Not to sound like a kiss up, but much credit has to go to the individuals responsible for last night’s boxing show. The Coors Light Boxing Series, Bobby D Presents in association with Jorge Marron Productions, the Crowne Plaza Hotel support staff and especially the skilled boxers who entertained San Diego fight fans to the hilt.
Bout #1 featured Ernesto Ocon of South Central Los Angeles facing the ever dangerous Juan Carlos “La Cobra de Ciudad Neza” Diaz. Since both boxers are intimidating power punchers, the first round started out slow and calculating until Diaz landed a short but effective left hook. Ocon did immediate payback with a short right to swing the round in his favor. Then, moments before round one ended, Ocon put Diaz on the canvas.
From round two on, Ocon held the upper hand in the fierce exchanges. His attack consisted of a steady jab in front of his straight left and right cross to Diaz’s head and body. Two additional knockdowns followed and Diaz barely made it out of round two. The end came in the third round after two more knockdowns.
A boxing aficionado made the comment, “Wow, I haven’t seen that in a long time…a boxer that keeps leading with a left cross.”
I guarantee that gentleman will be seeing a lot more of Ernesto Ocon and his unique fighting style. The up and comer is equally proficient with both the right and left hands.
In Bout #2 we saw super flyweight Takashi Okada (3-0-1) outwork the much taller Daniel Modad (2-3) from Tijuana to gain an unanimous decision. Okada never gave ground and his hands never stopped churning, especially when it came to working the midsection.
In Bout #3 Pablo “El Bronco” Armenta of South San Diego ran his record to 4-0-1 by winning a majority decision over San Jaciento’s Ronald Hurley (4-5-2) in their super featherweight match.
In the early stages, Hurley appeared to have the upper hand and most certainly was the busier of the boxers in round one. On his stool at the break, Armenta received the pep talk he needed and returned with a greater sense of purpose. Unlike the opening round, his combinations were now lightning fast and on target in rounds two and three. There’s no shutter speed on a camera that could have captured their high speed exchanges.
Since neither boxer distinguished themselves in round four, there was much trepidation over who would be declared the winner. One judge scored the bout a draw at 38-38, another had Armenta winning big 40-36 and the judge with the best view scored it 39-37.
In Bout #4 Chula Vista’s favorite son, James “El Chocolate” Parison, ran his record to 13-1-0 with a second-round technical knockout of Loren Myers 7-10 in their super middleweight bout.
After the feeling out process in Round #1, Parison opened the second with a three-punch combination that concluded with a punishing right to the body. A short time later Myers went down from a straight right to the head. Even though he was up early at the count of seven, he was unable to fend off Parison’s punches that were landing at will.
Two minutes into the second frame, the referee stepped in to stop the carnage as Parison was pummeling the defenseless Myers who was pinned against the ropes.
What made Parison’s performance so remarkable was his accuracy after coming off such a long layoff. It had been 10 days shy of a full year since he fought Craig McEwan, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and yet he looked simply amazing.
Saving the best for last
The Lester “El Cubanito” Gonzalez versus Chris “the Last Chapter” Chatman main event was all that was promised, and more. From the opening bell, you had the seasoned Cuban expatriate plodding forward like an indestructible tank with his target, Chatman, jumping in and out to land his power shots. There would be no let up and very few clinches.
The Chatman chants were followed by the Gonzalez chants. Unlike the other bouts, you could feel the tension in the Crowne Plaza Ballroom air.
The reason for the divide? You had two locals fighting for a state title in their backyard. Chatman from City Boxing Downtown is a former sailor who was stationed in San Diego, the world’s largest Military Complex.
Gonzalez, a Spanish speaking Latino from Havana, Cuba, currently trains at the local Gutierrez gym in South San Diego. Close to 40 percent of the residents of San Diego speak Spanish. And, there it laid, the shiny gold California State middleweight title belt for the taking.
In the end, Judge Barry Druxman scored the bout 77-75, Eddie Hernandez had it 79-73 and Pat Connolly scored it 78-74 — all for Chatman who improves to 9-1-0. Was there any adverse response to the decision. None. With the victory, Chatman not only wins the California State Super Welterweight title, he’s now responsible for handing Gonzalez (11-1-1) the first loss of his pro career.
Despite landing more blows, Chatman never really stopped Gonzalez. The reason he won? He was the more active of the two and easily won if you go by the punch stats. For every one punch Gonzalez landed, Chatman retaliated with three.
Turning points in the match?
At the end of the 2nd round Chatman caught Gonzalez with a body shot that appeared to hurt him. Only 10 days before this bout, Gonzalez had been seeing a specialist about an injury to his right side. Makes you wonder if that problem had completely healed.
At the end of the supercharged third round, the boxers touched gloves before walking back to their corners. The salute demonstrated the high regard each had for the other guy’s boxing skills. Even though we saw Chatman launching the higher volume of strikes, the majority of them were still being caught by Gonzalez’s gloves and not getting through as Chatman continued to move around the perimeter of the ring. It wasn’t until Chatman began to add power to his combinations that the judges were won over.
At the close of the sixth round, you could see Gonzalez was becoming winded. Despite the miles he traveled circling around his opponent, fatigue was never an issue for Chatman. I believe if you check, that word might not be present in Chatman’s vocabulary.
Star power in the crowd: the California State featherweight champion, Chris Martin and his wife, Vince Parra of Rogue Boxing, he’s the trainer/co-manager of Mercito Gesta and KJ Noons, boxer/mma fighter who back in 2008 taught Nick Diaz a lesson.