Martin gets his 20th win after stopping Araiza

To show support for the San Diego Chargers who begin their season Sunday, Chris Martin wore a Phillip Rivers football jersey. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Friday evening, Christopher Martin (20-0-2, 6 KO’s) of Chula Vista continued on in his quest to become a world champion. This time around he faced Jose Luis “Tapitas” Araiza (29-3, 20 KOs) of Tecate, Mexico in the main event on the popular boxing series “Solo Boxeo Tecate,” which was being televised on the Telefutura Channel from the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego.

The first and maybe even the second round went to Araiza who was the aggressor and sought to wear Martin

down by pounding his midsection. During that period, Martin seemed content to keep measuring the busier and more aggressive boxer in order to get his timing down.

By the end of the second round, Martin started to successfully counter punch. He’d land his stiff jab and follow it up with an overhand right to catch Araiza square. But to his credit Araiza was right there and kept coming back with his own overhand right that soon had the crowd reacting to their powerful exchanges.

The third round was much of the same until the closing minute when Martin scored big time with a combination of hard blows, the head snapping variety. In round #4 Martin was the busier and more accurate boxer. Ditto in Round #5 as Martin started landing uppercuts and hooks that were stunners.

By Round #6 the accumulation of heavier and more frequent blows by Martin was starting to take their toll. Araiza was still advancing and would occasionally land a punch or two but Martin’s counters were far superior.

After Araiza’s corner urged him to pick up the pace in the 7th round, he did and he landed some nice combinations to open the round. Martin’s reaction was to do a little payback of his own and he landed a masterful left hook that dropped Araiza. The blow didn’t actually hurt him, it more or less caught him off balance. From that point on, the hands were flying. It may have started off being Araiza’s round but it ended up being Martin’s.

By the 8th and final round the accumulation of punches had taken their toll on Jose Luis Araiza.

With his foe showing signs of tiring, Martin came out for the eighth round looking for the knockout. It was a shot to the left mid-section that finally ended the night for Araiza as the blow sent him to his knees. After seeing the pained expression in Araiza’s face, referee Raul Caiz Sr. waved off the bout.

I discovered later that Araiza had to lose 15 pounds within two days in order to make the agreed upon weight for this fight and that’s why he started to run out of gas in the later rounds. That information came from one of his trainers and the boxer himself. Prior to accepting the fight with Martin, Araiza’s walk around weight was 160 pounds. When you’re only 5’4” tall, that’s a lot of excess body fat for a serious athlete to deal with and apparently Araiza has done this rapid up and down weight gain and then loss many times.

Grajeda vs. Sanchez fight ends in a draw

Here we see Alan Sanchez (right) and Luis Grajeda (left) landing a punch at the exact same time.

Supposedly, every boxer is different and every boxing coach has different ways of training fighters but on the rarest of occasions you will see two boxers that are almost identical. That’s what happened Friday night when welterweights Luis Enrique Grajeda (10-0-1, 7 KO’s) of Chihuahua and Alan Sanchez (5-2-1, 2 KO’s) of Fairfield, Ca. met in the semi-main event.

At Thursday’s weigh-in, the six-foot Grajeda, a two-time Mexican National Champion, weighed exactly 147 pounds. His opponent, Alan Sanchez, with almost the same exact build, who stands six foot tall, weighed in at 147 pounds. In order to win, one or the other was going to have to alter their boxing style.

In the first round, you would have to give a slight edge to Sanchez who appeared to be busier and landed more punches even though those punches were only jabs to the midsection. Round one for Sanchez, 10-9.

In round two, Grajeda was again cautious as Sanchez circled and kept sneaking in and out to land a single jab or an occasional two punch combination. Then during a late exchange Sanchez caught Grajeda with a right uppercut that dropped his opponent. More surprised than hurt, Grajeda was quickly up just as the bell sounded. Sanchez scores a 10-8 round.

In the third round Sanchez became conservative and did a lot of back-peddling. Grajeda eventually scored in the closing minute with some effective combinations (an uppercut and left hook) that staggered Sanchez.  Grajeda wins round 10-9.

In the fourth round Grajeda came out looking for blood and got it. After closing the distance he caught Sanchez several times and bloodied his nose. Grajeda wins 10-9.

Once again Grajeda controlled the action in the fifth with his jab and combinations that had his opponent backing up. Grajeda 10-9.

