By Jake Donovan
Four televised fights preceded the PPV headliner between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Giuseppe Loriga in Queretaro, Mexico, with the collective action featuring a little bit of everything.
With time to kill, Julio Jr’s younger brother Omar Chavez (9-0, 7KO) received unexpected TV time, scoring a unanimous decision over Marco Nazareth (3-2-1, 2KO) in their four-round junior welterweight bout.
The 18-year old Chavez patiently stalked a mobile Nazareth before beginning to close the gap late in the first round with a pair of long right hands. It was more of the same through the first half of the second round, before Nazareth came on with a couple of right hands that forced Chavez to momentarily retreat and regroup.
A brief corner visit between rounds from Papa Julio seemed to rejuvenate Chavez, who came out swinging in the third. Nazareth was staggered in the early part of the round, but weathered the storm and remained in Chavez’ face. The final round was give and take throughout, with both fighters effective with left hooks, and trading until the final bell.
Young Omar’s face was marked up by fights end, but would find his reward on the scorecards, even though he found himself short on friends once the verdict was announced. The final scorecards – 39-37 (2x) and 39-38 – were all for Chavez, though the decision was surprisingly met with objectivity among the Mexican crowd, who clearly rallied behind the spirited effort of the underdog Nazareth. Chants of “Es un pecado” (“It’s a Sin”) filled the arena, with boos increasing whenever Omar lifted his hands in victory.
There were just as many boos for Hector Camacho Jr. (45-3-1, 25KO), though his unanimous decision victory over spirited journeyman Kenny Kost (14-4-1, 6KO) in the televised co-feature came with far less controversy – or action.
The bout, mercifully cut from 10 rounds to 8, was much like Camacho Jr’s career – impressive in spots, but disappointing in the long run. Two early knockdowns – one each in the second and third rounds – suggested that the bout would go the course of the two preceding preliminaries, both of which ended very early.
Instead, the fleshy southpaw eased off of the gas, still winning rounds but allowing Kost the chance to believe he was still in the fight. It nearly cost him in the seventh round, a rare frame in which the crowd traded in boos for cheers, only to rally behind the underdog Kost.
The sequence began when the referee called time to re-insert Camacho Jr’s dislodged mouthpiece. Kost went to a neutral corner; Camacho Jr decided to creep in his direction, and shove him, before the referee regained control of the round. Kost jumped on his foe when action resumed, landing a right hand along the ropes to the crowd’s delight. The Minnesota journeyman was unable to maintain a sustained attack, but did enough to take the round.
Ordered between rounds to make things rough, Kost attempted to apply more pressure in the eighth and final round. Too little, too late; Camacho Jr. regained control of the fight, wisely keeping distance between the two, even if it didn’t go over very well with the crowd.
In a moment best saved for the blooper reel, the fight ended after eight rounds, only for Kost’s corner to work on their fighter as if there was more time left. Perhaps they didn’t get the memo that the bout was reduced to eight, or didn’t pay attention to ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr before hand.
Two rounds weren’t going to do much for Kost, who lost on all three scorecards, by scores 78-74 and 79-71 (2x).
It was hardly one for the highlight reel for Camacho Jr, who was forced to get down to 163 lb. for the catchweight bout. The sad part is, it was his lightest weight in three fights, after a career largely spent at or around the welterweight division.
Kost’s own three-fight win streak comes to a halt with the lopsided loss, though he gained a few fans in Mexico for his hardest efforts to make a fight of it.
Orlando Salido (30-9-2-1NC, KO) kept hopes alive for another shot at any version of the featherweight title with a fourth round knockout over Renan Acosta (21-6, 8KO) in a preliminary bout.
Acosta stayed true to the form in the first round, fighting in reverse, as if he was already laying the blueprint to go twelve rounds. Salido made him pay in the second, with several right hands sending his Panamanian foe dancing around the ring, and continued to punish him in the third round.
The fourth round appeared to be the first that would deviate from the script. Acosta stood his ground far more often, taking a step or two back before finding his range. Salido kept pressing forward, but was missing many of his shots, with Acosta offering good head movement. Something had to give; eventually it was Acosta’s guard. Salido began landing right hands with regularity, enough to cause Acosta’s corner to jump on the ring apron, signaling to the ref that their fighter had seen and taken enough.
Official time was 2:39 of round four.
Salido wins his third straight since his November 2006 bout with Robert Guerrero, when Salido was initially awarded a decision before testing positive for drugs. Acosta’s three-fight winning streak comes to an end, as the Panamanian also suffers the first stoppage loss of his career.
NABF junior featherweight titlist Bernabe Concepcion (25-1-1, 14KO) opened up the PPV telecast with an impressive 2nd round stoppage over Torrence Daniels (10-4-1, 4KO).
Things were slow in the first round, but dramatically picked up – and ended - in the second. Daniels stunned Concepcion midway through the second round, forcing the Filipino to cling on and regain his senses. Sensing his opponent was hurt, Daniels moved in to go on the attack. That would be his undoing, as Concepcion landed a precise right hand on the inside that floored the Colorado prospect. Daniels recovered, but Concepcion moved in for the kill, pummeling his foe before referee Ruben Carrion was forced to intervene.
The official time was 2:42 of round two, with Concepcion cruises along, racking up his 17th straight victory as he inches closer to title contention. The 33-year old Daniels heads in the opposite direction, as he loses for the second time in three fights.
Jake Donovan is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Tennessee Boxing Advisory Board. Jake can be reached for comments at [email protected] .