In front of a full house at the Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas, Dallas’ lightning fast featherweight Ray Ximenez, Jr. (13-0, 4 KO’s) put on boxing clinic and stopped the talented Eric Anton (4-3, 1 KO) from Grand Prairie, Texas in the third round of the scheduled eight round Texas Featherweight Title fight.
With power and speed in both hands, and the ability to switch from southpaw to orthodox at any time, Ximenez had told NTF prior to the fight that whenever he saw a mistake, he would change his stance. And the first mistake he saw from his opponent was in the second round when he switched back and forth from southpaw to orthodox and each time he did, he noticed he was able to land his right hand. And that is when he got the first knockdown of the fight by landing a super fast right hand to the head of Anton that put him down on the canvas.
Coming into this fight, Ximenez had told NTF that he had sparred with Anton before and he knew that he was a power puncher, but that was where his conditioning in training would come into effect. He had said that he had to fight a smart fight and that he had been doing a lot of running in camp because if he had to go the distance, he didn’t want any problems.
His game plan was to fight an intelligent fight because it is not only a physical sport, but a mental game as well. And not only did he fight a smart fight, his game plan was perfect. He also came into this title match to pick up his knockout record. He was aware of his KO record and he told NTF prior to this fight that he was going to do his best to get another knockout and that is exactly what he did.
He also told his fans to come out and watch the fireworks and those were definitely on display in the third round of the fight.
At the beginning of the third round, Ximenez came out in the southpaw stance, and then quickly switched his stance as they both exchanged punches. Ximenez then landed a hard left hook that stunned Anton for a moment and then as the round continued he began to set up his punches that were landing with solid power behind his hand speed. It was apparent that the speed, movement in the ring, and the switching from southpaw to orthodox appeared to have Anton off balance all night. Then at the 2:50 mark of the third round, Ximenez set up his jab in his southpaw stance, and when he saw the opening he switched to orthodox and landed a lightning fast right hand that sent Anton to the canvas and the fight was over.
The full house and his hometown crowd saw the sweet science in action and Ximenez continued his winning streak and he also got the knockout that he wanted. He is scheduled to have a busy 2016 and several fights have already been lined up, which is good for him and his team as well as his fans in Dallas, Texas. At the young age of 23, the talented Ximenez expects to fight much more and sources have told NTF that those are the plans for this exciting featherweight from Pleasant Grove, a suburb of Dallas, Texas.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS FROM INTERVIEW OF RAY XIMENEZ, JR., THE NEW TEXAS FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION AFTER THE FIGHT.
NTF: How does it feel to be the new Texas Featherweight Champion?
Ray: It feels good, I trained hard for this moment. From day one, my team, we were more than ready for today. It was only three rounds, and I didn’t get winded at all, so it felt good to win.
NTF: How did you feel in the first round?
Ray: I knew I had to be more careful after the first round, I always try to feel the fighter out in the first round. We sparred a lot but that’s not the real thing, and he probably had a new game plan or something. In the second I already knew all I had to do was pick my shots and everything would just land.
NTF: Tell us how you set him up and which punch put him down in the second round, was it a right hand?
Ray: Yes, it was the right hand. I was southpaw, and then I switched to right hand, and every time I switched to southpaw and jabbed, and switched, I kept landing with the right hand.
NTF: How did you set up the final knockdown in the third round?
Ray: He basically stepped into the punch, I was setting him up. At first I was going to go to the body and work the body because his hands were up. I then decided that I was going to just stick to head shots and it landed!
NTF: What was the final set up to the knockout punch?
Ray: I got him with my right hand, I was southpaw and I started setting him up with my jabs and once I moved I turned orthodox and I knew that he knew that I hadn’t turned and that’s when I knew the right had was going to land.
NTF: How do you feel about getting the knockout for this fight?
Ray: It feels good when I say something and I actually do it. I didn’t like just having three knockouts on my record, I wanted to build that up and I finally did. We had been working in the gym on power punching and it paid off and people now know I have power.
NTF: Do you have any last words for your fans from Dallas?
Ray: I hope ya’ll enjoyed the fight, like I promised, there would be fireworks and that ‘s just what happened.
In the Co-Main event of this great charity event put together by Steven Bolos, Jesse Rodriguez and CKO Promotions and all the special sponsors benefiting the Ring of Hope Boxing Club, it was a classic no holds barred non-stop action bout.
The people in attendance saw what I call a “classic old-time boxing match” which brought back memories of some of the fights I and others have seen in the past from the old days.
Antonio Castillo (2-1,1 KO), who I call the “Waco Kid” and the tough Abraham Torres (3-1,1 KO) from Dallas, Texas, both came out swinging for the fences in the first round, which electrified the crowd in attendance as both hammered away at each other from the opening sound of the bell.
NTF had seen Castillo before and knew what he was capable of with his aggressive hard punching, never backing up style, but to our surprise and delight, Torres had the same exact style.
