Torres loses tough bout in Miami
MIAMI – He entered the ring as a virtual unknown in this tribal
gaming facility bordering the Everglades. All the attention, instead,
was placed on his younger, more flamboyant opponent, whose second
generation name is a fixture in the sport.
But when he completed 10 rounds of work Saturday night, South Lake
Tahoe’s Juan Torres became an instant celebrity at Miccosukee Indian
Gaming. Torres might have lost his junior welterweight bout against
Hector Camacho, Jr., but his valiant performance won over the crowd.
Only a third judge’s card prevented Torres from scoring his biggest
professional victory and staining Camacho’s otherwise perfect record.
After surviving a first-round knockdown, Torres took the fight to
Camacho for most of the 10-round distance. While Camacho tried to box
and score as he retreated, Torres constantly charged and, at times,
succeeded in stunning his high-profile opponent with solid head and body shots.
Still, Camacho apparently did enough boxing to win on two judges’
cards, 96-93 and 95-94. A third judge scored it, 97-93, for Torres.
“If this fight’s in California, it would have had a different
ending,” Torres said. “I understand this was in his backyard and
hometown fighters are often protected.
“After the first knockdown, I felt I controlled him and in the end,
thought I won the fight.”
Although Torres won’t return home with a victory, he further
enhanced his status as a tough opponent for any rising contender in the
140- or 147-pound divisions.
“He was my toughest test since I’ve been a professional,” said
Camacho, who is now 20-0. “He countered my punches very well and was not afraid to apply the pressure.”
Torres (12-5) seemed far from Camacho’s toughest foe in the first
round. As he charged toward Camacho with a looping right, Camacho
countered with a right to the chin that dropped Torres for the fight’s
Torres barely beat the count, reaching his feet at nine and had to
survive Camacho’s flurry of combinations as he tried to make it a quick
However, Torres overcame the onslaught and in the third, turned the
fight in his favor as he stunned Camacho with a lead right to the head.
Torres continued to score with the right to the head as he succeeded in
cutting Camacho’s ring advantage and forcing inside exchanges.
“I got careless when I knocked him down and wanted to finish him
quickly,” Camacho said. “That’s not my style as a fighter. My knockouts
come gradually and I abandoned that after the knockdown.”
In the fifth, Torres again landed repeatedly with a right to the
head and also combined with rights to the body.
Torres used body shots in the sixth to set up additional rights to
Camacho’s head. The head punches eventually caused bleeding from
“I know I cut his ring advantage, but I didn’t do it enough,” Torres
said. “The punches to the body were hurting him. I thought I had the
In the eighth and ninth rounds, Camacho managed to box and tagged
Torres with lead lefts to the head and also led with a right jab to the
head followed by combinations to the head. Torres’ left eye began to
swell during the seventh round.
With Camacho’s father, three-time world champion Hector Sr.
screaming from ringside not to get careless as his son prepared for the
bout’s final round, Camacho didn’t heed his advice and nearly paid for
Torres attacked with rights to the body and lefts to the head. The
Miccosukee crowd, which had been cheering, “Mexico, Mexico, Mexico” as a means of support for Torres, energized him as he closed the bout with additional lefts and rights to the head.
“My job is to entertain the crowd and I thought they were
impressed,” Torres said.
Like Torres, the Miccosukee crowd was disappointed with the
decision as boos overrode the cheers from Camacho’s backers.
“I just have to take this as another lesson,” Torres said. “After
the knockdown I felt I won the other nine rounds. But in boxing you must deal with things that are out of your control.
“I might be upset about the decision, but I’m not demoralized. It’s
just a matter of finding the breaks that I know I’ll get.”
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