Belize won only three of nine bouts on the fight card, but Belizean fight fans got their money’s worth when the Sensei Kelly and the Belize Shotokan Karate Dojo hosted an evening of mixed martial arts fighting at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Saturday night, April 20.
Belizean fight fans have been long-starved for some blood sport as boxing on the “Island” is now only a dim memory; and the house was packed. The $10 seats on the bleachers were all taken and so were most of the $20 ringside seats.
Belize’s Ralph Hulse Jr won the third fight of the night when he got Mexican Darwin Sandoval to tap out.
Mexican Erick Flota almost got an early knock-out when Joel Meyers stumbled and fell to the canvas in the opening minutes of the sixth fight of the night. But Meyers regained his feet. The referee checked him out, and Meyers went on to pin Flota to the canvas and pound him into submission.
Alaine “Bullet” Alexis took the fight to Juan Carlos Nah from the starting bell for the eighth bout of the night. Alaine avoided the errors of his countrymen in the earlier fights and refused to come to grips in a wrestling match. Instead he boxed and slugged his opponent until the referee declared Nah TKO, as Nah clearly was out on his feet and could not defend himself.
The other six fights, including the main event of Alberto Basulcar Galera vs Jameel “Iceman” Smith, went to the visitors from the Eagle Park Tae-kwon-do Dojo of Chetumal, Quintana Roo.
Belize’s Barnie Rock was able to pin down Mexican Randy Gonzalez in the opening round of the first fight on the card, but Gonzalez regained his footing in the second round and slugged Rock into submission by TKO.
Mexican Ury Gamino pinned Belize’s Mario Vasquez to the canvas in the first round of the second fight, but Vasquez was able to up-end Gamino and pin him to the canvas. Vasquez tried to stake out and box his opponent in the second round, but Gamino closed in and pinned Vasquez to the canvas again to win in the third round.
Belize’s Jessie Mejia tried a kick-boxing style on Mexico’s Carlos Escobar and even pinned Escobar to the canvas in the first round. But Mejia was also off-balance when he tried a round-house kick. Escobar up-ended him and pinned him to the canvas; and forcedMejia to tap out.
Mexico’s Eddie Pech also evaded Lester Alvarado’s kicks and pinned him to the canvas. Alvarado regained his feet and tried to kick-box in the second round, but Pech picked him up and slammed him onto the canvas for the pin to end the round. Alvarado boxed his opponent in the third round, but Pech won on points.
Mexico’s Chamaco Pech also pinned Williams L’Duca to the canvas in the first round of the seventh fight. Williams tried to box his opponent in the next round, but again Pech pinned him against the cage, picked him up bodily and slammed him to the canvas to win the third round.
Jameel “Iceman” Smith was cool as ice going into the cage for the main event. But Alberto Basulcar Galera lived up to his reputation, fighting his way out of Smith’s first pin and boxing him into a corner. Smith tried another pin, but again Galera reversed the hold on him, pinning Smith to the canvas. Smith tried to slug it out with Galera in the third round, but Galera closed and pinned him to the canvas, where he pounded him into submission, and Smith could do little to defend himself.
A doctor checked that Smith was OK between rounds, while Sensei Kelly protested to the officials that Galera had used an illegal technique to pin Smith to the canvas.
In truth, Galera had won, but after the fight, Kelly announced that the judges had awarded the fight to Smith as Galera was disqualified for the illegal move. But those who were there can testify: Galera won the fight.
Even though the Belizean fighters did not dominate, the fans left hungry for more. So a rematch will not be long in coming