Hernandez turns tail and comes to fight, outclasses Cisneros; Boxing returns to Santa Ana
Ringside report by Gerardo Martinez
Photos by Jose Leon Castillo III
After denying New Mexico boxing fans an opportunity to see two of the better female boxers in the world get it on by dashing out of Isleta Casino, now Hard Rock, last December, Melissa "Huracan" Hernandez decided to stick around and fight this time around.
And fight, she did, against the taller hometown favorite Victoria "Reyna de Guerra" Cisneros.
As expected, Cisneros fought her heart out, but the shorter Hernandez, too precise and quick with her punches, dominated Cisneros over eight punishing rounds, in front of a capacity crowd that saw boxing (finally!) return to the Santa Ana Star Casino in Bernalillo, on a card promoted by Golden Girl Promotions.
As Cisneros has often said, "As hard as anyone hits me, I'm not gonna go down, I don't care." Living up to her words, she didn't go down - but a couple of times in the fight she looked like she was about to.
From the beginning of the contest, Hernandez came out to prove that she could go to war and not go AWOL like she did against Holm. Hernandez consistently landed overhand rights, lefts and dug to the body of Cisneros throughout the bout. Cisneros tried to use her reach to keep the aggressive Hernandez off of her, but Hernandez kept using movement and quickness to get in and punch away.
By the fifth round Cisneros' face showed signs of punishment and her nose had begun to bleed. Hernandez tried to score the knockout in the last three rounds, throwing and landing everything she had in her repertoire, but the valiant Cisneros never went or backed down. In fact, both women kept punching for a few seconds after the last bell rang, as they were unable to hear the bell because of the boisterous crowd who were, at this point, all on their feet.
At the end of the dominating performance Hernandez won on all scorecards, 79-73 and 80-72 twice.
Afterwards, in a fit of utter irony, Hernandez said, "This fight was for all the bullshit Holly Holm put me through."
She also admitted afterwards that she "was kinda scared actually" when Cisneros did not go down from her punches.
Hernandez ups her record to 13-2-2 (4 KOs), earning an interim belt from one of the all-too-many sanctioning bodies. Cisneros falls to 5-10-2 (1 KO).
Don't expect to see a Holm-Hernandez match up anytime soon. Holm last said she was not interested in fighting Hernandez.
Johnson goes distance
The other co-main event was a crowd dis-pleaser with little action and only a few punches, Thaddine Swift Eagle Johnson (6-0, 5 KOs) winning by unanimous decision against Camuy, Puerto Rico's Nancy Bonilla (3-7, 1 KO).
Not only was Bonilla a short (literally) sub, but she was coming off a year-and-a-half layoff, had lost six of her last seven fights and had last fought 20 pounds lighter than the featherweight limit she was at against Johnson. Bonilla had replaced Karina Hernandez, and, despite the mismatch swap of opponents, no less than six alphabet bodies saw fit to stamp their okay on the fight to collect their hefty sanctioning fees.
Neither fighter gave those in attendance a reason to cheer. In the fourth round, Johnson scored a knockdown with hard right to the face of Bonilla. Bonilla beat the count, but Johnson did not pursue or pressure the Puerto Rican after that. The bout continued as it began and at the end of eight Johnson won with scores 80-70 times three.
With the win, Johnson, going the distance for the first time, went home with six featherweight belts, ranging from the WIBA International, NABC (Native American Boxing Council), GBU Intercontinental, WPBA International, WIBC Intercontinental and WIBU Intercontinental.
As for her sub-par performance Johnson said she had to drop quite a few pounds the day before the weigh-ins and was dehydrated.
"After the second round I started to feel the dehydration," she said, also citing a lack of sleep caring for her ailing mother in Durango, Colo.
Maldonado debuts at home
Making his much expected New Mexico debut was Fidel "Atrisco Kid" Maldonado (4-0, 4 KOs) who took out overmatched debuter Gabe Garcia (0-1).
This highly touted prospect had not fought in his hometown and fans were ready to see put on a show - that, he gave the fans, though a short one.
Maldonado came in to the ring sporting a purple velvet sombrero, extra high top Converse All Stars and purple robe. His opponent Garcia, in white did not look as flashy, nor did he fight as such. It would take only about a minute for the fast and precise punches of Maldonado to land against the skill-deprived Garcia. Maldonado's left hook found its home and down went Garcia. Garcia beat the count.
Only about a minute later in the first round Maldonado landed a straight right to the head of Garcia and Garcia went down once again. This time he did not get up and Maldonado won by TKO at 2:03 of the first round.
Afterwards Maldonado called out fellow undefeated New Mexican Archie Ray Marquez.
Fidel Sr. said "The talking is done. We did it in the amateurs - let's do it in the pros."
Torres outclasses Coca-Gallegos
In a welterweight battle, and the best fight of the night, Josh "Pitbull" Torres (5-1-1, 3 KOs) took a unanimous decision win over unwon-but-game Michael Coca-Gallegos (0-7).
There was no lack of action in this local battle. Gallegos began the first round looking to grab is first win. He landed a strong left hook upstairs that seemed to stun Torres, but Torres assimilated it well. Both men landed shots towards the end of the first.
Torres began landing more in the second, but Gallegos answered back almost all of Torres' punches. Torres' power showed in the third when he knocked down Gallegos with a straight right. With no quit in him Gallegos got right back up and finished the round strong. He would visit the canvas a second time just a few seconds into the fourth from a left hook to face from Torres. Again he would get up and, this time, back up Torres with an explosion of punches. Torres looked a bit surprised to see Gallegos come at him and rested again the ropes for a bit.
Both fighters ended the round with a furious exchange to the delight of the large crowd. After four rounds, the judges scored the bout 40-34, 40-35, 40-34 all for the Pitbull.
Torres said "power was the key" to his victory. As for Gallegos, he will continue to look for his first victory.
Means defeats Brown
Timmy Means (1-1) of Moriarty, NM defeated debuting Rammel Brown (0-1) with scores of 40-36 times three.
The two boxers began slow with neither taking control until Means decided to in the third round. Means had a higher output of punches and Brown looked tired in the third and fourth . Means was able to hurt Brown towards the end of the fourth with a flurry of up and downstairs punching. Brown was able to survive, but lost the fight.
Hogue debuts at home
Albuquerque's Jazzma Hogue (1-0-1) also made his New Mexico debut fighting against late sub Beto Perez (1-4) of Santa Fe.
Hogue was the much busier fighter, throwing much more punches than Perez, who took the fight with only three days notice. Hogue never seemed to tire and Perez looked tired in the fourth and Hogue took advantage by landing punches from all angles. In the last few seconds of the bout both fighters exchanged in the center of the ring.
Hogue won with scores of 40-36 times three.
Herrera takes out Trujillo
In the curtain raiser, a mismatch, Marcos Herrera (6-1, 2 KOs) of Taos, NM took out debuting Robert Trujillo (0-1) of Raton at 1:38 of the second round.
Trujillo lacked skill and Herrera took advantage in the first by landing hard shots and punishing his opponent. The second round would be a continuation of the assault with Herrera backing Trujillo into the ropes with a barrage of punches. With no answer from Trujillo, referee Rocky Burke waved off the fight at 1:38 of the round giving Herrera the TKO win.