King Puts On A ‘Halloween Thrilla’

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 1, 2009

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Antonio DeMarco started the night of frivolities on Don King’s “Halloween Thrilla” against Jose Alfaro of Nicaragua. After a slow first round, DeMarco fought from the outside and in the last minute of the round, unleashed solid combinations including a beautiful uppercut that moved Alfaro back.

In the opening minutes of the third round, DeMarco found a target for his straight left from his familiar southpaw position and dominated most of the action. In the fourth round, Alfaro attempted to close distance and appeared to inch closer to De Marco but he still had trouble connecting on his fearsome right.

At the end of the round, Alfaro trapped De Marco on the rope but he escaped as he moved off the rope with a straight left. De Marco can be an excellent boxer but like most Mexican fighters, he can enticed into a brawl but for the first five rounds.

De Marco fought smart as he consistently moved away from Alfaro’s power. In the middle of the fifth, a right uppercut by DeMarco stunned Alfaro. A countering right bloodied DeMarco’s nose, but his defense slipped many of Alfaro’s power punches over the last minute of the round.

Alfaro’s failure to trap DeMarco on the rope in the first half of the fight allowed De Marco to build up a big lead on the scorecard and the fast jab plus straight left by De Marco started to swell Alfaro’s eyes.

In the eighth round, De Marco added body shots to his arsenal and a sharp right with a minute left took the air out of Alfaro and for a brief moment, De Marco followed up with combination.

Showtime’s Al Bernstein observed that Alfaro failed to jab his way closer to where his power would have most effect. In the 10th round, De Marco sent Alfaro reeling into the rope and Alfaro ran into a straight left that sent him down for the count.

Not quite sure where he was, Alfaro tried to fight back but a right hand hook sent him down for the second time. One more combination forced Alfaro to his knee; the referee stopped the fight.

However, De Marco is not in line for a title shot.

He did win the WBC interim championship — which means he may or may not be a Champion — but he did probably gave the WBC a portion of his pay check for sanctioning this championship or maybe championship fight.

The undefeated Yonnhy Perez challenged Joseph “King Kong” Abegko for his IBF Bantamweight championship. Only in boxing can a 118-pound fighter get the title of King Kong. However with 22 knockouts in 27 wins, Abegko certainly could hit his opponent with the force of King Kong. .

The first round saw both men exchanges big punches as Abegko pushed the issue and forced Perez to fight his fight. He gave up his height and stood inside with the smaller Abegko.

While Abegko had the advantages on the inside, but Perez unleashed a series of left hooks. At the end of the round, Perez finished with three left hooks that nailed Abegko’s chin.

In the opening minutes of the second round, Perez hand speed allowed him to score on the inside and forced Abegko to retreat for brief moments. Perez’s left hooks were effective in the opening minutes of the round but Abegko’s right found it target over the second half of the round.

Perez’s left hook over the final seconds may have helped capture the round.

The third round saw both men fight each other back and forth but neither appeared to have an advantage over the first half of the round. Abegko threw a brilliant right that appeared to stun Perez for a brief moment.

Perez returned the favor with a left hook that spun Abegko’s head around.

Abegko’s strategy was simple, force Perez to fight every minute of every round in a war of attrition but in the early rounds Perez appeared to be able to match Abegko punch for punch.

Perez’s combinations gave him the advantages as Abegko could not match his hand speed. Beginning the seventh round, Abegko looked energetic as he chased Perez around the round.

Perez, suffering from a head butt at the end of round, showed the first evidence of fatigue as his punches lacked the steam of previous rounds. At the beginning of the eighth round, Perez’s corner told their fighter to box but he went back to the inside.

Also in this round, he reversed his previous round performance as he forced Abegko to retreat, but he trapped Perez in the round over the last minute as he tried to steal a round that he was losing.

In the 10th round, Abegko once again appeared to take control as Perez’s left hook was not as sharp or as a straight as it was in the beginning of the fight. W ith 30 seconds left, Perez put Abegko down by what appeared to be a left hook but Abegko protested; claiming the punch was actually a head butt.

The replays did show that an accidental head butt did lead the knock down as Perez head collided with Abegko and then he followed up with a three punch combination that sent Perez down.

So Abegko did have a point that maybe, he lost a round due to a head butt and the knockdown gave Perez a two point round in a fight in which every round point matter.

The 11th round saw both men have their moments as each men would dominate for 30 seconds at a time before the other fighter took over. The opening minutes of the last round saw both men threw punches with reckless abandon as both men believed that the fight was at stake.

In a fight that had to be close with each round could be scored in each fighter favor, so both fighters gone for broke. As Al Bernstein quipped, “I don’t want to see this fight end,” as both men entertained the boxing audience with one of the better fights over the past decade.

The tension mounted as the judges score were being tabulated for no one could really tell how this fight would be totaled. Perez’s left eye was swollen and two cuts above his eyes due to head butts but the judges gave him the decision by wide margin for the judges gave many of the close rounds to the challenger.

This was one of those fights that saw two fighters fighting at championship caliber and a case could be made for either fighter but Perez activity won him his first title.

In a night of great sporting events such as Oregon upsetting Southern Cal and Game Three of the World Series, this boxing event became part of a great sporting day.