Luna-born Zamora resumes rise at Sky City
‘Unstoppable’ card sees local upsets
report by Chris Cozzone and Trevor Trujillo
Photos by Chris Cozzone
With a baker’s dozen straight victories in four-and-a-half years, Joaquin Zamora battered and beat his latest entrée, Joshua Renteria, in ten heats last night at Sky City Casino in Acoma, N.M.
The game Tucson foe, on the receiving end for most of the fight, came undone halfway through the tenth and final round when the Luna-born former contender unleashed a furious, final assault that had Referee Rocky Burke halting the action.
Zamora-Renteria was the main event of a six-bout card billed as “Unstoppable” and promoted by Romero Promotions.
While most assumed the local favorites would pull off victories throughout the card, there were enough questions surrounding each fighter that could spell an upset.
Those questions – from weight problems, gun-shy fighters and coming off kayo losses – became real issues when two of four undercard bouts resulted in local upsets.
Main eventer Zamora, however, whose chin has been in question at times during his career, gave the sold-out crowd a stronger-than-ever showing, even if it took him several extra rounds to take out his opponent.
Renteria, who’s fought but twice in ten years, might’ve shown up to fight, but, at least against Zamora, he was outgunned and outclassed.
The fight started off with the southpaw Zamora throwing crisp jabs followed by a stiff left to the body. Renteria had trouble with the Zamora’s constant movement, and locking on to target.
Renteria looked better in the second round, but his lack of movement got him in trouble when he suffered a knockdown from a short right hook. The Tucson fighter got up unhurt from his flash fall.
The slick Zamora had Renteria’s nose bloodied by the third round, as he continued to cash in on a solid one-two combination. In the fourth, Zamora’s speed and agility frustrated Renteria, but, one round later, the Tucson opponent was able to land multiple heavy blows on Zamora.
It looked like Renteria had found his rhythm—but Zamora had a different tune in mind. Zamora caught Renteria against the ropes and unleashed a brutal series of punches up and downstairs.
Zamora began the sixth round as he had finished the fifth, laying thick leather along the side of the head. Renteria could find no solution.
Late in the seventh, an accidental headbutt caused a thick stream of blood to run down the side of Zamora’a head, but the Luna fighter was unaffected, and he continued to execute his game plan.
In the eighth, Zamora began switching from southpaw to conventional, still landing big shots, especially when he put Renteria in the corner, landing a nasty five-punch combination. Looking as fresh as ever, Zamora landed stiff one-two combinations in the ninth.
Renteria, desperate now, entered the tenth and final round throwing wildly, searching for an upset knockout. Instead, he was treated to a brutal series of battering shots by Zamora. Hurting Renteria, just past the minute mark, Zamora began his final assault that had Ref Burke leaping in to stop the beatdown at 1:32.
In a rare display of emotion, Zamora leapt skyward in victory, his head nearly colliding into the bingo hall’s low, tiled ceiling.
“I was off to a slow start and was pacing myself,” said Zamora, who rises to 18-2-1, 12 KOs.
“Then, in the tenth, I thought to myself, ‘You can rest tomorrow.’ I was determined to leave it all in the ring.”
Zamora said he was experiencing cramping in his calves, which slowed him down a bit, forcing him to pick his shots throughout the fight—before going for broke in the final round.
With the loss, Renteria falls to 15-3, 9 KOs.
What’s on the horizon for Zamora is a possible showdown with the man who last beat him – Elco Garcia, who was not only in attendance, but said he was willing to give Zamora a rematch.
“He’s earned the rematch,” said Garcia. “I’m ready to make it happen.”
Zamora was in agreement, if the business end of the fight could be worked out.
“I’d be glad to fight Elco, if the business end makes sense,” said Zamora, who lost by TKO to Garcia in 2004 at Santa Ana in Bernalillo.
If Zamora-Garcia II happens, it will, most likely, be at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colo., where Garcia, the top dog in those parts, recently dominated Joe Gomez.
“I can’t mess around anymore,” said Zamora, who’s career, of late, has suffered with six- and 12-month layoffs. “I got to get to where I want to be, with God’s glory, so I’m going to give it all I got.”
Salvador outclasses Salvador
In a battle of featherweight Salvadors, Salvador Sanchez (12-3-2, 6 KOs), nephew to the legendary fighter of the same name, from Tianguistenco, Mexico, outclassed and outpressured Salvador Zamora (3-2, 2 KOs), of Juarez, now living in Albuquerque.
Unlike his last fight reported by NewMexicoBoxing/Fightnews, in which he was outgunned by Chuky Lazcano in Juarez, two years ago, Sanchez, now under Jimmy Montoya and Grant Elvis Phillips, has undergone a major renovation – it showed last night against the rugged Zamora.
Sanchez and Zamora traded monster shots throughout round one, but it was a big right hand from Zamora that sent Sanchez to the mat. As Sanchez rose from the canvas, a stream of blood began running out of the side of his head.
Completely composed, Sanchez continued the fight in an increasingly dominant attack.
The next two rounds were a slugfest, each fighter landing his fair share of thunderous blows. It was clear at the start of the fourth round that Zamora was an extremely conditioned fighter, and he began to punish Zamora throughout the round.
In the fifth round Zamora continued to fight while working backwards, and Sanchez continued to pursue and punish him. Zamora was rendered punch-drunk mid-round by the relentless Sanchez, but did a better job in the sixth round.
