From the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, CO:
Garcia Quells the “Hurricane!”
Olga Cleans Out Yard for IFBA Jr. Lightweight Belt

text and photos by chris cozzone

An injury might’ve had Elco “the Animal” Garcia bailing out of the long-awaited showdown with Andres “Panda” Pacheco a couple months ago, but last night, at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colorado’s “other” top middleweight rectified his rep with a 6th Round stoppage over Earl “the Hurricane” Jackson.

As his moniker implies, Jackson came out like a hurricane, looking to take out Garcia with a constant barrage of bombs. Garcia weathered the storm, and fired back when able, making it a close round. In my eyes, the Hurricane’s aggression gave him the lead.

In the 2nd, Jackson continued his pursuit. Garcia chose his strategy, staying on the outside and catching Earl coming in, with left hooks and right hands. An accidental headbutt midway through the round opened up a cut alongside Garcia’s right eye, slowing down the action.

Garcia won the 3rd round with his hard single jabs, but appeared tentative to throw any big rights. Jackson continued to pressure and was starting to pin down Garcia until Elco landed a straight right hand to Jackson’s chin that wobbled him.

Round 5 was slow, with Jackson tiring and Garcia doing just enough to win. By the end of the round, Jackson’s right eye had started to swell; he came out for the 6th with it nearly swollen shut.

Unable to see clearly, Elco dominated the round, pushing forward for the first time and keeping Jackson on the run. In the 2nd minute, Garcia floored Jackson, who got up and was able to survive despite further punishment. Cries of “Stop the fight!” were voiced.

Between rounds, the ringside doc checked out Earl’s eye, calling the fight over and awarding the TKO win to Garcia.

Garcia scores his 13th win—5th by KO (with 2 losses.) The Hurricane, who was coming off a devastating 1st Round KO of Albuquerque’s Adriano Sanchez back in September, falls to 11-14-2 (8 KO’s).

Unfortunately, just who is the Rocky Mountain region’s best middleweight is still an unanswered question. Will Garcia ever face Pacheco? Or will either one ever take on the undefeated Joseph Brady from Albuquerque?

While those showdowns remain in high demand, Brady ups his ante when, on November 22nd, he takes on former world contender Alfred Ankamah.

The Women Steal the Show

While the main event had its share of action, it was the co-main women’s IFBA title fight that stole the show and had the fans on their feet cheering.

Looking to defend her IFBA Jr. Lightweight belt in front of a crowd that has adopted the Palm Desert, CA champ as a hometowner, Sandra “the Shark” Yard took on undefeated hot prospect from Chicago by way of Siberia, Olga Vlasova.

The pace was set in the 1st: Olga in hot pursuit with Yard on the move, counter-punching from the outside. Vlasova landed the better punches and the pressure paid off, when she was able to keep Yard in one place and fight on the inside.

Yard had a better round in the 3rd, trading blows with Vlasova and then keeping out of range before the Siberian could trap her with inside blows. Vlasova came back in the 4th, outworking Yard.

The 5th was close enough to go either way; and the 6th was the best round yet. Yard and Vlasova traded combinations at close range and while Olga landed the better bombs, Yard, refusing to give in, came back at the end of the round.

It was all Olga in the 7th, with inside damage revealing Yard’s age and the effect of a handful of previous wars. Yard tried to retaliate in the 8th, but Vlasova showed a good defense and maintained control of the fight. This continued into the 9th but in the 10th, Vlasova, tiring, fought on the defensive when Yard pulled out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to hang onto her title.

Unfortunately it was too late: two scorecards had it for Vlasova—98-92 and 96-95—while one, unbelievably, had it for Yard, 97-93. I had it 98-92 for Vlasova.

With the split decision win and in her first ten-rounder, Vlasova (now 7-0-1, 3 KO’s) becomes the new IFBA Jr. Lightweight champ.

Uncrowned, Yard falls to 12-5-2 (4 KO’s).

Undercard Bombs

Because of an 8-bout amateur pre-show, there were only two pro fights on the undercard—both were bombs.

The opening bout featured Farmington prospect and Romero-camp-trained Victor “the Baby-faced Assassin” Barela who, no fault of his own, was matched up with short-notice “fighter” Jose Martinez from Juarez.

Barela has had nothing but bad luck trying to secure a fight in front of his home crowd in the Farmington, NM-Ignacio,CO area. The first two times saw Barela’s opponents cancel at the last minute; this weekend it happened again, and in even worse luck, Barela was matched up with “meat wagon” fighter Martinez.

I was telling everyone that Martinez wouldn’t last 40 seconds. Others who were familiar with Martinez said he wouldn’t last two minutes. We were all wrong—Martinez was downed within ten seconds, giving Barela the official time of :19 seconds for his knockout win.

It was the first left hook to the body Barela threw that spilled Martinez onto the canvas like a cheap can of cervasa.

Besides the much-expected boos from the crowd, many started chanting, “Start over!”

When the official decision was announced, the MC was apologetic:

“You got to understand the power of this young prospect from Farmington . . . .”

While there’s no doubt that the newly christened “Baby-faced Assassin” has got the right stuff, there’s even more surety that Senor Martinez is the wrong stuff . . . .

