Ugas, Alvarez, Brooks and Garcia, a weekend of star attractions

On Saturday evening, August 21, 2021, (8-21-21) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the 35-year-old, 5’9″ tall Yordenis Ugas made the most of his irrefutable advantages over the 42-year-old legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. You could say it was his night. Not only did he benefit from his range advantage but his more powerful righthand and jab to assist him in outpointing the great Manny Pacquiao. That being said, by defending his WBA World title in front of such a huge, partisan crowd of pro-Pacquiao fans, it’s possible Mr. Ugas has now sent the Filipino legend into an irreversible retirement, which for all concerned might be best.

Yordenis Ugas might want to keep in mind it was back on February 28, 2014 when one of our local boxing heroes, Emanuel “Renegade” Robles (9-0-1 at that time) managed to defeat the 15-1 Yordenis Ugas (he had just one loss in 16 fights) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley and come away with the interim WBC Latino Super Lightweight Title after Mr. Ugas went to the canvas in round six.

Enough has been said about that fight on Saturday night in Las Vegas. On the preceding night, Friday, August 20, 2021, much closer to home, at the truly beautiful, aesthetically pleasing Heritage Event Center in El Cajon, Calif., just a down escalator ride from the Sycuan Casino & Resort’s main floor, there was a Lou DiBella Boxing Show with a little bit of everything from the opening two bouts with the ladies, and then five additional, rough and tumble bouts featuring their male counterparts.

(l to r) Confident headliners Kali Reis and Diana Prazak face off at Thursday’s weigh-in.

In the show’s opener, Bout #1, the promoter featured the 35-year-old, 5’8″ tall WBA Super Lightweight Champ Kali “K.O. Mequinonoag” Reis (17-7-1, 5 KOs) who came all the way from Providence, Rhode Island to defend her WBA World Super Lightweight Crown plus contend for the vacant IBO World Super Lightweight Title. Her opponent was the much shorter but confidant and equally gifted, 5’5″ tall, 42-year-old former world champ Diana Prazak (14-3, 9 KOs) of Los Angeles by way of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. At the end of their 10 round bout, it was Reis winning by decision (97-93, 96-94, and 95-95) to move up to 18-7-1, 5 KOs, while Prazak dropped to (14-4, 9 KOs). In this match-up, while the punches came both ways, the majority of the harder and better placed punches were thrown by the taller, younger Reis. 

With our next two combatants coming from far away, it’s only right that we salute their hometowns by showing an aerial view of that hometown. First up, we have Alma “The Conqueror” Ibarra’s metropolis of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico followed by Kandi “Krush” Wyatt’s equally grand city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

At the conclusion of Bout #2, we see referee Jose Cobian raising the arm of the victorious Alma “The Conqueror” Ibarra from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico who with the victory won the WBA Welterweight Female Title Eliminator and improved to (9 wins, 1 loss, 4 KOs) after receiving the higher marks from the judges: Carla Caiz 79-73, Alejandro Rochin 80-72 and Daniel Sansoval 78-74 to defeat Kandi “Krush” Wyatt who’s now drops to 10-3.

For what it’s worth, losing this WBA Female Welterweight Title Eliminator at this time might not have been such a bad thing. Winning it, now makes Alma Ibarra the mandatory challenger for Jessica “CasKilla” McCaskill the current champion who not once, but twice defeated, the former unbeaten/legendary Cecilia Braekhus, a woman who before facing McCaskill had beaten all 36 of her opponents over a 12 year period. With her loss to Ibarra, Wyatt can at least put off facingthe dreaded Jessica “CasKilla” McCaskill.

                   Lending a helping hand in Ibarra’s victory was Edgar Sandoval (left) the boxing coach at our local National City                      CYAC. The difference maker versus Wyatt was the fact that Ibarra’s blows were often landing flush and from multiple angles, while Wyatt’s punches just could not get past Ibarra’s tight defense.

Elvis Garcia’s hometown of Santiago Ixcuintla Nayarit, Mexico may not be all that big but it’s

right there on the beach and you won’t believe how cheap it is to rent an apartment or a house.

Next up to the plate, it was Xalisco, Nayarit, Mexico’s opportunity to gloat over their current star, the 31-year-old, 6’2″ top prospect heavyweight Elvis “Semental” Garcia (12-0) who like Ben Alvarez took care of business against the 6’2″ tall Joel Shojgreen (10-2) from Brooklyn, New York. Garcia has attracted a lot of attention especially after he helped the ex-World Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua get ready for his successful return match versus Andy Ruiz Jr. to win back his four World Heavyweight Title belts.