Alan Sanchez (standing) looks down at his opponent Luis Grajeda after knocking him off his feet.

In the sixth round Sanchez landed another right hand that caught Grajeda as he was coming in and Sanchez register his second knockdown of the fight. 10-8 for Sanchez.

There were some more big exchanges in the seventh with Sanchez’s face showing a welt under the right eye. After staggering Grajeda twice, once just before the bell rang, you would have to give Sanchez the round. Sanchez 10-9.

In the final round, Grajeda threw caution to the wind. He must have felt he was behind and needed a knockout. In the final minute, he had the upper-hand on the retreating Sanchez and was landing some big shots. 10-9 for Grajeda.

After the bout was called a draw by all three judges, referee Jose Cobian raises the arms of both Alan Sanchez (left) and Luis Grajeda (right).

As the scores, 75-75, were announced, a draw from all three judges, the crowd groaned their disapproval. The majority felt Sanchez had won the fight by virtue of his two knockdowns. After polling the five members of the press, they all gave the decision to Sanchez.

After discussing the scoring with two of the judges, I discovered where the discrepancy occurred. One of the judges believed Grajeda had won round one even though he barely moved or threw any punches in that round. A second judge believed Grajeda had won round #5, another of the very questionable rounds that could have gone either way.

Armenta versus Cruz ends in a medical stoppage

Pablo Armenta (right) was like a sharpshooter as he took took aim on his opponent Alejandro Cruz.

Super featherweight Pablo Armenta (3-0-1, 1 KO) defeated Alejandro Cruz (2-12-2, 2 KO’s) via a fourth round stoppage after ring physician Dan Carusillo decided the bleeding from Cruz’s ear was too serious a matter to allow the fight to continue. Armenta, who in past fights has been known to go hog wild on opponents, showed a lot more restraint in this match-up and because of this, he appeared to be more in control of his offensive strategy.

It wasn’t long into the first round that he had Cruz dropping to his knees after a hard left to the body. Amazingly, Cruz was able to get up and continue. Armenta’s size advantage and his constant bombardment of the short right and left combinations never allowed Cruz any breathing room. It was in the fourth round that the blood started pouring out of Cruz’s ear and caught referee Jose Cobian’s attention. Cobian immediately stopped the bout to bring up the fight doctor who then waved off the fight.

Williams gets the TKO victory over Talamantes

Light heavyweight Lamont Williams (2-1, 1 KO)

Raul Talamantes (right) couldn't get going against Lamont Williams who was almost a foot taller. .

defeated Raul Talamantes (0-3-0) in the opening bout. The stoppage of this David versus Goliath battle took place with only 12 seconds left in the final round.

The stoppage means little to a fight fan but it does to a boxer. Talamantes comes from a proud boxing family and not only was his pride hurt but it’s going to cost him a considerable amount of money to secure the necessary MRI before he is allowed to box again.

After the bout Talamantes stated that in no way was he hurt. Sure he had taken three unanswered blows prior to the stoppage, but in no way would he ever quit.

Talamantes’s brother, Hector, is one of just a few amateur boxers who can say they defeated Sugar Shane Mosley.

With his tremendous height and reach advantage, Williams had no problem defeating Talamantes and won every round.

Emmanuel Robles wins his pro debut

Emmanuel Robles (left) and Luis Sanchez (right) land their punches at the same exact time.

In his pro-debut Junior Welterweight Emmanuel Robles (1-0-0), the 2009 National PAL Champion, dominated every round against Luis Sanchez (1-3-0) of Fairfield, CA to win a 40-36 unanimous decision victory.

I heard later that Sanchez seemed uninspired in his training over the past two and a half weeks, occasionally missed a workout and then on Thursday night he complained about a stiff neck.

Robles, Sanchez’s opponent, had an entirely different perspective, sensibility or appreciation for what was going down on Friday night. I was told the rookie loves to workout and loves the sport of boxing.

Emmanuel Robles, Jr. joins his father in the ring after Dad successfully wins his debut bout against Luis Sanchez, September 10, 2010 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel.

In addition, all his family and friends were there to root him on. He was wound up tight and wanted so much to impress them. After that opening bell, he let loose and demonstrated his mastery of boxing and showcased the skills he’s been honing for years.

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