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Prepared Alonzo has little trouble

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 24, 2002

TAMPA -- When trainer Don Kahn sequestered Jose Alonzo at a Hollywood, Fla., training facility a few months ago, he intended to improve the Spring Hill fighter's stamina and patience.

The super middleweight looked like an improved fighter Saturday night at the A La Carte Pavilion, but he hardly had a chance to test the results of Kahn's regimen.

Alonzo improved to 10-0 with six knockouts, pummeling Mike Coker into a technical knockout 48 seconds into the second of a scheduled eight rounds.

Alonzo, 25, dominated throughout and landed 12 to 15 uncontested shots before the fight was stopped.

"He was tough on paper so I had to be more alert and more focused on what I had to do," Alonzo said.

"My power was there. My combinations were better, my hands were up. I saw what I had to do instead of basically throwing. Basically, I did what I wanted to do."

Coker, 25, fell to 9-6-1.

Kahn said Alonzo should earn his first world ranking by December, when the World Boxing Association's next Fedelatin list is announced.

The Fedelatin title is considered a junior belt, Kahn said, and its rankings are comprised of Latin American fighters.

Puerto Rico's Jose Juan Vasquez was 10th in the August super middleweight rankings at 8-1-1 with six knockouts.

Alonzo won with his typical heavy-punching style, but he demonstrated some new characteristics.

Fighting for the second time as a headliner, he toned down his normal introduction music, dressed in black and appeared more confident and focused.

Alonzo had struggled mightily in his last fight, a six-round unanimous decision over Albert Albaladejo on June 28.

"I have a lot more experience from that last time," Alonzo said.

"The last fight I was walking around, I was hyper. This fight I was relaxed. I was ready. I knew it was my night."

So did Coker, very quickly.

A puggish brawler from Bartow, with "Justice" tattooed over his abdomen, Coker was at first the aggressor.

But he landed just one solid punch, and was often unprepared for Alonzo's retort.

"I could have jabbed a little more, but I knew he was slow," Alonzo said. "So I tried to counter off what he did.

"I've got power. I want to knock everybody out, but now I've learned I can't knock everybody out."

That wasn't the case on Saturday, but Kahn said the improvements will be used if Alonzo progresses.

"In a year he'll be a totally different fighter," Kahn said. "I took the fight because he was at the level he should be fighting now. Maybe the next two or three, too. But if he jumps into the rankings, he's going to jump up and all of a sudden he's going to see guys that are 45-0."

-- Brant James can be reached at (800) 333-7505, ext. 1407. Send e-mail to

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