Early on in this Elvis Garcia versus Joel Shojgreen contest there were some fireworks but nothing that serious. Then, just before entering round three, it was as if Garcia had been reminded of a pressing appoint or more than likely had received a wake-up call from someone in his corner, “Elvis, it’s time! What are you waiting for? Let’s get busy in there!” After Garcia turned up the pressure and started pounding Shojgreen with his above the norm, non-stop power punching, veteran referee Jack Reis knew it was time to step in and stop the onslaught and award Garcia one of those RTD/TKO victories. Not one objection was heard.

In Bout #4, they had Austin Brooks (Pro record 3-0, Amateur record 18-2), who trains at The Arena Gym in Point Loma with Basheer Abdullah, a former USA Olympic Boxing Coach, facing the 19-year-old, 5’6″ tall Jesus Torres Beltran (4-0, 3 KOs) who came to town from San Bernardino, Calif.

From the outset Brooks made his presence known and gave Mr. Beltran a boxing lesson. Brooks’ masterful side to side, head and body movement made him look untouchable and allowed him to be the aggressor throughout. Afterall, in Boxing, the name of the game is to keep touching your opponent while never getting touched. With his mastery of the sport, Brooks once again came away with the easy victory to improve to 4-0.

Following Brooks’ domination of Beltran, came a second tutorial of sorts from Benjamin Alvarez (red trunks), now (3-0), a 25-year-old cruiserweight on loan from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who stands 6’3″ tall. One of the methods he employs on his trajectory towards fame and fortune involves securing over-the-top pre-fight preparation. Early on, Mr. Alvarez discovered how certain gyms, certain trainers, employ this strategy of securing all of the best-available sparring partners. Carlos Barragan of the House of Boxing has always employed this strategy. To help his fighters like Alvarez, Barragan gets them ready for a big fight against a tough opponent like Jerell Nettles, an ex-star running back from Denver, Colorado, by arranging to have his fighters spar with top quality fighters like MMA great Phil Davis plus these other, two, virtually unknowns, namely, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Andy Ruiz Jr. In other words, Alvarez’s opponent on Friday night, Jerell Nettles may be extremely well-built and powerful, but he still didn’t compare to the three sparring partners Coach Barragan had lined up for Ben Alvarez to be prepared to face Mr. Nettles.

Our recap: Early on, Nettles wasted no time and went rushing across the ring at Alvarez to initiate his all out attack. While delivering those early blows, Nettles soon discovered they had little effect on the well-schooled, rock hard Alvarez. Before long, it had become Alvarez’s turn to return fire and deliver the more precise blows which soon had the ex-football star a bit disoriented/groggy/unsteady on his feet which eventually led to the early stoppage call by veteran referee Jack Reiss.

Job well done, the Professional looks out at his adoring fans and acknowledges is supporters.

After being around Alvarez on more than one occasion, our photographer believed the boxer was waving at him. As it turns out, Alvarez was waving to the gentleman directly behind him, (l to r) Hall of Fame referee/now Judge Pat Russell, Elvis Garcia’s manager Gabriel Barone & Hall of Fame Judge Alejandro Rocheen.

In Bout #6, they had the 26-year-old William King of Perris, Calif. (left) making his Pro Debut against       the 28-year-old Oscar “Remberto” Mendoza (0-1) from San Rafael, Calif. by way of El Salvador.

   In high spirits we see the joyous William King of Perris, Calif. having his arm raised in victory                                                                           by referee Gerard White after King put a drubbing on his opponent Oscar Mendoza of San Rafael, CA. When all three of the score cards read 40-36 in your favor, that’s a shutout. After the King’s victory in his Pro Debut, Coach Angel Ochoa and his troops did everything but toss their hero high overhead in a blanket. This certainly appears to be one of those: “all for one and one for all” gyms with a tremendous amount of heart and of course positivity where you can expect great things on the horizon.

In the show’s closer, the promoter had his patrons enjoy a battle royale between two welterweights who on this night were both making their Pro Debut and fought like there was no tomorrow. At one point Jacob Macalolooy found himself on wobbly legs, but miraculous refused to leave his feet. Then it was Andy Lopez turn to take a beating. In the end, the gutsy Macalolooy proved to be the most durable.

At the outset of the following bout, it could best be described as target practice with both Jacob Macalolooy in the black trunks/yellow stripe and Andy Lopez in the blue trunks/white stripe just firing away.

Both men gave the patrons their money’s worth as the punches just kept on coming.

               Finally, you could see Jacob Macalolooy’s opponent Andy Lopez was starting to run low on petrol.

In the closing minutes, Jacob Macalolooy, the local fan favorite had his backers up and out of their seats cheering wildly.

In the end, there was the victorious Jacob Macalolooy having his arm raised in victory by referee 

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