Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Battle in the Ballroom" sells out another one!

By David Finger

Roy Englebrecht Promotions scored another knockout with its 14th straight sellout at the Irvine Marriot Hotel in Orange County, California last night with four exciting fights that had 1,412 fans on edge of their seat.

In the main bout, undefeated welterweight prospect Hector “Teco” Serrano improved his record to 2-0 with a tough, entertaining five round decision over Dario Castillo. Serrano, from Huntington Park, brought with him a large entourage of fans, and he didn’t disappoint them as he boxed and brawled effectively against his shorter opponent.

Serrano opened the fight popping his long jab and keeping Castillo on the outside, and many ringsiders could already see the fight developing into a boxer versus puncher brawl. Castillo did well whenever he closed the gap, but Serrano seemed content to dominate from the outside.

The tone of the fight, however, turned more explosive in the second round when Serrano decided to abandon the jab and brawl willingly with Castillo, much to the delight of both, his opponent and fans at the Marriott. Despite fighting his foe’s fight, Serrano still seemed to be in control, winning a close round over Castillo, not behind the jab, as in the first stanza, but with the hooks on the inside. By the end of the round Castillo’s left eye began to close shut, and it began to appear as if Castillo simply didn’t have the tools to defeat Serrano.

Serrano continued to brawl on the inside in the third round, landing a sharp three-punch combination upstairs that briefly rattled Castillo, but doing nothing to slow down his forward, stalking, motion.

With three rounds in the bag, many felt that Serrano would benefit from taking the fight back to the outside, and to nobody’s surprise, he did just that. Boxing behind his underused jab to start the fourth, and showing good foot movement, Serrano looked set to cement the win in the fourth—but the pressure of Castillo finally began to wear down the quicker prospect, breaking in on Serrano midway through the round with hard hooks on the inside. It was enough to make the fourth round considerably closer, with Castillo even tagging Serrano in the final 30 seconds.

The fifth round started in the same way as the fourth, with Serrano boxing well early, but Castillo coming on strong later. Knowing he needed a knockout, Castillo threw bombs in the closing minute of the fight—something that Serrano was more than willing to match with hard hooks of his own. It was a finish that left fans on their seats, and turned what started off as a lopsided fight into a considerably closer one.

Judge James Jen Kim scored the fight 50-45 for Serrano. Judge David Denkin scored it closer at 48-47, and Judge Max De Luca scored the fight 49-46 for Serrano. With the loss, Castillo drops to 1-2.

(Continue Reading)

No comments: