© Copyright 2010, Mark Connor
Minnesota’s Caleb Truax took another significant step in his undefeated career Friday night with a unanimous decision over veteran middleweight Antwun Echols of Davenport, Iowa. The fight appeared close throughout, with Truax establishing dominance in the beginning but seeming to fade as the rounds passed. Echol’s persistent body shots on the inside appeared to take their toll, but just when he seemed to cede too much control in any given round Truax would score a significant flurry to turn the tide. The Boxers and Writers Magazine view of this fight is that it was much closer than the judges saw it, but Truax did deserve the unanimous decision. He turned on the pressure in the final rounds, particularly dominating the last two. Echols gave him the challenge that is to be expected from such an accomplished veteran Middleweight and Super Middleweight who has TKO victories over skilled fighters like Charles Brewer and once went the distance with the legendary Bernard Hopkins.
In the semi-main event Blaine’s Jon Schmidt lucked out with a no contest over an accidental head butt over his right eye as Josh Crouch took control in the 2nd and 3rd rounds with effective inside uppercuts and hooks from either side as he switched from the right handed and southpaw stances.
Ismail Muwendo scored a 3rd round knockout over Juan Baltierez in a scheduled 6 round Super Featherweight fight. Baltierez actually looked much stronger than he did months ago when fighting to a draw in West St. Paul. He actually landed some effective jabs that stopped Muwendo in his tracks, as well as good right hands in the first round. He did the same thing in the 2nd, but was neutralized by Muwendo’s strong jab, which was a continuation of the first round in which Muwendo landed cleaner, clearer shots including strong uppercuts and a solid, staggering right hand that established his command of the fight. Muwendo finally found his mark with a left hook in the 3rd round, dropping Baltierez, who rose to be dropped within a couple of more exchanges that ended the fight. Baltierez has potential, but he needs to sharpen up on a lower level of competition before competing with fighters as strong and effective as Muwendo, who has proven his power and potential but will have to tighten up on his defense—including an improvement of footwork and protecting his untested chin—before he steps up his own competition.
Charles Meir of Coon Rapids rose from the canvas after Corey Rodriguez dropped him with a looping right hand during a barrage of punches Rodriguez unleashed in the first round of their 6 round Middleweight fight. Meir did exhibit a high degree of skill in moving around the ring and landing counter shots, but Rodriguez was relentless throughout the fight with his body attack and appeared to be more effective and land more punches. But Rodriquez was dropped in the third from an accumulation of blows after a sneaky shot stunned him, and even though he came back well and was competitive in the last quarter of the round he still gave it away by a 10-8 margin. Boxers and Writers Magazine scored the fight 58-55 for Rodriguez, but apparently the judges were watching an entirely different fight. Denny Nelson and Veid Muiznieas scored it 56-56, while Carl Benson scored it 57-56 for Rodriguez, the total constituting a majority draw.
0-1 Jake Backus exhibited an improved performance in his second fight, a rematch
against 2-0 Super Bantamweight Vincente Alforo of St. Paul. But his effective movement and counterpunching never amounted to effective and punishing blows, and he was caught with a right hand that almost dropped him in the third round, forcing him to grab and hold for survival. At one point he was hurt so badly that his clinching resulted in him accidentally tackling Alfaro, and the round was lopsided enough for him to lose it 10-8. With a majority decision favoring Alfaro, Nelson calling it 39-37, Muiznieas scoring it 38-37 and Benson settling for 37-37, it is obvious that Backus let the fight slip away with his precarious 3rd round performance.
Hector Orozco avenged a technical decision loss from October of last year with a majority decision over Danny Figueroa. Boxers and Writers Magazine saw this fight differently from the judges also, believing Figueroa’s jab and combinations to be more effective throughout. Figueroa slipped well and utilized the ring, and he also fought effectively inside while Orozco continuously came forward. Orozco did look better this time around, though, and his high degree of recent activity has paid off. Nelson scored it 39-37 and Benson had it 39-38 for Orozco, while Muiznieas called it a 38-38 draw.