Maurice Hooker and Maple Avenue Boxing Gym fighters score 3-0

Photo by Stacey Verbeek

It was a good night for boxing in Arlington, Texas last night, and Standing 8 Promotions delivered the goods for the true boxing fans of the metroplex. Fans were treated to seven exciting fights on the card and the main event was the perfect ending to a great evening of boxing. It all happened in the Arlington Convention Center right down the street from the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers may have been swinging bats, but inside the convention center, fists were flying.

The main event turned out to be the climax of the evening when DallasJesse “the Dallas Kid” Lara (16-3,10KO’s) took on Don Mouton (11-4-1,9KO’s) of Houston, Texas. Although Lara came into the ring looking out of shape, he can take just about any punch that you throw at him. Although somewhat shorter than the chiseled Mouton, Lara stood his ground and came to fight. Despite the height advantage, Lara withstood everything Mouton had and at times shrugging off some huge punches from Mouton. It was confirmed today that Mouton had not been in the ring for three years and it was clear he was a little rusty.

In what looked to be an early night for the athletically built Mouton, it turned out to be a war of attrition against Lara. Mouton would use his left jab against the tough Lara and Lara would counter and move side to side. At the beginning of the first, Mouton came out and started on the attack as they stood in the middle of the ring going toe to toe. They both then settled in as Lara threw short jabs and straight rights as Mouton countered with a good hard left, as Lara shook his head to say no, that was not good enough. After the third round, and after taking the heaviest shots from Mouton, Lara walked to his corner and said “f…k” him. It was clear at this point that the out of shape looking Lara thought he could take any punch sent his way. The fourth round continued with Mouton landing a huge left hook to the head of Lara and he took the punch like it was nothing at all. But in the fifth, Lara’s luck ran out. After trading punches in the middle of the ring, Mouton had Lara on the ropes and he caught him with a hard right that rocked him. Mouton then landed a barrage of rights and lefts that had Lara’s head moving from side to side as the referee stepped in to stop the fight at 2:55 of the fifth round by way of technical knockout. Lara stood dazed against the ropes for several minutes before being taken to his corner. Right after the knockout, the happy Mouton let himself fall to the canvas as he celebrated his first win after a three year layoff.

In the light welterweight division, the cool Maurice Hooker (5-0-1,4KO’s) from Dallas, Texas, took on the seasoned Julian Rodriguez (19-22) from Juarez, Mexico in a scheduled four round bout. As the music began in the arena, the charismatic Hooker was seen calmly walking into the ring with a candy sucker in his mouth. Once into the ring, he got a big round of applause from the Dallas supporters and his own Maple Avenue Boxing Gym fans. Hooker came into this fight after a first round knockout in Wichita Falls back in June of this year against Pedro Dominguez (2-4) of Denton, Texas.

It didn’t take long in the first round for the taller Hooker to use his height and hand reach to start establishing his game plan. Hooker started using his left jab and quickly started throwing his straight hand right behind it. Rodriguez was game as he began to throw his own jab but to no avail. Hooker then moved around the ring as he started to look for his best openings against the shorter Rodriguez. It didn’t take Hooker long in the second round to radar into Rodriguez as he tagged him with a hard left that made his knees buckle. But Rodriguez took the punch well and started his own attack on Hooker. Hooker then caught Rodriguez with a lightning quick right that buckled his knees again. The game Rodriguez continued to fight on. Then, Hooker backed up Rodriguez against the ropes right in front of me and he landed a monster right hand and Rodriguez toppled to the canvas as his mouth came falling out. The crowd went wild as Hooker celebrated his latest win on his young career. Hooker is trained at the Maple Avenue Boxing Gym in Dallas, Texas, by Jesus Chavez, former NABF, WBC Super Featherweight and IBF Lightweight Champion of the world. Hooker can’t be in better company.

It’s always fun to watch Alex Lopez (4-4,1KO) of Fort Worth when he steps into the ring. On Saturday he took on the serious Luis Zarazua (4-0-1,1KO) from McAllen, Texas. His opponent, the undefeated Zarazua came into the ring with a serious look on his face, as if to say, “I’m only hear to take care of business.” At the beginning of the first round, both fighters began swinging away. Lopez’s corner was constantly yelling “Jab, Jab, 1, 2, 1, 2,” as Lopez landed punches to the counter punching Zarazua. In round two, Lopez started stalking Zarazua around the ring, but he was constantly being countered by Zarazua, who was getting in the cleaner punches. Then Zarazua caught Lopez with a big left hook just before the end of the round. Just before the third, Lopez crossed himself as he awaited the referee to signal the beginning of the round. Lopez quickly got to work and caught Zarazua in the corner and they began to flail away. Lopez then got in some good punches and Zarazua countered well. Zarazua’ corner was being helped by none other than world champion Jesus Chavez. As the fourth round began, Lopez’ corner was once again telling him to “box, box,” probably because they might have known he was behind on the cards. At this point, the fight appeared close. You could see on the face of Zarazua that he was not intimidated by Lopez at all. Lopez put on the pressure and they both went at in the middle of the ring, to the enjoyment of the crowd. Lopez was furiously letting his hands go, but not making to much contact. At the end they both left it all in the ring as they finished along side the ropes. As the bell sounded, Lopez raised his hands, but unfortunately for him, Zarazua was awarded the win. The cards read 38-38, 42-36, 39-37 in favor of Zarazua.

