Dorado, Zaleta back up ‘Palabras Mayores’
Chihuahuan hopefuls solidify status as contenders:
Reyes outpoints Campas, Zaleta KOs Keb Baas
report & photos by Chris Cozzone
They don’t coddle their fighters in Mexico, at least not in Chihuahua. In fact, sometimes it seems as if they’re seeking to sink their rising stars in a sea of sharks.
Last night, though, Chihuahua’s top two hopefuls, Marco “Dorado” Reyes and Victor “El Nene” Zaleta, not only swam with the sharks, but backed up the billed “Palabras Mayores” (Strong Words) card by letting their fists do the talking.
The card, promoted by Promociones del Pueblo card at the Gimnasio Rodrigo Quevada in Ciudad Chihuahua, Mexico, packed in over 3,000 fans anxious fans.
For “Dorado” (The Golden One), his first 12-rounder, against former world champion Ramon “Yory Boy” Campas, was a gigantic leap in opposition.
Campas, though batting .500 in his last ten bouts, had, literally, ten times the experience of Reyes—108 bouts to ten. But the Chihuahua middleweight proved he could not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.
Actually, there was quite a bit of running, too.
For the first two rounds, Reyes looked like a scared schoolboy chased around the playground by the classroom bully—but what appeared to be fear was nothing less than strategy.
By the third round, the plan was not only evident, but flawlessly executed through 12 rounds.
In hot pursuit, Campas’ leaping left hook lead had Reyes spinning around the ring through the first and much of the second. But in the final 30 seconds of round two, Reyes, his rhythm established, stood in place long enough to hammer back at Campas. Two huge left-right combinations crashed into Campas’ face, enough to steal the round for some.
The chase was on.
Reyes ran and Campas followed, trying to cut off the ring, trying to land something, and failing. Standing in place long enough to pop a one-two into Campas, before backtracking or sidling away, Reyes sealed his successful strategy.
It wasn’t pretty, by any means, and it certainly wasn’t exciting until the later rounds—but it worked.
Round after round, “Dorado” caught Campas at the front door, with a jab or left-right, before spinning away out of the veteran’s aggravating attempts to find a home for his hook or right. When a big shot by Campas landed, Reyes took it well—and immediately fired back with increasingly cleaner shots.
By the fifth round, Reyes spiraled his movement to the center of the ring, where he continued to frustrate the former champion.
In the seventh, the crafty Campas stopped chasing, forcing Reyes to meet him center ring. Despite the wise attempt to alter what was becoming an impossible fight to win, Campas continued to find himself on the receiving end of Reyes’ long right hand.
Both landed their best shots of the night in round eight, when the two traded furiously in the center of the ring. The crowd chanted “DOR-AH-DOE! DOR-AH-DOE!” then switched to “YOR-Y! YOR-Y!” for a short time before returning to their hometown favorite, who finished the round the aggressor.
After a successful eighth, however, the fight because increasingly worse for Campas. Round nine was up for grabs, though Reyes turned it up in the last minute, giving Campas—and the fans—a break from his constant circling.
In the final three rounds, Reyes gave everyone—but Campas—what they were here to see.
Round ten was the first really dominating round for Reyes, who stood his ground for much of it, actually driving Campas back for the first time. In the first minute, heavy artillery from Reyes had Campas’ mouthpiece on the canvas. A rowdy fan protested the break by hurling a big-gulp-sized cup of liquid onto the ring. When the fight resumed, Reyes took over again.
Unable to get in the game and looking older by the round, Campas gave up the chase in the eleventh, but in the 12th and final round, he gave the fight a last desperate rally.
The first 15 seconds was his—nearly all the rest belonged to Reyes. The Chihuahuan battered away at Campas, backing him into his corner where he pummeled him long and hard enough to envision a stoppage—but just when it looked like a bad ending, Campas fired back with the best punch of the night—a right hand that stunned Reyes. “Dorado” tied up long enough to clear his head then boxed the remaining seconds away of the round.
Clearly frustrated, “Yory Boy” walked back to his corner and trainer, Joe Diaz, shaking his head, while Reyes pranced around the ring, his arms raised.
The scores ranged from a surprising 114-114 draw, to 116-112 and 117-111 for Reyes, winner by majority decision.
Fightnews had it 117-111, Reyes.
“I felt good but got tired in some rounds,” admitted Reyes, who takes home the vacant WBC Fecombox middleweight belt, and a record of 11-0, 10 kayos.
“I stayed to plan and did not need to exchange with him. But he is a strong fighter.”
Campas, who falls to 94-14, 76 KOs, was respectful of Reyes, but did not like his style of fighting.
“I did not agree with the decision,” said Campas. “But I would like to fight again here.”
Keb Baas goes Ka-boom
Facing a former world title challenger and a veteran of nearly 50 fights, Chihuahuan Victor Zaleta, with just eight fights, showed himself on the verge of contention with a stunning knockout win.
Mexican Gilberto Keb Baas was a late sub for Luis “Titi” Maldonado, but his experience and former opposition should have had Zaleta in over his head.
But Zaleta has been there before.
When he was just 2-0, Zaleta faced—and TKO’d—ranked contender, former champ Eric Ortiz. After that, the fights got easier. But for a controversial decision loss to an 18-1 Faustino Cupul in Yucatan, Mexico, Zaleta has dominated his foes.
