Lets get ready to rumble

By The Columbia Chronicle

It was a lucky Friday the 13th for north siders when Park West hosted a Golden Gloves Championship fight for the WBL Latino title. The main event of the night was between two junior welter-weights. The contender, New York native Roberto Nunez, was pitted against hometown champ, Rocky “the Mexican Kid” Martinez, to struggle for the title.

Fans began waiting outside well before the doors opened at 7 p.m., to get the good general admission seats ranging from $30-$100. Minutes before the fans were to come in, employees of 8 Count Productions and fight promoter Dominick Pesoli rushed around to make sure all preparations for the fight were in order.

Earlier in the evening the fight was plagued by difficulties because three of the boxers scheduled, canceled at the last minute. After the substitutions were made, the fans eagerly found their seats. The Park West wasted no space providing seats to a sold-out crowd.

The Park West, a performance venue, offered a luxurious setting for the five bouts to take place.

Plush couches and booths on the second level of the main floor offered a comfortable perch for those willing to pay more to watch the fight in style. Although the VIPs had to suffer through the fight on folding chairs, the impeccable ring-level vantage point, the free premium cigars, and the ever-present cocktail waitresses made the night enjoyable and glamorous.

After much ado, Fernando Hernandez and Carlos Sanabria, both from Chicago, took to the ring to square off in the first exhibition fight of the evening. The exhibition matches are four round fights. No winner is declared, which gives added exposure to less experienced boxers, and acts as a pre-cursor to the main fight. Hernandez and Sanabria exchanged blows for all four rounds until the ref raised each mans’s arm in victory. “Silky” Sanders and Anthony Ivory followed suit in a second exhibition, resulting in a tie.

The third bout offered up an exciting change of pace when the mismatched Mike Acklie was put in the ring with heavy hitter Terry McGroom. Although both were heavyweight fighters, Acklie who outweighed McGroom by thirty pounds was leveled four times during the first two-minute round alone. McGroom continued to attack Acklie’s abdomen, which was clearly his weak spot, all the way through the first round. Acklie was beaten so badly he began to fall through the ropes onto the press photographers until the ref finally called the match a TKO in McGroom’s favor one minute and forty seconds into the second round.

Following the emotional third bout another exhibition match was fought between Jorge Vasquez and Gabriel Rodriguez, two junior middleweights. Again both were declared winners.

Finally, the match everyone waited for, the WBO Latino Title bout- Roberto Nunez, with a 22-5-0 record, squared up to fight hometown favorite, “The Mexican Kid” Rocky Martinez. The Champion Martinez, with a record of 28-2-0 and 18 KO’s, was confident entering the ring, brandishing hair dyed for the Mexican flag. During the first round both fighters spent a good amount of time sizing each other up, neither wanting to give up the upper hand. Eventually they began fighting and the crowd’s excitement grew louder as Nunez began to wear. By the fifth round Nunez was visibly exhausted but had enough energy to keep the crowd on their feet all the way into the eighth round. Near the end of the eighth round the spent Nunez couldn’t hold out any longer and the fight was called. Martinez had defended his title as the Latino champ.