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The Avila Perspective Chap. 20: Neeco Macias, Gamboa, Braekhus and More

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  • The Avila Perspective Chap. 20: Neeco Macias, Gamboa, Braekhus and More

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    By David A. Avila

    If you’re searching for the finer points of the sweet science, the straight jabs, the well-placed counter left hook and the flowing footwork, you are not going to find this in a fight featuring Neeco “The Rooster” Macias.

    Not even close.

    What you will find is a nonstop wrecking machine capable of unleashing a mountain of punches. And when you add Jesus Soto Karass into the mix, that’s a flaming Molotov Cocktail.

    Macias (17-0, 10 KOs) faces Mexican veteran Soto Karass (28-13-4, 18 KOs) in the super welterweight main event Thursday Nov. 8, at Fantasy Springs Casino. ESPN2 will televise the Golden Boy Promotions card.

    The last time Macias (pictured) stepped into the boxing ring he battered a fellow undefeated southpaw prospect named Marvin Cabrera for six rounds with over 1,000 blows. The boxing world hadn’t seen anything like it before, not in near 20 years when Ray Oliveira and “Cool” Vince Phillips lit it up in 2000 for a regional title.

    I remember watching that fight between Phillips and Oliveira on television and thinking the record number of blows they unfurled that night would stand for a long time and it did until last September 1.

    Macias, 27, was a very crude fighter when he first stepped into the ring five years ago at the Doubletree Hotel on a Thompson Boxing Promotions card. During the introduction he seemed out of place but wildly amused at being introduced to the crowd. It was like watching Sacha Cohen doing one of his Borat performances.

    When the first bell rang the rat-tailed Macias stormed forward with windmill punches and withstood every return blow from his opponent that night. Though he lacked skill, he definitely showed strength and determination. He also had unlimited stamina or the term MMA fighters fondly like to use “cardio.”

    For two years I saw all of Macias fights that took place in Southern California. And every time I expected him to lose. But every time he fought, the wild looking fighter from the desert area smiled his way to victory while the opponent seemed bewildered by the dizzying amount of incoming blows.

    I lost sight of Macias for two years as he ventured out of state against better competition. When I saw him against Cabrera last September it was apparent that he had polished up his act. Slipping punches and moving into different angles was now part of his game. But throwing an avalanche of punches still was his forte.

    “I’ve had to learn through all these fights,” said Macias a tireless worker. “Hardest part is maintaining the weight. Just keeping our body fueled.”

    Facing Macias will be another tireless worker in Soto Karass who now makes Southern California his home. For the past decade the native of Los Mochis, Mexico has served as a litmus test for any fighter with world title aspirations.

    Soto Karass has collected a bundle of scalps including wins over Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin and many other once sparkling prospects in the past. He also is capable of raining blows like one of those tropical storms that batter the west coast of Mexico.

    Macias loves to fight. He has one simple philosophy:

    “It’s pretty much like a fighting rooster moving forward throw 100 to 150 punches,” said Macias. “They throw one, you throw three or four.”

    It’s must watch television for fight fans.

    Yuriorkis Gamboa

    Gamboa (28-2, 17KOs) meets Mexico’s Miguel Beltran Jr. (33-6, 22 KOs) in a 10-round main event on Saturday Nov. 10, at Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo in Miami, Florida. The fight card will be available on Integrated Sports pay-per-view for $24.95. It can also be watched via streaming at

    The proud Cuban fighter hasn’t fought in a year and has moved from promoter to promoter so he decided to do it himself. He is co-promoting this fight card.

    Gamboa, 36, is gambling on himself with this pay-per-view card that also features former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico.

    “My plan is to win this fight. I’ve prepared very well,” said Gamboa while in Las Vegas last September. “If Juanma does well and I do well we are looking to fight each other in a title fight. Both of us have won many world titles.”

    Lopez (35-6, 32 KOs) a southpaw slugger, has bazookas in those gloves and faces Argentina’s Cristian Mino (19-2, 17 KOs) who also has heavy hands. Their match is set for 10 rounds in the lightweight division. Now 35, Lopez has lost six of his last 11 fights including his clash against fellow Boricua, Jayson Velez by knockout.

    Does he have enough left?

    Chocolatito and Braekhus in L.A.

    360 Promotions held a media day for former four-division world champion Roman “Cbocolatito” Gonzalez and current undisputed female welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus at the Palm Restaurant on Wednesday.

    Gonzalez and Braekhus will headline the final HBO boxing telecast ever on Dec. 8, from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Both have fought there before.

    HBO launched the first women’s fight featuring Braekhus last May 5th at the same venue when she fought Kali Reis in a spirited fight that attracted more than 900,000 viewers during that fight.

    Braekhus said she has multiple attractive foes to choose from including Amanda Serrano, Jessica McCaskill or Hanna Gabriels. One monster opponent was unattainable and that was Claressa Shields who allegedly opted to fight on Nov. 17, against Hannah Rankin on DAZN, said an HBO executive.

    “We have so many great fighters to choose,” said Braekhus who is training in Los Angeles for this fight. “This fight will be at 147 pounds.”

    Gonzalez already has an opponent and he will be facing Mexico’s Pedro Guevara in a 10 round super flyweight match.

    “All the Mexican fighters punch well and are good fighters,” said Gonzalez. In his last fight he knocked out Mexico’s Moises Fuentes in the fifth round.

    Once again, this will be the last time HBO televises a boxing match.

    “It’s going to be a great night of boxing,” said HBO’s Tony Walker. “L.A. is the biggest boxing market in the world.”

    Tickets go on sale next week.

    Return of Neno

    After nearly two years in purgatory Saul “Neno” Rodriguez returned and showcased the electrifying punching power harbored in both of his fists. The undefeated Riverside prizefighter returned with a knockout win over Argentina’s Claudio Tapia in the second round.

    The first two knockdowns were delivered by right hands and the closing knockout came via the left hook. That’s his money punch.

    Rodriguez, 25, still has plenty of time to hone his defense before stepping up in class against the likes of the two fighters who participated in the main event on the same card in El Paso.

    “I felt fine. Just felt a bit of ring rust,” said Rodriguez (22-0-1, 16 KOs) who plans to compete in the super featherweight class. “I’m happy to be back active again and I’ll be fighting soon.”

    On the same card, WBC super featherweight titlist Miguel Berchelt knocked out Mickey Roman after nine heated rounds in the Texas boxing ring. Fighting for the super featherweight world title is a goal of Rodriguez who knows he needs rounds before tangling against the champions.

    Top Rank’s Brad Goodman said he expects Rodriguez to have two or three more fights before increasing the competition.

    “There’s no rush,” said Goodman. “No rush at all. We like what he brings.”