HBO Boxing After Dark brings Hard Hitting Action to Central New York


Story and photos by Jose Cuevas

Verona, N.Y. — A new champion was crowned Saturday night as HBO Boxing after Dark returned to the Turning Stone Resort and Casino.

That was just one of nine fights on the card including a match that was televised to the live crowd from across the pond in Belfast, Ireland.

It was a night that started with a TKO, included a fighter who came to the ring in a wolf mask and ended with a new champion’s fans waving the flag of Puerto Rico in the arena.

Here is the fight card with the result of each bout:

Preliminary Bouts:

 Lightweights in a six-round bout Michael Dutchover (5-0, 4 KOs) defeated Anthony De Jesus (2-3, 2 KOs) via TKO in the fourth round.

Superfeatherweights in a six-round bout. Ruben Villa (7-0, 4 KOs) defeated German Meraz(54-44-1 34 KOs) via unanimous decision

Super Lightweights in a six-round bout Luis Feliciano (3-0) defeated Istvan Dernanecz (10-6, 7 KOs) via TKO in the second round.

Middleweights in a four-round bout Alex Rincon (2-0, 2 KOs) defeated Steven Andrade (3-2, 2 KOs) via TKO in the second round.

Light Heavyweights in a ten-round bout D’Mitrius Ballard (17-0, 12 KOs) defeated Jaime Solorio (9-3-2, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision

Lightweights in a ten-round bout Lamont Roach (14-0, 5 KOs) defeated Luis Hinojosa (20-12, 17 KOs) via TKO (doctor stoppage due to injury) in the first round

Middleweights in a twelve-round bout Demetrius Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs) defeated Alantez Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) via unanimous decision

Super Featherweights in a twelve-round bout Alberto Machado (18-0, 15 KOs) defeated Jezreel Corrales (22-1, 8 KOs) for the WBA Super Featherweight Title via KO in the eighth round

*Jezreel Corrales was stripped of the WBA belt after being four pounds over the 130 pound limit.

Notable Fights

Ruben Villa versus German Meraz

Villa slips an overhand right by Meraz (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

With a record of (54-44-1) Meraz is what many consider a journeyman; he’s a tough guy who will probably never reach the highest echelon of boxing. However, Meraz celebrated an accomplishment on Saturday that not many fighters can claim. Saturday was his 100th professional bout. Villa won a comfortable unanimous decision against Meraz, but the accomplishment is still an impressive one.

Meraz’s trainer removes his gloves for the 100th time (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

D’Mitrius Ballard versus Jaime Solorio


Ballard and Solorio prepare to face off (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

In Boxing it is customary for prospects to face journeymen in their first couple of pro fights. This is to see if they are the real deal and to prepare them for bigger fights that come down the road. D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard was the prospect heading into this fight and Solorio was the rugged journeyman to test him. And did he test him.


Solorio lands a hard right hand (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Ballard was on his back foot through many of the rounds as Solorio would not stop coming forward. Ballard countered Solorio’s aggression with effective counterpunches and potshots.

Solorio begins bleeding from his nose, yet remains determined (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Solorio working on Ballard’s body (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The formula remained the same for Ballard, but Solorio made it very tough for him, consistently pushing Ballard to the ropes and landing some solid hard punches.


Ballard is declared the winner (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

What separates journeymen from elite fighters is their technique. That is what got Ballard through this fight. He waited patiently to counter and land effective punches. He read Solorio’s fight patterns and exploited them when he saw an opening. The fight was not easy as Solorio would not quit and gave Ballard all he had. Ultimately Ballard won via unanimous decision.

Lamont Roach Jr. versus Luis Hinojosa

Roach Jr. dedicating the fight to his trainer (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Roach Jr.’s trainer recently died and he dedicated the fight to him and went out looking for a decisive and memorable victory. It was memorable not for a titillating knockout, but a bizarre injury to Hinojosa’s foot.

Hinojosa suffers a foot injury that ends the fight (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

A win is a win, but honestly I wanted this fight to end with him on the floor with a body punch or feeling his head swirl because I clipped him in the chin,” Roach, Jr. said after the fight. “This week, my team has gone from hell and back after losing my cousin, trainer, and mentor, Coach Roach. This win is a symbolism of the victories that await us because of the hard work put in by him.”

Roach Jr. declared the victor (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Demetrius Andrade versus Alantez Fox


Yes, Andrade came to the ring in a wolf mask (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The undefeated Andrade, who came to the ring wearing a wolf mask, was making his Middleweight debut after campaigning at the Junior Middleweight division. His first test was Alantez Fox who at Middleweight has an unusually tall frame of 6’4″.

Andrade lands a left hook on Fox (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The two exchanged heavy blows from round one. Andrade was consistently landing the harder and cleaner punches on Fox. You could see sweat fly from the ferocity of the punches.

Andrade lands a vicious shot that sends sweat and Fox flying (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

In the seventh round Fox landed a straight right hand that sent Andrade down. Andrade used his footwork to regain his composure and finish the round strong.

Andrade reeling after being knocked down by Fox (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Andrade had a fire lit under him and attacked Fox with more ferocity as the fight went into the final stretch.

Andrade lands a vicious left hook flush on Fox’s chin (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Fox continued to come forward and try and pressure Andrade, but Andrade’s footwork and counters were too much for Fox.

Andrade lands a right hand (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Andrade was declared the victor by unanimous decision.

Andrade declared the victor by unanimous decision (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Jezreel Corrales versus Alberto Machado


Machado and Corrales about to face off (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Corrales was stripped of his WBA crown earlier due to him failing to make weight. Some wondered whether the weight advantage would help him against the tough and gritty Machado. The Turning Stone Resort and Casino was loud for the main event as many Puerto Ricans came to support Machado in his quest for his first world title.

Machado’s corner waving the Puerto Rican Flag (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Corrales came out swinging as is is style. Machado took his punches well, but from round one it was destined to be a slugfest as both men kept coming forward.

Both men landing punches at the same time (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Corrales drew first blood as he landed a flush left hook on Machado’s chin. The punch short-circuited his nervous system and took him down to the mat.

Corrales lands a vicious left hook on Machado’s chin (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Machado came back and used his footwork to buy some time until he fully regained his composure. The fight then quickly turned into a wrestling match as Corrales took down Machado with a tackle.

Corrales tackles Machado (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Machado came back and used his footwork to buy some time until he fully regained his composure. The fight then quickly turned into a wrestling match as Corrales took down Machado with a tackle.

Machado lands the right hook that sends Corrales down (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

The two began exchanging insults with one another in the ring. They plainly did not like each other one bit and were more determined to knock the other fighter out. Machado began timing Corrales’ aggression and started his comeback.  In the eighth round lightning struck as Machado landed a thunderous right hook on Coralles’ temple.

Corrales is down as Machado goes to the neutral corner (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

Your winner by KO in the 8th round and new WBA Super Featherweight Champion, Alberto Machado.

Machado is crowned the new WBA champion (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Supporters of Machado waving the Puerto Rican Flag (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas


Machado celebrating with his fellow countrymen (c) 2017 Jose Cuevas

“I won the world title for my family and Puerto Rico,” Machado said in the post-fight interview.


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