Live boxing at the Hard Rock PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 August 2007
Sample ImageCelebrities and fight fans filled the Hard Rock Live Arena at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood earlier this month for a night of fisticuffs billed as “Rough Rugged and Raw.’’

The night lived up to its name with five of the six scheduled fights ending with knockouts. In the main event, middleweight “Mean” Joe Green defeated Daryl Salmon for the North American Boxing Association Middleweight Championship Belt.

ESPN was on hand to televise the Aug. 8 fight nationally. World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Sultan Ibragimov, former light heavyweight champ Glen Johnson and heavyweight contender Jameel McCline were also in attendance.

The co-main event featured cruiserweights Louis “The Lion” Azille and Francisco “The Wizard” Palacios. Palacios took the fight on short notice and made his ESPN2 debut in explosive fashion.

“This was the first time I have been in the ring since February. I wasn’t trying to knock him out, but I saw the opening and took it,” Palacios said.

Palacios only had five days to prepare for the stalking slugger Azille. The fight seemed pretty even until the sixth round. Azille’s aggressive slugging countered Palacios’s quick hands and skillful boxing until The Wizard landed a devastating uppercut in the sixth round.

“I had been trying to land that punch the whole night. He would block it or it wouldn’t land clean, but I finally caught him and man it was perfect,” Palacios said.

The punch stunned Azille (19-4-2) and allowed Palacios to land a left right combination to end the fight. Palacios improved his record to 12-0 with six knockouts. The Wizard was elated to win a fight he was picked to lose. After the ref said no more, Palacios jumped on the ropes and screamed to the crowd.

Palacios’s picture perfect knockout warmed up the near capacity crowd for the main event. Joe Green came into the fight as a highly touted prospect. He was highly favored in the bout, but seemed to be in trouble in the first round. Salmon (16-2) caught Green with a good punch early in the first round.

“It was just a flash punch, a blind shot. Those are the ones that get you. When I got up I was very mad,” Green said.

Green steadied himself and delivered a hard left hand that rocked Salmon. Green followed the left with a well-thrown right hook to floor Salmon at 2:54 of the first round.

“It’s all about timing and execution. I was able to execute at the right time and catch him square. It was just a matter of time,” Green said.

In other action former middleweight champ Raul Marquez easily defeated Harry Jay Pina with a second round knockout. Lightweight Louis Hernandez knocked out Jesus Pabon at 2:38 of the second round.

Jose Hernandez out-pointed Noe Bolanos in a unanimous eight-round decision. Local fighter Sammy Payne won a decision against Berthin Rouesseau and light-welterweight Kenny Galarza knocked out Carlos Oyola in the first fight of the night.

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Photo by Sayre Berman. Francisco Palacios, left, scores a sixth round TKO over opponent Louis Azille, right.
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