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Friday March 21, 2008 6:55 AM PST

 

Ward Wins Step Up in San Jose

By Mario Ortega Jr. (ringside)

In front of 4,588 cheering fans, local favorite Andre Ward stopped Rubin Williams in the headlining bout on the Fight Night at the Tank card at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Thursday night.

Andre Ward (15-0, 10 KOs) of Oakland, California scored a decisive, one-sided seventh-round knockout of Rubin Williams (29-4-1, 16 KOs) of Detroit, Michigan. Ward, 168, controlled the action throughout, taking Williams, 169 ½, apart with his jab and straight rights and lefts. In the second Ward opened up a cut over Williams’ left eye that would bother him the entire fight. In the fourth, Ward turned southpaw and was just as successful with his straight left hand. He continued his domination from the right side in the sixth and seventh rounds, before the doctor was brought in to check the cut. After referring to the physician, the referee stopped the bout.

Ward decided not to call out anyone in specific after the bout, but it is obvious he is ready to tackle the next level of competition in the super middleweight division. Promoter Dan Goossen reeled off several notable names he has attempted to get in the ring with Ward. “We tried to make a fight with Sakio Bika, from the Contender, but he didn’t accept it. We also tried for Peter Manfredo and Jean Pascal. Now we will get back in and get the best challenge we can,” Goossen stated. Plans are to get him back in the ring soon, possibly in a regional title bout. While Ward was not ready to mention any names he is targeting, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist did talk of his desire to fight in his hometown of Oakland. “Oracle Arena is next on the list. I’m gonna pressure Dan [Goossen] and try and get that fight. I love fighting anywhere in the Bay Area, I love the fans, but a lot of Oaklanders are scratching their heads. ‘He’s fighting in San Jose a lot, but he hasn’t fought in Oakland yet,’” Ward mentioned.

In the six-round co-main event, Karim Mayfield (6-0-1, 5 KOs) of Daly City, California scored a disputed split-decision victory over Francisco Santana (8-1, 4 KOs) of Santa Barbara, California in an entertaining back and forth battle. The first two rounds offered little action as both fighters felt each other out. Mayfield, 148, seemed the more active of the two, while Santana had trouble getting his shots off. Santana opened up in the third, finding a home for his overhand right. Things completely changed in the fourth as Santana, 147, rocked Mayfield with a left on the ropes. For the remainder of the round Mayfield looked out on his feet, but Santana could not put him down. Late in the round Mayfield went to the canvas, but it was correctly ruled a slip. Miraculously Mayfield found his way out of the round by moving and even offering back at times. In the fifth Santana continued being the aggressor, as Mayfield slowly regained his legs. Amazingly in the sixth Mayfield turned the momentum in his favor, rocking Santana with an overhand right and completely controlling the round. Two judges scored the bout for Mayfield, 58-56, while one judge had it for Santana, 58-56. 15rounds.com scored the bout even, 57-57. The crowd disagreed with the decision, cheering when Santana raised his hand. After the bout, Santana said he would welcome a rematch, possibly back at the HP Pavilion.

WBC Minimumweight Champion Carina Moreno (17-1, 5 KOs) of Watsonville, California cruised to a four-round unanimous decision over Mayela Perez (7-6-1, 6 KOs) of Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico. Perez, 106, proved to be a very capable fighter, but could not match the speed and skill that has made Moreno, 106, one of the top fighters in the sport. Throughout, Moreno moved and punched from different angles, while Perez continued moving forward, but with far less success. All four judges scored the bout 40-36. 15rounds.com agreed with the judges, scoring it for Moreno, 40-36. Next up for Moreno will be a title defense against South Korean Dan-Bi Kim (4-0, 1 KO) on April 17th at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, California. Already scheduled for Moreno is another bout, against Eileen Olszewski (5-0-1) for the vacant IFBA Light Flyweight title on a June 13th female pay-per-view card from the Isleta Resort & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With Thursday’s victory Moreno also won the “AM&I Cup” and a $500 bonus for winning the “You Be The Judge” contest. All three winners from the undercard were up for the award, which Moreno won by crowd response.

National PAL Champion Rico Ramos (1-0) of Los Angeles, California scored a dominating four-round decision over Sammy Yniguez (2-2-1) of Oak Hills, California. Ramos, 120 ½, displayed a flashy boxer/puncher style, landing power shots with both hands for the duration of the four rounds. Yniguez, 121, was game, but could not keep up with the fast pace Ramos set from the outset. Ramos set the tone early in the first, landing vicious power shots and rocking Yniguez in the corner. Throughout the bout, Yniguez gamely tried to return fire, and displayed a granite chin by remaining on his feet. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 for Ramos, as did 15rounds.com. After the bout Ramos stated he will return to the ring on the Antonio Tarver/Clinton Woods undercard on April 12th at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

Eric Garcia (0-0-1) of Salinas, California fought to a majority draw with the more experienced Marlo Cortez (2-4-2, 1 KO) of Van Nuys, California. Garcia, 146 ½, seemed to take the first two rounds handily by jabbing and moving well from the outside. Cortez, 147, turned the tide in the third after landing a solid right hand over Garcia’s lowered left. The round featured exciting two-way action for the first two minutes. Garcia closed the round well, getting back on his toes and jabbing from a distance. The fourth round would seemingly decide the bout. Cortez came out the aggressor, landing a few flush shots before Garcia forced a clinch. The momentum would swing back to Garcia after Cortez came in with his head, opening up a cut above his left eye. Garcia noticed that Cortez was dazed and capitalized by opening up with combinations while his opponent was still stunned. Once action resumed after the doctor checked Cortez’ eye, both combatants gave as much as they got to close the round. One judge scored the bout 39-37 for Garcia, while two judges scored the bout even, 38-38. 15rounds.com scored the bout 39-37, with Garcia narrowly taking the fourth round. After the bout Garcia and his camp were disappointed with the judges’ decision. “I went in and got robbed,” stated Garcia.

In the opening bout of the evening, Mike Dallas Jr. (1-0) of Bakersfield, California earned a four-round unanimous decision over Alejandro Balladares (0-1) of Fontana, California in his professional debut. Over the course of the four rounds, Dallas, 143 ½, displayed the quick hands that made him a top amateur. To his credit, Balladares, 141 ½, kept coming and managed to stay on his feet, withstanding some vicious shots. In the third round Dallas started quick and had Balladares in trouble, loading up with almost every punch. Even once Dallas tired late in the round, he was able to place his shots effectively on the inside and against the ropes. All four judges scored the bout 40-36. 15rounds.com agreed with the judges, scoring the bout 40-36. Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee, who worked Dallas’ corner, was complementary, “He looked good, he’s a fine prospect.” Dallas, managed by the well renowned Jackie Kallen, was an U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier and National PAL Champion as an amateur. He is next scheduled to fight April 26th at the Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville, California.

The card, titled Fight Night at the Tank, was promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions. The main event and co-main event air nationally on Fox Sports Net’s Best Damn Sports Show on Thursday, March 27th. The four round bouts are also slated to air on Fox Sports Net at a later date. The next Fight Night at the Tank card from the HP Pavilion is scheduled for June 19th.


 

 

 
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