Top Rank’s Thanksgiving Feast Boxing Card:
Fans Served Up A Full Plate Of Excitement
By William Trillo
This past weekend in Las Vegas The Cosmopolitan Casino
hosted a boxing card that reminded me of why I love the
sport of boxing so much. There were more feel good
moments on this one card than we have possibly seen all
year combined. For those who follow the sport this was
truly a great night. It’s not a coincidence that this
card did not feature any money hungry Prima Donna’s of
fighters more interested in Instagram followers than
they are taking on viable opponents. What this card did
feature was budding stars, hungry opponents and
over-achievers who just wanted a chance to prove they
belong. That was a recipe for a fight card we all should
be thankful for.
In the main event Super featherweight Oscar Valdez
(27-0, 21 KO’s) took on an opponent who literally took
this fight in the eleventh hour as the original opponent
for Vasquez showed up eleven Chalupas over the
contracted fighting weight. In the blink of an eye Adam
Lopez (13-2, 6 KO’s), who was scheduled to fight on the
under-card, got the call to take on the highly touted
Valdez. Lopez wanted to prove he was up to the challenge
and the fight was on!
As the fight began it was very clear that Valdez had no
intention on cutting Lopez any slack, last-minute
opponent or not. Likewise, it was equally clear that
Lopez was there to show he was more than just an
opponent. Lopez was prepared to fight on this night, but
the question remained whether he bit off more than he
could chew with an undefeated top contender.
That question was answered in the second round as a
crisp left hook landed on Valdez’s chin and dropped him
to the seat of his pants. This was a legit knockdown.
Valdez rose to his feet to take the count, but he was
wobbly…and shocked. The silenced crowd took a collective
deep breath as the unexpected happened. Lopez showed
poise by not going for the kill and punching himself
out. Wisely Lopez attacked with a great game plan in
mind. At that moment Lopez won the round and more
importantly he won the heart of the fans who were
cheering on the underdog.
The fight turned into a very entertaining battle of a
young man on the verge of getting a title shot against
another who was looking to show he is on that same
level. It was give and take over the course of the next
few rounds. Showing his pedigree Valdez had landed some
heavy thunder but showing his tenacity Lopez weathered
the storm and to the surprise of everyone he kept giving
Valdez much more than he was expecting.
In round seven Valdez shifted into high gear as he was
on an all-out onslaught. Against the ropes Lopez finally
succumbed to the punches and went down. Like Valdez did
earlier Lopez rose to beat the count proving his warrior
mentality. Looking to finish the show Valdez threw a
bevy of punches until the ref saw enough and brought a
halt to the fight at the 2:53 mark. Truthfully there
were many in the house who questioned the stoppage. With
only seven seconds left in the round it was likely Lopez
would have survived to round. After that it’s anyone’s
guess if he would have lasted all ten rounds, but Lopez
did garner a huge amount of attention from his
performance and it is a safe bet we will be seeing a lot
more of him in the future.
For the undefeated Valdez it is now time to take center
stage as he becomes the # 1 contender and mandatory
challenger for WBC Super Featherweight Champion Miguel
Berchelt (37-1, 33 KO’s).
Featherweight Carl Frampton (27-2, 16 KO’s) took a trip
across The Pond as he took on a tough Tyler McCreary
(16-1-1, 7 KO’s). This was a battle of a couple of
sharpshooters with world class hand speed. In the
opening rounds Frampton seemed content to survey the
landscape in order to find out what McCreary was all
Once Frampton became comfortable with what he saw he
started to let his hands go, mostly downstairs to the
body. McCreary began to take shots to the body
repeatedly. As the shots became more thunderous the
Irish fans who made the trek with Frampton started
chanting and singing as only they can do. It was a
raucous crowd and needless to say, the atmosphere was
off the charts.
Body shots crumbled McCreary twice along the way but he
was able to rise on both occasions and make it to the
final bell. The fight went to the cards and according to
the judges it was all Frampton all the time as he swept
the scores 100-88 x 3.
