By Mike Coppinger
NEW YORK – Kenny Galarza grinded out an unimpressive 10 round decision victory over Irving Garcia in the main event of ESPN 2’s Friday Night Fights from the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, an all-Puerto Rican top-bill bout in celebration of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Galarza, of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, looked to jab and land straight rights from the start, happy to box from the outside. Garcia, 32, seemed content to box as well, making for a ho-hum affair. Galarza, 25, continued to push action, landing straights at will, but nothing of consequence seemed to land on the Vega, Puerto Rico native.
Garcia (17-6-3, 8 KOs) came into the bout riding a three-bout losing streak (1-3-2 in his last six, most notably a KO loss to welterweight contender Mike Jones). Galarza’s lone professional loss came at the hands of the undefeated Brad Solomon last June.
Garcia, 146, couldn’t get off first, throwing away any chance he had of winning rounds, as Galarza pushed him around the ring, dictating the action.
In the fourth round, Galarza hurt Garcia following a hard shot to the body, but couldn’t follow up. The middle rounds contained little action, as the bout took on the appearance of a glorified sparring match.
Galarza (15-1, 14 KOs) prevailed via split decision, 96-94 and 97-94 in his favor, the dissenting judge scoring it in favor of Garcia, 96-94. It was his first victory by decision.
In the co-feature of ESPN 2’s Friday Night Fights, Thomas Dulorme continued his ascent up the ranks, out-pointing veteran DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley over 10 rounds.
Dulorme, of Carolina, Puerto Rico ran his record to 14-0, 11 KOs, as he dropped the southpaw Corley in the third round en route to a wide unanimous decision.
Dulorme, 144, came out swinging, as he brought the fight to Corley, 143, from the onset. Corley, of Washingto, D.C., was by far the stiffest test of the young Dulorme’s career, as has been in with the best – Judah, Mayweather and Cotto, to name a few.
Dulorme, 21, continued to work the body in round two, looking to wear down the 37-year-old, who more recently has been in the ring with young Argentine power-punchers Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana.
Dulorme (14-0, 11 KOs) loaded up some huge overhand rights, as Corley (37-18-1, 22 KOs) looked to land left hand- leads and strived to counter the fast-punching Boricua.
Late in the third stanza, Dulorme dropped Corley with a hard left hook. Corley beat the count and the crowd rose to a fevered-pitch in anticipation of the knockout, as Corley was on weary legs, but the veteran was able to stave off the hard-charging Dulorme, robbing the crowd of the climactic finish.
Corley settled down after the third round, but wasn’t very effective, as Dulorme continued to work on the inside, ripping shots to Corley’s midsection.
The seventh was by far Corley’s best round of the bout, as he used deft head movement to land counter right hands, while blood trickled from his left eye, the result of Dulorme’s handiwork on the inside.
In the end, though, Corley simply wasn’t able to keep up with his younger counterpart.
Scores were 99-90 thrice for Dulorme, who has a bright future in the sport, a defeat over “Chop Chop” seemingly a sign of a fighter on the rise, as has been the case in recent years.
Highly-touted undefeated prospect Jose Pedraza of Cidra, Puetro Rico (3-0, 3 KOs) made quick work of Tomi Archambault of Minot, N.D. (1-2, 1 KOs) dropping him twice in the first en route to a TKO in the opening round.
Pedraza, 154, jumped on Archambault, 153, from the onset, working him to the body and pushing him to the ropes. Pedraza dropped his foe with a left shot to the liver early on. Archambault beat the count, but Pedraza sensed the moment and closed the show, dropping him to all-fours with a shot to the body, as the referee waved off the bout. Time of the stoppage was 2:21 of the first.
Boyd Melson of White Plains, N. Y. (4-0, 1 KO) stopped Kelvin Kibler of Columbia S.C. (0-7-2) inside three rounds. Time of the stoppage was 1:30 of the junior middleweight bout.
In the opening bout of "Boricua Invasion 1" from the Roseland Ballroom in New York, N.Y., Emanuel Gonzalez of Bronx, N.Y. (9-0, 7 KOs) defeated Jason Rorie of Winston-Salem, N.C. (6-12-2, 3 KOs) via six round unanimous decision in a junior lightweight contest. Scores were 60-54 twice and 60-55.
In the first swing bout, Steven Martinez of Bronx, N.Y. ran his record to 10-0, 8 KOs, stopping Brad Jackson of Denver, Colo. (13-6-1, 7 KOs) in the second round. Martinez went toe-to-toe with Jackson in a rousing opening round, dropping the Rocky Mountain native with a flurry of shots. In the second, he finished what he started, dropping him again as the ref called a halt to the mismatch.
In the final bout of the evening, undefeated Newark, N.J native Alex Perez (14-0, 8 KOs) stopped Manuel Guzman of Lancaster, Pa. (7-12-2, 3 KOs) in the second round, the resut of a vicious left hook to the body that took Guzman's breath away. Time of the stoppage was :22 of the second round.