Orozco gives Vasquez a workout
One thing that seemed to elude Sammy Vasquez Jr. in most of the pro fights in his budding career was a really long workout.
But that's exactly what he got Saturday night in Double Duty III at a jam-packed Court Time Sports Complex in Elizabeth Township.
An overflow crowd enjoyed watching Vasquez put on a boxing clinic against Hector Orozco as he won a unanimous six-round decision.
Vasquez (8-0, 5 KOs) didn't knock out the journeyman Orozco (6-14) out, but he did knock the Minnesota fighter down three times and dominated action in every round.
“I couldn't hit him any more,” Vasquez said as he sat on a bench in the dressing room with both hands soaking in a bucket of ice. “He has the hardest head I ever came across. I kept hitting him in the head and by the fourth round, my hands were really sore.”
Vasquez floored Orozco 1:58 into the first round and seemed mostly to be carrying his opponent for the first two rounds.
“It feels good because that's what I wanted,” Vasquez said. “I wanted it to go six rounds. I wanted to stop him, of course. But you want that durability just to see what it's like. I could have gotten him out of there if his head wasn't so hard.
“I wanted to pace myself. I knew he was tough. I knew he would last long,” Vasquez added. “I wanted to pace myself a little bit. I wanted to box.”
Vasquez knocked Orozco down for a second time just 33 seconds into the third round as the Monessen fighter came out after the bell with a furious assault.
He staggered Orozco again midway through the round, but the game challenger survived.
In the fourth round, Vasquez knocked his opponent down for the third time with a solid combination with 25 seconds left in the round.
However, the soreness in the unbeaten fighter's hands kept him from putting Orozco away in the last two rounds.
Vasquez said he could have knocked out Orozco, who had a cut opened over his left eye in the second round, if it wasn't for his sore hands.
“It woulda came,” he said of a sixth KO. “But I just couldn't hit him in the head any more because of my hands. I couldn't set up for the body because he kept putting his head down. Boom … boom. Every time and he would take it.”
All three judges scored the fight 60-51 for Vasquez.
From the opening bell, the two-time All-Armed Forces champion stalked Orozco around the ring while his opponent seemed content to stay away from Vasquez and his lightning jabs
“He was a tough man, definitely tough,” Vasquez said of Orozco. “I liked it. It was a good fight. This was my last six-round fight. I'll probably go to eight rounds.
“I learned a lot today. Every fight is a learning experience.”
The show as promoted by Team Vasquez Promotions, headed by Sam Vasquez Sr.
Vasquez Sr. was pleased with how the event played out.
“I try to give the people what they want, a good show, a good time. We give away a lot of stuff,” Vasquez Sr. said. “They were tailgating in the parking lot. I think everybody had a good time.”
DOUBLE DUTY TIDBITS: Before the main event, former champions Michael Moorer and Paul Spadafora were introduced and then a brief tribute for longtime fight trainer/chef Buzz Garnic was held. Garnic, who worked in the corner for Vasquez Jr. has had numerous champions training at his Coal Center facility, Round Two, including Spadafora and Roy Jones Jr. … In the co-main event, Andreas Kamouyerou (2-0, 1 KO) won a four-round decision over Anthony Kelly. Amateur Aaron Koontz of Donora, who trains at Rimsek's Gym in Donora, won a three-round decision over Ed Boehler … Vasquez Jr. says he hopes to fight again within a month.
Jeff Oliver is a local sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2666.