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Casillas takes decision from Garcia

June 02, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

The desert exploded Friday night and Adan "Explosion" Casillas came out the winner of the El Centro Police Athletic League's "Explosion in the Desert" main event.

Five bouts were staged and several amateur fighters faced off in exhibition matches at Ryerson Youth Center in El Centro.

In the preliminary four-round professional bouts, Justo Almazan fought Jose Alonzo to a draw, Mario Lopez topped Ramon Baez and Francisco Valenzuela knocked out Oscar Aleman 2:02 into the first round. A fight featuring Sal Santoya and Juevento Delgado was canceled.

In the first fight of the main event, an eight-round battle, Jaime Osegueda took the decision over Augusto Gamez.

The final fight of the evening, a 10-round match-up of the evening, saw Casillas top his opponent, Pedro Garcia, in a unanimous decision.

Casillas said through a translator that the victory was a good one.

"I felt good," Casillas said. "I won because I was well-prepared and I was in good physical condition," he added.

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"(Garcia) came out aggressive and he was a little more than I expected," Casillas said, explaining why he did not meet up to his pre-fight expectations of a knock-out victory.

"I could have fought better," he explained. "The climate affected me."

Casillas will next fight in July against Manfred Diablo from Chicago and he said he feels confident going into that bout.

"I need more discipline and I need to prepare more because that will be a 12-round fight," Casillas said. "That will be the fight that will really build up my confidence."

He said he enjoyed fighting in the Imperial Valley because it is close to his Mexicali home. He added he plans on returning to future matches in the Valley.

He said the home crowd helped him with their cheers and hopes boxing will become more popular in this area.

Fight promoter Frank Carrillo said he was pleased with the turnout.

"I thought all the fights were extremely good," Carrillo said. "We had a great crowd and we hope to be back in July.

"I've seen a lot of fights, and other than the knock-out, the match-making was extremely good."

Carrillo said he hopes to see a similar turnout in July when two-time world champion Jorge "Maromero" Paez will return to action in the Valley.

"I think the crowd got its money's worth tonight," Carrillo said. "We really had some good fights."

Paez, who sat in on the event as a special guest, said he was pleased with the fights.

"They put on a good show," Paez said through a translator. "The fighters may not have well-known names, but they put on a good show."

He said PAL is doing a good job at getting fans to come out.

"Hopefully the event will generate more interest in boxing," Paez said.

Paez will fight in the Imperial Valley on July 28 and he said he is looking forward to coming back for the match-up.

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