Fire Fist Boxing: Night of Champions: Mark Reyes Jr. and William Silva Come Out Victorious
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: October 09, 2018
SAINT PETERSBURG, FL – At The Coliseum in Saint Petersburg, Florida fans witnessed four straight world title bouts. Each fight had its fair share of action-packed moments that pleased the live audience.
The main event featured Brazil’s William Silva (26-2, 15 KOs) who now fights out of Plant City, Florida taking on Panama’s Jose Forero (13-8-1, 11 KOs). The fight was fought at a slower pace in comparison to many of the matches on the card with Silva picking his spots to attack. Anytime Silva would utilize his jab he was able to land perfectly placed straight right hands and left looks. After the fifth round, Silva began using his lateral movement allowing Forero at times to outwork him while landing some clean punches in the process.
In the ninth round, Silva landed a series of left hooks that put Forero on unsteady legs. After what seemed like an endless amount of left hooks, the Panamanian finally hit the canvas. Forero beat the referee’s ten-count to continue the bout but was ultimately saved from himself by the referee at the 1:49 mark of the ninth round. The victory awarded Silva with the vacant ABF Continental America’s lightweight title.
In the co-main event, Crystal Hoy (6-8-4, 3 KOs) was able to score a third round stoppage over local favorite Noemi Bosques (11-13-3, 2 KOs) in a war. The bout started as most fights with Bosques do with both women exchanging punches in bunches. The first two rounds were fought on relatively even terms with neither fighter taking control.
In the third round during an exchange, Hoy landed a right hand that hurt Bosques and eventually put her on the canvas. Bosques was still visibly hurt from the punch. Her corner instructed her to stomp her feet in an attempt to shake off any lasting effects of the knockdown. It was too late as Hoy went in for the kill, knocking down Bosques once again forcing the referee to stop the fight. The bout was stopped at the 1:28 mark of the third round. With the victory, Hoy is now the ABF Continental Americas super flyweight champion.
The second title bout of the evening featured undoubtedly the loudest ovation of the evening. Tampa native Mark Reyes Jr. (8-0, 6 KOs) stepped in the ring to take on veteran Juan Jesus Rivera (28-22, 18 KOs). Reyes at 22 years of age was 15 years younger than the veteran; however, with Rivera having faced the likes of Samuel Vargas, Dierry Jean and Antonio Pitalua in the past, the bout could have proved to be the young Reyes’ toughest test to date.
Reyes started the bout explosive throwing punches in combination. Rivera did not look deterred following these punches and stayed composed. In the final 30 seconds of the first round, Reyes landed a straight right hand that visibly shook Rivera allowing the young Tampa native to pounce on the Mexican veteran. Rivera was able to make it out of the round and had a good showing in the second round. Rivera showed patience by waiting for Reyes to attack first to counter the young fighter. The young Reyes at times employs an ambush style of attack and Rivera seemed aware of what the younger fighter was attempting to implement.
Unfortunately for fans in attendance, the bout came to a stop in the third round when Reyes landed a hard low blow to Rivera. The veteran was unable to continue in the fight after five minutes awarding Reyes with the victory and the vacant ABF Continental Americas welterweight title.
While the victory was a disappointment for fans in attendance, Reyes has a connection with fans in the Tampa Bay Area, and the winning low blow should not affect his popularity in the area.
Starting off the night’s title festivities was Australia’s Avril Mathie (2-0-1, 2 KOs) who took on Dallas, Texas native Samantha Salazar (5-5-2) for the vacant ABF Continental Americas female bantamweight title. The bout for all six rounds played out like a high-speed chess match. The 31-year old Mathie who now fights out of Miami, FL was successful whenever she started attacking with her jab. In exchanges, Salazar was able to connect with some sharp counter punches that visibly stunned the Australian.
After the second round, Mathie began to grow a small hematoma on the right side of her head possibly caused by a headbutt. In the second half of the bout, Salazar began to impose her will on Mathie continually pushing Mathie backward in the majority of rounds. The fight was close enough to have been rewarded to either fighter, and the judges agreed with the audience. The judges scored the bout a draw. One judge awarded the match for Mathie with a score of 58-56, another judge scored the fight for Salazar with another score of 58-56 and the final judge scored the bout a draw.
(Featured Photo: Joseph Correa/Frontproof Media)