Paul Mendez had been out of action for nine months prior to his return against Ernesto Berrospe as he looked to defend his IBA Middleweight title in Cache Creek Casino and Resort in Brooks, CA. The result was merely one round as a poised Mendez, who been spending the past three years working with the Garcia family, looked physically stronger and more relaxed than in previous fights. Mendez has been working at the Summit in Big Bear, CA with Gennady Golovkin for the past few camps is no eyeing a ranking by one of the governing bodies.
Mendez who fought to a draw with Dmitry Chudinov, the WBA’s #1 contender for the belt in 2012 has been eyeing Chudinov’s progress ever since then. “I know I can beat him now.” Mendez said as polite as possible as Mendez. Mendez, who according to BoxRec is rated as the number fifteen American middleweight. It appears that his next fight should be something interesting as names like Brian Vera, Abie Han, Fernando Guerrero and Curtis Stevens. Any of those fights would make for an interesting battle. It appears that at age 25, Mendez is growing into his body, and you may see him began to climb the ranks. It is also of note that guys that come forward on Paul Mendez tend to make good fights as well.
Robb imposes will in “his house.”
Guy Robb is pretty good at boxing. Robb, who defeated back to back undefeated fighters, took a bit of a step down in competition. With no fault of his own or the matchmakers, it appears flat out that it is hard for Robb to get a fight. Robb imposed his will on Jose Silveria for the seven rounds of action, who was a bit smaller and just unable to handle the pressure of Robb.
Much like a poorly designed piece of plumbing equipment, pressure will break those pipes, and Robb kept Silveria fighting in the real estate he wanted with Silveria’s back on the ropes. Silvera showed heart and poise, by the fourth round you could tell the end was near. Robb forced his foe to the ropes and Silveria appeared to lean on the ropes just to stay up willing himself not to go down. It was similar to a football team calling a blitz on every down against a marginal offensive line. It was becoming overwhelming and by the seventh round Silveria had seen enough as the bout was halted due to a technical knockout.
After the bout, Robb explained that “[Cache Creek Casino] was my house, these are my fans!”, So it was only natural Guy Robb made him fight ‘his fight’. For the young boxer with a name that seems ripped out of the beloved boxing book, ‘Fat City’. It seems that Robb’s destined for great things.
Guy Robb is also a tremendous parent, one that you would hope any young person would be and with the Jermain Taylor/Mike Alvarado’s of the world taking all the attention in the sport of boxing. I feel as though we need to commend people doing things that are just plain awesome and what you would hope anyone would do.
Andy Vences passes test, earns a stoppage victory
In a fight that’s a shame wasn’t televised. Andy Vences was up against a solid test in Cesar Valenzuela in the most competitive bout of the night. Before the match even started Vences walked over to Valenzuela and stood eye to eye with him for several seconds possibly minutes. The tone was set as Valenzuela had beaten Jesus Sandoval in his hometown last year in front of my own eyes. Then beat two Thompson prospects back to back in their hometown, you could say he had a career resurgence in 2014.
The fight began methodical and calculated. Andy Vences used a jab to the body to impose early ring generalship. As the lengthy and awkward Valenzuela, who had a weird flicker jab that was unusual, to say the least. In the second round, it was more of the same, but Vences was starting to misgauge the distance. Especially the straight right of Valenzuela In what was a very close round, by the end of the third it appeared Valenzuela had made an adjustment of some sort as he began to land a straight right hand on Vences, that seemed so unpleasant Vences held at a point in the round.
In the post fight, Vences explained that it wasn’t the timing,, but it was the length that bothered him at times, as he was looking to step back and land a left hook. He was just a tad bit longer than he thought. The fourth round may have been Valenzuela’s best round as he appeared to be coming on strong and seeing the punches that Vences was throwing. Gabriel Flores Sr, Vences’ coach, explained the reason for this as Vences ‘being stuck in the mud’ and unable react.
In a bizarre moment, the ring card girls grabbed the wrong signage as they showed the sixth round for the fifth round. Vences’ responded with urgency in what can only be explained as a moment ripped out of a movie. Vences’ feinted and landed a left hook, but in all honesty things happened quick. I know one thing though, Valenzuela folded to the ground and never recovered. Valenzuela barely beat the ten count as he stood up at nine. Then proceeded to get a merciless onslaught by Vences who floored him in the corner. The referee stepped in and waved the fight off.
