Johnny Tapia wins fight in main event

Displaying power and speed with some well-placed punches, Brownsville featherweight Johnny “Blaze” Tapia gave his boxing career a big boost with a knockout victory against a previously undefeated opponent in the main event of Friday’s All Star Fight Night 4 boxing show at Brownsville’s Amigoland Convention Center.

Tapia (8-1, three knockouts) was coming off a 10-month break since his previous fight. Yet, he showed no ring rust whatsoever from the outset of his scheduled six-round headline bout against highly regarded Irving Tapia (4-1, four KOs) of Mexico City.

The Brownsville fighter won impressively on a technical knockout just 32 seconds into the fifth round.

“Words can’t explain what this victory means to me, fighting in front of my fans, my city and winning in that fashion,” “Blaze” said after it was all over and his many fans surrounded him to offer congratulations. “My opponent came to fight and he had dynamite in his hands. His punches were heavy, strong and powerful. I’m a fighter, too. If you hurt me, I’m going to come back and hurt you.

“I believe that (of) all the punches I threw, I landed them in a very educated way, I would say,” he added. “Every punch had a plan, every punch had a target. I kept targeting the same area (my opponent’s head). A right hand (punch) dropped him (in the third). (After that) his legs weren’t under him for the remainder of the fight.

“He kept targeting my body (with punches) and I countered (with blows) upstairs. That (countering with combinations of punches to the head) was the game plan, and it proved to be the key to victory.”

Fisticuffs began flying in full force from the opening bell. Round by round, “Blaze” repeatedly landed solid blows to the head of his Mexican opponent, who appeared to suffer a broken nose from a well-placed punch in the first round. The Mexican fighter was dropped to a knee by another strong blow in the third round, but was back up before the 8-count ended. From there, after absorbing more punishment in the fourth round, he could not withstand the flurry of punches he received early in the fifth.

That combination of punches by “Blaze” in the fifth proved to be too much as the Mexican fighter, bleeding from the mouth, staggered to maintain his footing and the referee stepped in to halt the bout just 32 seconds into the round.

“I knew we were coming into a tough fight against a guy who was 4-0 with four KOs,” said Robert Campos, who is “Blaze’s” trainer. “But we got mentally and physically prepared and sparred a lot. I told Johnny we didn’t want to get into a brawl because this guy had some powerful punches. He was dangerous. But if it was going to be a brawl, the only way to win was to break him down first (with some well-placed combinations), and that’s what we did. Johnny came at him, not straight forward, but from an outside angle, which threw him off a little bit.

“I kind of knew Johnny would be able to land (a lot of) punches to the head because of his speed,” Campos added. “I knew Johnny was faster than the other guy and that the combinations would work. Johnny broke him down first until the later rounds when he was able to take the guy out. That’s the way we planned it.”

A standing-room-only crowd of approximately 2,000 came out on a football Friday night to attend the boxing show presented by the Law Office of Mario Davila and Cavazos Boxing Promotions.

Other winners on the eight-fight card included Mission lightweight Eddie Garza (7-2, two KOs), who defeated Brownsville’s Martin Solis (1-7, one KO) in the four-round co-main event on a unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36).

Other winners on the undercard in scheduled four-round bouts were San Juan’s Omar “Italiano” Castillo (4-0, two KOs), Laredo’s Jesse Sanchez (3-0, one KO), Brownsville’s Leonardo “Russo” Carrizales (5-3-1, two KOs), Laredo’s Jorge Ramos Jr. (3-0, one KO), Reynosa’s Manuel Montano (1-0) and Alamo’s Fernando Robles (1-0).

UPCOMING

Weslaco super bantamweight Brandon Lee “Heartbreaker” Figueroa 13-0, nine KOs) will headline a boxing show Oct. 14 at the Mercedes Livestock Showgrounds presented by Triple-A Promotions. He will be fighting an eight-round Texas title bout.

Also scheduled to fight on the show is Weslaco heavyweight Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (26-4, 19 KOs). An additional fight on the card will feature Valley favorite heavyweight Homero “Oso” Fonseca (13-8-3, three KOs) of Driscoll. For ticket information, call Omar Figueroa Sr. at (956) 648-8305 or Joel Garcia at (956) 244-7306.