Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Just when you think you’ve seen every possible scenario in the sport of boxing along comes a new twist. After witnessing last night’s show at Las Pulgas Nightclub in Downtown Tijuana, you got to figure the matchmaker was out of town and they had someone, a blindfolded someone, draw the contestants names out of a hat because only four of the twelve matches were competitive. Either their size, height, weight, or skill level was askew. I offer the following data and photos as proof.
In the light welterweight opening bout which lasted one minute and 42 seconds, it was Jonathan Garcia (11-0-0, 9 KOs) of Watsonville, CA making quick work of Ignacio Mondragon (0-15-1) of Ensenada, B. C., Mexico. After Garcia dropped his opponent with a left hook to the chin, Mondragon was able to beat the count but only to be leveled by a combination, uppercut followed by a straight right. After the second knockdown, referee Cristian Curiel had seen enough of this mismatch and called for an immediate stoppage. Mondragon has now been stopped 10 times and with the loss keeps his seven year winless streak alive.
The next match between welterweight Oscar Godoy (10-2-0, 5 KOs) and Alejandro “Iron Man” Alonso (2-16-2, 1 KO) lasted an additional minute and five seconds. The “Iron Man” (no snickering) who is from Rosarito, B. C., Mexico, has now gone 12 fights without a victory.
Light middleweight Brandon “Cannon” Adams (10-0-0, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles, CA returned to Las Pulgas with “Repo Man” and a black and white wrestler’s mask to face Rafael “Rafa” Ortiz (8-7-2, 4 KOs) of Mexicali, B. C., Mexico.
In three of Ortiz’s last four contests, he didn’t get past the second round. In this one, he made it to the 1:44 mark of the third. Ortiz’s attempts to counter the heavier power shots from Adams, proved fruitless and even though he tried his best, it appeared it was just a matter of time before he caved in.
Like Adams, southpaw Leon “The Third Generation” Spinks (4-0-1, 3 KOs) of Huntington Beach, CA was in town for a similar easy win. His opponent, Enriquez “Cid” Guzman (0-2) from Tijuana, was much shorter and from all appearances not near his weight. It was like a high school senior picking on a freshman.
As the first round drew to a close, Spinks caught Guzman with a series of hard shots to force Ortiz to back up against the ropes. Once again, the many unanswered blows forced referee Cristian Curiel to stop the match even though there was only six-seconds left in the round.
After the first four fights came and went in record time, Bout #5 was an anomaly, a heated battle between two professionals of the same vintage and skill level, welterweights Daniel Nava (5-0-1, 3 KOs) and Carlos “Magico” Rivera (1-0-0, 1 KO). Both weighed 134 lbs. and both looked to be in excellent form.
The only edge you may have noted in round one was the poise by which Nava circled his opponent and used his jab to set up a few combinations. Otherwise both Tijuana fighters looked to be on their game in that first round.
Then, in the second round, came the back breaker for Rivera who got caught flush to become the victim of a flash knockdown.
Behind on the scorecards, Rivera knew what he had to do and looked impressive in the third round after going on the attack. A shot to the stomach was followed by an uppercut to insure that Round three went in his column.
It was more of the same in the fourth round, as Rivera’s confidence grew. Before the round ended, he had landed two more solid flurries. Despite being in trouble twice, Nava had that knockdown to fall back on and as a result won the match by a split decision. Judges Carlos Flores and Alejandro Rochin scored the bout 38-37 for Nava while judge Guillermo Moreno scored the bout 38-37 for Rivera.
As predicted there were fireworks in Bout #6 between Rosalio “Aspid” Rios of Tijuana (6-0-0, 5 KOs) and Jose “Diablito” Escarcega (8-4-0, 5 KOs) of Rosarita. Rios was on a five KO streak and his opponent had ko’d his last three opponents.
From the start, you could feel the tension in the air. Their reputations had preceded them and they were on high alert like gunslingers poised to take that first shot after snatching their guns from the holster. Then Rios resorted to some dirty tricks. After getting hit twice in the lower back, you could see that I’ll-get-even look on Escarcega’s face as the round ended and he returned to his corner.
And that he did. He dropped Rios three times in the second round. Going back to that analogy of a gunslinger, Escarcega wasted little time and drew first, landing the big overhand right and down went Rios. As a follow up, he feinted a left and went again with the overhand right. This time Rios was hurt but somehow managed to deceive the referee by rising quickly and raising his gloves on high.
Escarcega wasn’t fooled one bit. He immediately went right back to that big overhand right to send Rios to the canvas for the third time. In the photo below you can see the veteran referee Juan Jose Ramirez looking ever so intently into the eyes of Rios to conclude he could no longer continue. Time of the stoppage was 1:27 of the second round. This fight alone was worth the price of admission.
