LAS VEGAS (September 9, 2016) – The heat was on tonight at “Knockout Night at the D,” in and out of the ring, thoroughly entertaining another sold-out crowd at the outdoor Downtown Las Vegas Events Center.
On a stacked card that had fans on their feet all night, Canadian Steve “The Rooster” Claggett (24-4-1, 16 KOs) upset Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles (15-1-1, 5 KOs) in the main event, promoted in association with Bobby D Presents, but it was Neeco “The Rooster” Macias (13-0, 7 KOs) who stole the show in the co-feature
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegas and Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. Hall Of Fame announcers Jim “J.R.” Ross and Al Bernstein called the action from ringside on CBS Sports Network in North America and internationally via ESPN.
Claggett, fighting out of Calgary, Canada, dropped down one weight class. Coming off a disputed 10-round decision loss to Chris van Heerden this past April, also at the Downtown Las Vegas Event Center, Claggett won a 10-round majority decision (98-92, 98-92, 94-96) tonight for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) welterweight title. His expert body work allowed him to dictate the pace of the boxing match.
“This is a long time coming, Claggett confessed. “I took the loss (vs. van Heerden) in stride, vowing to go back to the gym and make changes. I went down to 140 (lbs.) and it was the right decision. I’m stronger. I I really worked hard.
“I landed a couple of shots that hurt him noticeably. He’s tough. Robles is a champion in the making. I have a lot of respect for him. This is my life. It (his loss to van Heerden) fueled me. The fire’s back in me. I love fighting in Las Vegas.”
The co-feature showcased a pair undefeated junior middleweights and from the opening bell it was a real firefight. Macias forced Rolando “Rola” Garza (9-1, 6 KOs), a 3-time Mexican National amateur champion, to fight his fight. Macia’s aggressive style, always coming forward, throwing punches from every conceivable angle, ruled the coop. Garza got caught up in the action and paid for it, although the score after was 39-37, 39-37 for Macias, 39-37 for Garza, entering the fifth and final round. Macia’s constant pressure controlled the action, wearing down Garza, and paid dividends as he dropped Garza in the fifth. Referee Jay Nady had seen enough, halting the fight at that point as much due to the damage Garza had suffered in the first four rounds as the knockdown.
A star was born in Macia, who captured the vacant World Boxing Association (WBC) United States junior middleweight championship. “It’s conditioning, a lot of work,” Macias explained the reason for his non-stop action before crowing loudly in the ring. “I stuck to the game plan. I knew he’d come to fight with a lot of skill to out-box me and get points. My game plan was throw a lot of upper cuts and punches from every angle. It was all about throwing combinations.
“He had a lot pf power, so I used defense to block punches. In the last round, I put punches together. I think the fight was stopped a little early and he could have kept going, but I didn’t see what he saw, and the referee was looking out for the fighters so we can fight another day.”
In the television opener, flashy Las Vegas welterweight Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols (6-0, 2 KOs) kept rolling, winning a 4-round unanimous decision over Steve Belmontes (2-1, O KOs). Nichols outworked his opponent, consistently beating Belmontes to the punch with his superior quickness.
“I think it could have been a little flashier,” Nichols admitted. “But give it up to my opponent, he came to fight. With more than 100 amateur fights, he could take a punch but he kept coming. My goal was to take everything from him and make him fight my fight. His hands were a little slower and he took a lot of good body shots and counters.”
Idaho junior flyweight Marina “Rocky” Ramirez (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) pitched a 4-round shutout, defeating Rachel “The Black Widow” Sazoff (0-2) by scores of 40-36 across the board. “I landed a lot of host,” Ramirez noted. “I respect her, she was tough. The game plan worked and we got the win.”
Twenty-year-old Randy Moreno (4-0, 3 KOs) turned in the best performance of his young career, stopping Australian junior lightweight “12” Gaige Ireland (2-1-2, 2 KOs) in the third round. Moreno fights with the poise of a much older fighter, effectively counter punching from the opening bell. “It feels great,” Moreno commented. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Gil Martinez (head trainer). He is notorious for his training methods and it’s paid off. I’ve been with him 10 years. Fighting here at home means the world to me.”
Undefeated lightweight prospect Ismail “Sharp Shooter” Muwendo, fighting out of Minneapolis by way of his native Uganda, improved to 18-0 (12 KOs), taking a one-sided six-round unanimous decision from Eliseo Cruz (9-2-1, 6 KOs). “I think I did well, I was out of the ring a long time,” Muwendo commented. He’s a tough guy who was ready.”
