COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Maria Suarez wanted to give her soon-to-be 16-year old son a wonderful birthday present. On Friday night at the Pueblo Convention Center, she did just that. Suarez (8-0) remained undefeated by hanging tough through six rounds against the home-town favorite, Chantel “Gorgeous Babe” Cordova (12-5-1). Suarez, who supervises her California hometown’s Head Start early education program, impressed the partisan crowd with her aggressive style.
“I got into fighting about seven years ago,” said Suarez. “My son is going to be sixteen tomorrow and I used to take him to the gym when he was eight years old. He fought amateur for awhile, but I’m the one that stuck around and took on this profession. This isn’t even my full-time job. I have a master’s degree, so this is a hobby of mine—this is my passion—I love it!”
Cordova enjoyed early success as an amateur—winning two national championships and three Golden Gloves titles—but her three-fight win streak came to an end and temporarily set back ambitions for a title fight.
“It does [set me back] a little bit, but you got to move forward and get another win,” said a Cordova, who was surrounded by family and friends. “You just need to get another opportunity. This last one was a setback, but the phone is always ringing. Hopefully, we get back on that trail and get that other “W” and it will lead to a title shot.”
The first bout of the night featured recent local hero, Ronnie Reams, who made quick work of the challenger Kevin Benson (1-3) in a first-round technical knockout (1:56). Days earlier, Reams (4-3) came to the aid of a female victim from further harm, as the kidnapping suspect chased her into the boxing gym where Reams and other boxers were training.
“With this fight, it’s just getting me back into the game, so I wasn’t worried about the fight at all,” said Reams, who avoided injury prior to the fight after the altercation with the kidnapping suspect. “When that event happened, I didn’t know all that was happening to the lady who was kidnapped, but at the same time the guy who was doing it, I tried not to hurt him.”
The next bout did not last much longer as, Izaak Cardona, landed a fierce combination against Robert Brewington, who was making his professional debut. Brewington (0-1) was outmatched by Cardona (6-0) after a round-one technical knockout.
Cardona enjoyed a large following for his first “Friday Night Fights” bout, “My family and friends love to come out and support me, and that gives me a little extra boost in the ring when you hear the roaring of the crowd in there.” In 2011 Cardona barely missed the Olympic Trials by one point at the USA Boxing National Championships.
Other than the main event, one of the most entertaining bouts of the night featured Marcus Dawkins (4-1) against Javier Rodriguez (1-2). Dawkins wore down his opponent over four rounds (1:51), but Rodriguez succumbed after Dawkins landed a straight left hand after an up-jab. “Based on the way I fight, I knew that it was going to at least last a few rounds,” said Dawkins. “I start slow, but once I get going, I’m pretty good.”