It was too little, too late, however, as the gutsy Sanchez hustled his way back from a first round knockdown to win by unanimous decision, 59-56, on all three cards.
Six in the can for Proa
Duke City powerhouse David Proa (6-0, 6 KOs) kept his record unblemished by beating down debuting Sergio Savadrar (0-1), of Tucson.
Savadrar, despite being an unknown, late sub, lasted longer than anyone else has against Proa—four minutes and 12 seconds, to be exact—weathering two knockdowns in the process.
Although both fighters made their designated weight of 118, Proa appeared to be much bigger than his opponent.
Seconds after the opening bell rang, Proa scored a knockdown. He continued the onslaught deep into the round, giving Savadrar a second meeting with the mat one second before the round closed.
Despite two trips downward, Savadrar, at least, and while gamely fighting back, had done what no other professional fighter had managed to do against Proa, by making it to the second round, though barely, and not for very long.
When round two started, Proa, again, unleashed a brutal series of punches. The fact that Savadrar was still standing was astonishing, but Referee Burke had seen enough, ending the fight at 1:12.
Though there has been talk of matching Proa up with Top Rank prospect Robert Marroquin (7-0, 5 KOs), trainer Tony Sigala says he doesn’t agree to the match.
“David isn’t ready yet for that,” admits Sigala. “He needs rounds first. There are plenty of fighters here in New Mexico we could fight first. We’re in no rush.”
Corner’s ire, lack of fire for Piar
In a local upset between bantams, Tucson opponent Isaac Hidalgo (4-4, 1 KO) evened out his record by scoring a local upset over gun-shy James Piar (3-1, 2 KOs), of Albuquerque.
Despite his cornerman growing increasingly hoarse, shouting, pleading and begging Piar to throw something, the local favorite kept his pistols holstered for the majority of the times while Hidalgo went to work.
Hidalgo wasted no time in the first, throwing jabs in an attempt to work inside on the taller Piar. Hidalgo’s game plan was very effective and, by the time the bell had clanged, Piar’s side was a hint of pink from the stiff body shots he was receiving.
Piar let his hands go more in round two, landing some crisp right hands, but a slippery Hidalgo continued to punish the younger fighter using a bullet-proof defense while landing piercing body shots.
Piar began to run out of time and breath by the third round, at which time Hidalgo had now colored in the tattoo on Piar’s ribs bright red.
By the time round four had rolled around, Piar was in a desperate state, and his corner, even more desperate. Instructions went from, “Throw something!” to shouts of “What are you doing, James?”
Rather than using his lengthy frame to keep Hidalgo at a distance, Piar stepped into a close range slugfest with a much thicker fighter. It was all too little, too late.
Judges all scored the bout 40-36 for the visiting Hidalgo, who ends a two-fight losing streak.
The rise of ‘El Gallo,’ fall of ‘El Toro’
In the biggest upset on the card, relentless and vastly improved jr. middleweight Carlos “El Gallo” Sanchez (3-0) managed to give the well-out-of-his-division Arturo “El Toro” Crespin (2-1, 1 KO) a bigger lesson to learn than anything the former amateur standout has received at NMSU in Las Cruces.
Low on gas and high on extra baggage, Crespin’s less-than-optimal training regimen proved his undoing against the ever-improved Sanchez.
Crespin was sharp in round one—and only round one. The southpaw Crespin’s speed proved a problem for the slower Sanchez, but El Gallo’s pressure had Crespin breathing deeply between rounds.
Having weathered the worst that Crespin could unload on him, Sanchez picked up the pace in the second, rarely giving the troubled Tudy time to breathe. A monster right hand at the close of the round left Crespin dazed and confused.
Sanchez further pressured the Las Vegas fighter in round three. After each exchange, Sanchez pursued Crespin, not giving him the opportunity to regain a fleeting composure. By the end of the round, Crespin was running on empty.
The fourth and final round was yet another slugfest, Sanchez coming out on top of each and every exchange.
Judges’ scorecards all read 39-37 for Albuquerque’s Sanchez.
“He’s a good fighter, but I felt stronger,” said Sanchez. “I beat him to the body and landed more power punches. Now, I’m ready for even better competition.
“One level at a time.”
Randy’s ‘Savage’ comeback
“Somebody’s ‘O’ got to go.” was promoter Juan Romero’s description of the first bout, in which featherweight Randy “Savage” Arrellin (1-1), of Albuquerque, got back on track with a decision win over tough Carlos Luque (0-3), of Tucson, Ariz.
On two weeks’ notice, Arrellin had stepped in for Sammy Piar, who’d busted his beak in the gym.
These 126-pound fighters brought got acquainted very quickly, and began exchanging big shots in the middle of the ring. Arellin dazed his opponent early in round one, and, again, found his mark with a big right that sent his opponent to the canvas.
Round two started off quickly, with Luque the aggressor. Mid-round, Arellin picked up the pace and began landing punishing blows to the head.
Action in the third round slowd down a bit, but picked up late with Arellin countering Luque’s combination attempts. Arellin worked well off the ropes, countering with crisp punches.
The final round was a beatdown, Arellin landing big shots from bell to bell.
Judges had the bout scored 39-36 and 40-35 twice for Arrellin.
“He got me with a good one early,” admitted Arrellin. “But after that I got pissed. He showed he could take a punch, though.”
# # #