By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Former world champion Mike Anchondo returned from a two-year hiatus to win a six round unanimous decision over Hector Alatorre before a large crowd of 1,840 at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, CA. Anchondo won a world title at 130 pounds almost five years ago only to lose it in his first title defense to Jorge Barrios four years ago. Anchondo won two straight bouts before being knocked out in the third round by Darling Jimenez almost two years ago. Now, Anchondo hopes to position himself back to where he feels he belongs: in the mix for a big money fight or a regional title shot. “I felt a little rusty in there,” said Anchondo, on assessing himself after the fight. “Not bad for a couple of years out of the ring.” Anchondo’s goal is to fight four or five times more this year. Anchondo, who is not signed to a promotional contract, will weigh his options after each fight.
“I was up to 170-175 pounds,” said Anchondo, who worked at Home Depot and also at a car dealership during his time away from the ring. “I needed to get away from boxing. It was just a rude awakening with some of the issues I had to deal with before. Now I’m training or what I am doing. My game plan to stick with the basics. I’ll be fighting at 135 pounds for future fights.”
Thursday night Anchondo was by far the better and stronger fighter of the two. At times, it looked as though Anchondo was content to box from outside. At other times, it looked as though Anchondo worked to at least drop Alatorre to the canvas. Anchondo worked well to the body after jabbing his way to the inside. Alatorre’s awkward style gave Anchondo some problems, as evident to the occasional bumping of heads. Fortunately for both fighters, no noticeable open cuts were present.
Alatorre attempted at times to move in and catch Anchondo with counter right hands. However, Anchondo was caught only a few times, but dictated the pace throughout the fight. In the final stanza, Anchondo picked up his aggressiveness, throwing and landing more punches. Alatorre tried to counter and hold off Anchondo, doing enough to hold on until the final bell.
Throughout the six rounds, Anchondo was more accurate and was rewarded with all three judges rendering 60-54 scores in his favor, as did Fightnews.com. Anchondo, from La Puente, CA, improves to 28-2, 19 KO’s. Alatorre, from Tulare, CA, drops to 15-7, 5 KO’s.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Welterweight Aron Martinez is eager to add his name to a list of prospects in the Welterweight division. Based on his performance on Thursday night, he is well on his way. Martinez executed an almost-flawless plan over six rounds against Freddie Barrera, winning a unanimous decision.
In his last bout, Martinez lost a close six round majority at the hands of Abdon Lozano in November, bringing him down from the ranks of the unbeaten. This was Barrera’s first fight in almost two years. He was in desperate need of a victory as he was winless in three straight bouts entering the Martinez fight after beginning his career with 10 straight victories.
It looked as though it was going to be a long night for Barrera as Martinez came out strong, landing the more effective punches. Short left hooks landed on the inside for Martinez, who was also the more accurate fighter of the two throughout the evening.
Barrera was effective on the inside, as he attempted to land a flurry of punches. He was able to land a few, but took some punishment to the head as Martinez countered.
The fourth round was close as both fighters had their moments. Suddenly, Barrera stopped and winced in pain from what he said was a low blow. The punch looked borderline, but referee Raul Caiz, Sr. deducted a point from Martinez from the low blow.
The point deduction seemed to pump up Martinez, as he took more the initiative and was by far the more aggressor of the two. At the end of the sixth round, Martinez landed a series of left hooks and straight rights that considerably slowed down Barrera. Martinez looked strong until the final bell sounded.
Two judges scored the bout 59-54, while the third judge had it closer at 58-55. Fightnews.com scored the bout 58-55 in favor of Martinez.
Martinez, from East Los Angeles, CA by Mexico City, DF, Mexico, improves to 9-1-1, 3 KO’s. Barrera, from Colton, CA, drops to 10-3-1, 1 KO.
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In the co-main event, Featherweight Rhonda Luna won a unanimous decision victory over Elizabeth Villarreal.
Luna started the bout aggressively, landing the more accurate punches over Villarreal. In the second round, Villareal was able to counter effectively, giving as much as she was taking against Luna.
However, Luna found a home for counter right hands to the head of Villareal, who hails from San Antonio, TX. Luna also effectively worked the body with hooks as well.
Luna would draw Villareal in and would score with more hooks to the body and the same counter right hand to the head. Although she was outgunned, Villarreal hung in there tough, fighting hard in a losing effort.
Two judges scored the bout 60-54, while the third judge scored the bout 58-56, all for Luna. Fightnews.com scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Luna.
Luna, from Rowland Heights, CA, improves to 15-1-1, 2 KO’s. Villarreal, who also goes by Elizabeth Moreno, drops to 5-8-4. Luna has now won three in a row since her close split-decision loss to Kelsey Jeffries.
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Heavyweight Marcus Dickerson scored a four round unanimous decision over Jay Horton.
Horton charged out at the beginning of the fight being the more aggressive fighter. Horton pressured his opponent around the ring as Dickerson attempted to counter.
From the second round on, Dickerson began to outbox his opponent effectively. Dickerson moved in and out of Horton’s defense, landing at will to the body and to the head. Horton’s punch output dropped considerably, throwing and hoping to land one big punch against Dickerson.
Dickerson was by far the fresher and sharper fighter of the two, even in the second half of the fight.
All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Dickerson. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Dickerson.
Dickerson, from San Diego, CA, improves to 4-0-1, 2 KO’s. Horton, from Pomona, CA, drops to 4-2-2, 2 KO’s.
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Super Lightweight Artemio Reyes survived a first round knockdown to stop Brent Rodriguez in the second round of a scheduled four round fight.
A counter left hook to the head by Rodriguez dropped Reyes to the canvas near the end of the first round. Reyes was shaken momentarily, but stood up and beat the count.
It looked as though Rodriguez was going to end matters as he was able to score with more left hooks to the head. However, Reyes came on strong halfway through the second round. Reyes was then able to hurt and drop Rodriguez with a left hook to the body and a right cross on top.
Referee Wayne Hedgepeth counted out Rodriguez at 2:59 of the round.
Reyes, from nearby San Bernardino, CA, goes to 3-1, 3 KO’s. Rodriguez, from Venice, CA by way of Honolulu, HI, drops to 1-1-1.
In other bouts:
- Lightweight Richard Ellis (now 4-1, 2 KO’s) of Carson, CA dominated his way in winning a four round unanimous decision over Francisco Andrade (now 0-2) from Stockton, CA. All three judges scored the bout 40-36, as did Fightnews.com.
- Featherweight Juan Tepoz (now 1-1) of Santa Rosa, CA won a four round unanimous decision over Luis Cervantes (now (0-2) of Lake Arrowhead, CA. The shorter Tepoz scored a knockdown over Cervantes in the second round. All three judges had Tepoz winning by scores of 38-37, 39-36, and 40-35. Fightnews.com had Tepoz winning 39-36.
- Another fine job of promoting by Roy Englebrecht. Famous for continuing the Battle in the Ballroom series in Irvine, Englebrecht continues to promote shows at San Manuel and other venues in Southern California.
- Maureen Doherty sang the national anthem.
- Ring announcer was Mike Hart.