For Vences, a fighter some had labeled as having “no power” early in his career this was a big win in many ways. This was his toughest test as a professional boxer, momentum was going away from him and he halted that as well as it was a stunning knockout that made everyone in the arena stand up. It was a truly a great performance, and one hopes that in the near future Vences’ gets a fight, either his hometown of San Jose, CA or Stockton, CA where he is fighting out of now.
Quintero stops Mario Hermosillo
Arturo Quintero took on Mario Hermosillo in a swing bout that Hermosillo took on a week’s notice. It appeared as though Hermosillo was going to give it all he had, as he charged forward and brought the action to Quintero in the first two rounds. The game plan may have been that he had two good rounds in him and try to either win the first two or hurt Quintero in first two. Well, neither of those happened as a composed Quintero fought in spots in the first two rounds landing the cleaner punches of the two.
In the third round, Quintero’s ability to stay calm under pressure paid off as he floored Hermosillo on two different occasions jarring Hermosillo from his senses as it was quite a feat he survived. At the start of the fourth round, the referee called for the doctor under the guise that Hermosillo looked concussed and just flat out not there. After a moment of looking over Hermosillo, the bout was waived off one second into the fourth and final round. This was a good win for Quintero, who is continuing his return to boxing after a three-year layoff, and is looking for eventually rematching with Omar Figueroa Jr. The man who he drew with before he took his hiatus from the sport.
Bourland wins tough fight
Ryan “The Rhino” Bourland fought the game journeyman Loren Myers in an interesting test for the young cruiserweight. Bourland landed everything, but the kitchen sink in the first round as he punished Myers with a lead left hook that I had yet to see him use in the pro game as effective. Bourland would then begin to fight at close quarters throwing hard shots or as some might say “smoke” at Myers in terms of body punching namely the left to the body. A head clash early in the bout followed by what Bourland believes to be intentional eye pokes to open up the cut even further had Bourland fighting on the defensive in the third round though.
Bourland though respond with his best boxing of his career as he demonstrated his ability to fight behind a jab and stick and move. This is the Bourland that a lot of people want to see. The third round was able to demonstrate his ability, as well as show off his boxing skill. By the fourth, Rhino was bleeding above his right eye. Myers was pressing forward, Rhino continued to land solid clean shots but appeared to have maybe thrown too many power shots early in the fight so he couldn’t get Myers out of there. For the fan favorite, Ryan Bourland, this was a good win against a guy who can test prospects.
Gaxiola beats Rodriguez again
Michael Gaxiola beat Adrian Rodriguez for the second time in a row as the rematch was a bit more one-sided than the first affair. Gaxiola, the bigger of the two fighters, turned 21 about two weeks prior to the fight appeared the stronger. He was able to jolt Rodriguez early in the fight with counter hooks coming in due to his speed advantage. At the end of the round, Rodriguez got hurt by a counter that some ringside thought would end the fight, but Gaxiola stayed composed and didn’t rush in to get a knockout. It was a welcomed sign, although he didn’t get the stoppage win, he showed that even at 21 years-old he can keep his wits, in the heat of battle.
In a bizarre turn of events, Gaxiola switched to the southpaw stance for some reason and appeared to allow Rodriguez to close the distance when doing so in the second round. Gaxiola may have been working on a technique that he can grow from, but was also allowing Rodriguez to get inside at times and finish a bit stronger than he probably should have. In the third round, Rodriguez appeared to win the round by forcing the action to Gaxiola, who was being forced on the ropes but still landing better punches.
In the final frame though, the better conditioning of Michael Gaxiola appeared evident. He sat back and countered Rodriguez coming in. He won handily on the scorecards. The young man out of Modesto, CA is always willing to take a fight and always in shape, which means he has a chance to do something with himself in this sport. This bout was made fight week after Moris Rodriguez versus Brandon “Dino” Adams was called off. No official reason as of yet, why the bout was canceled.