Reynaldo Ojeda outboxes Monty Meza-Clay, Luis Rosa thumps Jonathan Perez
By Alex Pierpaoli
Although small in number a crowd that was big on enthusiasm saw regional prizefighters move forward in their careers and witnessed the penultimate ESPN2 Friday Night Fights show at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT last night. DiBella Entertainment, rapper turned boxing promoter's Curtis 50 Cent Jackson's SMS Promotions and Universal Promotions staged a 9 bout fight card with three featured attractions televised live via the Bristol-based sports network. Puerto Rico's Reynaldo Ojeda outpointed dangerous, all-action fighter Monty Meza-Clay in the main event and New Haven's own Luis "KO King" Rosa scored his tenth stoppage in twenty fights with a win over Jonathan Perez in the co-feature.
One hundred thirty-five pound, Reynaldo Ojeda of San Juan, Puerto Rico, reduced the usually pressing, mauling, tenacious Monty Meza-Clay, 134lbs, of Pittsburgh, PA, to lots of chasing, missing and frustration over ten lopsided but engaging rounds. Unlike on May second when we saw two bigger name fighters with much bigger paychecks in similar roles, here the boxer, Ojeda, wasn't the defensive wizard or master of distance that Floyd Mayweather is and so his performance as matador to Meza-Clay's bull was more fun to watch because of the chances he took and the apparent risk involved with an aggressive opponent trying hard to walk him down. Again and again Ojeda slammed rights into the face of the pressing Meza-Clay. Boxing mostly in retreat, Ojeda landed the harder more accurate punches throughout the night, swelling and cutting Meza-Clay. Although he never stopped trying, Monty Meza-Clay forced the bout to devolve into a scrap only on brief occasions which brought cheers from the crowd but also got him slammed from under and over with speedy uppercuts followed by overhand rights from Ojeda.
At the end of ten rounds the officials saw the bout at 98-92, 99-91 x 2 all in favor of Reynaldo Ojeda. This writer was tempted to give Meza-Clay three of the ten rounds but admittedly that's mostly in honor of his very cool incredible Hulk tattoo.
"I got confident when the cut opened up," Ojeda told media afterwards, through the help of an interpreter. "I'm a top prospect at 135 now."
In victory Reynaldo Ojeda brings his record to 17-0 (9) while Monty Meza-Clay falls to 36-5 (22).
In the co-featured bout, New Haven's Luis "KO King" Rosa, 123.5lbs, stopped Jonathan "Popeye" Perez of Baranquilla, Colombia, 123lbs. After a mostly cautious first that saw Perez connecting and making Rosa pause a bit, the KO King sharpened his attack in the second and went after the body of Perez. In the fourth both fighters were exchanging with Rosa getting the better of things. Under fire, Perez slipped to the deck and an overly excited Rosa struck him while he was down. Referee Mike Ortega deducted a point from the KO King for the infraction but that only made him fight harder. In the fifth Rosa came out looking to end things and hurt Perez along the ropes, blasting him with both hands. After hesitating a bit, looking for the right moment, Ref. Ortega stepped in to rescue Perez at 2:29 of round 5 with Rosa blasting away at him.
"I said it was gonna be explosive and it was," Rosa told media after the exciting bout. "I'm coming for all the best 122 pounders."
Rosa improved to 20-0 (10) while Perez fell to 33-11 (27).
One hundred sixty-four pound Dauren Yeluessinov, of Kazakhstan via Brooklyn, remained undefeated through two fights with a systematic demolition of West Monroe, LA's Jay Williams, 165.5lbs, in the opening bout of the night. Williams started things behind a high guard, sending in straight punches at his always pressing opponent. Yeleussinov pressed the action, pursuing Williams and attacking his belly. As the rounds piled up so did the punishment to Williams. In the fifth, Yeluessinov's aggression spilled over and he was punished for it by referee Danny Schiavone who deducted a point from him for hitting Williams on the break in a neutral corner. But the scorecards wouldn't matter. In the sixth, Yeluessinov walked Williams down, opening up with frequent bolts to the head as well as the midsection. A big right caused Williams to stagger off and touch the canvas with both hands, Schiavone ruled it a slip but Yeluessinov sensed the end and moved in to finish him at 2:29 of round six.