Las Vegas favorite (4-0, 2 KOs) remained unbeaten by way of a 4-round unanimous decision over Jonathan “Johnny Boy” Quiorz (6-5, 1 KO). “I was confident (of winning the decision,” the 18-year-old Ornelas said. “I was out-boxing him. I love fighting here. I have a lot of support from family and friends; I’m motivated when I hear them.”Max “Baby Face Assassin” Ornelas
JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS – MAIN EVENT
Neeco Macias (13-0, 7 KOs), Palm Desert, CA
Rolando Garza (9-1, 6 KOs), Austin, TX
(Macias won vacant WBC US Junior Middleweight title)
Jeremy Nichols (6-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV
WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 39-37)
Steve Belmontes (2-1, 0 KOs), Corpus Christi, TX
JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHTS – CO-FEATURE
Steve Claggett (24-4-1, 16 KOs), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
WDEC10 (98-92, 98-92, 94-96)
Emmanuel Robles (15-1-1, 5 KOs), San Diego, CA
(Claggett won vacant NABA – US Junior Welterweight title)
Ismail Muwendo (18-0, 11 KOs), Minneapolis, MN
WDEC6 (60-54, 60-54, 59-53)
Eliseo Cruz (9-2-1, 6 KOs), Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico
Randy Moreno (4-0, 3 KOs), Las Vegas, NV
Gaige Ireland (2-1-2, 2 KOs), Victoria, Australia
Max Ornelas (4-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV
WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 39-37)
Johnathan Quioroz (6-5, 1 KO), Oceanside, CA
FEMALE JUNIOR FLYWEIGHTS
Marina Ramirez (2-0, 0 KOs), Parma, ID
WDEC4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)
Rachel Sazoff (0-2), Hamilton, NJ
‘Knockout Night at the D” returns Friday, Sept. 30
Hanzel Martinez (23-2, 18 KOs) vs. Emmanuel Quartey (20-2, 19 KOs)
Vacant WBA International Super Bantamweight Championship
Tony Lopez (11-1, 4 KOs) vs. Stephon Young (14-0-3, 6 KOs)
Vacant WBA / NABA Bantamweight Championship
John Vera (14-0, 9 KOs) vs. Milorad Zizic (12-1, 6 KOs)
WBA / NABA Super Welterweight Championship
TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT TICKETMASTER.COM or DLVEC.COM
VACANT NABA – US JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (10)
Emmanuel Robles (15-0-1, 5 KOs), San Diego, CA 140 lbs.
Steve Claggett (23-4-1, 16 KOs), Calgary, Alberta, Canada 140 lbs.
VACANT WBC US JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (8)
Rolando Garza (9-0, 6 KOs), Austin, TX 154 lbs.
Neeco Macias (12-0, 6 KOs), Palm Desert, CA 153 ½ lbs.
Jeremy Nichols (5-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 147 lbs.
Steve Belmontes (2-0, 0 KOs), Corpus Christi, TX 150 ½ lbs.
FEMALE JUNIOR FLYWEIGHTS (4)
Marina Ramirez (1-0, 0 KOs), Parma, IN 106 lbs.
Rachel Sazoff (0-1), Hamilton, NJ 106 lbs.
JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS (4)
Randy Moreno (3-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 129 lbs.
Gaige Ireland (2-0-2, 2 KOs), Victoria, Australia 129 ½ lbs.
Ismail Muwendo (17-0, 11 KOs), Minneapolis, MN 135 lbs.
Eliseo Cruz (9-1-1, 6 KOs), Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico 135 lbs.
Max Ornelas (3-0, 2 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 118 lbs.
Johnathan Quioroz (6-4, 1 KO), Oceanside, CA 118 lbs.
The “Knockout Night at the D” series was developed in partnership with the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and Neon Star Media.
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Tonight’s and the Sept. 30th “Knockout Night at the D” events are licensed to ESPN, available to watch in 61 additional countries and territories in Latin America (South America, Central America, Mexico & Brazil) Caribbean, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands), United Kingdom, Canada and India
RIVAL BOXING GEAR is the main sponsor of the “Knockout Night at the D” series (www.rivalboxing.com, Twitter: @RivalBoxingGear
Twitter: @thedlasvegas, @dlvEventsCenter, @DerekJStevens, @BoxingatheDLV, @RoyJonesJrBoxing
Instagram: @dlvec, @thedlasvegas, @RoyJonesJrBoxing
Follow these fighters on Twitter: @SDragonClaggett, @Jflashgang, @SteveTheBoxer, @IMuwendo, @RandyMoreno
About the D Las Vegas: the D Las Vegas delivers the fresh, energetic attitude and fun atmosphere synonymous with downtown Las Vegas. The new casino hotel boasts 629 remodeled rooms and suites and a unique two-level casino featuring modern and vintage floors. Cocktails, beer and frozen beverages abound inside the casino at LONGBAR and on the Fremont Street Experience at D Bar. the D offers contemporary American fare at D Grill, Detroit’s legendary Coney Dogs at American Coney Island and premium steaks and authentic Italian dishes at Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. The Showroom at the D Las Vegas features outstanding entertainment ranging from award-winning dinner theater and Broadway productions to music, comedy and more. Follow the D on Facebook and Twitter.
About Downtown Las Vegas Events Center: Located at the corner of Third St. and Carson Ave. across from the D Las Vegas, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center can accommodate up to 11,000 guests and features state-of-the-art stage, sound and lighting. The open-air design is inviting to both tourists and locals and offers the perfect spot for concerts, conventions and other large-scale events. Embracing the uninhibited spirit of Downtown Las Vegas, the new venue plays host to a line-up of curated events including premier concerts, food festivals and more. The venue is also the first entertainment arena in Las Vegas to accept Bitcoin as currency. For more information, visit www.dlvec.com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @dlveventscenter.
About Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions: Co-founded in 2013 by 10-time world champion Roy Jones, Jr. and Keith Veltre, Roy Jones, Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions is on its way to reinventing boxing. Based in Las Vegas, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions is climbing to the top at a fast pace, adding young talent to its growing stable such as undefeated super welterweight John Vera and former 3-time world super bantamweight champion Joseph Agbeko, along with Tony Lopez and Hanzel Martinez, lightweight Demond Brock, super featherweight Randy Moreno, cruiserweight Irsael Duffus, bantamweight Max Ornelas, super lightweight Emanuel Robles, middleweight Rolando Garza and light heavyweight Adrian Taylor.
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