Acevedo by a KO: Garden City boxer wins title in 1:47 of 1st round




When he decided several months ago to return to his hometown of Garden City and fight for the Kansas and United Boxing Federation light welterweight title on Saturday, Herbert Acevedo wanted to make sure he could show his family, friends, and boxing fans that his nearly four-year training and fight schedule in southern California had been worthwhile.

And it didn't take the 22-year-old Acevedo long to prove his point.

Just 1 minute, 47 seconds into the first round of Saturday night's title fight against Marcos Herrera of Denver, Acevedo landed a vicious left hook, followed by a right hook and a final solid jab to the face and down went Herrera. He was unable to get to his feet after the 10-second count and just like that, the scheduled 6-round bout was over and Acevedo was the wearer of two championship belts.

"The home crowd gave me energy, and I just had to have tunnel vision once the fight started," Acevedo said afterward. "The left hook is the one that caught him and I ended it with a straight shot."

Acevedo, who now owns an 11-1 career record, has won his last three fights after sustaining his only loss nearly a year ago (March 15, 2013) against Joaquin Chavez in a majority decision.

"I've got great a great training team (Robert Garcia Boxing Academy), and they've done so much to help me get better," Acevedo said. "I have a lot of people here in Garden who have helped me get to where I am today, and I'm thankful for them. I'm glad I could come back and give them a good show, and get a big win."

While details have not been worked out, local fight promoter Juan Aldana Jr. of the sponsoring JAB Productions, said that he hoped he could get Acevedo back later this year to defend his two titles.

"We'll go to work on those details this coming week," Aldana said afterward.

In front of a near-capacity crowd at the American Legion building (approximately 400 fans), Acevedo looked every bit the young, up-and-rising star.

"This feels awesome," a jubilant Acevedo said. "I seen he got hurt, and I wanted to make sure to put him away, and not let him get back up and recover."

Herrera, 25, saw his career mark slip to 6-11-1 and the first-round knockout was the earliest he had been taken out by an opponent.

"He's fought all of his opponents pretty tough," Acevedo said. "It was a great night for boxing in Garden City."

Also winning in his pro debut was Garden City's Steven Garcia, who earned a split decision over Emmanuel Llanos of Lawton, Okla., in a 145-pound bout. Of the three-judge panel, one had it 39-38 for Garcia, another 36-38 for Llanos and the third had it 39-36 for Garcia.

"It was a good, new experience," Garcia said. "The gloves are heavier (8 oz.) and you really feel that when you've got your hands up," Garcia said. "There's no headgear and you're not wearing a top. Those are all little things that were different."

In the four-round bout, it appeared Garcia had won the first round, and he then put Llanos down for a 10-count midway through the second, with his opponent getting up and continuing to battle.

"He's got an awkward style and he's got length," Garcia said of Llanos. "He was a good fighter for my first time. I'm excited about the future, and happy to get started with a win here at home."

In the remaining two pro fights, Guy Smith Jr. of Omaha, Neb., won a majority decision over Fernando Serrano of Garden City at 145 pounds and in the co-main event, Joel Vargas of Liberal and Trinidad Marry of Amarillo, Texas, fought to a majority draw in the Kansas Middleweight Championship bout.

There were four earlier amateur bouts, featuring three Garden City Boxing Club members. Carlos Lopez of GCBC had a split decision win over Alex Ramirez of Ulysses; Angel Dunez of Wichita earned a decision over Elian Garcia of GCBC and Noah Aldana of GCBC took a decision from Jonathan Jiminez. The remaining bout saw Alfredo Moreno of Salina win over Tomas Partida of Ulysses at 140 pounds.

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