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Area fighters end bouts quickly

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2002


TAMPA -- Starfight Productions, the new challenger in Tampa Bay boxing promotion, hopes to find its niche by signing and launching what it considers the area's top prospects. Three of Starfight's best, super middleweights Gene Molen and Jose Alonzo and heavyweight Moises Droz, rewarded that faith Saturday night, with knockouts at the West Tampa Convention Center.

TAMPA -- Starfight Productions, the new challenger in Tampa Bay boxing promotion, hopes to find its niche by signing and launching what it considers the area's top prospects. Three of Starfight's best, super middleweights Gene Molen and Jose Alonzo and heavyweight Moises Droz, rewarded that faith Saturday night, with knockouts at the West Tampa Convention Center.

Droz improved to 9-1 with seven knockouts, Molen to 9-0 (eight), Alonzo 8-0 (five).

Alonzo, 25, scored a second-round KO of 39-year-old Ruben Ruiz (15-33-2), using a combo at 2:23 of the second round.

"He would duck my jab so I'd come with it again," Alonzo said. "I'd fake it, then get him with it."

Alonzo's second jab bounced Ruiz off the ropes and into a left jab-right hook that floored him.

Clearwater's Molen, 28, had similar success with a similar fighter in Brian Zordich, 36, dominating through the first round, then knocking him out at 2:59 of the second. Late in the second, Molen landed a roundhouse to Zordich's stomach, and the Youngstown, Ohio fighter (7-10-3) didn't regain his feet.

"I thought he would give me some more rounds because he had some experience," Molen said. "But this was about learning."

Droz's technical knockout was less impressive, as Leroy Hollis (3-7) failed to answer the bell for the eighth and final round. Hollis, to the dismay of his trainer, claimed he had injured his right shoulder during a first-round spill, but it had not prevented him from apparently leading the bout on points.

Droz thought his patient plan, which often drew boos from his home crowd, was working.

"I believe I was ahead," he said. "I didn't think I needed a knockout (entering the final round)."

Starfight's group began the evening emphatically, when Tampa heavyweight Hank McCloud (2-2, two KOs) scored a TKO of overmatched Randy Martin at 1:58 of the first round.

St. Petersburg junior welterweight George Walker improved to 4-0 with a three-round TKO of Orlando's Charles Morales (0-2) after opening a gash above Morales' eye.

"We wanted the straight knockout," Walker's trainer, James McLoughlin said. "Their trainer had been doing a lot of trash-talking, saying they were going to knock us out. But their guy didn't want to come out of the corner, so they stopped it."

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