Sugar Ray Leonard Mainliner at PAL
Story by Sue TL Fox
October 10, 2011
(OCT 10) While nine amateur and
professional boxing bouts provided action inside the ring, the
main event, Saturday night, at the Clark County Events Center in
Ridgefield Washington, on the outskirts of Vancouver, was the
appearance of three time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard. The
event was a PAL fundraiser sponsored by the City of Vancouver
of Sugar Ray Leonard
The evening commenced, in the shadow of the ring, with a VIP
cocktail party and dinner for invited guests, followed by the
introduction of Leonard by the evening's promoter, Patrick
Ortiz. Sugar Ray spent nearly an hour signing various boxing
memorabilia and posing for photos with the fans who lined up
around the ring area for their moment with the former boxing
great. And, from the reaction of many of the fans, it was well
worth the wait. Leonard exhibited, in full force, the
charismatic personality that he was justly renowned for during
his time in the ring and following his retirement, doing boxing
commentary and guest appearances on all three major networks
along with HBO and ESPN. Those fans came away with a full
fledged understanding of the true definition of the word
"champion" and a realization that for some of the truly great in
the sport of boxing that label remains intact long after the
final bell in the ring. [Flash
Photo Slideshow of Leonard]
Amateur Fight Card - Oregon vs.
In the first four bouts of the evening, the amateurs competed in
three round bouts--Oregon vs. Washington.
In the first fight, Joerrel Raynosa, 152, 22 years old, of Fisticuff's
a decision over Carlos Arias, 150, 23 years old, of
Beaverton, Oregon; second bout of the evening, Corey
Hill, 125, won a decision over Jerrell Barbour, of the
Tacoma Boxing Club; third bout, Demetrius Price, 141, won
by decision over Junior Zurita, 141; and lastly Efrain Estrada,
132, of West Portland Boxing Club, won a decision over Hector Rendon, 132, of the Tacoma Boxing Club. There were no knockdown
in any of these bouts, and all went the distance.
On the pro side of the event....all four round bouts, except for
the main event that was a six rounder.
In the opening pro bout of the evening, featherweights, Marco Candenas,
125, of Salem, Oregon, defeated Kendall Ward, 127.5, of
Vancouver, Washington, when Candenas stopped Ward in the
second round by TKO.
The next bout featured a battle of the heavyweights. When both
boxers entered the ring---it left little doubt that this fight
would probably not last the four rounds. Sylvester Barron,
weighing in at 236.5, from Anacortes, Washington, towered over
his opponent, Matt Kovacs, 258, coming from an MMA background,
of Arlington, Washington.
With Kovacs and Barron throwing a
heavy barrage of combinations, they both appeared to get tired
toward the end of round two. In round three though, Barron
poured on the heat, and with a clear left uppercut to the face
of Kovacs, he went down for the count. Kovacs got back up and
the fight continued temporarily---but with Barron sensing that
Kovacs was in trouble, he continued to pound away. The ref
stopped the fight as Kovacs was being pressed against the ropes
by Barron. Barron moved his record to 4-1-0 (2KO), and Kovacs
slipped to 0-0-2.
of knockdown and stoppage
Coming into the third pro bout
on the card, this bout would be one of the best and entertaining
bouts on the card. Gabriel Pineda, 137, of Hillsboro, Oregon,
was making his pro debut against Nalo Leal, 4-12-1, from Airway
Heights, Washington. Pineda proved to be quite impressive in
this four-round bout, that ended 1:25 seconds of the fourth
round by TKO, when Pineda punished Leal with body shots that
took him down for the count. After Leal took a second
eight count from body shots, the fight was over.
The fourth bout on the card was
equally impressive as the third bout, when local favorite Sammy
Perez, 132.5, of Vancouver, Washington, made his pro debut.
Perez was set to fight undefeated boxer Danny Ruiz, 134.5, 2-0,
of Riverside, California.
In the first round, Ruiz used his height and reach against
Perez, and made himself a hard target to hit. Perez was having
to resort to fighting close inside counter-punching in this
round. In the second and third round, Perez became increasingly
relentless----throwing eight, sometimes 10 plus combinations,
not only throwing them with lightning speed, but with accuracy
and explosiveness. By the fourth round, Ruiz appeared to be
bewildered by Perez's relentless attacks, and was more in a
defense mode at this point in the fight. Perez won by a majority
In the main event, Vancouverís
Virgil Green, 139.5, undefeated at 3-0, faced Jesse Isais,
139.5, 2-1-1 (1KO), of San Diego, California, in a six-round
fight. The bout went the distance, and Green's boxing record
remained unblemished. In what was a technically sound bout with
these two boxers, it did not have the pizzazz of the previous
two fights on the card.
As a side note....Sugar Ray Leonard just recently worked with
Dream Works in the recently released movie "Real Steel", that
has already received rave reviews. Sugar Ray worked on the set
with actor Hugh Jackman, and choreographed the Robots who fought
in the ring in the movie. Sugar Ray said in one interview, "I
couldnít visualize robots being in a movie, except for
Transformers. But, as things were progressing, to have seen the
finished product, I was blown away. My main objective was to not
really make Hugh a fighter, but to make him look like a fighter.
So, I conveyed to him the fact that itís not just about throwing
a punch, but itís about looking and feeling the punch. When he
threw the punch, as a fighter, there has to be a conviction and
an intention of landing that punch. The face has to match the
intention. As a trainer of a robot fighter, that relationship is
very, very intimate, very real and very powerful."
Link to complete Interview
WBAN would like to personally thank the City of Vancouver Police
Department, and promoter Patrick Ortiz, who gave WBAN access to
cover this boxing event.