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Tijuana's Fierro Rallies to Stop Machado on a Thursday Night in Puerto Rico

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  • Tijuana's Fierro Rallies to Stop Machado on a Thursday Night in Puerto Rico

    Click image for larger version  Name:	fierro.PNG Views:	0 Size:	530.0 KB ID:	19044

    By Arne K. Lang

    Ring City USA, the newest promotional group in boxing, is spending the month of March hunkered down in Puerto Rico. Tonight they were outdoors at the Puerto Rican Olympic Training Center in Salinas. The main event pit 30-year-old Puerto Rican southpaw Alberto Machado, a former 130-pound world title-holder, against Tijuana's Angel Fierro in a lightweight bout slated for "10."

    Fierro, 22, brought a 17-1-1 (13) record, but he had fought most of his career in Tijuana, had defeated only three opponents with winning records, and took the fight on nine-days notice when Hector Tanajara took ill and had to pull out. It figured that he would be in for a rough evening and it appeared that it would also be a short evening. Knocked down in each of the first two stanzas, Fierro was down by five points on all three cards after only three rounds. But, as Yogi famously said, it's never over until it's over.

    Fierro turned the momentum in his favor in round four and ended the contest at the 47-second mark of round six when he clocked Machado with a sweeping left hook that almost put him through the ropes, leaving him with his head under the lower strand, unable to beat the 10-count.

    Machado lost for the third time in 25 pro fights. All three of his losses have come by stoppage, the first two in title bouts with Andrew Cancio. His first loss to Cancio was one of the biggest upsets of 2019.

    In the TV opener, super flyweights Jose Martinez (21-1-3) and Israel Gonzalez (26-4-1) fought a 10-round draw. Martinez, who had the home field advantage, was making his second start since suffering a shock loss (TKO by 2) to Filipino invader Aston Palicte. Mexico’s Gonzalez, a three-time world title challenger who went 12 rounds vs. Chocolatito Gonzalez in a losing effort in October of last year, attracted the late money and undoubtedly would have won if the bout had been contested at a neutral site, but yet it was hardly a robbery. The judges had it 96-94 (Gonzalez) and 95-95 twice.

    In a 6-round light heavyweight match, Irish Joe Ward improved to 3-1 with a unanimous decision over Turlock, California’s Marco Delgado (7-2). This was sweet revenge for Ward who lost his pro debut to Delgado at Madison Square Garden underneath Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko because of a fluke injury, a dislocated kneecap suffered in the second round. Hailing from Moate, Ireland, Ward had a strong and deep amateur career that included a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Tonight, although not really impressive, Ward, 27, had too much class for Delgado whose style was that of a back-alley brawler. The judges awarded Irish Joe al six rounds.

    Other Bouts

    In an 8-round woman’s match between middleweights, Monterrey, Mexico’s Alma Ibarra improved to 8-1 (4) with a unanimous decision over LA’s Marcela Cornejo (13-5). The scores were 77-75 and 79-73 twice.

    In an off-TV fight, victorious San Juan super flyweight Angel “Tito” Acosta (22-2, 21 KOs) was extended the 8-round distance by Modesto, California journeyman Gilberto Mendoza (17-10-3). Acosta was making his first start in 17 months. Both of Acosta’s losses came in world title fights at hostile venues. The judges were in accord, submitting scores of 79-73 across the board.
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