Sanchez Wins Tough Battle Against Saavedra
By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Marlene Marquez
We saw a short card for Thompson Boxing Promotions’ Path To
Glory tonight at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. There
were five fights on the card, with the main event being the
undefeated Saul Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) going up against Luis
Fernando Saavedra (7-6, 3 KOs). This was a bantamweight bout
that was scheduled to go eight rounds.
Sanchez came out off the blocks like gangbusters and that
lasted for about two minutes of the first round. But
Saavedra got very aggressive the last minute and landed many
clean, heavy shots. Round two was all Luis. He was laying
heavy hands all over Saul for most of the three minutes.
Both men came charging out of their respective corners to
start off the third and went to pounding on each other. That
continued throughout the round. Sanchez looked better in
this round than he had in the other two, and was connecting
a lot more.
The war really broke out in the fourth, as these two
fighters exchanged blows almost shot for shot. It seemed
that they were both looking for the knockout. The fifth
round was a continuation of the fourth. In the sixth these
two were still punishing each other. The pace had not slowed
down at all, and there were still six minutes to go.
Nothing different can be said about the seventh. Their hands
were still heavy and the contact still strong. In the eighth
round they were finishing the way they started – active and
aggressive. What a super back and forth battle we saw. We
went to the scorecards. Two judges had it 77-75 and the
third had a draw at 76-76. The winner was Sanchez. It really
was a shame someone had to lose this one. It was a very
action-packed fight with both men giving it their all.
A fight that was set to go four rounds between welterweights
Luis Lopez (5-0, 3 KOs) and Ray Cervera (0-2) was next up,
and this was the co-main event. Lopez was the more
aggressive and accurate in the opening round. Round two was
another strong one for Luis. He landed some very good head
and body shots.
In the third Lopez was able to display yet more great body
work. He had amped up his game from the previous two rounds.
Cervera landed his best punch of the night in the fourth and
final, but it did nothing to deter Luis. We went to the
scorecards. The judges’ scores were 40-36 on all of the
cards for Lopez.
The big men were next as Oscar Torrez (3-0, 1 KO) battled
Richard Soto, who was making his professional debut. This
heavyweight fight was to go a scheduled four rounds. Despite
many punches being thrown the first round was an uneventful
one. In round two Soto landed some heavy leather on Torrez.
In the third the tide turned and Torrez had the stronger
round. We moved into the fourth and final. Oscar took over
the fourth as well, and a barrage of punches put Soto down
for eight. We went to the scorecards. Two of the judges had
it 39-36 and the third saw it 40-35, all for Torrez. Soto
suffered his first loss as a pro.
In middleweight action Anthony Franco (3-1-1) faced off with
Antonio Luis Hernandez (1-4). This fight was scheduled for
four rounds. There was quite a bit of action in the first
round, but no damage was actually done. They both came to
life in the second and each of them had some good moments,
with the momentum leaning towards Hernandez.
In the third and while Hernandez was still have a strong
showing, an awkward moment followed by a punch by Franco put
Antonio on the canvas. It almost looked as if he slipped
first or got his feet tangled up. Regardless, he was down
for eight. Both men had there time to shine in the fourth
and final and we went to the scorecards. The scores were
varied but all for the same man; 40-35, 39-36, and 38-37,
all for Franco.
We opened up the evening with a scheduled six round fight
between Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17 KOs) and Jose Ramos
(11-15-1, 8 KOs). Scheduled was the pivotal word here.
Rivera’s nickname is Big Bang, and he certainly lived up to
that tonight. He dropped Ramos with some huge left hands,
but Jose got up. A constant barrage of punches that Ramos
couldn’t answer caused referee Ray Corona to jump in and
stop the contest at 1:51 of that first round.
The main event alone was worth the price of admission, as
both Sanchez and Saavedra provided non-stop action for those
in attendance. Also, before the event took place, the WBA
super bantamweight champion Danny Roman was on hand to sign
posters and take photos – a nice touch for his many fans.