Bout #7, an eight rounder between super flyweights Joselyn “Princesa Tapatía” Arroyo (12-0-0, 4 KOs) from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and Karla “La Capo” Mora (1-1-1) from Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, was another exciting match.
Even though Arroyo appeared to be in control throughout, there was something so alarming about Mora’s flashy style. You can be certain the often wild, looping swings put the fear in the Arroyo fan base. She was also able to counter off the straight punches coming from Arroyo and near the end of the round scored with a solid left hook that caught Arroyo by surprise.
The good ones listen intently to their trainer between rounds and then make the necessary adjustments. This is what Arroyo did on Wednesday evening and from the outset of round two, Mora was at Arroyo’s mercy. She dropped Mora with a combination of a straight jab followed by a right flush in the face. Mora was able to beat the count, but as soon as the action resumed Arroyo was right back on her and had her backed up in the neutral corner. Arroyo then leveled her with a straight right which sent Mora to the canvas but not before her head bounced on the bottom rope which suggested she might be seriously hurt.
Referee Juan Jose Ramirez didn’t want to take any chances and immediately stopped the fight. Official time was 1:34 of the second round.
In Bout #8, Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea (18-2-0, 11 KOs) was in town from Ventura, CA by way of the Bronx, New York. Shea is a petite super featherweight who somehow got matched up with Silvia “Dinamita” Zúñga (5-11-0, 1 KO) a light heavyweight who weighed 171 lbs. at Tuesday’s weigh-in with her head shaved. The match-up reminded me of that soon to be released movie Jack the Giant Slayer.
After doing some checking, I discovered Shea had done everything possible to weigh more than her usual walk around weight of 131 lbs. Her trainer joked, “We had her wear a trench coat with a cell phone in one pocket, roll of quarters in the other to get her weight up to 138 lbs. Her opponent weighed more than 138 pounds with just one foot on the scale.”
The full-figured Zúñga, who hales from San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, was not exactly a pushover. In her last match, an unanimous decision victory, she defeated the tough Denise Castro (5-0-1). We must also take into consideration that it had been one year, five months and 21 days since Shea last fought.
The boxing commission said they sanctioned the bout based on the difference in their skill levels.
Shea, a very confident boxer, didn’t care if she was fighting a 500 pound gorilla. After traveling over 200 miles by car and training for two solid months, there was no way she was going to return home without testing her skills.
Just like in the Arroyo versus Mora affair, Shea had to be careful and not get caught by that one big punch that would put her on freaky street. The bigger and stronger Zunga did land several arm punches and to her credit took a lot of abuse from the mighty mite who hung close and was able to duck under the more treacherous of the Zunga punches.
In the end, all three scorecards had Shea ahead 40-36, which meant Shea had taken every round. Her record goes to 19-2 with 11 KOs while Zunga’s drops to 5-12 with 1 KO.
In Bout #9, lightweight Jose Galvez (3-0-1, 3 KOs) wasted little time, 2:42 of round one, to ruin Miguel Aguirre’s pro-debut. After getting pummeled by punch after unanswered punch, referee Juan Morales Lee stepped in to stop the action.
Jose Luis “Zurdo” Ramirez Jr. (2-0-1) a 5’ 10” southpaw and son of the former WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Ramirez, had his way with first timer Michelle Cañete who is also from Tijuana.
At the outset, we saw Canete make one feeble attempt to land this wide looping overhand right. After that one, bust-a-gut swing and a miss, this ball game was over and down he went to the canvas twice before the referee mercifully called for an end to this huge mismatch.
Bout #11 featured middleweights Antonio Gutierrez (9-0-1, 7 KOs) facing (no relation) Hugo Gutierrez (0-1-1). Aside from the same last name, the two men have little in common. Antonio G is a serious, skilled boxer with mid-range power. With all the punishment that Hugo G. took from Antonio G., he must be a masochist. I have never seen anyone take such abuse and keep coming back for more. The judges’ scores read 40-36 three times, but to be more accurate, they should have read 40-32 because the punch stats were so overwhelmingly in Antonio G’s favor, that every round should have been scored a 10-8 round.
Super flyweight Heriberto “Tremendo” Delgado (6-0, 3 KOs) remains undefeated after stopping fellow Tijuanian Bernardino “Viejito” Guevara (0-7) in the second round.
Should we be giving Delgado props for his win? Back on April 8, 2013, Sergio “Costeño” Najera (4-10) of Tijuana scored his first ever knock out win after 14 fights when he stopped the winless Guevara. It’s possible that there’s nobody out there that Guevara can beat.