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​By Duane Steele

September 17, 2016, Golden Boy Promotions, Tecate, and the AT&T Stadium “Jerry’s World” hosted an outstanding evening of boxing in ARLINGTON, TEXAS that was televised live on HBO PPV. The headliners for the night were Canelo Alvarez 47-1-1 (33 KOs) from Guadalajara, MEX, and Liam Smith 23-0-1 (13 KOs) from Liverpool, ENG. North Texas Boxing was also well represented in the personalities of Vergil Ortiz 1-0 (1 KO) from Grand Prairie, TX, and Larry Smith 10-28-1 (6 KOs) from Dallas, TX.

After long awaited anticipation by the night’s preliminary fights, the North Texas fans showed their appreciation on this Mexican Independence Day Weekend by erupting in applause, bomb bursting in air, and flags waving after the signing of the British, Mexican, and American national anthems. The enthusiasm continued to grow as Michael Buffer introduced (in his trade mark voice) the headliners for this event “CANELO ALVAREZ 47-1-1 (33 KOs) from Guadalajara, MEX vs. undefeated LIAM SMITH 23-0-1 (13 KOs) from Liverpool, ENG” followed by his coined phase “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”. ©

Alvarez began the first round by measuring his gabs and delivering a left hook and body shot that got Smith’s attention. Smith answered with two overhand rights in the 2nd round. Both Alvarez and Smith gave shared a hard stare on their way to their corners. The 3rd and 4th rounds were fought in true Alvarez style, toe to toe with uppercuts and a series of combinations from both. Alvarez scored his first knockdown in the 7th round with a three punch combination. After a wicked gut shot from Alvarez in the 8th round and a delayed reaction, Smith goes down for the second time. Entering the 9th round, Alvarez continued his assault to Smith’s midsection which ultimately led to his destruction and the loss of his belt, At 2:28 seconds of the 9th round, Alvarez walked away with a TKO and the WBO Junior Welterweight title. Once again, the AT&T Stadium exploded with roars from the crowd and an exquisite pyrotechnic display. There couldn’t have been a better way to cap the holiday weekend. In the end, the fighters and North Texas showed up and showed out for this HBO PPV event.

The scheduled 12 round Co-Main Event was heavily anticipated after the shoving match displayed during the weigh-ins on Friday, September 16, 2016. Gabriel “King” Rosado 23-9 (13 KOs), and William “The Body Rock” Monroe 20-2 (6 KOs) matched up to battle for the Vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title. Both fighters uniquely dressed, Rosado with leggings and Monroe with gold tassels on his shoes spent the early rounds feeling each other out. During the middle rounds the crowd began showing their displeasure with the pace of the fight. Despite the crowd’s reaction, Monroe maintained a strategic attack on Rosado. The 9th round provided some excitement as a cut developed on the back of Rosado’s head. After 12 rounds of action, Monroe proved that “it was only business” as he received a unanimous decision from the scorecards.

The premier undercard bouts began with a WBC Youth Super Bantamweight title match scheduled for 10 rounds between undefeated Diego De La Hoya 15-0 (9 KOs), and Luis Orlando Del Valla 22-2 (16 KOs).  These fighters came out of their respective corners ready to brawl, standing toe to toe and exchanging blows equally. After 4 round of boxing, De La Hoya clearly dominating delivers a devastating blow to the mid-section buckling Del Valla. In the sixth round, De La Hoya connected with a right hook that literally spun Del Valla around. Del Valla showing wear in the latter rounds continued to trade punches with De La Hoya to make this one of the most exciting bouts of the evening. However, after 10 vigorous rounds of combat, the judges rendered a unanimous decision in favor Diego De La Hoya extending his undefeated record.

The second undercard bout scheduled for 10 rounds in an NABF Featherweight title match-up was between two California based boxers, Joseph Diaz 21-0 (12 KOs), and Andre Cancio 17-3-2 (13 KOs). Undefeated Diaz found a formidable foe in Cancio, who made no bones about the fact that he came to fight. However, by the 9th round Cancio developed a serious cut over the bridge of his nose which caused the referee to call the fight off 1:29 seconds into the round.

Larry Smith was a late entry for a six round Super Welterweight match against Alexis Salazar 7-0 (3 KOs) in the second preliminary bout of the evening. Both fighters started with a series of wild punches as they tried to feel each other out. Salazar began early looking for the knockout, but after 6 rounds of boxing, the judge went to the score cards resulting in a unanimous decision for Salazar extending his undefeated record to 8-0.

The sixth bout featured local favorite Vergil Ortiz, hailing from Grand Prairie, TX with an amateur record of 140-20. His amateur career included seven national championships, three Silver Gloves titles, and a 2013 national Junior Olympic title to name a few. Ortiz’ opponent for this Super Lightweight bout was Ernesto Hernandez 1-3 (1 KO) from El Paso, TX. Although scheduled for 4 rounds, Ortiz delivered a blazing right hand knockout after only 40 seconds of the first round leaving Hernandez flat on his back.

A record attendance of 51K plus was set that night.

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By Duane Steele / Photo Credit: Tom Hogan - Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions