Results from the Friday Night Fights at Pechanga

The regular Pechanga Ring Card Girls were anxious to show off their new outfits. Photo: Jim Wyatt

On Friday, May 11, 2012, the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA, hosted another very entertaining boxing show. This one featured Detroit’s Tony “Super Bad” Harrison, a 21 year-old undefeated junior middleweight from Emanuel Steward’s Kronk Gym in Detroit.

    Tony “Superman” Harrison graciously poses for a photo Friday night at the Pechanga Casino & Resort after defeating Ishwar Amador to gain his seventh straight victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt.

Tony Harrison likes to be referred to as “Superman.” How close to Superman do you suppose he is?

In addition to being known for his quick hands, Harrison is also known for wearing these high fashion sunglasses to and from the ring. On Friday night, Harrison showcased a new pair of shades plus improved his boxing record to 7-0 after getting his seventh straight knockout.

Should we get excited about the win? Harrison’s opponent, Ishwar “El Diablo” Amador, who is from Mira Loma, a part of the city of Jurupa Valley in Riverside County, will have his 37th birthday on Sunday. His last win came on February 11, 2005. In other words, it might be wise if we hold off on the hasty accolades and early comparisons with Tommy Hearns.

The attention given to the selection of Harrison’s opponents has been meticulous. Before the Amador fight, he faced Alfred Hall. Hall was making a return to the ring after an eight year layoff. In Hall’s previous fight, back on May 21, 2004, he lost to Russell Jordon.

Prior to Hall, Harrison faced 20 year-old, Harun Akcabelen of Ahlen, Nordrhein-Westfalia, Germany, a fighter who fought 14 times in 2011 and had a 4-4-1 record against dubious talent in his previous 9 bouts.

Prior to Akcabelen, Harrison faced Dorian Hatcher who was making his debut. Hatcher’s current record is 1-4 after being ko’d three times.

You get the gist of this exercise. Harrison has looked good, mighty good, but only against questionable talent. In each of his seven bouts, you will see how he keeps his hands down, which is a bad habit, especially when blocking the straight left and left hooks. He has yet to be tested and a good southpaw should give him trouble.

            Somewhat ashamed of his loss, Ishwar Amador (L) looks down as officials of the California Athletic Commission ask how he feels after the TKO loss to Tony Harrison. Photo: J. Wyatt

Tony Harrison with his stunning spectacles poses for a photo with his corner help. Photo: J. Wyatt

The end came early on Friday night. After a somewhat tentative first round, Harrison led off the second round with hard rights and left uppercuts on Amador (11-10, 7 KOs) that soon had his opponent backing up. Then came this right-left combination that pinned Amador in the neutral corner. It was only a matter of time before referee Tony Crebs decided Amador had had enough and stepped in to stop the carnage.

What happened at the very end of Round #1 may have had something to do with Amador’s lack of enthusiasm to continue. Harrison hit Amador with a below the belt body shot just as the bell sounded to end Round #1. Amador immediately dropped on all fours. Crebs justifiably ruled the late blow was a foul, and deducted a point from Harrison.

After the bout, Harrison again donned his garish sunglasses and began thanking everyone, even Amador for taking the fight. “I kept my streak going and that’s a good thing,” said Harrison now holding the ring announcer’s microphone. “People like to see knockouts, they like to see good fights, that’s what I give them.”

Tony Harrison vs Ishwar Amador video  

                                         Hector Serrano (L) has his arm raised by referee Eddie Hernandez (R) after defeating Angel Rios. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the Co-main event, Perris, California’s Hector “Teco” Serrano (14-3, 6 KOs) defeated Angel “White Tiger” Rios(9-12-0) by an unanimous decision in a light welterweight bout.

On his ring walk, Rios entertained the fight fans with a most amusing jerky shuffle which had the fight fans salivating for a hotly contested bout. Then came the contest in which the taller Serrano dictated not only the pace but used his superior boxing skills and reach advantage to land at will the harder shots.

Rios, who over a 13 year career has never been stopped, showed amazing toughness. Should we give Serrano a lot of credit for this win? After all he did win every round on all three judges’ scorecards.

The answer is No. Mr. Rios has been on a long losing streak, one that has lasted 11 and half years.

                Walter Sarnoi (L) takes a seat after being leveled by blows to the midsection and then head by Jonathan Alcantara (R).        Photo: Jim Wyatt


Referee Tony Crebs looks down at Walter Sarnoi while issuing the 10 count. Photo: J. Wyatt


                      Jonathan Alcantara (L) is joined by a member of his supporting cast to celebrate his victory over Walter Sarnoi. Photo: J. Wyatt

In the upset of the night, featherweight Jonathan Alcantara (8-5) from Novato, CA, which is located about 10 miles north-northwest of San Rafael, CA, won a six-round unanimous decision over Walter “School Boy” Sarnoi (10-3) from Monterrey Park, CA.

