|Yanez Conquers Rios…Again
From the moment he arrived at the Four Points Sheraton hotel, Yanez's verbal and fighting skills were in peak form. He instigated a shoving match with his opponent at a press conference, offered Rios' girlfriend his phone number and made such a big spectacle that many of those, who hadn't planned on attending the fight card at all, suddenly changed their minds. The weigh-in was no different, where Luis even took the time to pose for a picture with world class flyweight, Raul Martinez, possessor of 28 wins in 30 fights and 16 KO's ("Just sizing him up!", Yanez said). Without question, there was a tangible buzz on the streets of San Antonio, once the "Latin Legend" came to town.
The bout itself was a simple case of one man being a higher caliber fighter than the other. In the very first round, a left hook wobbled Rios. Yanez's speed, movement, accuracy, southpaw jabs and winging hooks carried most of the fight. He hurt Rios with more left and right hooks than you could count. To his credit, Rios was brave throughout, but the only damage he could inflict upon the 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist was courtesy of headbutts, which left a shiner under Luis' right eye, and sizeable swelling on his forehead. In their second meeting, Rios had success fighting Yanez from the southpaw stance, but that strategy paid no dividends this time around. Such was Yanez's level of control and ring generalship that on several occasions he timed Rios' bull-like rushes, spun him around and slapped the confused fighter on the ass, for good measure. The crowd laughed in approval. In the 8th and final round, a winging right staggered Rios so badly, he touched the canvas to maintain his balance. Typically, that's justification for a knockdown, but that wasn't to be the case in Rios' hometown on this night.
This bout had the look of an easy to score, unanimous decision, but the official verdict was a bit different. Two of the judges gave the nod to Yanez 79-73, but the third must have attended the Ray Charles school of judging, scoring the contest for Rios 77-75.
The important thing is, Yanez redeemed himself and effectively erased the lone blemish on his record. Though it stands at 6 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw, trainer Dennis Rodarte says "Luis is 7-0!"