Randy Caballero outclasses latest foe
INDIO — On Friday night, the boxer beat the wrestler.
Randy Caballero overcame multiple headlocks and a lower-than-low blow to outclass Arturo Santiago and successfully defend his WBC youth intercontinental belt.
All three judges scored the eight-round super bantamweight bout 80-70, meaning Caballero won every round and got an additional two points as Santiago was deducted two points.
Randy Caballero hits Arturo Santiago during their WBC youth intercontinental super bantamweight title bout at Fantasy Springs Casino Friday night. Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun 12/2/11 - Jay Calderon
“He was a tough kid who came to fight,” Caballero said. “I hit him with everything I could, but he wouldn't go down. It was a learning experience, something different.”
However, the fight could have been costly as Caballero injured the middle knuckle on his right hand. Father and trainer Marcos Caballero said the injury was similar to an injury Randy suffered on his left hand as an amateur. That injury, when a tendon popped out of place, required surgery and put Caballero out about six weeks.
Caballero will get X-rays to determine the extent of the injury.
“Hopefully, it's nothing serious, and I can get back in the ring and keep going,” Caballero said.
It was a successful night for another Coachella boxer as Angel Osuna scored a shutout in beating John Worthy by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 40-36.
In the evening's first fight, Palm Springs' Kenny Williams (2-0-1) scored a majority draw against Joaquin Chavez (1-0-1). Both fighters threw a lot of bombs, but didn't set up punches. Williams was knocked down in the first, but knocked Chavez down in the second with a right.
Williams also struggled with swelling over his right eye during the bout.
Not only did Caballero win every round, but Santiago had two points deducted, once in the third and again in the sixth, both for headlocks. The headlock in the sixth brought both fighters to the canvas.
In the sixth, prior to the takedown, Caballero was given a timeout after getting hit with a low blow, but the referee didn't deduct nor warn Santiago.
“He was a little dirty here and there, but when you put two styles in there like that, you'll have stuff that goes on like that,” Caballero said. “That's the main thing, you have to stay in your game. If you let him throw you off the game, you're not going to perform like you're supposed to. Keeping my composure is the main thing for this fight and that's what I did. I didn't let myself go.”
But Caballero did take advantage of the clinches, many times throwing multiple combinations to punish Santiago.
After the point deduction in the sixth, Caballero smelled blood and went for the kill.
“Every time we clinched in, the ref told me to hit,” Caballero said. “Every time I would hit him, I would see in his eyes he was out. That's when I was like, ‘I'm going to put more pressure on him and try to take him out.' He had a hard head and he didn't want to go down.”
Despite outclassing Santiago, Caballero wasn't able to put him down. Marcos Caballero said it wasn't a surprise since Santiago never was knocked out.
“We knew this guy was going to be a tough fighter,” Marcos Caballero said. “He was going to come forward and he could take a punch.
“It was a good experience. We'll take it one step at a time and we're not going to knock everyone out. It's going to be more experience and we have to get stronger. I think he did good and had perfect combinations. He waited sometimes, but I think he did a good job.”
After fighting 12 fights in 16 months, Caballero took five months off. He was supposed to fight in October at Staples Center on the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson undercard, but fatigue in his shoulders forced him to pull out.
The most spectacular fight of the night was the co-main event. Fernando Carcamo was winning the fight handily until the final round when Blythe's Andrew Cancio knocked him down twice and the referee twice raised his hand like he was going to stop the fight.
The final round won the fight for Cancio, who took it 10-7 thanks to the two knockdowns. Two judges ruled it 76-74, while the third had a draw at 75-75.
Written by Leighton Ginn, The Desert Sun
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