Boxing review: Wins for Klitschko, Mares, Santa Cruz, Garcia; in Vegas a draw

The stars came out in Los Angeles at the Staples Center and the fighters put on a great show; meanwhile Dr. Steelhammer showed sheer punching power in Germany. Photo: AP Photo/Gero Breloer

SAN DIEGO November 10, 2012 – Boxing fans got their fill of a full buffet of fights from Hamburg, Germany to Las Vegas to the star-studded Staples Center in Las Vegas.

Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KOs) delivered tremendous punishment to challenger Mariusz Wach of Poland (27-1, 15 KOs). Despite a lopsided unanimous decision for Klitschko by scores of 120-107 from two judges and 119-109, Wach earned respect for his ability to stand in and take it. He was hit plenty hard by the best Dr. Steelhammer could deliver, but wasn’t ever seriously wobbled. But Wach didn’t have any offense to go with his tremendous defense. The fight was never in doubt.

 Trainer Jonathan Banks did well in the corner, taking up where the late Emanuel Steward left off After the fight, Klitschko said Banks did a good job but still has a lot of hard work ahead of him to be a great trainer. Banks is off to a good start. Meanwhile he’ll face heavyweight Seth Mitchell himself next weekend.  

Abner Mares, right, connects with Anselmo Moreno of Panama during their WBC super bantamweight title bout, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Mares won the fight by unanimous decision. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) and Anselmo Moreno (31-2-1, 12 KOs) did not disappoint. The pair put on a wild fight that looked at times more like an MMA brawl. It was a no holds barred contest as expected, the kind fans love. Mares got the better of Morenp. It appeared closer than the judges scored it.  Marty Denkin and James Sutherland had it 116 – 110; but Dr.James Jen-Kin had it 120-106. You can argue a different of opinion for the closer scores; but this was not a drubbing like the Klitschko fight.

Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1) took care of Victor Zaleta (20-3-1, 10 KOs) with a ninth round knock out after three knockdowns. Santa Cruz put on the best performance of the night, mixing up punches of all kinds to the head and punshiment to the body, all with plenty of power. Zaleta stayed in a few more rounds than he should have. When he went down, he went down ugly.

Leo Santa Cruz, left, connects with Victor Zaleta during their IBF bantamweight title bout, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Santa Cruz knocked out Zaleta in the ninth round. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Santa Cruz would now like to fight Mares. When asked about it after the fight, Mares dismissed Santa Cruz, saying, “No, I want to fight (Nonito) Donaire!” So do the fans; let’s hope Top Rank and Golden Boy can make it happen. At the post fight news conference, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy said, “I think the world wants to see Abner Mares versus Nonito Donaire and it can be made.”

If you blinked, you missed Alfredo Angulo’s first round knockout of Raul Casarez (19-3, 9 KOs). Angulo (22-2, 17 KOs) did not let his eight month in custody on immigration issues affect him.

In Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel, Mikey Garcia (30-0, 25 KOs) played it smart, studying Jonathan Barros (34-4-1) for several rounds before unleashing a vicious shot in the ninth. Barros went down hard, but got up before being counted out. Referee Robert Byrd asked Barros if he was OK to continue, and Barros said “No mas.” A wise fighter knows when it’s pointless to continue, saving himself for a better day. Garcia has now won 14 of his last 15 fights by knockout. But he needs to think about how to put on fan pleasing fifhts, or he won’t get to the top level of the sport.

Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 KOs) were both under pressure to prove themselves Saturday. Martirosyan’s critics say his promoters at Top Rank have been shielding him from truly challenging opponents. Lara hadn’t fought much on the world stage. He lost a decision by a razor thin margin to his only quality opponent, Paul Williams. 

Both came out with an eye toward impressing the boxing communities and the fans. There was action, although in comparison to the Mares-Moreno and Santa Cruz-Zaleta fights, it was steadier. Lara connected with more punches than Martirosyan. Meanwhile, Martirosyan opened a cut over Lara’s left eye. At 26 seconds into the ninth round, an accidental headbutt opened a wicked cut over Martirosyan’s left eye, and the fight was stopped by referee Jay Nady. The stoppage was the right decision. Martirosyan told his corner he could not see at all. Judges must score the round based on the 26 seconds. Would the brief round end up being the tie-breaker?

judge Ricardo Ocasio gave it to Lara, 87-84. Jerry Roth had it 86-85 for Martirosyan. Dave Moretti had it even at 86-86, making the fight a draw, a fair result but not one either boxer wanted.  Martirosyan said as soon as the stitches come out, he wants a rematch. Lara said he would have won, and he’d agree to a rematch.

If you played it smart, you recorded the less than thrilling HBO fights from Las Vegas for a quick review later, and watched the wild action from Los Angeles live along with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Mickey Rourke, and Metta World Peace who were among the famous fight fans in attendance. I wonder, was Nicholson sitting in his Lakers courtside seat?


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at” when quoting from or linking to this story.   


Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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