Ward Crushes Pudwill

By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Marlene Marquez

Pechanga Resort and Casino is really becoming a place people want to go to watch boxing events. I heard that from the fans, and the boxing sells out most every time. I don’t think they were disappointed this time, as we witnessed a super, if not short, main event.

An extremely confident Andre Ward extended his win record to 20-0, 13 KOs when he took command of the very out-classed Shelby Pudwill (22-4, 9 KOs), forcing a stoppage at 2:13 of the third round. Ward connected with almost everything he threw - left, right, jabs, it didn’t seem to matter what he offered up. His combinations were repeatedly connecting with the face of Pudwill, who kept wanting to answer back, but Ward was way too good. A left hook put Shelby down in the third and opened up a cut under his left eye. Referee Pat Russell checked on him, but allowed the fight to continue. Finally, after even Andre looked at the Russell as if to ask him to put an end to the abuse, Pudwill’s corner ran up the steps to get the fight stopped.

“I came here to do what I had to do,” Ward said after the fight. “It was pretty much done after he got knocked down. I only know how to do 100%. God blessed me with so much ability and talent; I owe it to him to maximize my potential in every training camp and every fight. I wanted a great performance. Just a win isn’t enough for me. I wanted to put on a spectacular performance, and I think I did that. It’s Championship time!”

Ward, a 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist who is ranked number one with both the WBC and the WBO, can now look forward to his next challenger; current WBA Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler (42-1, 32 KOs) who was victorious over Gusmyr Perdomo on this same night in Denmark. Kessler won by a fourth round TKO giving Perdomo his first KO loss. The Ward/Kessler fight will take place November 21 in Oakland, California, and is part of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

Considered the co-main event, James “Lights Out” Toney (72-6-3, 44 KOs) faced Matthew Greer (22-4-1, 9 KOs). This match was considered laughable, until Greer hit Toney with a right early in the first round that caught him off guard, and then continued with a flurry of punches. Apparently all that did was awaken the sleeping Toney, who, from that point forward, had complete control over the fight. He dropped Greer in the second round and finally the fight was stopped at 2:33.

James was at the lowest weight he has been at in a long time. He weighed in at 217.5 and joked about losing more and fighting as a Middleweight.

But I have to say that the biggest topic of conversation before, and even during this fight, was the fact that Greer was wearing what appeared to be blue sweat trunks rather than boxing trunks. Hmm, what does that tell you?

Francisco Santana (11-1, 5 KOs) went up against Tony Hirsch (9-3-1, 5 KOs) in a Light Middleweight contest that the fans really got into. Hirsch seemed to be the stronger of the two, but both men continued to exchange punches throughout this six round fight. We saw a very scrappy Hirsch at the end of round four, but Santana came back in the fifth. There was a lot of action in round six, although not a lot of the hits were connecting solidly. At the end of the fight however, it was the consensus of most that the fight would go to Hirsch. A split decision read it differently, as Francisco Santana was awarded the victory. Ok, being a ringside judge is not my thing, but Hirsch won this fight, IMHO. What is it they say? That’s boxing.

Junior Welterweight Michael Dallas kept his win streak going after getting a unanimous decision over Vincent Arroyo, 60-54, 59-55, 59-55. The first round was a close one, and showed how fast both fighters were. Round two was a great round for Dallas. He started to show some power here. The third and fourth had both fighters throwing a lot of punches and exhibiting good efforts. In the fifth, both men slowed down a bit as the pace had been fast up until then. But it still appeared to be all Dallas. Toward the end of the sixth however, Arroyo really sent Dallas reeling with some hard punches, but it was too little too late. Michael is now 10-0-1, 2 KOs, while Arroyo had his win streak broken and is now 9-1, 6 KOs.

I spoke with Michael later and wondered if there were any surprises in that fight. “No, I knew he had a lot of knockouts and was going to come out strong, so I just stuck to my game plan and just boxed him.

“I’m still undefeated. An undefeated prospect coming up, and I was the bigger man tonight.” 

In a Junior Featherweight bout, Victor Martinez (15-6, 11 KOs) was totally overwhelmed by Rico Ramos, who increased his undefeated streak to 12 –0, 8 KOs. Rico dropped Martinez in the first and stepped it up from there. His hard body shots were giving Victor a beating, and the fight was stopped in the third.

Terrel Williams went up against Joshua Zurfluh. Zurfluh was so outmatched here, as Williams delivered hit, after hit, after hit. Big rights by Williams all night. Well, alright, maybe not all night, as the fight was stopped in the second round. This dropped Joshua’s losing streak to seven, including one win and one draw. Williams increased to 2-0.

With all these fights that were one-sided, it might seem as if the night was a bit of a bust, but that was not the case. It was a very entertaining evening of boxing, with the Ward fight delivering what it was supposed to. Michael Dallas showed that he is one to watch as well. And the remaining fights, with one probable exception, provided a lot of action.

Big thanks to Pechanga and all those involved!

Be safe and God Bless,

Viva La Raza,



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