I’ve now been forced to cover the last five or so fights of Martinez. In every one of those bouts, he has yet to throw more than a couple punches (which he only did in one out of the last four bouts). Martinez starts the fight by looking for the softest spot on the canvas. After the first or second flurry, he goes down.

While the Juarez opponent should have every right to find work where he can, he should look some place other than boxing. Matching up Martinez cheats the fighter and cheats the boxing fan.

‘Nuff said.

Bomb #1 led the way for Bomb #2 . . . .      

Making his pro debut last night was Cortez, CO’s big, bad, buffed heavyweight Roman Armstrong, who was pitted against McLaughlin, SD’s Jesse Village Center—a cruiserweight, really, with a 3-3-1 record.

By appearances, Armstrong should’ve strong-armed the pudgy, shorter Village Center. But Village Center had two attributes Armstrong lacked: skill and heart.

Armstrong came out strong, trying to whack away at Village Center, who covered up and then returned fire. After the first retaliation, Armstrong spent most of the round trying to walk away from exchanges. Village Center closed the gap and floored Armstrong with a left hook in the last minute.

In the 2nd, Village Center took care of business, landing bombs on a timid Armstrong. After a beautiful left uppercut bottomed-out Armstrong, the fight was over at 1:39, Village Center the winner by KO.

Take it from a guy who knows, Armstrong: Weightlifting is a little different than boxing. Those barbells are fun to conquer, but they don’t bite back . . . .

Amateur Bouts

Ronnie Rivera Wins by Walkover

Amanda Crespin (Crespin’s Boxing) RSC 1 over Brenda Rasmussen
Crespin goes right to work and before you know it, Rasmussen gets a standing 8. Well-placed combinations from Crespin snap Rasmussen’s head back and it’s standing 8 once again before the ref realizes this girl’s getting murdered and stops the fight.

14/119#:
Ewing Todacheenie (Bloomfield) DEC Dustin Williams (Navajo Nation)
The busier, more aggressive Todacheenie takes the fight to Williams. Williams has his moments, especially in the 3rd, but it’s Todacheenie’s fight. Todacheenie by decision.

Open/119#:
Jazzma Hogue (Badoni’s) DEC Jon Herrera (GIBC)
Great fight: Hogue’s fancy footwork and flash style contrast nicely with Herrera’s nice counterpunching. Hogue’s left hooks to Herrera’s body secures first round for him. In the 2nd, it’s the body shots again that gives round to Hogue. Herrera gets standing 8 after Hogue traps him against ropes. In the 3rd, it’s a better round for Herrera, who’s aggressive at first—and more effective. But Hogue turns things around and takes back the round with more left hooks. Hogue by decision.

15/119#:
Kayla Kombs (Bloomfield) DEC Betty Stephens (Salt Lake City)
The first round is even but Kombs kicks it up a notch in the 2nd, fighting more aggressive than Stephens, who is a bit faster and is getting off first. In the 3rd, Stephens is throwing the better punches but Kombs is busier. Kombs takes decision.

14/132#:
Arturo Crespin (Crespin’s Boxing) DEC Joey Harrison (War Pony Boxing Club)
Crespin, a.k.a. the “Tank”, is faster than he looks, and is the busier and much more aggressive. Crespin’s straight lefts are getting in and he floors Harrison in the 2nd. In the 3rd, it’s all Crespin, who takes the decision easily.

Open/178#:
Duke Yazzie (Yazzie Boxing Club) DEC Victor Filerio (Bloomfield)
The taller Filerio is busier in the 1st, counter-punching Yazzie. Yazzie keeps the pressure on and by smothering Filerio, takes the 2nd. Left hooks from Yazzie secure the 3rd and final round.

Open/Super Heavy:
Troy Coley (Bloomfield) DEC Will Wagner (Badoni’s)
Wagner is down twice in the 1st from left hands when the two start brawling. In the 2nd, both boxers are bleeding and have slowed down. In the 3rd, it’s even slower, but Coley is taking round.

Morris Moya (GIBC) Wins by Walkover

Open/139#:
Vincent Garcia (Team Sanchez III) DEC Suanitu Hogue (Badoni’s)
The first round is close but the edge—through speed and combinations—goes to Garcia. Hogue tries to close gap and fight where he is more effective, on the inside. He’s able to do this in the 2nd and he evens out the rounds. But, in the 3rd, Garcia takes the fight to Hogue, throwing more punches and outlanding Hogue, winning both the decision and “Outstanding Boxer of the Night” trophy.

# # #

Quick Results
Elco “the Animal” Garcia
(13-2, 5 KO’s) TKO 6 Earl "the Hurricane" Jackson (11-14-2, 8 KO’s)

IFBA Women’s Jr. Lightweight title Fight:
Olga Vlasova (7-0-1, 3 KO’s) Split Dec. 10 Sandra “the Shark” Yard (12-5-2, 4 KO’s)
Victor "the Babyface Assassin" Barela (4-0, 2 KO’s) KO 1 Jose Martinez (0-8)
Jessie Village Center (4-3-1, 4 KO’s) KO 2 Roman Armstrong (0-1)


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Site & photos by
cozzone.