Last night, it took the first two rounds to settle into position, but, after that, it was goodnight, Gilberto.
Though the shorter, smaller guy, Keb Baas edged Zaleta through the first two rounds, landing crisp shots inside while the Chihuahuan figured out his foe. A big one-two drew applause from the crowd in the first, but the quicker, cleaner shots came from Keb Baas.
The Yucatan fighter continued to outbox the ineffectively aggressive Zaleta through the second, though, as clean as his shots were, they lacked steam. Zaleta, on the other hand, had timing issues.
That was all taken care of in the third when, two minutes into the round, Zaleta backed up Keb Baas and lowered the boom—a super-straight right hand on the chin that dropped his man to the canvas.
Keb Baas was counted out as his second leapt into the ring to help.
Official time of stoppage was 2:00.
Securing the vacant WBC Fecombox superflyweight belt, Zaleta ups his record to 8-1, 5 KOs; Keb Baas falls to 28-18-2, 16 KOs, now losing three in a row, all by KO/TKO.
Reyna outbats ‘Batata’
Somewhere along the way, Juarez lightweight southpaw Angel “Acertijo” Reyna (9-1-1, 4 KOs), criticized in the past for his lack of technique in his first half-dozen fights in the now-defunct border arena, has learned to fight.
Reyna will never be a master boxer, but his awkward style and loopy aggression, at least last night, made a fight out of a six-rounder with fellow southpaw Roberto “Batata” Torres (2-1), of Chihuahua.
Torres was busier the first two rounds, while Reyna tried—and failed—to load up on single overhand shots against his crafty opponent. Though blocking many shots, Torres’ straight proved a problem for Reyna.
But in the third, Reyna took over, making a sloppy—but entertaining—brawl out of the match. Torres started to slow down in the fourth, while Reyna sped up, his aggressive straight lefts landing with increasing frequency.
The Torres of rounds one and two returned early in the fifth, but Reyna took over, landing more and more haymakers on his fading foe. In the final frame, Reyna’s wildly cleaner shots sealed the round—and fight.
Judges ranged from 59-55 to 58-56 twice.
Fightnews had it 58-56, Reyna.
Proana, Guzman draw in brawl
In the best undercard bout of the night, hard-clobbering Rafael Proano (1-0-1, 1 KO), of Chihuahua, and Carlos “Kalim” Guzman (6-0-1, 2 KOs), of Juarez, duked it out to an eight-round draw at super featherweight.
In Proano’s debut, last November, he’d defeated a 13-0-2 Hugo Partida via four-round decision, making the WBC’s top 37 list. Against Guzman, however, Proano ran into problems.
Ruthless aggression on the part of Proano had the stage set for an early night, as he had Guzman all over the ropes for most of the round. In the second, Guzman had a better round, but only when he brought the fight to the center of the ring where he could outbox the heavy-handed brawler.
In the third, Guzman turned aggressor, opening up a cut over Proano’s right eye. He was on the verge of taking over the fight, when a big left stunned Guzman.
Guzman edged the fourth, outswinging, outboxing a tiring Proano, but in the fifth, a huge uppercut stunned Guzman. Still, the Juarez fighter fought back, opening up a second cut—this one over the left eye—while outboxing the local favorite.
Guzman slowed down in the final round while Proano sought to close the show with his thudding shots. Guzman woke up in the final seconds, stunning Proana with his assault when the bell rang.
The judges scored it 58-56 twice—one for Proano, one for Guzman—and 58-58, making it a split draw.
Battle of the chunky ones
In eight round middleweight bout, a chunky Bladimir “Viboro” Hernandez (15-1, 13 KOs), of Juarez, beat up on even-chunkier Carlos Lira (1-1, 1 KO or 4-37-1) of Delicias, Mexico.
Though outsized, Lira actually managed to outpunch Hernandez through the first two rounds. Hernandez was unenthused, or out of shape, and he plodded forward after Lira, only to be outhustled by countershots.
Unfortunately, for Lira, his punches lacked steam, so Hernandez was able to shake them off while wading forward, hoping to end the night early to avoid tiring in the late rounds.
Hernandez got his wish in the third, when, at 2:30, Hernandez battered Lira down to the canvas for a knockout win.
Jairo settles for decision
In the opening bout, a four-round featherweight bout, undefeated Jairo Hernandez (7-0, 6 KOs), from the Rancho Ramirez camp in Juarez, had to settle for a decision over gutsy Jesus Cuellar (1-1), also of Juarez.
Hernandez was cautious at first only to stagger Cuellar with a big right. Cuellar returned fire, drawing blood with a straight left, only to be floored with five seconds left in the round from a hook to the body.
In the second, a big gash opened up on Cuellar, possibly from a headbutt, and the blood distracted the fighter, who pawed at his wound when Hernandez wasn’t battering him against the ropes.
In the third, though, Cuellar came back with big lefts on Hernandez, who countered with body shots—one of which was ruled a low blow, buying time for Cuellar. As the bell rang, Cuellar was in trouble again.
In the final round, Hernandez went for the kayo but a few right hooks from Cuellar kept the fight interesting.
The judges ruled it unanimously for Hernandez, a shutout decision.
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