The Sames Auto Arena was buzzing on Friday night choc filled with Laredo and fighters and Laredo fight fans. Triple-A Promotions put on a sensational card that showcased much of south Texas most talented fighter. Laredo’s all-time favorite son, Orlando Canizales, was ringside to take in the cities current favorite fighters, Jorge Castaneda and Josh Juares. Neither man disappointed. In the main event, Castaneda put on an offensive display and showed the crowd and the boxing world that his power is real. The Laredoan took on Jose Antonio Martinez in a lightweight title bout. Martinez was a late replacement for veteran and former world title challenger Antonio Escalante. Castaneda controlled his larger opponent with a piston-like jab, that could be heard throughout the arena. His jab was the story of the night using it to stalk Martinez and shot him up for big shots, which he did in the second round punishing him into the ropes and then opening up a barrage of power shots nearly calling the ref into stop the fight at that point. When Martinez answered the bell to start the third you could sense the end was near and the end came abruptly as the hard-hitting Laredoan landed a thudding jab that sent a defensive Martinez into the ropes and followed up with a perfectly placed massive chopping right hand that could be heard through Texas that landed squarely and put Martinez down and out. Castaneda captured the ABF Lightweight strap and ran his record to 11-1 (11).
In the co-main Lil’ Oscar Cantu of Kingsville, Texas captured the vacant ABF Bantamweight Title by outpointing the very game and rugged Polito “Chico” Martinez a Laredo native. Cantu was able to put on a bit of a boxing clinic controlling Chico with his jab and movement. Jabbing his way in landing good work especially to the body and then getting out of the way from his opponent’s heavy artillery. Polito had moments with left hooks especially in the middle wounds but it was too little and he ultimately was unable to land on the inside and was outboxed by Cantu who was the ultimate technician. Taking a points victory, a fight that seemed to be a wide decision actually seen one of the judges score the fight for Martinez. We scored it 79-72 in favor of Cantu. Although Martinez was unable to capture the ABF title, another Laredo fighter, Josh Juarez survived eight rounds of brutal warfare to capture the ABF belt in the Light Heavyweight division. Taking a brutal split decision over Neller Obregon of Colombia in a battle of unbeaten. Juarez came out for the eighth and final round like he shot out of a cannon. The fight looked 50/50 and hanging in the balance in the last round, and landed a massive left hook that shook up the Colombian opponent. The final stanza featured nothing but toe to toe action which in theory would have favored Obregon, but it was Juarez, the master boxer who seemed to get the best of the toe to toe slugging. The final 30 seconds looked like something out of a Rocky movie as both fighters let it go until the final bell. Juarez controlled the early rounds with superior footwork and being the quicker fisted fighter. Obregon evened things in the middle rounds landing on the inside and forcing Juares in the ropes with effective aggression. Juarez seemed to control the later rounds with speed and ring generalship to give him a slight lead on the cards going into that brutal final round. Juarez runs his record to 8-0 (4)
In the women’s fight, hard luck Britany Ordonez had to settle with a draw with Mandy Fuentes of Laredo. Fuentes seemed to be able to come forward and land some big wide shots in the first and last round. However, Ordonez seemed to control the action in all of the middle rounds landing inside of Fuentes wide shots and landing combinations on the chin of Fuentez. Brittany appeared to be the more skilled fighter and outboxed Fuentes in most of the rounds however Fuentes had some moments and the judges seemed to score many of the rounds for Fuentes and the power shots she did land. Fuentes/Ordonez was certainly the fight of the night, however, Ordonez who is nicknamed “Mi Vida Loca” certainly seemed to win at least the necessary 5 rounds to take the decision and capture the woman’s belt. Ordonez, of San Antonio, suffered a loss in her last fight against Briana Gonzales in a 50/50 slugfest that could have easily been scored for her. She also dropped a decision to Shurretta Metcalf of Dallas back in 2017, a fight she almost certainly deserved the victory in. Perhaps her nickname should be changed to “Mi decisión Loca”.
Two other prospects had superstar-making performances. Rafael Morales put on the performance of the night in just his second pro bout he beat Cesar Castro for the second time. Not too often is a good looking prospect matched this tough this early on in his career. But Morales who took a decision over Castro back in July scored an impressive fourth-round knockout with a thunderous left hook that brutally dropped Cesar Castro and ended the night. Jose Cardenas dominated his opponent Mario Jaramillo, keeping him on his backfoot and eating a healthy diet of power shots. Cardenas took a wide one-sided UD.
On the other major card in Texas, this weekend Reshard “Too Quick” Hicks stole the show in Austin. Underwoods Promotions now annual card dubbed “Season Beatings” was held at the Austin Sports Center. The main event was unbeaten Reshard Hicks against Jairo Castaneda, brother of Kendo Castaneda. In an entertaining scrap, Hicks came out the aggressor and made Castaneda uncomfortable taking the first few rounds. Castaneda seemed to get a bit more comfortable scoring with jabs and slowing the pace down and was able to capture a few rounds. However, as is evident from Castaneda’s face Hicks left hand was too quick and too sharp. In the final few rounds, Castaneda, knowing he was behind on points picked up the action and tried to jump on Hicks but again Hicks used his hand speed and counter left hands to control the action and take a competitive but clear unanimous decision running his record to 11-0-1 (5) and captured the WCF Welterweight crown.
In the co-main, Iskander Kharsan of Kazakhstan took a hard-fought UD over Jorge Ramos for the WBC Youth Intercontinental Super Bantamweight and WCF World titles. Kharsan (5-0, 4 KO’s) was able to keep the aggressor Ramos at bay using his precise jab and clean 1-2 combination. Ramos tried to close the distance and make it a phone booth fight and had success at moments especially in the fifth when he landed a big right hand that caught the attention of his Kazakh opponent. However, by the sixth Kharsan regained control and nearly dropped his man with a massive overhand right. Kharsan stayed off his back foot and ran out the clock in the final round to take the decision by scores of 79-74, 79-73 and 80-72