Han, Tovar dominate foes in El Paso

By David Finger at ringside

Several hundred boxing fans in El Paso were not not left disappointed last night as two of the most popular prospects in the Southwest made quick work of their opponents in dominant fashion, this despite an unexpected scare threatened to pull the plug on the co-main event as the show kicked off. Female lightweight Stephanie Han was slated to take on the durable journeywoman Kim Colbert in El Paso in a tune up fight that had local fans excited for their first chance to see the latest star from the popular Han boxing dynasty. But in a “keeping busy” fight Han won a shutout decision over a 1-3-1 fighter in Puebla, Mexico two weeks ago. Due to come confusion over the medicals in Mexico, the boxing commission in Puebla suspended Han for 30 days. But for whatever reason, this suspension didn’t come to light until the day of the fight, and as the opening fight card kicked off the status of the co-main event was still cloudy.

In the end the issue was resolved and Han was able to fight in the co-main event, and she took out her frustrations on her opponent. Han had shown incredible skill in his first three fights, but one question still remained and that was “can this woman punch?” Against the 42-year old Kim Colbert, few were expecting an answer to that question. Although Colbert was ten years removed from her last victory and in a career that spanned over twenty years she amassed a less than impressive record of 3-25, 2 KOs, she still was regarded as durable. With only three of those twenty five losses coming by way of stoppage, the conventional wisdom was she would give Han some rounds and probably lose a shutout decision as she has done ever since people were using Blackberrys instead of iPhones. But the clearly irritated Han, 134, showed fans a side of her that they had not yet seen as she jumped all over Colbert, 136.8, in the opening seconds of the fight and staggered the veteran with a beautiful combination upstairs in the first ten seconds of the round. Colbert backed in to the ropes as the aggressive Han unloaded on her and after twenty or so seconds of unrelenting pressure Colbert slipped to a knee as referee Robert Velez waved off the fight at 0:57 seconds of the opening round. With the win Han improves to 4-0, 1 KO and should be regarded a one of the brighter lightweight prospects in women’s boxing after this dominant win.

In the main event, undefeated super middleweight Jorge Tovar, 163.6, chopped down a game and determined opponent named Herman Rendon, 165, in three rounds. Rendon was a fighter with no amateur boxing experience (having come to boxing from MMA) but in three professional fights he clearly showed a desire to fight tough opposition. In his first two fights he was brought in as the opponent for undefeated local prospects in Hobbs, New Mexico and in both instances he scored the upset. But despite kicking off his career with a pair of impressive wins, he was the prohibitive underdog against Tovar. Nonetheless, Rendon gamely tried to duplicate the success he had in Hobbs and to the surprise of many local fans, elected to press the action against one of the best punchers in the Southwest. And also to the surprise of local fans, Rendon was on occasion landing despite at times being wild with his shots. But Tovar remained the picture of cool and collective as he maintained his sensible strategy of going to the body and not letting Rendon goad him into a wild fight. The body shots clearly were paying off as Rendon began to show signs of wilting and by round two he was visibly trying to work through the fatigue as his mouth was wide open. Tovar proceeded to drop Rendon in round two and Rendon struggled to survive the round. As the bell sounded for round three it was clear that it was only a matter of time as Tovar wisely upped his body attack. A body shot sent Rendon to the canvas in the opening seconds of the round and despite getting up, he was quickly felled again by a hard overhand right that prompted referee Robert Velez to wave the fight off at 0:21 of round three. With the win Tovar improves to 6-0, 6 KOs while Rendon falls to 2-2, 0 KOs.

In what was supposed to be an eagerly anticipated welterweight co-main event, Dwayne Bonds was unfortunately unable to fight in front of his local fans when a replacement opponent was not able to be found in time after the Texas boxing commission pulled the plug on his scheduled fight.

Rounding off the undercard were four more fights featuring local boxers:

In the opening bout of the night, Alec McGee, 125.2, scored the most impressive win of his career as he dropped Jeesus PerAdura, 125.8, in the opening round en route to a unanimous decision win. In a clash of undefeated cruiserweight bombers, Joshua Ramirez Martinez, 189, came out on top when he scored a TKO over Elijah Sweat, 187.6, at 2:09 of round four. Heavyweight Jonathan Abeyta, 259, scored a split decision win over Jose Odunez, 273, in an action packed brawl. And popular puncher Garret Lopez, 257.4, made quick work of David Espino, 159.6, dropping his three times in the opening round and scoring a first round TKO when referee Rocky Burke waved off the fight after the third knockdown.

For the Marines Promotions show, the event was nothing short of a knockout and it appears safe to say that they should be coming back to the both the Sun City and the El Paso County Coliseum in the near future.

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