Sunday, June 13, 2010
Ivan Calderon vs. Jesus Iribe was the main event on fight night, Saturday, June 13, 2010, the night before the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York City. A night where Puerto Rican pride, Miguel Cotto usually fights, but since he fought Yuri Foreman last weekend for the WBA Light Middleweight championship, the main event went to lesser known Calderon.
Calderon gave his usual clinic on footwork, dodging Iribe's bombs and popping him with counter-shots all night long. Iribe became increasingly frustrated throughout the fight, putting everything into his punches and only getting air. The fight was a little lackluster overall and was completely outshone by a 4-round undercard fight between Takashi Okada (1-0-1) of Japan and McWilliams Arroyo (3-0-0) of Puerto Rico.
Arroyo, an exciting prospect, fought well for Puerto Rico in the amateurs, earning a silver medal in the 2005 Pan American Championship games, a gold medal in the International Junior Olympics held in Michigan in his division and being named Puerto Rico's Youth Boxer of the Year in 2003.
Okada, relocated to California from Japan, has most recently been a sparring partner for Rodel Mayol, one of main event fighter Ivan Calderon's two-time opponents.
Arroyo was favored to win because of his hard-hitting, aggressive style, but it was apparent from the first bell that this was not going to be a walk in the park for either fighter. Okada took control immediately, snapping jabs and dictating the pace. Arroyo was forced to box and play defense for the majority of the first round. Okada dropped Arroyo in the second round and though he got to his feet quickly, Arroyo was visibly wobbly. The third and fourth rounds saw an incredible see-saw of shots going back and forth, with Okada looking to be in trouble at one point, but bouncing back to be the aggressor and ultimately winning the decision. Arroyo suffered his first loss, though without shame, making his record 3-1-0 while Okada's record improved to 2-0-1.
This was the most exciting 4-round fight most fans, (including this one,) have ever seen. It was a toe-to-toe battle of will and ability - just the kind of fight we all want to see. I for one, cannot wait to see these two fight again. If it is a 10-round fight next time, I can easily foresee it being a contender for fight of the year.