By Ricardo Ibarra
Putting on a dominant performance in front of a home-town crowd, undefeated 21-year-old Jr. lightweight prospect Victor Morales, Jr. (12-0, 7 KOs) claimed his twelfth professional win on Saturday night, defeating Mexican journeyman German Meraz (62-58-2, 39 KOs) at the Clackamas Armory in Clackamas, Oregon. Morales controlled the fight from the outset, thoroughly out-landing his opponent over eight rounds to claim a shut-out unanimous decision win.
Morales, who resides in nearby Vancouver, Washington, worked patiently behind his jab as the fight got underway, pushing Meraz back with stiff left hands. He began to open up more aggressively in the second round, tagging his foe repeatedly with overhand rights and left hooks. In the third, as he focused more on the body, Morales appeared to have his opponent in some trouble after a hard right to the mid-section pushed Meraz back along the ropes. Morales was unable to capitalize, though, as the experienced journeyman went into a defensive posture, covering up well and avoiding exchanges.
Morales maintained an aggressive, yet measured approach for the remainder of the fight, slamming Meraz with sharp jabs and following up with quick combinations when the opportunity presented itself. Down the final stretch of the fight Morales upped his output, seemingly looking to put an exclamation point on his performance. Meraz, though, proved to be a cagey fighter and made it to the final bell. All three judges saw the fight 80-72 for Morales.
Tacoma’s Nicholas Jefferson (10-0, 5 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact in a Jr. middleweight contest, claiming a hard-fought six round unanimous decision win over the game Chad McKinney (2-11, 1 KO), of Vancouver, Washington. Jefferson had to contend with an early attack from McKinney, who pressed in close with hard, looping punches as the first round started. Using effective jabs and straight right hands, though, Jefferson began to set a favorable range and by the middle of the round was repeatedly finding a home for his counter punches as McKinney pressed. For the first three rounds Jefferson used his longer reach and movement to land at a higher rate, catching his opponent with the cleaner punches. McKinney continued to press forward, though, and by the fourth was pushing his way in close with greater regularity. He continued to do so in the fifth, as Jefferson appeared to tire, making the round a close one. Jefferson picked up his output in the sixth, moving well laterally and shooting combinations down the middle, clipping McKinney repeatedly. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for Jefferson.
Local fan favorite Lorenzo Caldera (2-0, 2 KOs) made short work of California’s Phillip Schwartz (0-2), stopping him in the first round. Caldera stepped on the gas early, unloading with an accurate assault and peppering his opponent repeatedly with flush hooks to the head. Mid-way through the round, Caldera sent Schwartz to the canvass with a sharp one-two. The referee started a count but made the decision to call the fight at 1:51 of the opening round, giving Caldera his second straight win inside the distance. The bout was contested in the lightweight division.
A near sell-out crowd was in attendance for the Pure Combat event, which also featured amateur boxing, mixed martial arts, and kickboxing. Visit the Pure Combat Facebook page for upcoming events.