The gritty Alex Saucedo (5-0), another fighter from the Maple Avenue Boxing Gym had a very close fight with the quick handed Donald Ward (1-0). Both fighters had their undefeated records on the line in what turned out to be one of the more tactical fights of the night. Both fighters combined had outstanding amateur backgrounds and you could see it now in the professional ring. In the first round, these two welterweights got straight to the action and Ward came out and got in a good uppercut on Saucedo but with no damage. Saucedo then connected with a good body punch and one to the head of Ward. Then Saucedo followed up with the same thing as he had Ward on the defense in the corner. Not deterred, Ward got in a big left and right to the head of Saucedo and the crowd roared. Saucedo then got in a nice right and left hand, then suddenly Ward switched his stance. Both got in a good opening round.

The fight continued and it was clear that both fighters had bad intentions in mind. The quick handed Ward seemed to be a little faster than Saucedo, but Saucedo’ persistent grit and confidence made up for it. In this round, Saucedo continued his persistent pressure and Ward was flight of foot around the ring. Saucedo then began to work the body and also landed a shot to the stomach of Ward. In the third, Ward caught Saucedo with two hard uppercuts as Saucedo was coming in. Saucedo finished the round with a hard left hook to the head of Ward. At the beginning of the fourth, Saucedo was still the aggressor but he got hit again with a quick uppercut by Ward and the crowd got excited. They then got in the middle of the ring toe to toe and it looked like someone might get knocked out. Ward bobbed and weaved his way out of a hard right hand landed by Saucedo and then Ward switched stances again. They both went at it at the ten second time clock until the bell sounded. In what was a very close fight, Saucedo kept his undefeated record and won a majority decision, 38-38, 39-37, 39-37.

The win was predicted by John Shipman (2-0) before the fight, and that is exactly what cruiserweight Shipman (1-0) of Dallas, Texas did against Damien Derrigs (3-1, 3KO’s) of Dallas, Texas. Shipman started off using his jab and long reach to connect against the older Derrigs. As they traded punches, Derrigs was throwing huge left hands and trying to catch the calm Shipman coming in. In the second round Shipman was talking smack to Derrigs as he landed with hard punches in the middle of the round. Derrigs then was able to get in his own combination on the taller Shipman as they banged it out again in the middle of the ring. Shipman again started talking smack and was given a warning by the referee. Shipman ended the round connecting with some nice right hand shots. To the annoyance of Derrigs trainer, Derrigs refused to come out in the third round and the fight was stopped. Shipman, another Maple Avenue boxer, is a fighter to keep your eyes on in the future.

Another exciting fight of the night was between Jose Rodriguez (5-0,2KO’s) of Dallas against Wilbert Mitchell (1-5). The heavy handed Rodriguez began the first round landing punches with serious intent in mind. Mitchell had quick hands but Rodriguez fought him off with good counters. In the second, both fighters went toe to toe in the middle of the ring. Then Rodriguez landed a barrage of punches as he pounded Mitchell all around the ring in three of the four corners. Rodriguez then landed a huge left hook that rocked Mitchell, but he recovered. Rodriguez then calmly countered every punch that Mitchell threw at him. Mitchell finally landed a good shot to the head of Rodriguez and the crowd got excited. At the beginning of the third round, Mitchell had a swelling under his left eye. At the beginning of the round, Rodriguez’ corner was heard saying to Rodriguez, “knock him out.” And that is what Rodriguez attempted as he landed a multiple of punches on Mitchell as Mitchell clung on to him as he slowly slid to the canvas. It was not a clean knockdown but Mitchell was hurt and he got up and fought on. Rodriguez was the winner on all three cards, 40-36. Rodriguez, who is trained by Hector Pena, head trainer from the Ring of Hope Boxing Gym in Dallas, Texas is an exciting fighter who gives it all to his fans in the ring. Rodriguez is scheduled to fight at the QuikTrip Park on September 21, 2012.

IV Anderson Jr. (1-0) in his pro debut knocked out Carlos Dixon (0-1) at 1:40 of the second round.

Standing 8 Promotions will be bringing their next boxing event to the metroplex at the QuikTrip Park on Friday, September 21, 2012.