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Garcia gives Cullum a lesson

December 2, 2018

Albuquerque’s Steve Garcia, left, dominates Abel Cullum in the fifth round. Garcia went on to win by unanimous decision Friday night at Isleta Casino. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)ISLETA PUEBLO ? If this was New School vs. Old School, as Steve Garcia suggested in the run-up to Friday’s bantamweight fight against Abel Cullum at Isleta Resort & Casino ? Garcia being New School ? it was not a good night for Old School.Garcia, brutalizing his older, more experienced opponent throughout five rounds, defeated Cullum by unanimous decision in the main event of Jackson-Wink Fight Night 4.Garcia, 26, a Jackson-Wink fighter from Rio Rancho, improved his record to 8-3. Cullum, a 31-year-old Tucumcari police officer, is 21-7.The judges’ scores were 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 for Garcia, but it’s not clear how any of the five rounds could have been scored for Cullum, game but overpowered. Several could have been scored 10-8 for Garcia.Afterward, Garcia paid tribute to Cullum for his courage.It was an honor to step in the cage with this guy,? Garcia said of Cullum in the cage after the fight. ?He?s tough as hell.?So, of course, was Garcia.Cullum, usually resourceful and dangerous on the ground, was helpless against Garcia’s onslaught. As Garcia pounded away, Cullum?s face gradually became a bloody mess.In the co-main event, Marquis Smith (3-3), 124.2 pounds, of San Antonio, Texas, but a former Albuquerquean, defeated Jackson-Wink’s Ricky Esquibel (3-2), 125.8, by second-round TKO.After a close first round and a closely contested 3 minutes of the second, Smith unleashed a flurry of punches with Esquibel backed up against the fence.Esquibel fired back, but it was Smith doing the damage. Referee Robert Romero stopped the fight at the 3:17 mark.“I just knew that we were both tough, and as you could see, the fight ended with a back-and-forth exchange,? Smith said. ?I just told myself I wasn?t gonna lose that exchange.?In other pro fights:Chris Brown (3-1), 164.2, of Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink), defeated Warren Stewart (11-27), 158.6, of Austin, Texas, by unanimous decision.Kali Robbins (6-1), 115.6, of Milwaukee, defeated Celine Haga (10-14), 114.8, from Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink) via Norway, by split decision.Henry Barahona (3-3), 174.8, of Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink), defeated Dallas’ Andrew Sosa (4-12-1), 175.8, of Dallas, by first-round submission (kimura).Brown took a poke in the eye in the first round, and the eye seemed to bother him throughout three rounds. But he dominated the fight, controlling Stewart on the ground for more than half of the 15 minutes.Stewart fought off a couple of rear-naked choke attempts in making it to the finish.“I took a big thumb to the eye,” Brown said in the cage afterward. “I’m still seeing triple, my vision’s all messed up. “They (the referee and the doctor) asked me if I wanted to stop the fight. I said, ‘Hell, no.‘“Haga had trouble throughout with Robbins’ superior body strength. But the Jackson-Wink fighter kept it competitive with some accurately thrown knees.In the end, despite her corner’s entreaties to come forward, Haga retreated too often and took too many unanswered, solid shots to get the decision.The scorecards read 30-27 and 29-28 for Robbins, 29-28 for Haga.Barahona, after he and Sosa exchanged advantages in the clinch, took Sosa down at the 1:50 mark and quickly worked his way to the finishing hold.On the amateur card:Cole Griego (5-3), 128.2, of Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink) defeated Belen’s Aaron Taylor (4-2), 125.2 of Belen by first-round submission (rear-naked choke).Alex Cardenas (2-0), 146, of Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink), defeated Belen’s Matthew Cordonero (2-4), 145.8, by first-round TKO (strikes).Lydia Warren (1-1), 128.4, from Albuquerque (Jackson-Wink), defeated Alamogordo’s Alexandra Castillo by first-round submission (rear-naked choke).In the featured amateur fight of the night, Taylor kept Griego busy early with strikes before Griego scored an emphatic takedown about a minute into the round. It took him another 30 seconds or so to sink in the choke.Cardenas, after absorbing a couple of leg kicks, dropped Cordonero with a flush right and landed a few more shots on the ground before the referee intervened at 45 seconds of the first round.After a brief feeling-out period, Warren took Castillo down. Castillo got back to standup, but was taken down again. Warren then wasted little time in taking her opponent’s back and applying the choke hold. The end came at 2:06 of the first.MEANS WINS: In Las Vegas, Nev., Moriarty’s Tim Means defeated Ricky Rainey by first-round TKO Friday on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Finale.The end came just 1:18 into the round as Means (28-7-1), who trains in Albuquerque at FIT-NHB, pummeled Rainey (13-6) with punches on the ground.

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