Texas Stars Cowboy Up: Vera and Kirkland Shine

by Cliff Rold

With a chance to repeat one of his best victories potentially looming later this year, 29-year old Middleweight and former “Contender” contestant Brian Vera (19-5, 12 KO), of Austin, Texas, put forth a steady, workmanlike effort in breaking down tough but outmatched 37-year old Eloy Suarez (11-12-1, 5 KO) of San Antonio, Texas, over eight rounds on Friday night at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas.

Both men came in over the Middleweight limit of 160 lbs., Vera at 163 and Suarez at 161 ½. 

Vera started the fight aggressively, sticking the left jab and lobbing the right hand over the top behind it.  Suarez worked to get his own jab going, a too-wide left and some lunging rights supplied to keep Vera honest.  Vera was undeterred into the second round, mixing up his left as both hook and jab.  Suarez was usually a step behind but single, booming blows kept Suarez live even as he took more than he gave.

The tone of the bout was unchanged for the ensuing rounds.  Suarez would draw a pop from the crowd with the occasional big shot but it was Vera drawing waves of chants as he took his man apart with superior skill.  The end came early in the eighth as Suarez ate a right to the face along the ropes and never saw the left below the heart behind it.  Suarez dropped in a delayed reaction, finding a turnbuckle to lean against as the referee reached ten at 30 seconds of round eight.

It was Vera’s third win in four affairs, building on his upset of Season One “Contender” winner and former Jr. Middleweight titlist Sergio Mora in February of this year.  Vera may be in line for a rematch with Ireland’s Andy Lee; Vera burst Lee’s undefeated bubble in 2008 before falling into a three-fight losing streak.  

In the televised opener, 27-year old Middleweight thriller James Kirkland (28-1, 25 KO), 160, of Austin, Texas, reunited with the woman who trained him before a prison stint between 2009 and 2011, former elite women’s champion Anne Wolfe, and returned to the winners circle after suffering his first defeat in April.  Making his fourth start of the year, Kirkland scored a first round knockout by blitzing veteran 36-year old veteran journeyman Dennis Sharpe (17-8-3, 4 KO), 157, of Bayonne, New Jersey.

Kirkland, who had been shocked in April by light hitting Nobuhiro Ishida in the opening frame, showed no ill effects and jumped right on Sharpe at the opening bell.  Sharpe was ready, and ready to test the whiskers of Kirkland.  Kirkland pressed Sharpe to the ropes but Sharpe turned him, both men firing and missing with full force.  Kirkland didn’t miss for long, ripping to the body and finding savage uppercuts with the right and left.  Nearing the halfway mark of the round, Kirkland landed a left uppercut-left hook combination to drop Sharpe to a knee in the middle of the ring. 

Sharpe rose, beating the count of referee Robert Chapa, and occasionally fired back but Kirkland was relentless and too much.  A left on the beltline landed just inside the minute mark and the body blast was enough to convince Sharpe to seek another day.  Chapa waved off the action at 2:18 of the first.

The win won’t get Kirkland back into contention, but it was a step in the right direction and the best he’s looked since returning to the ring in March of this year.   

Also Televised

Middleweights: James Freeman (8-4, 6 KO) UD6 Joshua Burns (3-10-5, 1 KO)

The card was televised on Telefutura as part of its “Solo Boxeo” series, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MARKBNLV on 06-25-2011

[QUOTE=chav;10740765]Kirklands chin is disgraceful so much so that unless he was a defensive wizard there really isn't much hope for him against half decent punchers As my dad ways said to me. You can paint a turd gold but it's…

Comment by chav on 06-25-2011

Kirklands chin is disgraceful so much so that unless he was a defensive wizard there really isn't much hope for him against half decent punchers As my dad ways said to me. You can paint a turd gold but it's…

Comment by onechance87 on 06-25-2011

[QUOTE=DoktorSleepless;10740659]James Freeman vs Joshua Burns was potentially the bum fight of the year. Both sucked, but there was some good drama going on.[/QUOTE] oh yeah,Damn good fight:boxing:

Comment by DoktorSleepless on 06-25-2011

James Freeman vs Joshua Burns was potentially the bum fight of the year. Both sucked, but there was some good drama going on.

Comment by theplayerpimp on 06-25-2011

Kirkland looked great tonight. I know it was bum but the beast in him is back. They should get a rematch with ishida sooner than later.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Parker's Promoter Withdraws Funding Bid For Andy Ruiz Bout DeGale Confident That He'll Beat, Expose Weaknesses in Golovkin Roach Admits: Crawford is NOT My Favorite Fight For Pacquiao Schaefer: I Couldn't Be Coming Back With a Better Fight Card Crawford To Face PBC Fighter Next? Then Pacquiao in 2017? Roach: Pacquiao is Too Big, Lomachenko is Not That Good Javier Fortuna vs. Omar Douglas Camp Notes Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko is The Fight Arum Wants To Make Most Terry Flanagan vs. Orlando Cruz on November 26, Motorpoint Roach: Golden Boy Protecting Their 'Cash Cow' From Golovkin John Molina Wants to Dethrone 140 Kingpin Terence Crawford Schaefer Explains Ringstar Business Model, PBC Relationship Roach Still Wants Pacquiao vs. Canelo: I Love That Fight! Parker's Promoter Still Pushing To Keep Ruiz Fight in Auckland Manny Pacquiao: I Need a Convincing Win To Prove I'm Still Here Scott Quigg Makes Featherweight Debut on Anthony Joshua Card Pacquiao vs. Vargas Lands on BoxNation Katie Taylor Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn, Pro Debut Set Oscar De La Hoya: 2016 is Maybe The Worst Year For Boxing Roach: I Don't Think Andre Ward is The Fighter He Used To Be Video: Freddie Roach Talks Golovkin, Kovalev vs. Ward, More Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have Retirement Pact in Place Video: Justin Fortune Discusses The Heavyweight Division Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Sure, Why Not Video: Bob Arum Talks Schaefer, Trump, King, UFC, More Arum: I Would NEVER Do Pacquiao vs. Golovkin - It Was a Joke! Video: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work For Vargas Title Clash Video: Freddie Roach on Thurman-Garcia, Lebedev-Gassiev, More Mason Menard's Fight Now Off Due To Bookkeeping Issue Molina Still Wants Danny Garcia Fight: He Has Holes in His Armor Video: Manny Pacquiao Talks Camp, Retirement, Vargas, More Demetrius Andrade Very Motivated as Jack Culcay Clash Nears Photos: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work at Wild Card Gym Canelo Says The Ball is in Golovkin's Court: Accept The Offer! Ricardo Mayorga Crashes Into Taxi, Pursued For 200K in Damages Canelo Eager To Prove WBO Prez's Prediction of Mayweather KO Vences: A Win Over Casey Ramos Will Open A lot of Doors For Me Photos: Juanma, Vazquez Explode in Very Tense Final Presser Ustinov's Manager Expects WBA To Order Klitschko Title Fight Premier Boxing Champions Reveal Season 3 Schedule

Latest Active Forum Threads