The CyberBoxingZone News

Santana Seeks Bigger Game

JD Vena from Ringside
MANCHESTER, NH - For Mel Peabody, finding opponents for his featherweight protégé, Edwin 'Lightning' Santana is like catching flies with chopsticks.  There simply aren't many top-rated 126-pounders in the world willing to risk a match with the Lawrence, MA native for the amount of money involved.

    "We were offered $3,000 for fighting Angel Vasquez (an undefeated Hartford prospect)," said Peabody.  "Who is going to fight for that kind of money?"

    Santana usually accepts most opponents despite fighting men at weight classes one or two heavier than he that what he fights in.  In compiling an impressive 26-3-5 record, three of Santana's draws have come against fighters that have weighed more than the lightweight limit of 135.  His last defeat, was a 10th round TKO loss to now jr. welterweight contender, Ben 'Wonder' Tackie.  As Tackie had done in one of his last appearances against former IBF jr. lightweight champion, Roberto Garcia, Tackie was being thoroughly outboxed by Santana until landing the home run ball in the final frame.

    "Edwin was boxing (Tackie's) ears off until getting hit with that shot," said Peabody. 

    This past Friday at the JFK Coliseum in Manchester, NH, a durable opponent was found to help  work off the ring rust and prepare Santana for a bigger name in the featherweight ranks.  His opponent, was rugged 131 ˝-pound, Renor Rojas of Brooklyn, NY via Columbia, who stood up to 24 minutes of non-stop punches thrown by a well conditioned Santana.  Santana (128) made every second of the match count attacking Renor Rojas' body as if it were the sides of beef that Smokin' Joe Frazier use to like hitting in the Philadelphia meat factories.  Santana was unrelenting with his body attack, as his punches to the Jake La Motta sized cranium of Rojas didn't seem to faze him.

    "He had a hard head and just kept coming," said Santana.  "I knew I'd slow him down with the body shots and thought that if I had another two rounds I would have stopped him."

    Though the knockout never came, Santana appeared to floor Rojas in the 7th round when two body shots from knocked an off-balanced Rojas down in Santana's corner.  Referee Joe LaPlant ruled it a slip and Santana continued to punish Rojas for the remainder of the bout.  Santana couldn't have lost any of the 8 rounds as all three judges had it 80-72.

    "My hands felt good tonight," said the winner who appeared to land over half of his punches.  "(Rojas) really came to fight tonight.  I was glad so many came to watch me perform."

    Many of his fans, particularly young children, were in attendance to not only cheer for Santana but a couple more professional and amateur boxers appearing on Mel Peabody's first ever Pro-Am Boxing card.  On the undercard, Raquel "Rocky" Temo, 118, Las Vegas, NV, upset local favorite, Allison King, 116, Attleboro, MA via 5 round unanimous decision.  The scores were 50-45, 49-46 and 49-47. 

    Gil "Sugar" Reyes, 149, of Lawrence, MA won his first professional bout by a 4th round TKO of 39 year old, Bernie Boisvert, 152, Of Lewiston, ME.  Though Reyes dominated the fight with a slick attack, the end result came under questionable circumstances.  Trailing badly on all three scorecards, Boisvert was cut unintentionally when the two collided heads.  Referee Joe LaPlant stopped the contest at 2:20 of the 4th and final round and declared Reyes a TKO winner.  Apparently, the New Hampshire State Athletic Commission has not yet adopted the technical draw rule when an accidental foul ends the match before four rounds have been completed. Go figure.  Boisvert now slips to 7-7-1 with 1 KO.

    In the 1st professional bout of the evening, Adrian Vee Brown, 161, of Lowell, MA ran his record to 3-1-2 with 2 KO's after he decisioned used up Jose Williams, 165, of Brooklyn, NY.  Brown the brother of Gilberto Brown, the state's top-rated light heavyweight won by scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37 by another judge.  With the loss, Williams' record fell to 8-43-1, with 3 KO's.

    In NH's first Pro-Am boxing card, fans were entertained by 4 spirited amateur bouts.  Anyone who wagered their beers or Starbursts on the boxers fighting out of the red corner made out pretty well Friday night.  In the first bout, Quincy, MA bantamweight, Chris Traietti decisioned Brian Lopez of the Queen City Boxing Club (of Manshester, NH).  Somerville Boxing Club featherweight, Henry Burgos avenged his only loss by decisioning Ralph Cabral, of the Lawrence Boxing Club.  In the third bout, Ben Ellis of the Portland (Maine) Boxing Club eked out a tough decision over John Levasseur of the Queen City Boxing Club and Colman McDonaugh of Quincy won his bout over fellow middlweight, Pat Place of Capitol Area Boxing.

Promoter : Mel Peabody

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