Hall of Fame weekend at the Turning Stone Casino and Golden Boy Promotions had a card stacked with a mix of talent. With the likes of Mike Tyson, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Miguel Cotto amongst others all watching from ringside it was certainly a start studded affair for the fans.
Diego De La Hoya was putting his undefeated record on the line and defending his NABF & NABO Super Bantamweight titles against Jose Salgado in the main event of the evening. De La Hoya (cousin of Oscar) who has 9 KO’s in his 20 fights so far was hoping a victory would push him onto challenging for world honours. With both of these fighters being Mexican the signs were good that we could be in for some action. De La Hoya started the brighter of the 2 and was stalking Salgado round the ring and looking stronger, faster and superior in every department in the first which finished with Salgado bleeding from the nose. In the 2nd round it was the same story and this time a cut opened up over the right eye of Salgado. De La Hoya was warming into this nicely and in the 3rd starting to go through his full repertoire of punches with hooks, jabs and uppercuts all hitting the mark. You could not fault Salgado’s heart though and his Mexican warrior instincts came out as he summoned his opponent on for more. It was the same story in the 4th and this was becoming a one-sided affair. Salgado was down at the end of the 4th but referee Mark Nelson ruled it a slip. Another cut opened up over the left eye this time for Salgado and his face was becoming a bloody mess, there is just no quit in this tough fighter though and it looks as if the referee (or his own corner) might have to save him from himself eventually. Into the 2nd half of the fight and it was a slower round with perhaps the relentless pace of this contest catching up with both fighters, still a De La Hoya round though and this was a clean sweep so far. De La Hoya continued to be the aggressor and was outfighting Salgado who was taking a beating in the 7th. It’s all over, Salgado’s corner did the right thing and pulled their man out of the contest before the start of the 8th, this was a good decision by his team and they did the right thing as he was only going to take more punishment.
Travell Mazion with a 12 & 0 record including 11 KO’s was up against Daquan Pauldo 17 & 1 in the co-main event in a super welterweight clash scheduled for 8 rounds. The first round started off cagey with both fighters keen not to make a mistake, the better shots coming from Mazion. In the 2nd it got a bit livelier with Pauldo trying to attack more and having some success. Midway through the round it seemed as if Mazion had worked out his strategy and was looking to capitalise on the fact Pauldo was holding his left hand far too low. Mazion controlled the 3rd in the main behind the jab but got a bit sloppy towards the end of the round and was clipped by a right hand. The 4th was a quieter affair with the work rate of Pauldo helping to edge the round in his favour. In the 6th and 7th rounds Mazion was dragged into a fight by the hard working Pauldo when he could have made things easier for himself by sticking behind his jab and using his longer reach to his advantage. Pauldo was much more the aggressor in the 7th round and was catching Mazion with a few decent shots but they did not appear to trouble him too much. The final round was more of the same with Pauldo trying to get past the jab of Mazion and make him work and again he managed to land some shots whilst also taking some. This one went to the scorecards and to the disapproval of the watching crowd Mazion was declared the winner by majority decision.
Middleweight Alex Rincon was taking part in his 4th contest against the much more experienced Egelberto Valenzuela who has amassed 24 fights albeit winning 11 and losing 13 of those. Southpaw Rincon wasted no time getting to work and dropped his opponent twice in the first round with the contest being stopped at the time of the 2nd knockdown. Tougher tests will no doubt await Rincon as he progresses with his career.
Lawrence Gabriel was moving up from cruiserweight to take part in a heavyweight match up over 4 rounds against Jimmy Levins. Dominating behind a crisp jab he had Levins down in the first, he was down again early in the 2nd but it was ruled a slip. At this stage Levins appeared to be looking for a way out and he was given this by virtue of another knockdown again in the 2nd with the fight being waved off with Levins still on the seat of his pants.
Isaac Rodrigues was up against Frankie Filippone in a light heavyweight contest scheduled for 8 rounds. Big hitting Rodrigues has a 73% KO ratio and he needed to be big hitting as he was losing the first three rounds until his sledgehammer right came into action knocking down Filippone for an 8 count before the referee stopped the contest moment later judging him to be in no condition to defend himself.
Cruiserweight’s Armus Gayton and Mike Diorio were both making debut’s in a 4-round fight. This was an all action fight with Diorio sustaining a cut over his left eye in the 3rd and ultimately losing the bout to a majority decision.
Overall this was a decent nights action and with this years Hall of Fame inductees Vitali Klitchsko, Winky Wright and Erik Morales being introduced into the ring it added another touch of glamour and excitement to the evening.