Report/gallery: Garcia vs. Yusobov
Report by Gerardo Martinez
Photos by Jose Leon Castillo III
In boxing, as in any sport, it’s pretty difficult to lose when you have homefield advanage. On Saturday night in Ignacio, Colo., longtime Four Corners favorite Elco “The Animal” Garcia (27-8, 11 KOs) may have looked lathargic at certain points during his junior middleweight contest against the aggressive Rahman Yusubov (9-10, 4 KOs), but the cheers of the crowd of over 800 helped keep him going.
“If I would’ve lost, I would have retired,” stated the 41-year-old Garcia, after defeating his opponent by seventh round TKO at 2:13 of the round in what was the main event of a Prize Fight Boxing card at the Sky Ute Casino Event Center.
Yusubov came to win, and he showed just that from the first round by rushing Garcia and landing body punches. The taller Garcia began using his long jab to stave off Azerbaijan native in the second round.
Yusubov began bobbing and weaving more in the third to bypass the jab of Garcia. Garcia was able to catch Yusubov coming in with two punch combinations to the face in the third and the fourth rounds.
The hometown fighter began to slowly take over in the fifth round setting up punches with a stiff jab, but Yusubov would not dissuaded landing overhand rights and body shots when he was given an opening.
Garcia decided to take a rest in the sixth round and allow his opponent to gain some confidence.
“I took a round off to see what I was doing wrong” said Garcia.
Yusubov took full advantage and was able to keep Garcia on his heels with left hooks to the face and body.
Garcia, with the help of the cheering crowd, changed the pace of the fight in the seventh round and decided he had taken enough punishment. He attacked Yusubov, backing him up against the ropes landing from all angles until his opponent fell to the ground.
Yusubov beat the count and got to his feet only to get backed up again against the ropes. With little response and taking too much punishment Yusubov was saved by the referee at 2:13 of the round.
Yusubov complained to the referee about getting hit with punches to the neck after the bout was stopped, to no avail. Garcia remained undefeated at Sky Ute Casino. He has fought sixteen of his twenty-seven fights in Ignacio, CO.
Mack stops Hill
On paper it looked like a competitive match. For the first two rounds, it was. The 45 year-old Joseph Hill (6-2, 2 KO’s) was able to keep the 27 year-old Tony Mack (3-0, 2 KO’s) off of him with his huge reach advantage in rounds one and two.
In the third round Mack began sneaking in the overhand right on the taller Hill. Mack caught Hill with a second overhand right and Hill tumbled to the mat. Hill beat the count. Mack came right at him, driving the lanky Detroit fighter to the ropes and, this time, landing a left hook to the chin, sending him once again to the canvas. This time Hill would not beat the count and Mack of Dallas earned the TKO win at 0:49 of the round.
Calzada outpoints Vargas
Daniel Calzada (6-6-2, 1 KO) of Doña Ana, N.M., traveled a few hours north to take on the always-tough Kansas journeyman Joel Vargas (4-8-1, 4 KOs) of in a junior welterweight contest. It was a back-and-forth action throughout the six rounds, with Vargas finding himself on the receiving end.
Calzada was able to land the straight right to the face of Vargas in every round. Vargas absorbed the punches like a sponge when both men fought in the center of the ring. The Doña Ana native used his superior skills and defense to keep the forward coming Vargas off of him.
In the fifth round Calzada, rested against the ropes to take a rest from the relentless attack of Vargas. Vargas landed his best shots of the bout. The sixth round was a repeat of the first half of the fight with Calzada outpunching and outlanding Vargas. After six rounds the judges scored the bout for Calzada with scores of 54-59, 54-59 and 55-58.
Leo defeats Gomez
Albuquerque’s Angelo Leo (2-0) showed improved skills against fellow Duke City fighter Julio Gomez (1-1) in their four round junior bantamweight bout.
Gomez was no sitting duck as he was the aggressor for the first half of the fight. Leo was able to use the fact effectively and keep Gomez from landing clean punches. Leo became the attacker in the second half of the bout, using his jab to set up right hands to the face of Gomez. In the fourth, Leo put himself on the ropes and allowed Gomez to land, only to counterpunch his opponent.
At the of four the judges scored the contest 40-36 and 39-37 twice giving Leo the unanimous decision win.
Richards wins debut
Dallas’ Cory Richards (1-0) made a successful pro debut against Shiprock’s Steve Victor (1-2-1) in a junior middleweight contest.
Richards came out cautiously, but turned it on in the second round. Victor answered back in the third, but continued to get caught with straight rights from the unorthodox Richards. Richards tried to finish off his opponent in the fourth, but the tough Victor withstood the punches and both men ended the bout exchanging in the center of the ring.
The judges gave every round to Richards with scores of 40-36 times three.
Sanchez, Quevedo draw
Duke City debuter Hector Sanchez (0-0-1) showed resilience against fellow Albuquerque native Omar Quevedo (0-6-1) in their lightweight battle.
Sanchez’ night did not start out right after being sent to the canvas twice in the first round by the 35 year-old Quevedo, who gave Josh Torres a run for his money last December. Sanchez was able to make it through the round as he stumbled towards his corner.
Sanchez still seemed dazed in the second, but was able to clear his head in the middle of the round and connect the cleaner shots. Quevedo began using his weight to try and back up the now awakened Sanchez. Sanchez was landing to the head and body of Quevedo and using good defense to slip the punches of his opponent.
The unwon Quevedo continued pressuring Sanchez in the fourth, but was using his face to catch the punches of Sanchez. Sanchez was able to land at will as Quevedo was gased by this point in the fight.
The judges scored it a draw with scores of 37-37 times three. Newmexicoboxing.com also had it a draw leaving both men unwon in an exciting come from behind bout.
Anaya gets gift draw vs. Young
In the curtain raiser Henry Anaya III (1-2-1) received a late Christmas gift from the judges at ringside in his super middleweight contest against Shiprock’s Zamir Young (0-1-1).
The first round was a toss up as Anaya landed several power punches on the unsuspecting Young. Young warmed up in the second and began landing combinations as Anaya was focusing only on landing power punches that were few and far in between.
To Anaya’s credit he was able to land one or two power shots to the body of Young that stopped him in his tracks for a few seconds in third round, but Young continued landing on his tired opponent.
The fourth round was a dominant one for Young, as he was landing from all angles. Anaya spent the round slipping and sliding inside the ring, unable to keep his balance after missing on power shots.
Anaya slipped and fell twice in the round and had slipped earlier in the contest from a connected punch that was not ruled a knockdown. Young, at one point in the round, landed a five punch combination on the winded Anaya.
At the end of four the judges only rewarded Young with a majority draw for his efforts with scores of 36-39 and 38-38 twice. Newmexicoboxing.com had it 40-37 for Young.