Holm-hum easy win for Holly
Holly Holm outclasses Terri Blair in WIBA title defense
Ringside report by Chris Cozzone
Photos by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
If the original fight, four years ago, wasn’t an easy enough win for Holly Holm, last night’s rematch with Terri Blair was about as challenging as the near-two hour drive from her hometown of Albuquerque, to Las Vegas, N.M.
Outgunning, outclassing, outpunching and outblasting her gun-shy opponent, Holm pitched a near-shutout decision on a card that marked the end to a four-year absence of professional boxing in Las Vegas.
The card, promoted by Fresquez Productions and the city of Las Vegas, featured three Las Vegans—one of whom lost while the other two barely won—and coming close to filling the Michael Marr Gymnasium at Highlands University.
In the main event, Holm defended one of her welterweight belts in a rematch hardly worth any effort on Holm’s part. Through ten rounds, Blair followed Holm around like a lost puppy, while the crowd favorite unleashed right hooks, jabs and straight lefts from every conceivable angle, inside, outside, upside and down.
Blair opened up with a bit of pressure, but the faster, busier Holm jabbed away, spinning off the ropes and landing lead lefts.
The challenger spent the next six rounds plodding forward in a defensive posture, her guns holstered. Holm danced around Blair in the second and third, popping away with combinations, looking a human hornet’s nest on the reluctant Blair. By the fifth, Blair was looking like the proverbial punching bag though, in the sixth, she actually landed a couple overhand lefts that had no effect on Holm. Blair went back to plodding forward after Holm, but, in the final moments of the seventh, the two had their one and only solid exchange, both giving and taking.
Round eight was marginally better for Blair – not enough to win but better than anything seen in the first seven rounds. In the ninth, Blair fell back into non-action. In the final round, Holm sped up, landing her best shots on Blair, who took everything the champ had without flinching.
Two rounds had it a shutout, 100-90, while the third had mercy on Blair through one round, scoring it 99-91.
Fightnews/NewMexicoBoxing had it a no-brainer, 100-90, for Holm.
“It was different than the first fight,” said Holm, who ups her record to 25-1-3, 7 KOs. “She fought much lower, and made it harder to land, but I kept catching her on her way in.
“I thought I shut her out a majority of the rounds.”
With the loss, Blair ends a two-fight win streak, dropping to 11-14-2, 6 KOs.
Archuleta shaky in win
In the co-main event of the evening, former WBC featherweight contender Frankie Archuleta (26-7-1, 14 KOs) showed just a shadow of his former self in a rough-won rematch with Las Cruces’ Lorenzo Estrada (3-15-1, 1 KO).
Twelve years ago, Archuleta had taken out Estrada in one round. Last night, it took eight rough rounds to eke out a decision – and a shaky one, at that.
Archuleta, the bigger, stronger of the two, came out aggressive in round one, winning the exchanges with a hard right, but Estrada, game to the core, managed to crack the hometown favorite a few times – once nearly flooring Archuleta while he was off balance.
Both traded big rights in the second, but it was a headbutt that did both fighters the most damage. Estrada received a scrap on his forehead while Archuleta’s right eyebrow was cut. The doctor gave his OK when the third round commenced, and Archuleta’s corner was able to staunch the flow of blood.
Archuleta’s big right proved unable to repeat the success of a dozen years ago in the third and, by the fourth, Estrada was not only taking all of Archuleta’s attempts of an early night, but firing back with increasing gusto.
Archuleta kept a lead through the fourth but, in the fifth, Estrada won his first convincing round with big body shots that nearly put Archuleta on the canvas. Fighting on the defensive, Archuleta’s confidence and stamina started to fade.
Round six was all Estrada again. The Las Crucen’s mounting pressure and right hand continued to catch the former contender.
Archuleta had a better time of it in the seventh, when Estrada took the round off, but big rights from the overblown bantamweight made the final round a toss-up.
All three judges scored the bout for Archuleta, with a range from 77-75 to 78-74 twice. Fightnews/NewMexicoBoxing had Archuleta ahead, 77-75.
Flirting with disaster, chubby Arturo Crespin (3-1, 1 KO), of Las Vegas, weighing in at his career heaviest of 157.5, came close to losing for the second straight time by squeaking out a win over Freddy Cisneros (1-1-1), of Albuquerque.
Crespin was coming off his first pro loss when, at a chunky 154, he’d gassed out in a four-rounder with Carlos Sanchez.
This time, weighing in even heavier (two-and-a-half pounds over the contracted weight), and nearly a middleweight, the hopeful most would like to see at lightweight to jr. welter, came another step closer to flushing his career down the toilet by losing the war with the college beer kegs and cupcakes.
Crespin came out blazing in round one, coming right after a somewhat bewildered Cisneros. Faster, busier (and definitely chunkier), Crespin manhandled Cisneros, blasting away with big lefts, though the Albuquerque opponent managed to counter when pinned into the neutral corner.
Round two was a better one for Cisneros. With Crespin already somewhat gassed, Cisneros gave as good as he got in the exchanges, but the busier Las Vegan eked out the round.
Not so in the third. With Crespin throwing nothing but pitter-patter punches, Cisneros got braver with a strong right, and, by the end of the round, came close to flooring Crespin.
Instead of going for broke, Cisneros pulled back on the attack, allowing Crespin to edge him out with sloppy shots that had no steam behind them.
Judges scored it 40-36 twice, somehow entirely disregarding round three, and 39-37. NewMexicoBoxing had it 39-37, for the unconditioned Crespin.
Galle outdances Torres
Coming out of a two-year retirement, an “indefinite” suspension by the New Mexico Athletic Commission and eight straight losses, jr. middleweight Jeremiah “Jet” Torres (7-15, 1 KO), of Belen, was granted a license to have another go, in a sixer with Rio Rancho’s Lucas “The Ghost” Galle (5-4).
At the receiving end for six straight rounds, Torres’ saving grace, last night, was Galle’s apparent lack of punching power. As former world champ Bob Foster might’ve said, if he’d been there, “Man, neither one of ‘em can bust a grape.”
The lack of pop made the sparring session more of a dance routine, with Galle having a ridiculously easy time of fox-trotting around the ring, peppering the seasoned vet with straight lefts and jabs.
Torres closed the gap once or twice, but his straight rights had no effect on Galle, who kept to plan for the entire fight. Unable to make a brawl of it with Galle, Torres continued to walk into Galle’s glove up until the final bell.
A ridiculous win for Galle was outdone by the ridiculous scoring: Two judges might’ve been asleep, scoring it 59-55 and 58-56 for Galle while the third one was positively comatose, somehow seeing Torres the winner, 58-56.
NewMexicoBoxing had every moment of every round for Galle, 60-54.
Crespin loses debut
In the opener, amateur standout, pro debuting Amanda Crespin (0-1) left the local crowd disappointed after losing to fellow debuter Nohime Dennison (1-0).
Dennison, trained by Mike Winkeljohn, overcame a huge disadvantage in experience to outwork and outland Crespin.
Dennison made a fight of it in the first, coming at Crespin, who remained patient and calm, counterpunching cleanly. In the second, however, Crespin waited too long while Dennison took the fight to another level, jabbing, moving and landing rights on Crespin.
Round three was close, Crespin showing more aggression but Dennison controlling the space, moving and jabbing. Crespin landed her best shot – a big right - in the fourth, but it was Dennison’s workrate that awarded her the win.
The judges ranged from 40-36 to 39-37 to 38-38, making Dennison winner by majority decision. NewMexicoBoxing had it three rounds to one, for Dennison.