Northfield, Minnesota’s Vicente Alfaro (8-4, 2 KO’s) retained his Minnesota state jr. featherweight title with a masterful boxing performance against rival Jonathan Perez (12-1, 7 KO’s) on Saturday, September 17th at the El Nuevo Rodeo Restaurant in Minneapolis. It was a performance that cemented his place among Minnesota boxing’s top pound for pound fighters.
The fight largely took place in the center of the ring, with both fighters willing to stand toe to toe to exchange punches. The opening round was the most competitive of the fight and was fought on even terms although a late surge may have swayed the round Alfaro’s way.
Perez and Alfaro, who were both born in Mexico City, Mexico, continued to trade punches in round two. The action brought the sold out crowd to life as chants of “Vicente and C.O.D” echoed the venue.
Alfaro targeted Perez’s body in the second round and the effects were showing by the third round. Perez also landed some nice counter punches and uppercuts. Alfaro began to pull away from Perez as round three went on and he seized control of the fight with a steady pressure of body and head shots. Perez’s speed and mobility were thought to be a key for him coming into the fight but the movement wasn’t there so far. Despite not looking like himself, Perez was putting forth a gritty effort to hang with the pressuring game plan of Alfaro.
The fighters remained mostly in front of each other again in rounds four and five. Alfaro’s steady assault of body and head shots had Perez visibly in trouble but the 24 year old continued to stand his ground and fire back. Alfaro continued to cruise and showed no signs of letting up on the pressure and Perez made it clear that he had no quit in him despite the high volume of punches from Alfaro. However, Perez’s corner had seen enough and stopped the fight at 1:44 of the fifth round after Alfaro had trapped Perez in a corner and landed a number of unanswered shots.
“I thought the fight went according to our plan” said Alfaro afterwards. “We had a blueprint for how to approach this specific bout, and managing spacing and timing were crucial elements of our preparation. We worked a lot on footwork, combinations, cutting-off the ring, and just different ways of applying intelligent pressure throughout the fight. Carlos and I would talk about different strategies and tactics almost every training session. We took this fight very seriously, and my preparation reflected this approach. All in all, I think I executed the fight plan to our team’s satisfaction. We pressured him throughout until he seemed to run out of gas. That’s what won us the fight, intelligent pressure tactics and a long term strategy of suffocating Perez both physically and psychologically as the rounds went on.”
“Alfaro came to win, he was real busy and my body was not there” said Perez when asked to recap the fight. “I was just sick but I know if I’m 100% it would have been a war. I just wish him good luck on his career, he won the fight. There is really nothing more to say. I did not feel his power or see something new that he would bring to the fight though. But good luck to him whatever he does. I will be back.”
Harold Calderon (11-0, 7 KO’s) of Miami, Florida stopped Lionel Jimenez (2-16, 2 KO’s) of Molene, Illinois in the co-main event. Calderon is a solid welterweight prospect that was too much for the southpaw Jimenez. Jimenez retired on his stool following the conclusion of the second round before Calderon could really get going.
Celso Ramirez (5-0, 5 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN defeated Deartie Tucker (2-7, 2 KO’s) of Springfield, Missouri by TKO in the opening round. Ramirez jumped right on Tucker before he had time to react. After dominating the first half of action, Ramirez dropped Tucker with a barrage of punches where the fight was waived off at 1:59 of the first round.
25 year old VeShawn Owens (5-0, 5 KO’s) of Minneapolis, MN stopped Kelly Wright (4-23) of St. Louis, Missouri at 2:37 of the first round. Owens was all over Wright, dropping him four times with a bag full of headshots which led to the TKO victory. It was the fourth victory of 2016 for the prospect Owens.
Richard Quiterio (1-0, 1 KO) of Minneapolis, MN defeated Rick Ogden (0-7) of Kalamazoo, MI by TKO at 1:25 of the first round. Quiterio put his punches together well, dropping Ogden with a left-right combination to the head. Shortly after, Quiterio unleashed body and head shots which Ogden couldn’t defend and referee Mark Nelson stepped in to end the fight.
20 year old Alexis Gomes (1-0) of Minneapolis, MN won a four round unanimous decision over Charon Spain (0-7-1) of Davenport, IA in a super welterweight bout. Gomes looked polished for his pro debut and Spain was tough although out gunned. Gomes dropped Spain to his knee with a hard right hand to the head in round three but Spain was able to fight back enough to make it through the round. After dropping the first three rounds, Spain fought back hard in the fourth round and Gomes might have been in trouble on a few occassions if his chin wasn’t so solid. But he shook Spain’s comeback off with no trouble and In the end, won by scores of 39-36, 39-36, 40-35.
Newcomer Anteneh Kidanwol (1-0) of Minneapolis, MN scored a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Gonzalez (0-7) of Toledo, Ohio in the opening bout of the evening. Kidanwol dropped Gonzalez twice in the second round and won the first three rounds convincingly with Gonzalez showing his toughness and taunting Kidanwol to bring more everytime he landed. Kidanwol continued to use his longer reach to land in round four but Gonzalez came to life and fired back looping hooks that landed throughout an exciting round. Final scores read 40-34, 40-34, 40-33 in favor of Kidanwol.