Colombian Welterweight Champion Jeovanis “Meque” Barraza (22-1, 15 KOs) defeated Argentinian southpaw Jorge “Tomatito” Martin Garcia (13-7-1, 6 KOs) by way of an 8-round unanimous decision to capture the vacant ABF Continental Americas super welterweight title in the headliner on last night’s “Down & Dirty” card, presented by Reyes Boxing Club at Melrose Memorial Hall in Melrose, Massachusetts.
“Down & Dirty,” New England’s only ongoing pro boxing series, streamed live and exclusively on throwdownsports.com.
“A+ effort by all the fighters, B delivery by the promotional team, because we started an hour late,” promoter Michael Reyes commented. “The main event was wonderful, 8 hard fought rounds for a title. Garcia has one helluva heart. He’s a champion. ‘Meque’ did his job. He saw some things he needs to work on that we’ve talked about in the gym. Overall, it was a great experience.”
Colombia and Argentina are bitter archrivals in sports like a South American version, albeit in boxing, of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
Both main event fighters made their United States debuts. The more skilled Barraza was tested by the tough, determined Garcia, but Barraza’s blistering body shots consistently set up his powerful head shots.
In the sixth round, Barraza’s constant pressure and effective combinations eventually wore down a tiring Garcia, who landed on the canvas twice, but he wouldn’t stay down. The seventh round was batting practice for Barraza, who hit Garcia with everything but the kitchen sink. Despite a vicious body assault that brought Garcia to his knees, he rose once again and somehow survived until the very end.
“It was a really good fight,” Barraza said after his fight. “He (Garcia) was tougher than I thought he would be. The big news is that I’m fighting here in the United States for the first time and leaving with a title belt.”
Barraza, who pitched a near shutout (80-69, 80-69, 79-70), collected another title belt and, more importantly, came out of the fight unscathed and sharp for his Nov. 13th showdown in Anaheim (CA) with Alexis Rocha (17-1, 11 KOs) in the co-feature on a DAZN show, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, and headlined by Jamie Munguia vs. Gabriel Rosato.
“I don’t have to change a thing,” Barraza noted. “I can continue my training for this fight, especially sparring, because I can continue with the same guys I sparred for this fight.”
In the co-featured event, ABF Atlantic Middleweight Champion Anthony “Big Daddy” Hines (7-0, 4 KOs) successfully made his first defense of the title he captured this past June, against Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (39-26-1, 31 KOs), the former Colombian Light Heavyweight Champion.
Fighting out of the Boston district of Dorchester, Hines came out jabbing and moving laterally during the first two rounds against the Colombian knockout artist, picking up the pace in the third, in which Hines floored Munoz with a strong right. Munoz claimed he was illegally hit behind his head in the fourth and the fight was temporarily halted for the doctor to check him out. The action continued after a couple of minutes. The fight was delayed in the fifth round due to an accidental head butt that sent Munoz to the deck and Hines suffering the most damage in what was a chippy fight.
Also fighting out of Dorchester, lightweight Jonathan DePina (5-1, 4 KOs) wore down a gutsy Stacey Anderson (0-8), eventually putting him away in the third round, DePina cracked his opponent with a counter right for the initial knockdown. Moments later it was all she wrote for Anderson, who was trapped in a neutral corner, and battered until he went down for good.
Popular Lowell (MA) fighter Gabriel “Menace” Morales (3-0, 2 KOs), a carpenter by trade, displayed everything in his toolbox to the delight of his loud, enthusiastic fanbase, stopping journeyman Pablo DeSouza (0-24) in the second round. A natural lightweight, Morales cutdown welterweight DeSouza, first with a left hook in the second, soon followed by a right sending him to the mat once again. DeSouza stood before the referee’s count hit 10, but he was clearly unable to continue.
Undefeated Dominican Republic lightweight prospect Alejandro “El Abusador” Paulino (4-0, 4 KOs), fighting out of New London (CT), outclassed a much more experienced fighter in Italy native Christian “El Ninja” Danilo Guido (8-20, 6 KOs). Paulino floored Guido at the end of round one and closed the show in the second, decking Guido three more times, the last with a perfectly executed uppercut with time running out for a technical knockout.
Dallas heavyweight Vercell Webster (2-4-1, 2 KOs) upset previously Dennis Ventura (4-1, 3 KOs) by way of a 4th-round technical knockout. Webster dropped Ventura with a straight right to the temple in the first round and a game Ventura never really recovered. The same shot to the head, landed in the same (red) corner, decked Ventura again. He beat the count, but referee Melissa Kelly didn’t like the way Ventura responded, and she stopped the fight.
Opening the action, Providence heavyweight Sean Bey improved to 3-0 (3 KOs) when pro-debuting Brandon Grundy was severely handicapped by right hand injury suffered midway through the opening round. After the ring doctor examined him, the fight continued briefly as Bey unloaded a series of unanswered punches on a trapped on the ropes Grundy, until referee Kevin Hope waved off the fight at the 2:24 mark of round one.