Controversy aside, Griego-Ortega has cause to celebrate - Albuquerque Journal

Controversy aside, Griego-Ortega has cause to celebrate

Albuquerque boxer Matt “Diamond Boy” Griego-Ortega reacts after finding out he and his fiancee, Jolene Otero, are expecting a baby boy during a surprise gender reveal after Griego-Ortega’s win over Bryan Aquino on Saturday night. (Chancey Bush/ Albuquerque Journal)

Bryan Aquino thinks he deserves a rematch.

Matt Griego-Ortega says that’s fine with him.

Joe Chavez isn’t sure that’s a good idea.

Saturday night, Albuquerque’s Griego-Ortega (13-0, nine knockouts) defeated Puerto Rico’s Aquino (12-3, six KOs) by fourth-round TKO in the main event of a pro boxing card at Revel Entertainment Center.

The bout ended in controversial fashion when Aquino went down from what both he and Griego-Ortega later acknowledged was an accidental clash of heads. But referee Rocky Burke, having not seen the clash of heads, ruled it a knockdown — his only option under the circumstances — and began counting.

Aquino beat the count and got to his feet, but, in obvious pain, failed to convince Burke that he was willing and able to continue. Burke signaled an end to the bout.

And “bout,” not “fight,” is the operative word here. During the first three rounds and into the fourth, Aquino showed no desire to actually fight — slipping and sliding left and right, throwing only a few ineffectual punches.

This was not the Bryan Aquino that Griego-Ortega was expecting to see, based on what little information he had entering the bout.

“Not at all,” Griego-Ortega said. “… There was very little film on him, but on the fights I did see he was pressuring and throwing punches in bunches.”

Griego-Ortega started slowly as well, not surprising given his lack of information on his opponent. The first round ended with virtually no leather thrown.

Gradually, though, Griego-Ortega began cutting Aquino off and at least attempting to land punches. In the fourth he said, he found some success.

“I landed a clean right hand and I know I buzzed him,” Griego-Ortega said. “He buckled a little bit. I landed a left hook as well, and then the guy went to throw another right hand and that’s when the clash came.”

Afterward, Aquino, sporting a welt above and to the left of his left eye — approximately where the forehead ends and the temple begins —said he wanted and deserved a rematch.

“Of course,” he said. “I got this fight with short notice, but we’ll be way better next time.”

Griego-Ortega said he’d be OK with that.

But Chavez, chairman of the New Mexico Athletic Commission? Not so much, based on Aquino’s unwillingness to fight while the bout lasted.

“I don’t know if the commission would approve (a rematch) on the competitive basis of it,” Chavez said on Sunday in a phone interview. “It wasn’t too competitive. … This guy (Aquino) didn’t come to fight, and I didn’t expect that.”

Chavez defended Burke’s performance, saying he acted properly given that he didn’t see the clash of heads.

“(The referee) is the only one that can make that decision,” Chavez said.

The Aquino camp has every right, Chavez said, to file a protest should it decide to do so.

“The commission would (then) decide if a hearing is needed,” he said. “We have a compliance officer that works for (the Department of Regulation and Licensing), so we’d just submit it to her and she does the research and (RLD) recommends to the commission.”

GENDER REVEAL: After Saturday’s card, Griego-Ortega brought his fiancee, Jolene Otero, into the ring. The couple, parents of 1-year-old daughter Lovella Joy, announced they’re expecting another child.

In front of a crowd of some 800, Griego-Ortega then learned the gender of his second offspring.

“It’s a boy!” He shouted.

His reaction, he said afterward, was not staged.

“(Jolene) went and got her ultrasound (Friday),” he said. “… I literally found out (Saturday night) when everybody else found out.

“That was a bigger win than my win (in the ring), if that make sense.”

Yes, it does.

SATURDAY: Revel Entertainment Center

Matt Griego-Ortega (13-0, 9 KOs), Albuquerque, def. Bryan Aquino (12-3, six KOs), San German, Puerto Rico, TKO-4. Flyweights

Josh Torres (25-7-2, 14 KOs), Albuquerque, def. Todd Manuel (21-22, six KOs), Rayne, Louisiana, 6-round unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55, 59-55). Welterweights

Maximus Moya (3-0, two KOs), Albuquerque, def. Jazzma Hogue (4-11-1, no KOs), Fruitland, 4-round majority decision (38-38, 39-37, 40-36). Lightweights

Steve Trujeque (1-0, one KO), Albuquerque, def. Jose Vialpando (0-2), Albuquerque, 2nd-round TKO. Bantamweights

Home » Sports » Controversy aside, Griego-Ortega has cause to celebrate

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