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  Pryor Wins Main Event, But Andrade Cheered

By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: William Trillo

 

We headed back down to the desert for another Golden Boy Promotions event at Fantasy Springs Hotel and Casino in Indio, California. There were about 1100 fans in attendance for this event for Solo Boxeo on Telefutura.

The main event was a scheduled 10 round bout in the Light Heavyweight division, and saw two 32-year-olds going up against each other. Librado Andrade (29-4, 22 KO’s) had to face off opposite Aaron Pryor, Jr. (16, 3, 11 KO’s). His father, Aaron Pryor Sr., worked his corner.

A decent first round, with the men testing the waters a bit, with nine rounds to go. Nothing special yet, but that would change. Round two, and we saw Andrade be very effective whenever he could get inside the reach of Pryor. He scored a lot inside. When he was outside, Aaron made him pay by unloading punches on him and connecting.

Same thing in the third, but while Andrade was the more efficient fighter in the second, it was Pryor in the third. He would not let Librado inside nearly as much, which did not bode well for Andrade.

The fourth round had Librado chasing Aaron around the ring a lot. He really wanted to stay inside, but Junior would run when it seemed as if Andrade would catch him. Still, Librado did make his mark more than once. Clinching and grabbing by Pryor in the fifth. And in the sixth. All night Pryor has liked to lean on Andrade and push him around, and he did it again in this round, from one corner of the ring to the other. Librado finally had enough and just kind of slung him down. Most of the crowd cheered at that, even though many knew it wasn’t a knockdown.

Not much to say about seven or eight. In the ninth it was another grab and run from Pryor, but this time both men hit the canvas, and pretty hard, too. A bit later, Aaron held on to the arm of Librado so hard he couldn’t get away.

The tenth was uneventful as well. Such different fighters, with Andrade wanting to stay tight and fight close, and the much taller Pryor moving backward a lot and taking wide swings. So again we went to the scorecards. 95-95, 96-94, and 96-94 for the winner by majority decision, Pryor, Jr. Boos immediately went up all around the ring.

“In the final rounds I thought it was my jab that did it for me,” Pryor said after the fight. “I did think I won, but it was a back and forth fight. There was a lot of action, so it was hard to tell for sure.”
 

The co-main event was between Enrique Ornelas (31-7, 20 KO’s) and Hector Hernandez (10-4-2, 4 KO’s). This was another Light Heavyweight fight that was to go a scheduled eight rounds. The fans were loud and divided, as there were chants and yells for both fighters right from the get-go.

Much to everyone’s surprise, particularly Enrique, a right hand by Hernandez put Ornelas down about midway through the first round.

A very action-packed second round. Enrique was really trying to get back the point he was down after hitting the canvas, and did clock Hernandez with several shots. But Hector refused to give in, and the two fighters battled the entire round. In the third they appeared to be a bit tired, but still both men managed to connect.

A good fourth for both. Without the one knockdown, this one was hard to call. Hernandez was really holding his own against the much more experienced Ornelas. In the fifth Enrique was certainly getting in the most hits, but Hector is one tough fighter. In the sixth Hernandez seemed to get a second wind and was not as wild as he had been in the last couple of rounds. Still, you could see the mouse that had appeared under his left eye.

A left by Hernandez staggered Enrique early on in the seventh, but he fought back. And while Hector again looked tired, he continued to hang in there. The eighth and final saw Ornelas out boxing Hernandez, but Hector once again stayed tough. This was one hell of a fight, and we went to the scorecards. 78-73, 78-73, and 78-73, all for the winner by unanimous decision, Ornelas. Hernandez was definitely outdone by Ornelas, but he never quit and got a lot of fans due to his try.


The hometown hero Randy Caballero (10-0, 6 KO’s) went up against Francis Ruiz (9-5, 4 KO’s) in a fight scheduled for six in the Junior Featherweight division. As is the norm when Caballero fights at Fantasy Springs, the “Randy” chants began early in the first round. Caballero was able to get in a few good body shots on Ruiz in the opening round.

Ruiz had a pretty good round in the second. The men stood toe to toe and exchanged blows, but Francis was much better than he had been during round one. Round three once again saw an aggressive Ruiz. Caballero landed some shots, but Francis was a pretty elusive target.

Round four saw Randy trying to find a way to fight Ruiz, but it was not easy for him. The fifth was a good one for Caballero. He stunned his opponent several times, and if he made a mistake it might have been to not go for the kill. But he took care of that in the final round, as he hit him with a short right and then followed up with another one that put Ruiz down and out at :38.

When I asked him after the fight if this was his toughest fight yet he laughed a bit and answered, “Yeah, I think it was.”


Hugo Ramos (3-9-2, 1 KO) fought Juan Sandoval (3-6-1, 2 KO’s) in a Featherweight fight scheduled for four rounds. These two came out like they were on fire for the first, with Sandoval getting the best of the round. They started the second round off a bit slower, but it was still Juan who did the most work. Round three was more of the same. In the final round Ramos was busier, but in the end the scorecards reflected what most saw. It was 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37, all for Juan Sandoval.
 

Heavyweights took to the ring in a fight scheduled for six rounds, when Deontay Wilder (16-0, 16 KO’s) faced Regino Pena (6-7, 1 KO). On paper this certainly appeared to be a tough task for Pena, and in fact that was so. He did come to fight, and got in a couple of good shots along the way, but Wilder just unleashed on with rights and lefts, and an uppercut caught him right on target, dropping him at 2:03 of round one.

I caught up with Wilder, who is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a bit later, and he confirmed that it was an uppercut from a right hand that sent Pena down. “I didn’t want the fight to be like that. It was awkward. That was only the second southpaw of my career. I had to focus on the fight, but it was hard knowing what happened to my city back home. But I know once that bell rings I have to take care of business.”

Deontay also said that he will now go home and help out. “Everyone is alright, but we did lose a few houses. I’ll go help everyone back there now.”
 

Opening the show was a Light Heavyweight fight scheduled for eight rounds between Sergey Kovalev (14-0, 12 KO’s) going up against Terrance Woods (8-2, 6 KO’s). Neither fighter did much damage in the first round, but Kovalev was already showing why he was undefeated with his business-like approach. In the second Sergey really did some damage with hard rights to the body and combinations to the head of Terrance, but Woods was tough and stayed in there.

It was in the third round when Kovalev closed the show with his punishing body shots and a flurry of other punches that seemed to land everywhere that caused the referee to stop the fight at 1:54 of that third round. Kovalev remained undefeated and is now 14-0 with 12 KO’s to his credit. Woods was game but was no match for Sergey. The Russian is a fun fighter to watch, for as long as it lasted, and it’s too bad that more people weren’t there to see him. I’ll look for him again.

We had a lot of down time before television started, which is the norm when previous fights end way too quickly. But it was a fun night with a couple of pretty good fights. The main event was good, but that fight was overshadowed by the Ornelas/Hernandez contest. This was a really good fight, and as I said earlier, Hernandez showed nothing but try and determination.

Caballero had it a bit rough in the first four rounds, but came back to win, to the cheers of the crowd. He remained undefeated, as did Kovalev and Wilder. Some good showings on this evening in the desert.


Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,
Barb.



 

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