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BOXING AT THE IRVINE MARRIOTT : Alcarez Flies Face First Into Ring, Then Sends Chavez Reeling

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Alberto Alcarez’s first steps into the ring Monday at the Irvine Marriott were hardly ones he wants to remember.

He tripped coming through the ropes, landing on his face. But his first two punches, the only ones he needed, will be remembered by the 1,140 spectators who saw them.

One person who doesn’t remember them is Ernie Chavez, who was knocked out 24 seconds into the first round in the 148-pound main event that was scheduled for 10 rounds.

It was the first loss for Chavez (13-1) of Santa Ana.

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“Did you get the tape of that?” Chavez asked a local television crew. “What’s there to tell? You saw more than I did.”

What Chavez missed--except with his chin--was a thundering right that came flying almost before the echo of the opening bell had stopped.

Chavez went down less than 10 seconds into the fight but quickly got up and seemed fine after the standing eight count.

But Alcarez pounced, and again nailed Chavez with a hard, short right that floored him again. This time, referee Lou Merrett waved the fight over.

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Alcarez of Mexico was the best opponent Chavez had taken on to date. He came in with a 43-7 record and 33 knockouts.

Alcarez said through an interpreter that he had planned to come after Chavez early because he had seen him fight before.

Alcarez was a replacement for Calvin Meeks, who injured his hand in training about two weeks before the fight.

“It would have been nice to know what kind of fighter he was,” Chavez said. “Obviously he caught me cold.”

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On the under card:

Mike Semaza of Orange continued to show promise with a fifth-round knockout of Ramon Gomez of Fontana in a 125-pound fight.

Semaza (6-0-1) was in control the entire bout, landing several punches.

The knockdown came at 2:20 into the fifth when Semaza used a strong combination followed by a devastating left that sent Gomez to the floor, face first.

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