Proud to sport an artistic rendition of Colorado-born heavyweight legend Jack Dempsey on the backside of his “Old School Boxing” hooded sweatshirt, Terry Buterbaugh knew he’d have to summon up some old-school grit to go rounds inside a La Plata County ring with a local icon.
He needed even more to punch – literally and figuratively – above his weight class.
“I had to work on keeping the weight on instead of taking it off, you know?” Buterbaugh, proprietor of the Colorado Springs-based OSB gym, joked following his test this past Saturday night against Ignacio’s Elco Garcia in the co-main event of Left Hook Promotions’ “March Boxing Madness” card, staged inside Sky Ute Casino Resort Events Center.
Hungry for his 30th professional win, Garcia was the aggressor from the opening bell and put the heat on Buterbaugh with multiple flurries while Buterbaugh was more reliant on a potent overhand right which he only managed to land clean on a couple occasions. “I did a couple decent ones, but not like I wanted,” he said. “Two weight classes heavier than I’m used to fighting is... just too much weight for me. And he was just longer than I was expecting, I guess.”
Peppering away with an effective left jab and able to more freely pick his power shots, Garcia was in control of the fight by the end of the third of six scheduled rounds.
Garcia continued to administer punishment and did noticeable damage with a right-left combo that pinned Buterbaugh back in his own corner. In Round 5, Garcia continued landing measured straight rights, though his opponent not only stayed upright but also began jawing at “The Animal” between blows.
Knowing only a knockout could save Buterbaugh, Garcia unloaded in the sixth and the bout ended with Garcia again having backed and battered Buterbaugh into a corner, as Garcia secured a 60-54, 60-54, 60-54 unanimous decision.
Still with 13 KOs to his name, Garcia improved to 30-10-0 while Buterbaugh dipped to 11-12-3 (5 KO).
Having held world titles from featherweight to lightweight to super-welter, Las Vegas, Nevada’s “Amazing” Layla McCarter proved too much at welterweight for Albuquerque’s Victoria Cisneros in the night’s main event.
Moving well from the start, but admittedly not as well during the third, fourth and fifth rounds of a fight scheduled for 10 two-minute rounds, McCarter showed she’d returned to form in Round 6 by evading one Cisneros approach so quickly that before Cisneros could turn around McCarter was already catching a quick breather on the opposite side of the ring – not worried that her own back was turned. “I was just taking a nice angle, and it made her look particularly ... not too good,” the Mayweather Promotions-backed McCarter said. “But when I’m on my game, I use my angles a lot and... it was kind of fun.
“I started getting a little careless the third, fourth rounds, and getting in the clinch – where I didn’t need to be – to make it difficult. I could have just boxed all day. But I gave the people a good show, I think, and blood always adds extra drama.”
Having swelled Cisneros’ left orbital to a size concerning to the ring physician, McCarter continued attacking the overt target into the eighth round, when veteran referee Stephen Blea waved the fight off 28 seconds in against Cisneros’ claims she was fine to continue – and McCarter herself sensed she could have.
“Victoria, she’s got the heart of a lion. And she’s not going to quit for anything,” McCarter said. “So, when I saw the referee taking a good look at her, I made sure I put on the pressure so he’d stop it. She’s a very tough individual.”
With the technical knockout upping her stoppage count to 11 and improving her to 41-13-5 overall, McCarter departed with the Women’s International Boxing Federation and Global Boxing Union World Welterweight title belts, though both likely have an “interim” prefix attached as Germany’s Verena Kaiser (10-0-0, 5 KO) is set to defend the same titles – which she’d won in Sept. 2017 – next month in Sweden.
“There’s always pressure, especially when you have your family and friends counting on you to do what you’re supposed to do,” McCarter said.
“But it was a good kind of pressure, and I felt really good going in.
“I felt very relaxed. This is like fighting at home for me; I’ve fought here for 18 years, this crowd is very appreciative and they love me here. I feel grateful to be able to fight at Sky Ute Casino again.”
On the undercardReturning to action in Ignacio for the first time since defeating Buterbaugh in May 2015, Aztec, New Mexico’s “Ironman” Joe Martinez, formerly Gomez, knocked out Denver’s Corey Alarcon 2 minutes, 54 seconds into the second of six scheduled super-welterweight rounds.
“I was predicting the fourth,” said Martinez (21-7-1, 10 KO), a 2003 Aztec High graduate who wore black trunks with Tiger orange trim for the bout. “Tthe sooner the better, so it’s all good.”
In the event’s third bout, Arturo Izquierdo, born in Costa Rica but now calling Las Vegas home as a sparring partner of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., was a TKO winner over Zamir Young, with the bout officially stopped 2:07 into the fifth of six scheduled rounds.
“My fighting style is always uncomfortable for anyone I get in the ring with,” said Izquierdo. “I wanted to make it quicker, but I think I made a pretty good show. I’m not completely satisfied, but I’m glad that everyone enjoyed it.”
Just 23 years old, Izquierdo improved to 5-0-0 (2 KO) while Young dipped to 2-7-1.
“I hadn’t fought in eight years until the last time I fought,” Gallegos said, “and it’s hard when you haven’t heard much of a guy fighting in a long time – you don’t know what he’s going to do.”
Shiprock’s super-middleweight Steve Victor won by 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 unanimous decision over Daniel Gonzales of Billings, Montana, in the opening bout and improved to 3-7-2 while Gonzales fell to 12-43-2 (4 KO).