By: Sean Crose
The Puerto Rico Olympic Training Center hosted Ring City USA’s most recent card on Wednesday night. The broadcast was aired live on the NBC Sports Network. Things started off with former world title challenger Israel Gonzalez, 26-4 facing off against the 21-1-2 Jose Martinez in a scheduled 10 round bantamweight affair. Gonzalez threw well in the first. Martinez moved well in the second, but wasn’t letting his hands go the way Gonzalez was. Things kept at a relatively fast pace in the third.
By the fourth, it was clear that Gonzalez was slowing down. Martinez worked the body well in the fifth. Things remained at an impressively fast pace in the sixth. The pace slowed down a little in the seventh, but both men continued to exert huge amounts of energy. Martinez pushed the action in the eighth. Gonzalez appeared reenergized in the ninth. Both fighters continued to exert themselves gamely in the 10th. The judges surprisingly ruled the fight a majority draw.
Next up, the 7-1 Alma Ibarra faced the 13-4 Marciela Cornejo in a scheduled 8 round women’s middleweight affair. Cornejo applied her jab well in the first. Ibarra pressed the action in the second. Ibarra remained aggressive in the third. The fourth saw Ibarra charging forward, firing overhand rights. The fighter kept going forward in the fifth. Cornejo appeared to hold her ground better in the sixth. The seventh saw Ibarra coming in behind her jab. Keeping disciplined, Ibarra stuck to her strategy through the eighth and final round, earning herself a unanimous decision victory.
A scheduled 6 rounder in the light heavyweight division was up next. The 7-0 Marco Delgado faced off against the 2-1 Joe Ward, who Delgado had previously bested. Ward appeared to be the more skilled of the two men in the first. The former amateur notable continued to play it cool in the second, not letting Delgado put too much together. Still, Ward looked to be a bit inactive in the ring. By third, however, he seemed to be putting his punches together.
Delgado didn’t appear great in the fourth, but he was awkward enough to keep Ward from looking particularly impressive. Ward employed his southpaw jab well in the fifth. The sixth and final round saw Ward continue to employ his more polished skill set. The fighter ended up improving to 3-1, having ultimately avenged his loss to Delgado via unanimous decision win.
It was time for the main event. The 22-2 Alberto Machado stepped in between the ropes to take on the 17-1-1 Angel Fierro in a scheduled 10 rounder in the lightweight division. A thunderous body blow sent Fierro down in the first, yet he managed to get back on his feet quickly. A powerful right sent Fierro down again at the end of the second. Once again, the man got back to his feet – but he was clearly being brutally outclassed. Machado continued to bang away in the third.
Fierro began to become active in the fourth, and ended up banging away at his man. Both men traded leather in the fifth. It was quite an exciting fight. An explosive – and abrupt – left put Machado down and out in the sixth.