Dauren Yeluessinov rises to 2-0 (2) with the victory while Jay Williams drops to 3-7.
William Foster III, 129lbs, of New Haven, CT, scored an exciting first round stoppage over Gilvan Santos, 130lbs, of Woburn, MA. There was no feeling out round in this one and both fighters traded early with Foster's quicker more accurate fists doing damage from the start. Foster landed with stinging overhand rights and mean body shots that crumpled Santos before the end of the round. Referee Mike Ortega counted Santos out at 2:54 of round 1.
With the win, a jubilant Foster moves to 2-0 (1) while Santos drops to 0-2.
One hundred thirty-nine pound, Jair Ramos of Waterbury, CT held Curtis Morton, 139lbs, of Harlem, NY, to a 4 round majority draw. Morton stayed right in the chest of the longer, taller Ramos, mauling him, and roughing him up in close. After four this writer thought Morton deserved the win, as did one judge who scored in 39-37 in his favor, but he was overruled by two scores of 38-38 making the bout a majority draw for the record books.
Curtis Morton is now 3-4-3 while Jair Ramos goes to 3-2-2 (2).
Southpaw Chris Galeano, 157lbs, of the Bronx, NY, flummoxed, frustrated and outfought the aggressive but ineffective Yosmani Abreu, 157lbs, of Las Vegas, NV over 6 rounds. Galeano shot straight lefts at the face of Abreu from the opening frame, smartly using his southpaw style to maintain an advantage. Abreu received a stern warning from Ref. Danny Schiavone at the end of the fifth when he cracked Galeano with a right after the bell. In the final round Abreu caught Galeano with a straight right and stunned him but was unable to capitalize on his hurt opponent. When the scorecards were read the officials saw it for Galeano by scores of 58-56 and 59-55 x 2.
Galeano improves to 8-0 with the win as Abreu falls to 4-9-2.
One hundred sixty-one pound, Ivan Golub, of Brooklyn, NY, stopped late substitute Henry Beckford, 163.5lbs, of New York City, in a heated contest that opened the ESPN2 live broadcast from the CT venue. The bout pitted one southpaw against another but it was the more experienced, heavy-punching Golub who took the lead quickly, landing heavy right hooks and straight lefts on Beckford. In the fifth, Golub put Beckford down and hurt him. Game but thoroughly out-gunned, Henry Beckford rose from the knockdown but was quickly overwhelmed by the hard swinging Golub and Ref. Mike Ortega halted things at 2:17 of the fifth.
Golub rises to 8-0 (6) with the victory while Henry Beckford, who took the bout on one day's notice falls to 2-2 (1).
One hundred seventy four pound Charles Foster of New Haven, CT stopped the rugged Joe Gardner, 174lbs, of Woonsocket, RI, with a nasty left hook to the belly in round number one. From the opening bell it looked like Foster was thinking about rib-meat as he feinted high and went low with his left hook. Gardner sensed it immediately and tried to bob and weave, making his body a smaller target but to no avail. Quickly, Foster slammed Gardner with a left hook that folded him in half and left him wincing on the canvas at 1:02 of the first.
Charles Foster raised his unbeaten streak to 8-0 (3) while Gardner dropped to 11-8-1 (1).
And in the final bout of the night, Alberto Candelaria, 136lbs of Miami, FL, stopped Ian James, 136lbs, of Brooklyn, NY at 2 minutes of round number one. Both men got right to work at the bell but Candelaria was able to stun James almost immediately and quickly overwhelmed his opponent forcing Ref. Mike Ortega to end things early for Ian James.
In victory, Alberto Candelaria rose to 5-2-1 (4) as Ian James dropped to 3-12-1 (1).