This was written by my cutman, John Baker.
Wow..... Our fighter Kevin Ross had a real career fight last Saturday
night in Temecula CA at Pechanga. I happened to be positioned in his
corner as his cut man. Also in his corner was Mark Beecher (trainer)
and Chaz Mulkey. In that fight, Kevin fought a thickly-muscled (maybe
a little TOO thickly muscled ?!?!) fighter from nearby Murrietta CA
named Freddie Medrano.
In the first round Freddie came out like the bull that he was and
scored strikes against Kevin very quickly. But Kevin answered soon
showing superb Muay Thai skills and effective defensive moves. By the
end of the first round, Kevin had turned it completely around and -- in
my opinion -- won the first round.
But in the second round, out of total nowhere and with no warning that
the opponent was even capable of such a strike, Freddie threw an
outrageous high-jumping knee (mostly upward) and caught Kevin square in
the side of the mouth -- knocking him down and maybe into momentary
unconsciousness. I say that because Kevin told me later he thought it
was a punch. (I would have sworn that Kevin's mother in Atlanta
could feel the huge impact of that knee.) From my position ringside,
I expected it was a certain KO, and I have seen fighters quit on a lot
less. But Kevin somehow got up and took an 8-count in a neutral corner.
He wobbled around a lot for the rest of the round, and I actually do
not know how he survived the second round. He had every legitimate
reason not to finish. He got hit by Freddie a lot more in the process
of surviving to the end of round 2. But Freddie was busy throwing a lot
more of the showy flying vertical knees the rest of that round. In my
opinion, Freddie should have ended the fight smartly then and there --
but he did not.
Kevin came back to the corner at the end of that round and was clearly
groggy. I still am not sure how, but in the 60 seconds of rest between
rounds 2 and 3, Kevin somehow recovered his focus and clarity. I'd
like to think that his three cornermen and the large freezing ice bag
on the back of his neck helped shock Kevin back into some level of
lucid consciousness. But in fact, it was more likely Kevin's own sense
of calmness, and his superior athleticism and conditioning that were
the real factors. But despite his apparent recovery, I still did not
know how Kevin could survive another round. But to my absolute
amazement (and I have seen a lot of fights over the years), Kevin took
over in the third round -- clearly winning it. He then closed the show
by winning the fourth and final round. And in that fourth round, he
lacerated Freddie's eye with a spinning back elbow. Kevin ultimately
got a win by split decision 38-37, 38-37, 37-38. Even though he was
seriously hurt in the second round, Kevin won three of the four rounds.
10-9. That means that in my opinion, that one of the judges made an
error in his judgment.
But aside from the fact that I was in his corner (making me biased), it
was probably one of the best fights I have ever seen. Kevin showed a
lot of heart and courage in that fight ... more than anything I have
seen in recent memory. The fact is, he showed that he was there to
win. Period. There was no other option. The crowd -- wholly and
totally in favor of the other local fighter -- appreciated it too. So
did the Thai people standing and cheering in the audience.
For many reasons, I can say without hesitancy that that fight could
have been a main event on any Muay Thai card in the county -- or in
Thailand for that matter. I do expect that there should be a rematch