his comeback.

(top, left) Ernesto Martinez waves to the many friends and relatives who came to support him and see him make his comeback. Photos: Jim Wyatt

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Throughout their four round battle, both Ernesto Martinez and Jose Alvarez pounded away at each other.

Throughout their four round, nonstop battle, both Ernesto Martinez (grey trunks) and Jose Alvarez (black trunks) pounded away at each other.

In the battle of attrition, San Diego's Ernesto "Chato" Martinez, a boxing instructor at The Arena in Point Loma, outshines Jose Alvarez.

In the battle of attrition, it was San Diego’s Ernesto “Chato” Martinez, a boxing instructor at The Arena in Point Loma, coming away with the split decision victory over the game Jose Alvarez. (bottom, right) Both referee Tony Crebs (r) and Martinez’s son hold up his arms in celebration of the victory.

In Bout #4, the co-main event, it was lightweight Leon Spinks III (11-1-1, 7 KOs) of Huntington Beach, CA, stopping an overmatched but gutsy Cesar “Mayu” Garcia (11-18-1, 5 KOs) of Ensenada, B. C., Mexico. As early as the second round, the southpaw had begun to make mincemeat out of Garcia’s face. Spinks constant jab with an occasional right, left combination was brutal to watch. There was no need to check any punch stats. They would surely favor Spinks by a wide, wide margin. All told, Garcia may have landed and we’re being generous here, a total of six solid punches.

Before the second round ended, the attending physician, a Dr. Beard, was already concerned about a nasty cut above Garcia’s left eye. At the close of both rounds two and three, the doctor was quick to exam Garcia. Any doubt about continuing the bout ended at 2:10 of round four when the good doctor, for the third time, jettisoned out of his seat, climbed the stairs and made certain the referee knew to stop the bout.

With this being Garcia’s 30th fight without a single victory over a boxer with a winning record, you might think it’s time for him to hang up the gloves.

(top, left) Leon Spinks III and his entourage get set for their bout against Cesar Garcia.

(top, left) Leon Spinks III of Huntington, CA and his entourage await their bout against Cesar “Mayu” Garcia of Ensenada, B. C., Mexico.

As the fight progressed, Cesar Garcia's face got redder and redder from the open facial cuts. All photos: Jim Wyatt

As the fight progressed, Cesar Garcia’s face got redder and redder from the blood coming from the open facial cuts. All photos: Jim Wyatt

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(top) Leon Spinks and his co-manager Repo Rick look across at Spinks' opponent and you can see their chagrin when their opponent refuses to quit.

(top) You can see the uneasiness on their faces as Leon Spinks III and his co-manager Repo Rick look across at their opponent’s corner and wonder why the opposition wants to continue after all of the blood letting. (below) We see the excitable Leon Spinks jumping up on the ropes to celebrate his victory.

Next up is the Ringside at Del Mar Boxing Series on Friday, March 27, 2015. In the Main Event they have Elias Espadas (7-1-0, 3 KOs) going up against Adan Leal (9-4-0, 7 KOs) plus six additional bout featuring four local boxers defending the home turf.

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.