(image: Underwood Promotions)
After selling out smaller venues in Austin, TX, Underwood promotions, led by Keith Underwood, took a gamble and staged Capital City Fight Night on a much bigger stage. The Frank Erwin Center, home of the University of Texas Longhorns college Basketball team, is a beautiful arena and was the perfect venue to host Saturdays boxing fights! A total of 11 fights were on the fight card featuring the return of James “Mandingo” Warrior! LongLiveBoxing was in attendance with plenty of footage and interviews on our Facebook page “Inside the Ring With Manny Marrero and Sean Hicks”.
In the main event, San Antonio’s Eddie “The Hunter” Ortiz needed all 8 rounds to defeat Killeen’s Jas Phipps (10-7-2). With the split decision win, one judge scored it a draw, Eddie picked up the vacant WBC USNBC Silver Middleweight Belt. Eddie kept the same pace throughout and at times looked to be on the verge of a knockout. Phipps hung in there and kept it competitive, but Eddie was just a little more active than Phipps. The physically imposing Eddie stalked Phipps all night landing good clean shots. Judge Jennie Cardenas had it 76-76. Overruled by Richard Lord and Perry Hillin who had it 78-74. With the win Eddie improves to 9-0-2.
The special featured bout was the return of fan favorite and one of boxing's biggest punchers from the late 2000’s, James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland(33-2)!! The more things change the more they stay the same! Once the bell rang Kirkland went into his patented attack mode! Looked very sharp as he hurt and dropped opponent Colby Courter (13-15) very early on with a left hook to the body. Kirkland walked back to a neutral corner shaking his head as if to think “come on really?”. Courter beat the count only to taste the canvas twice more, the last knockdown was a powerful left hook to Courtier's chin, forcing the ref to halt the action. Official time was 2:44 of round one.
The fans in attendance, and Kirkland, were a little disappointed Colby only lasted one round. Fans need to understand the power Kirkland has in both hands. The 35-year-old Mandingo Warrior is back!!!
The opening bout featured a young 17-year-old future super lightweight and overall boxing contender, Robert “Hands of Stone” Garcia Jr (4-0). All decked out in Dallas Cowboys blue and white, Austins Garcia Jr. made quick work of opponent Antoine Blakely (0-1). Garcia Jr. landed a vicious body shot in the first round that visibly hurt Blakely. Seconds later he dropped to the ground and was in severe discomfort. Ringside doctor was very observant and rightly called a stop to the bout. Official time of TKO was 1:44 of the first round. He has dual prominent boxing figures in his name. Robert Garcia, famed trainer and “Hands Of Stone” nickname of legendary Roberto Duran, so Garcia Jr has high aspirations. We had a chance to interview Garcia Jr. and he looks focused!
Next was the successful professional debut of Light Heavyweight Peter Villanueva (1-0). Peter completely dominated his rival Steven Orlando (0-1) landing powerful shots and scoring multiple knockdowns. Orlando's corner threw in the towel towards the beginning of the second round. Official time of stoppage was 1:00 of round two. We also had a chance to talk to Peter and he mentioned he has been training since December!! That is the kind of dedication to the sport that pays dividends and it showed!
On deck was the fighting pride of Michoacan, Mexico, Manny Mondragon (4-1). Manny cruised to a unanimous decision over Guadalupe Perez (2-23). Judges Cardenas, Hillin and Lord all scored it 40-36. Manny boxed circles around Perez the whole night. At one-point Manny, sensing his opponent was hurt, went in for the stoppage but was a little too excited doing so. Composure is the name of the game! For someone so young in their pro career, Manny excelled a stiff test from Perez, veteran of 25 professional fights. Be sure to catch our interview with the super featherweight Manny!
The fourth bout of the night was for the ABF USA Welterweight title between Waco's Marquise Hawthorne (8-11) and San Antonio's Daniel Baiz (13-2). Not only was it a battle in the ring, but also during entrances. Both fighters had Davies Entertainers sing their ring walk. Much to the approval of fans! In the ring, the action was intense, and it garners knockout of the night for me! Baiz looked to have Hawthorne hurt only for Hawthorne to land a counter right square on Baiz nose that put him down unable to beat the count! The fans in attendance rose to their feet at the level of excitement happening! Official time of stoppage was TKO in 0:32 of the second round. We spoke to the new champ as well and he delivered a great message to underdogs!
Another championship fight followed as Austin’s Trey Romero (11-3-1) scored 4 knockdowns over undefeated Gabriel Smith (9-1). I’m calling this the fight of the night as both warriors put on a spectacular performance! Trey was the superior fighter scoring a TKO win and is now the ABF Continental Americas Super Lightweight Champion. Official time of stoppage was 0:32 of round seven. Trey was in phenomenal shape using the ring wisely but also engaging. Picking his spots very well. In and out. The crowd loved the action and were very vocal supporting Trey. And of course, we spoke with Trey after the fight!
SWING BOUT RESULTS
Benjamin Whitaker (12-3) of San Antonio scored a TKO second round stoppage over Austins Raymond Guzman (3-3). Official time was 2:23 of round two.
El Pasos Giovanni Loya (3-1-1) and Tyler, TX’s Jamarcus Warren (2-1-1) battled to a draw in the Super Middleweight division. All three judges had it 37-37.
Kieren Dewayne McGowan from Pflugerville, TX, improved to 3-0 with a unanimous decision victory over Marquese Steward (0-1).
Antonio Williams (11-0-1) from Richmond, TX, secured a seventh round TKO over Sonora, Mexicos Pedro Amigon (6-15). Official time was 0:10 of the seventh round. With the win Antonio picks up the vacant ABF USA Lightweight Title.
From our vantage point, Capital City Fight Night appeared to be a great success! A very passionate home crowd was in attendance to support all local fighters. We want to give a very special thanks to Keith Underwood with Underwood Promotions.
Also, a very special shout-out to the former I.B.A featherweight champion turned successful car manager, Manny Sepeda . Mr. Sepeda loves to support the careers of young future contenders in Austin, TX. He even purchased almost 50 tickets for kids to soak in the live boxing environment. Mr. Sepeda is extremely passionate about supporting his beloved community, and is excited about the growth of quality boxing in Austin. Respect !
We look forward to the next event from Underwood Promotions!
See you at the fights...
Article written by:
Manuel “Hopper” Dominguez