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Enriquez defeats Blackshear in their NABF title fight

If you’re a regular at the Bobby D. Presents boxing events and you missed the Friday, April 4th show at the Four Points By Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, let me be the first to bum you out... it was a dandy.

David Barragan (r) winds up to unload the left to the midsection of Eddie Cordova.
Paul Gallegos
Kenia Enriquez defeats Jolene Blackshear
Jim Wyatt

In the Main Event, they had flyweight sensation Kenia Enriquez (10-0, 5 KOs) of Tijuana, ranked #7 by the WBC, dropping the necessary four pounds to face the former two-time Jr. Flyweight World Champion, Jolene “Classy Assassin” Blackshear (8-4, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight rounder for the NABF Jr. Flyweight Title.

In Enriquez’s last fight, on February 28, 2014, her first on U. S. turf, the 20-year-old went six hard fought rounds against Noemi Bosques from St. Petersburg, Florida. In that contest, she sent the previously undefeated fighter to the canvas in the first round en route to winning a lopsided unanimous decision.

Blackshear, the former IFBA champ, now 43 years of age, was coming off a tough loss to the undefeated Maria Suarez. You knew she was looking forward to this match as a bit of redemption. A win over Enriquez would get her right back in the mix for another title shot.

In reality, no one really knew what to expect. Oh, if only all of Tijuana could have witnessed this classic.

In Round one, Jolene, who has a reputation for being a slow starter, allowed the taller Enriquez to dictate the pace and establish her domain in the center of the ring. Her stiff jab ruled and the shorter Blackshear couldn’t get close. It was as if a wide moat had been dug around Enriquez to protect her and it was rare to see Blackshear land anything more than a meaningless jab to the midsection.

Round #2 was more of the same as Blackshear’s short arm punches were ineffective while Enriguez maintained the proper distance to score almost at will with the straighter shots to the head and body. Midway through the round both ladies landed big punches that gave their respective cheering sections something to crow about. After Kenia blasted Jolene with a hard right, Blackshear mirrored her efforts with her own.

By the end of round four, Blackshear’s reddened face made it obvious that the peppering of jabs was taking its toll. The only indicator that Blackshear had made some headway was when this trickling of blood came from Enriquez’s nose.

Near the close of round five, the first major blow of the fight landed. A punch you’d figure would turn the tide. A well-timed, devastating uppercut that caught Blackshear square on the chin. Somehow, some way, Blackshear absorbed the blow and finished the round.

In Round six, you could see Blackshear had lost a step and was no longer pressing the fight. Oddly enough, she started walking into punches. The odds of her defeating Enriquez had hit at an all time high.

By the seventh round, Blackshear may have reached the point of desperation and sensed the need for a knockout. Enriquez’s corner was likely telling her to be careful and at the same time get ready to load up with the strong counters.

Then, as if Enriquez were following a movie script, there was that Blackshear miss and Enriquez countered with an overhand right to send Blackshear reeling back against the ropes. This time Enriquez could smell blood and jumped on her opponent with one accurate punch after another.

Like a tumbling surfer who has just fallen off their surfboard, Blackshear was unable to do anything but curl up and try to weather Kenia’s onslaught of punches. The problem was the punches were coming from every angle. Referee Jose Cobian could see Blackshear was in big trouble and wasted little time in jumping in to stop the fight.

With the TKO win, Enriquez captured the vacant NABF light flyweight title and moved up to 11-0 with 6 KOs. Blackshear now drops to 8-5, with 3 KOs.

In what had to be the second most popular bout of the night, Amaris “Diamond Girl” Quintana (6-2-2, 1 KO) of San Diego was back home to face Susan Reno (1-1-1) from New York, N. Y.

After fighting her last two championship bouts in Sindy Amador’s backyard, as they say in a hostile environment, you could see the delight on Quintana’s face as she entered the ring, then circled about waving to her “peeps”, an almost boundless group of supporters.

After that first bell, the ladies went nonstop. Quintana used her legs to dart in and out with the well placed combinations. The gutsy Reno tried to match her efforts but like Blackshear her arm punches were often falling short. She was like a youngster flinging a net at an elusive butterfly that had already moved off in a different direction.

