Ryan Garcia Captures NABF Title as All Hell Breaks Loose between Claudio Marrero and Jesus Rojas
September 15, 2017 Share

Ryan Garcia Captures NABF Title as All Hell Breaks Loose between Claudio Marrero and Jesus Rojas


By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña 

Follow @StacksRingside


Photo: Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

LAS VEGAS – On the eve of boxing’s biggest fight between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The MGM played host to the Golden Boy on ESPN series. The card which was held at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom immediately after the Canelo vs GGG weigh-ins was headlined by a WBA Interim Featherweight Championship fight. In the main event Claudio Marrero (22-2, 16 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic made the first defense of his title against Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Marrero recently captured the Interim WBA Featherweight Title with a devastating first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano. Friday night all hell broke loose in a back and forth battle between these two as neither fighter refused to take a step backwards. Rojas the aggressor applied heavy pressure by backing Marrero into the ropes with hard body shots and quick combinations, but Marrero countered several times with solid combinations of his own. In the 5th round both fighters stood toe to toe in the pocket firing off bombs at will in what possibly could be round of the year. Then in the 7th round Marrero pinned Rojas in the corner landing at hard shots when Rojas countered with a left hook followed by right and finished him off with devastating left that floored Marrero. As referee Russell Mora started the count Marrero rose to knees and took the ten count, giving Rojas the knockout victory “I was very emotional in the ring, as I had promised my father one day I would be a World Champion, and although my father is no longer with me this fight was dedicated to him,” Stated Rojas after his victory. “I knew I could counter Marrero because it’s something we trained for, we knew his weakness and we took advantage of it.”

Photo Credit: Lina Baker @seeyouringside

In the co-main event 15x National champion and undefeated super featherweight prospect Ryan Garcia (11-0, 10 KO’s) took center stage as he made his national television debut against Miguel Carrizoza (10-3, 2 KO’s) of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, for the vacant WBC-Junior NABF Super Featherweight Title. Garcia who last entered the ring in July on the undercard of Takashi Miura vs Miguel Berchelt came out, threw two punches and walked away as the new champion. As the opening bell rang Garcia landed a quick overhand right that dropped Carrizoza, after beating the count, Garcia landed a devastating straight left that ended the night for Carrizoza. “I thought it was going to be a longer fight, I seen he went the distance with one of my friends (Michael Dutchover) so I thought he’d give me a competitive fight, well not competitive, but I thought he’d  give me some rounds,” stated Garcia. “I feel honored and blessed to win this title, it’s the first of many and hopefully Golden Boy will give me the opportunity to capture another belt”

Photo: Lina Baker @seeyouringside

Also on Friday night’s card in the television opener, undefeated Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr. (13-0-1, 5 KOs) battled Jayro Duran (10-2, 9 KO’s) of San Pedro, Honduras in an 8 round lightweight matchup. Allen Jr. wasted no time in attacking his opponent, landing heavy shots at will early and often, but due to several low blows in the first round Allen Jr, was warned twice by Jay Nady. In the second round Allen Jr. continued his heavy attack but also continued landing low blows on Duran forcing Nady to deduct a point. Throughout the rest of the fight Allen controlled the pace as he dissected his outclassed opponent. Although Duran did land some wildly thrown hard shots on Allen Jr. they were few and far between. After 8 solid rounds of actions all three judges were in agreement with the scores of 79-72 all in favor of Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr.

Photo: Lina Baker @seeyouringside

To kick things off Horacio “Violento” Garcia (33-3-1, 23 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico took on fellow country man Diuhl Olguin (11-8-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight rematch. In their first encounter in July, Garcia lost via an upset unanimous decision. Friday night both fighters started off with a bang as Olguin pressured the taller Garcia and landed swift combinations on the inside as Garcia looked to counter while trying to find his range. Olguin continued his affective aggression throughout much of the early rounds, then in the 4th Garcia caught Olguin with a big two punch combination followed by an over hand right that dropped Olguin. Olguin rose to his feet to beat the count but Garcia landed a barrage of unanswered punches forcing the referee Robert Byrd to step in and call a halt to the bout at the .44 second mark of the 4th round giving Horacio Garcia the TKO victory.

In the television swing bout Alexis “Laberinto” Salazar (12-3, 3 KOs) of Tlaquepagque, Mexico stood toe to toe with Evan Torres (6-4, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas in a scheduled six-round middleweight fight. Salazar and Torres are no strangers to each other as this bout was a rematch of their May 2017 fight, a fight which Salazar won via close split decision. Friday night it was Salazar again who out boxed Torres and came away with a unanimous decision victory.


(Feature photo: Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)

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