By Peter Lim
Arturo Marquez (7-0, 4 KOs) scored a spectacular second round TKO over Andrew Goodrich (2-2), electrifying his hometown crowd at the Ballroom at Bayou Place in Downtown Houston. The son of 1992 U.S. Olympian and former world titleholder Raul Marquez scored three knockdowns in the second round to seal his victory.
Using his jab, Marquez, 20, set up combinations to the head and body while fluidly darting in and out of range in the first round. In the second round, Marquez unleashed a perfectly-executed a right to the body followed by a left hook to the head that put Goodrich flat on his back.
After Goodrich beat the count, Marquez moved in for the kill and dropped Goodrich with a short right to the head. Again, Goodrich rose before the count of 10 on unsteady legs and Marquez wasted little time zeroing in with a straight right-left hook combo that blasted Goodrich to the canvass for the third time. Referee Sam Garza immediately called a halt without bothering to issue a count.
“In the first round, I was feeling him out,” Marquez said. “I used the jab to keep him at the end of my punches and then I was able to connect with the left hook. After that, I knew if I sat down on my punches and landed a clean punch, I would finish him off.”
It was Marquez's first bout in his hometown since making his pro debut last year. He is scheduled to fight again in Dallas on June 30.
In the main event, welterweight Craig Callaghan (17-1, 7 KOs), of Liverpool, England, deployed a stick-and-move strategy to win a 10-round unanimous decision over Josue Garcia (7-5, 4 KOs). Callaghan had previously outpointed Garcia over six rounds last year.
Standing six-foot-one, Callaghan, 29, worked his left jab overtime to keep Garcia at bay. At opportune moments, he stepped in with left hooks and straight rights to mix things up. Garcia tauntingly dropped his gloves and defiantly challenged Callaghan to open up, which Callaghan did in calculated spurts.
When Garcia managed to close the distance, he landed short hooks, crosses and uppercuts that seemed to rattle Callaghan more than any of Callaghan's punches rattled him. But his offensive surges were too fleeting and far between to shift the momentum of the fight.
Aware that he was badly behind on the scorecards, Garcia let it all hang out in the final round by swinging for the fences, sporadically grazing Callaghan with haymakers. But Callaghan kept his cool, hung tough and evaded disaster by circling away from the danger zone.
The scores were 100-90 and 98-92 (twice), all for Callaghan.
“The key was to use my jab and lateral movement,” Callaghan said. “It was a good fight. I've never been past six rounds before so it was a good experience. He’s definitely tough. He caught me a couple of times but I was able to shake it off.”
In other bouts:
Middleweight Yunier Calzada (5-1, 1 KOs), a Cuban-born Mexican, dropped Felipe Reyes (5-4) in the second round en route to a four round decision in an action-packed give-and-take battle that was fought in the phone booth from start to finish.
University of Houston junior Eduardo Garcia (2-0) utilized his superior hand speed and punch accuracy to dominate a pudgy Jonathan Ewer (0-4) en route to a four round decision in a junior welterweight bout. Garcia dropped Ewer with a double left hook in the second round and continued to land crisp combinations to the head and body virtually at will throughout the fight.
Southpaw Raphael Ikbokwe (6-0, 3 KOs) stopped Antron Pearson (2-7, 1 KO) at the 2:21 mark of the second round in super middleweight bout. Ikbokwe knocked Pearson down with a double-fisted barrage in the first round and finished him off with a right hook-straight left salvo in the second.
Welterweight Marquis Taylor (6-1) made full use of his advantage in reach and hand speed to outpoint southpaw Robert Hill (6-32-1, 1 KO) over six rounds.
The card was staged by Savarese Boxing Promotions in concert with Top Rank.