In the first round, people at ringside told me that they could hear the punches being landed at ringside and that was true. Castillo started the fight moving forward as he attempted to set up his jab with hard right hands, but he was met with the same force as they both held their ground in the center of the ring. But at the end of the round, Torres landed a punch that rocked Castillo momentarily and the bell sounded. But in the second round, as both fighters were fighting in close, the very tough Torres, landed a huge left hook at the very second the bell sounded to end the round and it sent the Waco Kid to the canvas. He took the count from referee and shook his head in disgust as he went to his corner. Even though these fighters were lightweights, they both were landing welterweight punches as they continued to exchange leather in the entire third round until the bell sounded. In the fourth round, both went at again, Rocky style, as they both exchanged punches non-stop. But it was Torres who was able to connect with several left hooks to the head of Castillo in the fourth round as he slowly moved forward in the ring. Although Castillo recovered very well from the knockdown in the second round, that definitely made the difference in the judge’s scorecards. Torres went on to win by split decision, and the fans were able to see a fantastic fight. The scorecards read 38-37, 38-37 for Torres with another judge scoring it 38-37 for Castillo.
In a somewhat long and anticipated appearance back to the ring, the uppercut king, Enver Halili (8-0, 2 KO’s) from Klina, Kosovo, returned to the squared circle for his welterweight battle against Rick Graham (3-11-2, 1KO) from Detroit, Michigan. Before the fight, Halili, the Albanian, told NTF that he was working on his timing for this fight and that he had been getting in some great sparring with top prospect, John Vera, Jr. (13-0, 8 KO’s) and he was ready to fight.
At the outset of the first round, both fighters both moved in and as they were fighting on the inside, a clash of heads put a cut over Halili’s left eye and the fight was stopped momentarily by referee Robert Chapa. As the fight continued, blood was visible streaming down the face of Halili but it didn’t deter him from throwing punches. Then in an exchange of punches, Halili almost hit the canvas from a wild punch and his hand grazed the canvas and it was called a knockdown. This did not deter the Albanian, as he came out in the second round putting pressure on his Motor City opponent until the end of the fight. It appeared that Graham was tiring out in the fourth round and despite the phantom knockdown, Halili went on to win by unanimous decision on all the cards, 38-37. With this win, Halili kept his winning streak intact and we hope to see him return to the ring in the near future.
Alfredo Mojica (1-0) from Dallas, Texas, who is the brother of bantamweight Oscar Mojica (9-1, 1 KO), stepped into the ring for his debut fight against Federico Oliveira (1-1) Dallas, Texas. With an obvious poise and confidence, super flyweight Mojica started off the fight with a nice left hook and landed several uppercuts on the shorter Oliveira, who appeared calm as well in the ring. Before the bell sounded for the second round, Mojica’s corner could be heard telling him to “be first and get to work.” And that is exactly what he did in the second round as he threw more uppercuts and then landed a left hook that sent Oliveira backward in the ring. Mojica then landed another left hook that sent Oliveira reeling back in the third round, but this time, Oliveira was stunned and Mojica went after him. Mojica then pounded Oliveira with numerous right hands as he was in the corner and the referee was forced to stop the fight. The official stoppage for the TKO was at 37 seconds of the third round, and Mojica’s family and fans could be heard in the auditorium and from atop the balcony. The Mojica brothers both train at the Ring of Hope Boxing gym in Dallas, Texas.
Veteran lightweight Willie Miller from Fort Worth, Texas took on Edward Vasquez (1-0) who also is from Fort Worth, Texas. Vasquez was stepping into the ring for his professional debut and although the taller Miller had more experience in the ring, Vasquez came out bobbing and weaving and landing punches. In the third round, after an inside exchange of hard punches, Miller’s nose was starting to bleed as he moved around the ring. After a back and forth landing of punches in the fourth round, Vasquez landed the most punches and went on to win by unanimous decision. 40-36, 39-37, 39-37.
In the light middleweight action, Marquis Hawthorne (3-2) from Waco, Texas took on Jon Bullock (5-3) from Wichita, Kansas. In an evenly matched fight, Hawthorne started the fight by landing punches with his left hand jab and a good combination in the middle of the round. Hawthorne was the busiest in first round, but Bullock came right back in the second round and went to the body and forced the action. Because of the extra work by Bullock, Hawthorne’s corner was yelling out instructions for him to “be first.” In the third round, both fighters connected with good left hooks, and Hawthorne missed several uppercuts. Despite a short stoppage because of an accidental head-butt in the fourth round, both fighters slugged it out until the bell sounded. Hawthorne was the busier fighter in this bout, so he was rewarded the unanimous decision.
Notable Fighters in attendance:
Super Lightweight Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (19-0, 14 KO’s), WBO/NABO Super Lightweight champion from Dallas, Texas, who is ranked No. 6 by the WBO. He is scheduled to fight on the March 26, 2016 undercard of the Andre Ward HBO fight in Oakland, California.
Tony Lopez (10-1, 3 KO’s), Super Bantamweight from Fort Worth, Texas, who was scheduled to be on as the co-main event, but the fight was cancelled.