By Ron Valderrama: Trevor Byran (20-0, 14 KOs), defeated BJ Flores (34-4-1, 21 KOs) and capturing the Interim WBA heavyweight title in Phoenix last night. The event was promoted by Iron Boy Promotions and held at the iconic Celebrity Theater.
Bryan, who is promoted by Don King, appeared to be facing his toughest opponent to date in BJ Flores, at least on paper. The real action started in round 3, when Bryan dropped Flores to the canvas for a count. Flores beat the count, but moments later, Bryan again dropped Flores for a count. Flores would again beat the count only to be dropped for a third time in the round. After the bell, Bryan managed to land a hard left that dropped Flores for what could have been a fourth time. To be honest, at least one of the times Flores was dropped, it appeared to be a low blow rather than a knockdown. None the less, it had an impact on BJ Flores and he was definitely taken out of his element. The action continued in round 4 of the scheduled 12 round bout, both fighters trading punches. Flores would again fall victim to three more knockdowns before referee, Tony Zano would wisely call a halt to the bout. Trevor Bryan would go on to be crowned the Interim WBA heavyweight champion, the official time of stoppage was 2:58 of round 4.
With Don King in attendance, he was without a doubt pleased with the performance of Bryan. The aging promoter was once a powerhouse in boxing, his best days perhaps, behind him. But this night, a spark of excitement was clearly expressed with his signature smile.
In the co-main event, Roberto Yong (6-14-2, 4 KOs), defeated crowd favorite, Fidel Hernandez (19-5, 10 KOs). It was the first loss for Hernandez since coming out of retirement last year. The bout went the distance with scores of 79-73 X 2 and 76-76.
Issac Luna defeated Eric Montoya in a 4 round welterweight bout. It was a dangerous fight for both fighters. Although throwing some looping hooks that left him open, Luna managed to settle down and landed some very precise and effective punches. In the end, Luna wins by UD with scores of 40-36 and 39-37 X 2.
In a heavyweight rematch that evened the score, Dante Stone (2-1, 1 KO) battled Waldo Acosta (2-2, 1 KO). Stone dropped Acosta twice in round 3, but Acosta recovered and survived the round. In the fourth and final round, Acosta came to life and stunned Stone with some blistering blows. It wouldn’t be enough for Acosta though. The judges score the bout 38-36; 40-34 & 38-36 in favor of Dante Stone.
Luis Espinoza defeats Christian Raudry by UD, 60-52.
Jusus Ibarra (5-0, 3 KOs), defeated Enrique Almada (0-2) by knockout in the opening round of a scheduled bout set at 140 lbs.
Simply said, the bout between Trini Ochoa (3-0, 1 KO) and Arturo Izaguirre (1-1, 1 KO) was a war. Both fighters put on a show with a high amount of punches being thrown. Ochoa had the better and more powerful punches, but Izaguirre would not go away. The judges score it 39-37 and 40-36 X 2 for Ochoa
Iron Boy Promotions paid tribute by introducing Don King and Valley Legend and six-time would champion, Michael Carbajal. For the crowd, it was pleasing to see two icons of boxing together in the ring.
For this writer, it was a great night of boxing, but also a sad night. It was the first fight, for me anyway, without a member of the Arizona boxing community in attendance. Local boxing writer, Don Smith was tragically killed while walking in an unincorporated area near Phoenix this past May by a suspected drunk driver. His contribution to Arizona boxing is unmatched, from the amateurs, to the pros, Don Smith left his mark and etched his place in Arizona boxing history. Rest in Peace Don Smith, you are missed.