By David P. Greisman
1STBANK Center, Broomfield, Denver, Colorado - Juan Diaz sought to overwhelm Juan Santiago from the outset, but instead had to work his way to a 10-round unanimous decision.
Diaz rushed out of his corner in the opening round, digging into Santiago’s body while Santiago returned fire on occasion with shots to the head. Soon Diaz began to mix in left hooks and overhand rights to the head in-between those body shots. Santiago attempted to jab to establish distance and soon had his mouthpiece knocked out.
With Diaz concentrating so much on offense and so little on head movement, he began to eat punches from Santiago in the second round. Santiago was withstanding Diaz’s attack and standing in with him, snapping Diaz’s head back with jabs in the second round.
Diaz began to dial back the volume in the third, saving his all-out attack and turning to his own jab, though he still would send out salvos of left hooks. He came out firing again in the fifth, often digging a left hook to the body followed by an overhand right to the head.
Yet Santiago, who’d been stopped in five of his 10 losses, was able to soak up Diaz’s shots, and he even began to walk Diaz down in the sixth. Diaz continued to land clean shots, sending Santiago’s mouthpiece flying out twice more. Santiago raised his glove after the eighth round, but the only victory he may have left with two rounds later was a moral one — he went 10 rounds with a former lightweight world titleholder.
The judges had Diaz winning 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.
This was Diaz’s third comeback fight since his July 2010 rematch loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. The 30-year-old from Houston returned this past April after two and a half years away from the sport, scoring a stoppage win over Pipino Cuevas Jr. and then getting a technical knockout against Adailton De Jesus in August. He is now 38-4 (19 KOs).
Santiago, 28, of Denver, is now 14-11-1 (8 KOs).
Former lightweight champion Juan Diaz (38-4, 19KOs) dominated and won a ten round unanimous decision over Juan Santiago (14-11-1, 8KOs). Diaz punished Santiago in several rounds, but couldn't put him away. The scores were 97-93, 99-91 and 100-90.
- Daniel Calzada took a majority decision over Carlos Marquez in a six-round welterweight fight with no pretense and no defense. The scores were a 57-57 draw, overruled by the 59-55 and 58-56 cards from the remaining two judges.
Calzada, a 22-year-old announced as being out of Denver, improves to 9-9-2 (2 KOs). Marquez, 25, of Longmont, Colo., falls to 4-2 (1 KO).
- Vitor Jones de Oliveira, a junior lightweight who is a nephew of Acelino Freitas, used body shot after body shot to score a second-round technical knockout of Martin Quezada.
Quezada had his moments in the first round. The second was all Jones de Oliveira’s. A right to the body scored the first knockdown about 70 seconds into the round. Quezada rose, then got hit by two right hands to the body, followed by a left hand upstairs and another right hand to the body. Quezada went down again, then rose at seven. Jones de Oliveira continued the body attack, Quezada dropped to a knee for the third time, and t he referee called a halt to the bout.
The time of the stoppage was 2 minutes and 1 second into the round.
Jones de Oliveira, 20, of Brasilia, brazil, is now 1-0 with 1 no contest. His other pro fight listed on BoxRec came in July 2012 and was a first-round technical knockout win that was later overturned.
Quezada, 20, of Denver, is now 2-8 (2 KOs). This was his fifth time being stopped in the second round.
- Junior featherweight David Escamilla took a unanimous decision over Jair Quintero in a fun four-rounder, with all three judges seeing him winning by a 39-36 margin.
The southpaw Escamilla dropped Quintero with a left hand to the body with about 45 seconds to go in the second round. Quintero rose, and Escamilla returned with more body shots. Quintero retaliated, throwing several right uppercuts from the ropes just before the bell rang to end the stanza.
Escamilla had the activity and pressure, while Quintero waited for openings and opportunities. Quintero’s best moment came too late, toward the end of the fourth round, when a right uppercut and a right cross suddenly had Escamilla moving away. It wouldn’t be enough. Escamilla soon came back with a right hook and a left uppercut, and the bell rang to end the bout.
Escamilla, a 21-year-old Denver resident, is now 3-0 (1 KO). Quintero, 20, of Hermosillo, Mexico, is either 1-1-1 with zero KOs or 2-0-1 with zero KOs, depending on where you check.
- Starling Cordero, a bantamweight prospect whose older half-brother is junior welterweight Thomas Dulorme, made quick work of his opponent, stopping Abraham Rubio in just 99 seconds.
Cordero scored a knockdown in the opening minute. After Rubio rose, Cordero jumped in and wouldn’t let up, backing Rubio to the red corner and pummeling him to the head and body until the referee stepped in.
Cordero, a 22-year-old from Carolina, Puerto Rico, is now 7-0 (4 KOs). Rubio, 25, of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, is now 3-2-1 (1 KO).
- In the night’s opening fight, heavyweight Donovan Dennis scored a bizarre third-round stoppage over Hugo Arceo.
Dennis knocked Arceo down early in the first round with a left hand, putting Arceo on a knee and then landing another left hand. Arceo rose and battled back, pushing Dennis against the ropes. Both men traded before the bell rang to end the round.
That pattern continued in the second: Dennis landing, Arceo throwing back. A one-two knocked Arceo’s mouthpiece out, and that wouldn’t be the first time. Later in the round, Dennis landed a left hand counter, and Arceo returned to the canvas. The referee called it a slip, however.
Arceo’s mouthpiece was knocked out three times in the third round, making it four times total on the night. After the last occurrence, the referee brought Arceo to his corner and the bout was waved off.
The time of the stoppage was 2 minutes and 33 seconds into the round.
Dennis, a 26-year-old from Davenport, Iowa, is now 9-1 (7 KOs, 1 no contest). Arceo, a 36-year-old from Boulder, Colo., falls to 3-1-1 (3 KOs).
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon . Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tags: Juan Diaz , Vitor Jones de Oliveira , Starling Cordero