Diaz defeats Lucero in A Rocking Atlantic City Show at Bally’s Saturday
By Ken Hissner at ringside (Oct 31, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Pound 4 Pound Promotions came down from North Jersey to Bally’s in Atlantic City Saturday night at the Event Center to “test the waters”. In a scheduled 8 bout show there were 2 fall outs reducing it to 6 fights and losing over 200 customers which would have sold the place out. Matchmaker Nick Tiberi put together a show that had the fans up and down screaming all night!

In the main event New Brunswick’s (NJ) Jorge Diaz kept his unbeaten streak at 15-0 (9) in 10 rounds of a foul filled slugfest defeating Albany, NY, featherweight Emmanuel Lucero, 24-6-1 (14), with one of the game’s top judges Steve Weisfeld calling as this writer saw it 96-94. I know judges Don Givens and Emil Conforti were not sitting next to each other but both came up with 99-92 scores.

Referee Allan Huggins had more than his hands full especially with Lucero and may have set some kind of record for “warnings” without taking away any points to the dissatisfaction of the Diaz corner and his fans. Lucero knew at the start he wasn’t going to outpunch the younger 23 to his 31 year-old slugger. So he started early with the low blows and rabbit punches and never stopped.

Diaz trying to avoid staying inside with Lucerno’s dirty tactics started using angles having the faster hands of the two. By the fifth round both fighters were getting warnings. In the sixth the referee seemed to lose control warning Lucero’s time and time again. Diaz overcame these obstacles landing a punch at a time. The seventh and eighth rounds had the fans up on their feet as the two warriors were battling it out. In the ninth Lucero hurt Diaz with a body shot halfway through the round. At that point Diaz got on his bicycle for the rest of the round and the tenth allowing Lucero to almost “catch up”.

Both fighters were celebrating after the final bell with Lucero jumping up on the corner ropes as the fans let him know what they thought of him and it wasn’t complimentary. In the meantime Diaz who showed the more worst for wear awaited the decision which was in his merited favor. It was his first 10 rounder with one rough veteran.

In a 8 round junior welter match Jeremy Bryan, 14-2 (7), of Paterson, NJ, stood right in front of Ronald Cruz, 10-0 (7), Bethlehem, PA, who later said “I couldn’t believe he stood in front of me allowing me to get in some early body shots.” Bryan peppered Cruz who had his hand’s held high in defense trying to evaluate getting past the speed of Bryan. Early it seemed like Cruz had little chance.

Each round Cruz would land more punches than the previous round. In the fourth round he was in the fight with Bryan now backtracking. Cruz smiled letting Bryan know none of his punches were going to be good enough to drop him. In the fifth round in his own corner Bryan took a knee from a combination of punches.

Bryan was pointing to his jaw as his corner encouraged him to continue fighting. He beat the count but was completely on the defense as a Cruz straight right dropped him again. The fans were going wild with this incredible comeback by Cruz. This was a Rocky film for real. Afterwards the ringside physician said Bryan’s jaw was not broken.

In the sixth round it was evident it was a matter of time before Bryan would fold. A combination dropped Bryan at the start of the round. Cruz was all over him as his corner were yelling to finish him off. Referee Brian O’Melia stepped in and saved Bryan from a clear knockout halting the bout at 0:59 of the sixth round. It was pure bedlam as the Cruz fans and stunned Bryan fans showed their joy and disappointment.

Cruz is a fighter of few words. “I knew I would eventually ware him down with the body shots,” said Cruz. His promoter J Russell Peltz came to the dressing area joining the happy corner congratulating his boxer. Cruz goes between Bethlehem and Phoenixville with some sparring in between with top Philly boxer Mike “MJ” Jones. This is not the first time Cruz has overcome obstacles stopping the much more experienced Juan Ramon Cruz and Martinus Clay in his two previous fights. Cruz goes 4-0 at Bally’s!

Opening the show was Passaic, NJ, junior middleweight Glen Tapia, 8-0 (6), who left the Manny Pacquiao camp about a month ago said “I felt tired from the start.” He wasn’t too tired to win on all scorecards 59-55. His opponent Quinton Whitaker, 7-8 (5), of San Antonio,TX, up until the last round of this 6 was in there giving Tapia all he wanted. The third round was a war with both fighters turning up the heat. The Tapia fans were yelling for a knockout that wasn’t coming.

In the fifth round Tapia started backing up for the first time in the fight. In the sixth and final round Tapia had Whitaker holding on with wicked body shots for the last 10 seconds of the fight. Tapia is a good prospect who considering came out of camp with the best pound for pound fighter in the world and a southpaw on top of that. Whitaker was a good opponent. O’Melia was the referee.

In a 6 round junior welterweight fight Jose Peralta Alejo, 4-1, (2), a Dominican, now out of Passaic, NJ, and Christian Martinez, 4-1 (4), out of the Bronx, NY, put on a show that might headline a small club show in a rematch. Alejo whose previous fights were in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua, was making his US debut. Though the same weight Alejo was the much shorter who would go even lower into squat’s in order to avoid the harder punching Martinez who had won all 4 of his fights by knockout.

In the second round a left hook had Alejo out on his feet as he fell forward wrapping his arms around Martinez, picking him up and slamming him to the canvas. It seemed to have some effect on Martinez with Alejo seeming to come alive in the third round with combinations driving Martinez to the ropes. This continued in the fourth round.

In the fifth round a frustrated Martinez was deducted a point for holding by referee Huggins. The sixth and final round was Martinez landing more punching down on his shorter opponent. The fans were split on who would be taking this decision. Alejo took the decision by scores of 58-54 and two at 57-56. If it were not for the point deduction, which he deserved, it would have been a draw.

Unbeaten Anthony Caputo Smith, 7-0 (5), Kennett Square, PA, continued his winning ways halting Brian Bernard, 8-8 (4), of St. Joe’s, MO, at 1:20 of the first round. Smith scored 2 knockdowns with the second one a double left hook forcing referee O’Melia to call a halt. Bernard did get in a couple of good punches but seemed to have no chin to stand up to Smith’s power. This was a light heavyweight 4.

In a rather lopsided fight Cleoney Fugqua, 2-3 (2), of Birmingham, AL, was no match for Jason Escalera, 10-0 (9), of Union city, NJ, being stopped at 0:17 of the second round with referee Huggins waving it off. Fugqua was helpless on the ropes and not looking to continue. This was a super middleweight 6.

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