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Reid completes interim quest

Steve Christilaw Correspondent

When you’re prepared – really prepared – last-minute changes don’t really matter.

Teddy Reid was set to fight for the North American Boxing Federation super welterweight championship one way or another. Friday night at Northern Quest Casino, Reid won the belt on an interim basis, scoring a seventh-round technical knockout of Eddie Sanchez in the main event of a nationally televised boxing card.

Reid was originally set to fight NABF title-holder Rodney Jones, but the champion had to withdraw last week after a training injury. Sanchez signed last week as Jones’ replacement.

“It really didn’t make that much difference to me who I fought,” Reid said. “There isn’t a man in this 154-pound division that I’m afraid of. I’ll step in the ring with anyone in the division.”

It was Sanchez’s second straight last-minute substitution, but Friday’s outcome was totally different.

Sanchez last fought August 13, 2004, the same day he signed the contract and a day after agreeing to the fight, beating ranked contender J.C. Candelo despite having to drop 10 pounds in 24 hours in order to make weight.

This time out Sanchez looked like a last-minute replacement.

Despite a 3-inch height advantage and a decided edge in reach, Sanchez spent much of the fight on his heels – when he wasn’t falling through the ropes. Overall, he lacked the polish of a fighter who’d been in training for the fight.

Not that it made things easy for Reid.

“He was a little unpredictable,” Reid admitted. “It took me a while to get to a point where I could use my strength against him.”

Sanchez’ strategy for the fight was to keep moving, thereby keeping Reid off-balance, while throwing an array of punches from array of angles, some orthodox, some anything but.

The problem with that kind of a strategy, however, was best summed up by Joe Louis in 1946, when asked about fighting the much faster Billy Conn. “He can run, but he can’t hide,” Louis quipped.

Reid first caught up with Sanchez in the third round, but the result was both boxers flopping ingloriously over the top rope.

In the fourth round, and again in the sixth, Reid caught Sanchez along the ropes and pummeled him with lefts and rights until the challenger knelt down to take an eight-count.

Two minutes into the seventh round, Reid trapped Sanchez in the challenger’s own corner. When Sanchez knelt down for the third time, his cornermen waved the fight off and the referee stopped the fight.

Reid will now fight Jones to unify the interim and primary championship belts – a fight that could be fought at Northern Quest.

The contract between Reid and Jones calls for the two to fight for the NABF title within 90 days. The casino’s general manager, Peter Riverso, said he hopes to have another ESPN fight card scheduled in late March or April, leaving open the possibility of hosting the originally-scheduled fight.

The fight of the night was the opener – a 12-round battle between two South American featherweights.

Valdemir Pereira, the WBA Fedelatin interim featherweight champion, captured Whyber Garcia’s WBC Fedelatin featherweight crown on a unanimous decision. (The Fedelatin championship is the South American equivalent of the North American title Reid and Jones will fight for next.)

Garcia scored early, knocking Pereira down in the second round, opening up a cut over his right eye. However, Garcia was penalized twice for low blows, having a point deducted in both the fifth and 10th rounds.

Pereira also was warned for hitting below the belt. As a result, both boxers became reluctant to punch to the body as the fight progressed.

In the end, Pereira’s consistent punching led to the unanimous decision.

On the undercard, Tyrone Harris ran his record to 5-0 by scoring his fifth consecutive knockout, dropping Randy Ortega with a shot to the midsection 1:25 into the first round.

Super bantamweight Selso Basquez, from Portland, Ore., won his professional debut by earning a majority decision over Jose Cabrera. One fight judged the bout a draw; two others judged Basquez the winner.

In a super middleweight bout, Seattle’s Leonard Carter scored a unanimous decision over Allen Medina, from Denver.

In the finale, Portland light heavyweight David Banks won his professional debut on a majority decision over Denver’s Tony Redman.

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