The Crowne Plaza DIA Convention Center Complex, 15500 E. 40th Ave (I-70 & Chambers) remains the perfect venue for New Generation Fight Promotions (Rick, Devin and Ricky Lopez) to live up to their promise of allowing Colorado boxers the opportunity to showcase their skills. Boxing promotions is a tough venture (Colorado not considered by many a hot bed of talent) but this show proved that with a firm resolve the fight fans can get their money’s worth while throwing dirt on the opinions that Colorado has nothing to brag about on the professional level. The referees were Tom Johnson and Curtis Thrasher with judges ‘Dancing’ Jeanne McEvoy, Tyrone Short and Steve Waldman handling scoring duties.
Although there were only 4 fights on the NGFP card Saturday night the Colorado fight fans in attendance were in no way disappointed as each bout sent waves of enthusiastic encouragement in the direction of their favorite fighter. First up was Gregorio Perez vs Isaac Johnson in a 135 lbs. contracted weight, 4 rounds bout that saw Perez have his way with Johnson, winning by way of UD. All 3 judges (McEvoy, Short and Waldman) scored the fight 40-36. Perez improves to 2-1, while Johnson suffers his first defeat, dropping to 2-1.
The second bout featured Brad Jackson vs Thomas Allen in a 154 lbs. contracted weight, 6 rounds bout where Jackson showed offensive prowess early on with a stiff left jab keeping Allen at bay. Round 3 saw Allen hit the deck but he recovered nicely to make the bout competitive. Jackson lost that offensive prowess for the last 3 rounds but was safely ahead, earning the unanimous decision win. Judge Short saw the fight 59-54 while judges McEvoy and Waldman saw it 58-55. Jackson improves to 18-10-1 while Allen falls to 4-11-1.
Bout number 3 had part of the crowd on hand there to show support for a Denver fan favorite, Manuel ‘Manny Lo’ Lopez, who was in a 143 lbs. contracted weight, 6 rounds bout against Steve Minks. Minks was easily hit and ‘Manny Lo’ did just that, getting the KO at 1:51 of the first round. Lopez needed this win to get back on track after suffering a close loss in his last bout in California. The support of his fans and Lopez handling his business made for a welcomed return home. ‘Manny Lo’ has talent that has yet to be fully tapped the path to stardom for him now very clear. Lopez improves to 10-2 while Minks falls to 5-24-3.
The final bout of the night had everyone on the edge of their seats, including WBC World welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia (32-0, 18KO’s) who came into town to show support for his best friend Ricky Lopez, and former WBO World super lightweight champion Mike ‘303’ Alvarado (34-4, 23KO’s) who dropped in to show support as he prepares for his March 19 fight at the Aerial Theater in Houston, Texas, against Saul Corral (19-6, 10KO’s).
Ricky Lopez took on Andre Wilson at a 127 lbs. contracted weight, 8 rounds contest. The bout took a few rounds to get started but once the action heated up Lopez took charge, bloodying the nose of Wilson in round 6 and never letting up. Round 8 saw both men let it all hang out to the delight of the crowd as Lopez was able to floor Wilson, both Garcia and Alvarado enthusiastic as they cheered. Those early rounds could have gone either way and judge Short scored the fight 76-75 Wilson, judge McEvoy scored the bout 76-75 Lopez and judge Waldman scored the fight 78-73 Lopez giving Ricky Lopez the split decision win. Not surprising was the judges scoring, those early rounds going the way of either fighter.
The efforts of Rick Lopez, Sr. and his NGFP assistant, Angie Cisneros, continues paying dividends as the support and direction for what New Generations Fight Promotions hoped to attain have become more than obvious, the crowds on hand both loud and boisterous but respectful.