To say the battle between Super welterweights Carlos
Adames (18-1, 14 KO’s) Patrick Teixeira (31-1, 22 KO’s)
was a bloodbath would be putting it mildly. With the
interim World Boxing Organization World Super Welter
Title on the line the Donnybrook turned into one
exciting and memorable fight.
Coming into this one the undefeated Adames was most
likely the betting favorite but the battle tested
Teixeira did not come here all the way from Brazil lay
down. On the contrary, Teixeira was here to conduct
business, and as we would soon find out it was serious
Before the bout was a couple rounds in Adames had
pounded out a tune on Teixeira’s face, he was lumpy,
bumpy and on the verge of opening up. Nevertheless,
Teixeira sneered at Adames as he would not relent or
give an inch of ground. His confidence through the
injuries was impressive to say the least.
By the mid-rounds Teixeira was a bloody mess. How he
could see through the blood and keep up the attack he
did was a miracle onto itself. The fact that he was in
this fight at this point was even more miraculous, but
there he was.
With the crowd going wild the championship rounds gave
everyone all the action they needed and more. Adames was
landing shots on the bloody face of Teixeira but every
time he did, he was met with the resilience of a
determined Teixeira. The fight went the distance and
there was no way to tell how the judges were going to
score this one. The ring announcer read the cards,
116-111, 114-13 and 114-113 all in favor of the new
champion….. Patrick Teixeira.
Super lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr. (23-0, 10 KO’s)
went to war with William Silva (27-3, 15 KO’s) in this
scrap with the NABF Junior Super Light Title on the
line. There was no feeling out process in this fight as
punches with mean intentions were flying as soon as the
opening bell rang.
Immediately it was Barboza who was the aggressor, this
was a man on a mission. Silva seemed like he was unable
to get his punches off and he paid the price with a
wicked body attacked applied by Barboza.
A brutal body shot sent Silva to the canvas but he found
a way to continue and fight on, albeit tentative. Then
as if shot out of a cannon Barboza unleashed a body shot
that sent Silva down in agony. The fighter writhed as he
rolled around in pain on the canvas. There was no way he
was going to beat the ten count. An elated Barboza
celebrated when the fight was stopped at the 2:59 mark
of round five.
Welterweight Brian Mendoza (18-1, 13 KO’s) came into
this fight against Larry Gomez (10-1, 8 KO’s) with a
very confident swagger but he was about to find out that
no fighter should be taken lightly especially when he is
aiming two fisted leather in your direction.
Mendoza came out strong in the early rounds and appeared
to be on a different level than Gomez. It seemed Mendoza
would have his way on this night. He was landing at will
and moving well, Gomez didn’t seem to have an answer.
But the tide started to turn midway through the fight
and suddenly that edge Mendoza had was gone and now it
was Gomez who was in command. Gomez was taking charge
and his confidence was growing with each passing second
of the final rounds.
In the latter rounds it was obvious to both corners this
fight was close and it was going to take everything each
one had to come out on top. That made for some very
exciting boxing and once again the fans in the house
were treated to great action. When the final scores were
read Gomez had upset the undefeated Mendoza by a split
decision. Scores read 77-75 Mendoza and 77-75 Gomez
High School senior Welterweight Xander Zayas (2-0, 1 KO)
took his Thanksgiving vacation break to come to Las
Vegas and obliterate Virgel Windfield (2-3-1, 2 KO’s) at
the 1:48 mark of round one. The wunderkind from Florida
is most definelty one to keep a close eye on.
Super lightweight Andy Hiraoka (15-0, 10 KO’s) TKO’d
Rogelio Casarez (13-9, 5 KO’s) at the 2;16 mark of round
Heavyweight Guido Vianello (6-0, 5 KO’s) dispatched
Colby Madison (8-2 -2, 5 KO’s) at the 44 second mark of
Heavyweight Jared Anderson (2-0, 2 KO) made quick work
of Stephen Kirnon (2-3-1, 1 KO) stopping him at the 44
second mark of round one.