Simply put, Quintana’s punches were quicker and harder, while Reno’s were more like glancing blows. Quintana enjoyed much success with the left hooks to the midsection coupled with the big over hand rights.

By the close of round six, those hard overhand rights had developed a large hematoma on the left side of Reno’s head and according to her husband, a New York firefighter working her corner, no amount of ice could prevent this bump from blowing up.

As a novice in regards to these types of injuries, I felt her man had taken a cavalier attitude. Especially, since the two main causes of death from boxing are the subdural hematoma, a rupturing of the veins between the brain and the skull, and cerebral edema, a buildup of water in the brain. In this case, the bout was already over.

Studies have shown that the number of real, solid, hard punches landed is significantly higher in fatal matches with 22.9 for the fighter who died and only 9.4 in an average match.

When a boxer reaches his or her punishment limit or when a referee spots one of these injuries, it becomes more and more important that the referee jump in and stop the bout immediately. Plus, the attending physician needs to instruct the injured fighter and his corner about aftercare.

On Tuesday afternoon, three and a half days after Reno's fight, we checked back with Mike Reno, Susan’s husband. He confirmed that the swelling had finally go down and all that remained was this black and blue bruise.

However, on Saturday, during their return flight home to New York, an almost six hour plane ride, he said the soreness and swelling had gone back up appreciatively. That seems to be a strong indicator that travel by plane after such an injury should be ruled out until an injured fighter has had a chance to recover fully.

On the undercard:
In a four round super welterweight clash David Barragan (8-0-1) from the House of Boxing in Paradise Hills, San Diego earned himself an unanimous decision victory over Eddie Cordova of Clearfield, Utah with scores of 40-36 from judges Alejandro Rochin and Jose Cobian while judge Fritz Werner had it 39-37.

For three of the four rounds, you could see a marked difference in the accuracy and ferocity of punches thrown by Barragan who worked over Cordova’s midsection and occasionally landed the big left hook to the head. As far as the scoring, this boxing pundit agrees with Judge Werner’s assessment, especially after seeing Barragan get outboxed in round two.

Adrian Vargas (8-0-1, 6 KOs), from the Undisputed Gym, in San Diego’s downtown, looked impressive in his destruction of the tough Luis Cervantes (7-7-3, 2 KOs) from the Palm Springs Boxing Club, Palm Springs, CA.

You could see both boxers had trained hard for this match, especially since both were making their first return to the ring after a two year layoff.

The difference maker in this match turned out to be the mouse that developed under Cervantes’ left eye. That situation worsened with an assist from Vargas’ overhand rights. The puffiness went quickly from a welt to almost complete closure. At the 1:29 point of the third round, referee Cobian stopped the bout and sought the advice of the attending physician who advised him to stop the match, which he did.

In the opener, it was lightweight Jarrod Tennant (3-0) of Los Angeles, CA having a relatively, easy time against 35 year-0ld Mario Angeles (1-5-1) of San Diego. For the majority of the fight, it was like watching a dog chase a cat. In the fourth and final round Tennant caught up to the cat, landed a body shot and Angeles dropped to one knee. Angeles beat the count and made it to the final bell.

Deep down you knew the judges had a smirk on their face when the scores were read. They all had it 40-35 in favor of Tennant. If possible, I’m certain the judges would have given Tennant an even higher score.

Boxers are fans too and on this night there were a plethora in attendance: super bantamweight Kelsey “Road Warrior” Jefferies, who won three world titles in two divisions, heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, welterweight Josesito Lopez, light welterweight Carlos Molina, ex-Olympian, now pro Oscar Molina, super bantamweight Christopher Martin, interim WBC Latino light welterweight champ Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles, boxing brothers Christian and Emilio Bojorquez, undefeated light welterweights Antonio Orozco and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker, plus undefeated light heavyweight Ulises Sierra. The NFL was represented by former San Diego Chargers, FB Nate Colbert and DE Ogemdi Nwagbuo.

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