Results from the Danny Garcia, Marco Antonio Periban matches

Danny Garcia (left) took whatever John Figueroa (right) had to offer and gave it back to him four fold. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Instead of the normal faire of local fighters defending the home turf, Friday evening, the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel gave us a glimpse of some of the top talent from elsewhere. Danny Garcia (19-0-0, 13 KOs), a super lightweight from the neighborhood of Kensington in North Philadelphia, Pa., came to town to take on John Figueroa (7-8-3, 3 KOs) who hails from Salinas, Puerto Rico, the same


town where Miss Universe 2006, Zuleyka Rivera, was raised. And, we got to see the highly touted light heavyweight Marcos Antonio Periban (10-0, 7 KOs) from Venustiano, Carranza, a central historic district in Mexico City, Mexico. Periban was here to take on the Roger Mayweather trained Dion Savage (10-0-0, 6 KOs) from Flint Michigan now fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada.

From the opening bell Garcia punished Figueroa with power shots first down below and then up top. After barely surviving that first round it appeared the usually durable Figueroa might be looking for an honorable way to bow out gracefully.

Danny Garcia of Philadelphia, Pa. is surrounded by his father and seconds after his TKO victory over John Figueroa. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Garcia, the former two time national amateur champion, continued his onslaught in the second. After taking some combinations to the head, Figueroa soon found himself falling backwards along the ropes. Wavering in retreat, another uncontested flurry gave referee Jose Cobian all the justification he needed to call off the fight. The official time of the stoppage, 52 seconds into the second round.

“I agree with the stoppage,” said Figueroa later. “I don’t normally fight at this weight. I’m a natural lightweight and he was just too big. I can’t take anything away from him. He’s a quality fighter.”

That explanation isn’t going fly. Thursday, when Figueroa weighed in, he weighed a half pound heavier than Garcia and had fought half his fights as a super-lightweight losing seven of his last eight.

The consummate entertainer, Dion Savage showcased his "Free Dion" boxing robe just prior to his fight against Marcos Antonio Periban. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the co-main event, Periban and Savage were supposed to go eight rounds but Periban ended Savage’s night early. It took about 30 seconds for Periban to land a hard left, then a powerful straight right to drop Savage in dramatic fashion.

Savage got up, appeared to be listening to the count, stepped forward, and then referee Tom Taylor saw a glazed look in his eyes. From that look, Taylor determined Savage was in no condition to continue. The official stoppage came at 32 seconds of the first round.

Ref Tom Taylor raises the arm of Marcos Antonio Periban who wasted no time in disposing of Dion Savage. Photo: Jim Wyatt

On the undercard

Hanzel Martinez (9-0, 8 KO’s) of Tijuana, Mexico took on Alejandro Solorio of Huntington Park, California (4-2) in a four round bantamweight clash. Martinez, who happens to be related to Antonio “the Express Train” Margarito, had his brother-in-law sitting at ringside to cheer him on.

As you can see, Alejandro "Hands of Steel" Solorio (left) went toe to toe with Hanzel "Toronado" Martinez (right) on Friday evening at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, Ca.

In the first round Solorio took the initiative and came out banging with powerful overhand rights while Martinez missed and seemed more content to counter. That development didn’t last long as both fighters came out throwing in the second round and taking turns pounding one another. Things got so ferocious it was a wonder how either could continue.

By the third round, Martinez’s strategy of pounding the midsection started to pay dividends as Solorio started to drop his hands. Again and again, the two young boxers teed off on each other with lefts hooks and devastating uppercuts.

In their Friday match, Alejandro Solorio gets hit by a low blow from Hanzel Martinez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Forgetting there were bystanders present, the boxers gained so much respect for one another they began touching gloves at the end of each round.

By the time the bell rang for the final round the capacity crowd knew they were witnessing a classic. After both landed hard shots, Martinez threw an overhand right flush catching Solorio by surprise. It’s likely that one punch swung the momentum in his favor, enough to go on and land with confidence the short right and left combinations. Since the bout was so close, you have to hand it to the judges for their expertise in arriving at the majority decision of 38-38, 39-37 (twice) for the winner Martinez. At that point, if the promoters were to propose a rematch, I’m certain everyone in attendance would have forked over the dough for a return ticket.

After the decision was announced, Martinez, the consummate entertainer, shuffled about saluting the fans and then, wanting to give them even more, went to the center of the ring to do a back flip. With his equilibrium still off a notch, his flip went askew which led to his second attempt.

Referee Tom Taylor raises the arm of A. J. Matthews after he knocked out Gene Olverson in round #3 of their scheduled four round bout at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel on Friday evening in San Diego. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Debut of A. J. Matthews (23 years old) versus Gene Olverson (42 years old)

Light heavyweight A. J. Matthews of Carlsbad, who trained for his debut fight at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, CA., scored a stunning third round knockout of Gene Olverson from the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, CA.

In the first round, all went well for Matthews who kept the pressure on Olverson. In round two, Olverson, over his opening round jitters, began to show his superior boxing skills and most likely evened the scoring by winning the round. He even planted a small red mouse under Matthew’s left eye.

Hit by a freight train, Gene Olverson sat there helpless until the fight doctor made his way into the ring. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Then came the dramatic third round. Matthews, the aggressor throughout, kept stalking Olverson and waiting for an opening.  After cornering Olverson, he planted his left foot and unleashed a powerful right hook, pow!  The blow sent Olverson crashing backwards. Olverson didn’t know what hit him as he sat there dazed in the opposing fighter’s corner. Because of the power behind the full wind-up punch, the referee wasted no time in calling for an assist from the ringside physician.

Other results:

Try as he might, Adrian Vargas (left) could not finish off the very durable Freddie Martinez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Adrian Vargas from National City, who is coached by his older brother, Joe Vargas, at the Undisputed Fitness Center in downtown San Diego made his debut against Frankie Martinez (0-1) of Turriabla, Costa Rica, Nicaragua now fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Martinez, 28, had several ring observers wondering if he was in anyway related to Anthony Martinez (21-34-3) and yes, Frankie is the younger brother.

Adrian Vargas with his corner people, (r to l) brother Joe Vargas, Guiermo Santillan and Al Gamez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

From the opening bell, Vargas had the clear advantage but to his credit Martinez did hang in there and on occasion fought back under tremendous duress. In the end, it was Vargas’ constant battering that got him the unanimous decision shutout victory of 40-36 on all three scorecards. Halfway through the final round Vargas began flicking his right hand and may have hurt it trying to knock his opponent out. Despite the obvious pain, Vargas continued to press the action right up till the final bell.

Pablo "Bronco" Armenta has his arm raised after winning an unanimous decision over Alenadron Cruz in their four round super-featherweight bout Friday, February 25, 2011 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in San Diego. Photo: J. Wyatt

Super featherweight Pablo Armenta (5-0-1, 1 KO) of Chula Vista who trains out of the Gutierrez Gym in South San Diego had no problem defeating Alenadron Cruz in their second go-around. Cruz, who is now 3-12, 2 KO’s and resides in El Cajon, CA lost by scores of 40-36 from all three judges.

The co-main events were televised on Telefutura’s boxing series “Solo Boxeo Tecate” late Friday night from the Four Points by Sheraton in San Diego, Ca. The exciting night of boxing was presented by Jorge Marron Productions in association with Golden Boy Promotions.

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