Full report/gallery: Holm-Prazak, Montes-Valdez II
Ringside results by Gerardo Martinez
Photos by Jose Leon Castillo
The highlight of the night was not the expected unanimous decision win for Holly “The Preachers Daughter” Holm (32-2-3, 9 KOs), over her undersized opponent Diana Prazak (11-2, 7 KOs), but rather the video played for the close to sellout crowd at the Legends Theater inside Route 66 Casino in the Fresquez Productions card.
That video was a call-out by WBO, WBA, WBA welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus to meet her in July of next year in Las Vegas to determine who is the best pound-for-pound female boxer in the world.
“You only get called out if you’ve made a point in some way,” said Holm. “It’s an honor that she’s called me out because she sees me as another great fighter.”
Promoter Lenny Fresquez said he has not yet received any calls from Braekhus promoter.
As for last night’s opponent, Prazak, she said, “I’d rather go in and fight the best and lose than fight bums and win”.
And lose she did — by a wide margin with scores of 100-90 on all three judges scorecards.
Prazak started out the fight in a shell defense as Holm picked her shots. The Australian came out of her shell in the second only to get caught by the taller and quicker Holm. Prazak continued to follow Holm around the 18 foot ring, but continued to get caught with quick punches to face and body.
The chasing and taking would continue through the seventh round for Prazak. In the eighth round, the Aussie featherweight looked beat and broken, sporting a close-to-swollen shut left eye. Holm had felt her opponents punches for a few rounds and knew that she could take them. At this point Holm was unloading jabs and right hands causing Prazak’s nose to bleed.
The championship rounds were won by the Holm who pushed around her smaller opponent and backed her up with power punches. Prazak stood up and took it like the true 130 pounder she is and to her credit did not seem to get wobbled, but once. At the end of ten the result was the expected unanimous decision win.
“We stepped up, we stepped in and we did what we could,” proclaimed Lucia Rijker, Prazak’s trainer at the post-fight press conference. Prazak caught Holm when she was given the opportunity, but there weren’t many opportunities.
Valdez knocks out Montes in blazing rematch
It was the co-main event between Española’s Tony “The Warrior” Valdez and Albuquerque’s Raymond “Hollewood” Montes that had the crowd on their feet during the seven rounds that it lasted. Montes was out on his feet and left the ring on a stretcher halfway through the seventh round.
Valdez was diligent in his effort. Both men began this fight as their previous fight had ended, exchanging in the middle of the ring with little care for their physicality. Valdez dug to the body early knowing that Montes had came in overweight and not in tip top shape.
Montes landed most of his punches in third round when he was able to keep Valdez against ropes and land power punches. Valdez barely survived the round and walked to his corner with a bad cut over his left eye.
The fourth and fifth round were taken by Valdez due to his consistent punching. Montes did get in shots, but mostly just power punches, with no consistency and at the end of the round.
The body work of Valdez started to pay off in the sixth as Montes looked exhausted and wasn’t moving around as much. Valdez was still springy and using the ring to his advantage. The Españolan landed a left hook that wobbled Montes in the middle of the sixth.
Montes started the seventh round with a broken nose and possibly a broken spirit. His opponent had taken his best punches and was still standing in front of him punching away at him. Valdez was reenergized and could smell victory as he came on stronger, landing shots from all angles. Referee Richard Espinoza kept a close watch as Montes was driven towards the ropes and looked dazed and confused. Montes had no quit in him, but seemed to be out on his feet as Valdez continued to land until the referee stepped in when Montes was not responding with punches.
The end came at 1:41 of the round, but the pugs would remain in the ring for about fifteen minutes more. Valdez dancing around mimicking the wobbly legs of Montes and standing up on the ropes raising his hands to the cheering crowd. Montes, by this time, had made his way to the canvas after being taken off of his stool by EMT’s who were preparing to lay him out on a stretcher.
Montes was taken to an Albuquerque hospital. We caught up with Valdez in his locker room and he stated “I’m a professional in and out of the ring. . .I went and said a prayer with him and I said I hope you feel better.”
Baca takes out Perez
Albuquerque’s Matthew “Champ” Baca (2-0, 2 KOs) KO’d tough, but underskilled opponent Derek Perez (0-1) of Belen at the 32 second mark of the second round with a hard left hook to the body. Perez had taken a knee in the first round from the same punch and survived.
“Once I warmed up it was over, I knew he couldn’t take a body shot” declared Baca after the fight.
Shabazz makes long-awaited debut
Siju Shabazz (1-0, 1 KO looked amateurish in the first round as a professional as Villafuerte tried to make it a dirty fight knowing the pedigree of Shabazz. The Las Crucen was able to get the fight back under control when he landed a left hook inside and dropped Villafuerte to the floor. The Albuquerquean got up and made it through first.
Shabazz came out and looked like a true professional in the second and began landing consistent power punches on Villafuerte. Villafuerte was able to catch Shabazz, but didn’t seem to hurt him. The left hook to the face landed again and again and down went Villafuerte in the middle of the round. The tough Albuquerque fighter got up only to be rewarded with a barrage of punches and taken against the ropes by the two-time Olympic alternate. With no response and close to being out on his feet, the referee stopped the massacre at 2:59 of the second round to give Shabazz an impressive TKO win.
“It felt great,” said Shabazz. “I was a little surprised by his aggression, but I didn’t lose my head and stuck to the plan.”
McGee “merciless” with Cisneros
Gary, Indiana’s “Merciless” Mary McGee (20-1, 11 KO’s) TKO’d Albuquerque’s Victoria “La Reina de la Guerra” Cisneros (8-14-2, 3 KO’s) at 0:23 seconds of the 4th round. McGee showed she was the better fighter early on with accurate and hard shots to the oncoming Cisneros in the first two rounds.
Cisneros was able to land a few slapping punches here and there, but they had no effect on McGee. In the third, McGee knocked Cisneros to the canvas with a series of clear power punches in the middle of the ring. Cisneros valiantly picked herself up off the canvas and got clobbered until the bell rang to end the round.
Just 23 seconds into the fourth round referee Rocky Burke had seen Cisneros receive enough punishment and stopped the contest. Cisneros’ corner also had seen enough and simultaneously threw in the white towel. The Indiana boxer McGee acknowledged her opponent’s toughness in the ring after the fight and stated that she wouldn’t mind returning to Albuquerque to fight Holm in the future.
Sanchez wins in debut
Starting off the action last night was Albuquerque’s Jason Sanchez (1-0, 1 KO) who TKO’d Belen’s Gene Perez (1-1) at 2:50 of the first round in the other impressive professional debut of the evening. Sanchez and Perez exchanged power shots in the middle of the ring, but Sanchez had the better defense and offense. Perez got caught with hooks to the body and head and wasn’t able to withstand the punishment. The referee stopped the vicious attack to end the bout before the Belen pug hit the canvas.