In both Rounds 1 and 2, the scoring could have gone either way. Sarnoi, the sharpshooter, had success by picking Alcantara apart as long as he stayed on the outside. Whenever he decided to stand toe to toe with Alcantara, who appeared to be stronger, Sarnoi got the worst of it.

By the fourth round, Alcantara’s confidence had grown and he became animated and started to showboat. This development could have cost him brownie points with the judges. Then he caught Sarnoi with a solid right cross which allowed him to follow with an even stronger flurry of punches.

In the fifth round, the fight turned big time in Alcantara’s favor after he caught Sarnoi with multiple combinations and knocked him off his feet. We should question the location of these blows because many landed on the back of Sarnoi’s head.

For what must have seemed an eternity (actually 60 seconds), Sarnoi delt with the hard charging Alcantara who tried desperately to put him away. At one point, Sarnoi lowered his head and was right in the wheelhouse of Alcantara’s punching lanes. Amazingly, Sarnoi weathered this onslaught which led to three knockdowns and come out to face Alcantara in the final round.

Alcantara won the bout by an unanimous decision. Not to overstate the seriousness of alienating the judges with the needless showboating, but the final scores ended up being much closer than you’d expect. The scores were 57-56 twice and 58-55 for Alcantara.

Jacob Bonas of Detroit’s legendary Kronk Gym earns his first pro victory after defeating Kai Zama.    Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the remaining bouts, welterweight Jacob Bonas (1-0-1) of Bellville, MI won a fourth-round TKO victory over Kai Zama (5-5) of Costa Mesa, CA. Bonas was an intimidator from the outset, ever since scoring the first round knockdown. His blows, the majority of which went to the midsection, had such power that Zama was in trouble most of the way.

At one point, Kai Zama (R) walked right into a Jacob Bonas uppercut. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Round two ended with a big overhand right followed by two lefts to Zama’s head. By Round #3, with Bonas holding his hands low, Zama began to score with some good shots to the head. Still Bonas remained the busier of the two.

In the fourth round, it became clear that Zama could no longer weather the constant pounding to the head and the referee, Eddie Hernandez, called for the early stoppage.

John Worthy (L) has his arm raised by referee Tony Crebs after defeating Cleven Ishe (R).                     Photo: Jim Wyatt

Next up we have junior middleweight John Worthy (3-3) of Temecula, CA narrowly defeating Cleven Ishe (3-6) of Long Beach, CA. Worthy got everyone’s attention when at the outset he slowly walked around the perimeter of the ring as if mimicking a Muay Thai fighter. Even his opponent was surprised by the behavior.

At times, the awkward Worthy showed no signs of an offense and then at other times he’d turn it on. Even though it appear Ishe had landed more of the cleaner, more effective blows, the unanimous decision went to Worthy.

With this bout being a bit of a snoozer, two hecklers began to entertain the comatose crowd. What they did was yell advice to the boxers, questionable advice. On one side of the room you’d hear, “Right hook!” The other side of the room followed with, “Give me a minute, I’ll throw a punch.” With hardly a punch being thrown, came the response, “You got him hurt!”

      Well wishers from the Undisputed Downtown gym where Giovani Santillan trains were on hand to wish their buddy the best before he faced Imarjoe Miller in his pro debut. Photo: J. Wyatt

Giovani Santillan (C) and his support group which includes his dad (center right) and coach                      Joe Vargas (R) pose for a photo after his first pro victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Giovani Santillan (R) of San Diego showed perfect form while leading with his jab against his         opponent Imarjoe Miller (L) of Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Last but not least, comes the all important coverage of San Diego’s Giovani Santillan in his first professional fight. In his debut, Santillan of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center, Downtown, won an unanimous decision over junior welterweight Imarjoe Miller (1-3) of Watts in South Los Angeles, CA.

Giovani Santillan and his opponent, Imarjoe Miller cross arms during one of the rare times that Santillan failed to connect. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Giovani Santillan has his arm raised by referee Eddie Hernandez after winning his debut fight over Imarjoe Miller. Photo: Jim Wyatt

This one was never in doubt and unlike most fighters who take their time getting off the mark, Santillan started fast and never let up. His weapons of choice – the head snapping jabs and left hooks plus the occasional combination which impressed the judges to give Santillan scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards. With Santillan being so focused, Miller, who did land three power shots, never had a chance in this one. Santillan proved he has a good chin and appeared unaffected when exchanging blows. Is there room for improvement? That’s always a given but Friday’s performance was a great start.

Giovani Santillan and his opponent Imarjoe Miller pose for a photo after their hard fought battle at the Pechanga Casino on Friday, May 11, 2012. Photo: Jim Wyatt

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