By Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Paul Gallegos
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Professional boxing returned to “America’s Finest City” once again with the “Champions of Tomorrow” fight card presented by Bobby D. Presents in association with Jorge Marron Promotions at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in the Kearny Mesa suburb of San Diego, CA. The bout card fell short of the regulated twenty six rounds required by the State of California with only twenty spread out in four bouts. Despite the shortage of action, the boxing hungry crowd of about 400 enjoyed the show filled with pro debutants and up and coming local fighters ready to make a statement in their home town. In the scheduled eight round super featherweight main event, two time Mexican national amateur champion Emilio Bojorquez (12-1, 10 KOs) of Tijuana, MX by way of Navajoa made his return to the ring after more than half a year lay off to score a fifth round stoppage of the much experienced Trinidad Mendoza (24-20, 19 KOs) of Guaymas, MX.
Mendoza has been in the ring with a long array of champions such as Jhonny Gonzalez, Israel Mendoza and Daniel Ponce de Leon. Mendoza who normally fights eight pounds lighter was a late replacement for the Tijuana native who in the first round was cautious after seven months of inactivity. the taller Bojorquez tried to establish his jab frm the onset landing the sporadically coupled with long right hands. Meanwhile when Mendoza tried to shorten up the distance, Bojorquez will land hard left hooks to the body. Mendoza was the aggressor through out the first stanza as he tried to pressure the younger fighter. Bojorquez, fighting in his first eight round fight of his career, began to let his hands go in the second and displayed a new tactic to his arsenal, sporadically switching to southpaw. The crowd tried to cheer the south of the border fighter on as they called for more action from the tweny one year old but Bojorquez seemed to want to box and conserve energy. Mendoza knowing this, continued to pressure his opponent trying to win the inside real estate plus push Bojorquez towards the ropes. Bojorquez was able to effectively slip around and escape the charge.
In the third, Bojorquez began to pick up the pace and throw more punches. Mendoza was able to slip the majority of them except for a left hook to the body in the mid way thru the round that sent him to his knees. Mendoza was able to beat the count. Bojorquez went after the kill but Mendoza’s experience surfaced as he was able to protect his kidney area and survive the round. In the fourth, Mendoza began to make a fight out of it as he began to land his own series of combinations punctuated with a jab/right/jab to the face of Bojorquez. Despite fighting out of his weight class, Mendoza kept the pressure high as he stalked Bojorquez tried to follow the barked orders of his corner to gain the inside. Bojorquez developed a cut mid way thru the round over his left eye. Mendoza clearly winning the round, succumbed to another left hook to the body near the end of the round barely getting to his feet before the bell.
More of the same in the fifth and again Bojorquez landed a devastating left hook to the body. This time, it was too much for Mendoza and the referee Tony Crebs rightfully calls the bout at the 1:16 minute of the fifth round awarding Bojorquez the win.
Bojorquez keeps on his winning ways with a ledger of 12-1, 10KO while Mendoza leaves the ring with a barely above .500 record of 24-20, 19KO.
“This was a difficult fight but these are the kind of fights we want,” Bojorquez stated minutes after the fight. ” I did get tired around the third round but I knew that I could stop him, it was just a matter of time.”
Bojorquez wished to dedicate the fight to his newborn son, Angel Emilio.
The clearly most talented fighter of the entire card, Ronny Rios (4-0, 1KO) of Santa Ana, CA, took on the over matched Frank Gutierrez (1-6, 1KO) of San Bernardino, CA, in a scheduled four round super bantamweight contest. The night marked the second time that the young charge of 2007 manager of the year Frank Espinoza fought within the walls of the Sheraton Hotel in front of a large contingent of supporters. In the first round, Rios displayed a complete skill set as he punched for power, landed with speed and slipped punches with effective defense. Gutierrez tried as he might to keep the nineteen year old tornado at bay, but to no avail as Rios was able to dictate his game plan with no trouble. Rios attacked the body landing power left hooks to the waist line of Gutierrez. The southpaw Gutierrez tried to return the favor but it seemed that he was hitting Rios with pillows since the young figher out of the Espinoza Boxing Club kept on coming.
Rios landed a devastating right hand to commence the third but Gutierrez was able to stay on his feet although he held for dear life. Rios it amazing condition just kept throwing punches in bunches landing the majority of them convincively and accurately. As RIos used his offense as defense, Gutierrez had to bide his time and find the right time to connect which wasn’t often. Near the end of the round, Rios began to couple a devastating combination of right hook to the body and left hook to the chin that wobbled Gutierrez but he was able to hear the ending bell. Despite bleeding frrom the mouth, Gutierrez displayed a granite chin as he took every punch that Rios threw as he tried to stay in the fight in the fourth. Both fighters began to show their fatigue since the pace slowed considerably until the final round.
Rios was awarded a unanimous decision with perfect scores of 40-36 three times by the ringside judges Jose Cobian, Fritz Warner and Alejandro Rochin.
Stepping up tough, local fighter from National City, CA Antonio Orozco annihilated Juan Carlos Diaz of Mexico City, MX with a thundering left hook to the chin that sent Diaz sprawling down to the canvas. Although Diaz far exceeded Orozco’s experience with nine fights to one, Orozco was the more polished fighter as he easily controlled the action with quick footwork and even quicker hands. As Diaz backed up circling to his left, Orozco unleashed a vicious left hook right on the button that crumbled the Mexico City native. Diaz was able to beat the count but on shaky legs which prompted the referee Tony Crebs to waive off the action at the 1:06 mark of the first stanza.
Orozco stays undefeated with a record of 2-0, with all his wins by KO while Diaz takes the long ride home with a 8-2, 7KO ledger.
Welterweight Jesse Isais of San Diego, CA, wanted to make his pro debut a good one, charging out of the corner at the sound of his first bell going after Lakeside, CA’s Ramiro Rodriguez with guns blazing, throwing a uncountable amount of punches as he trapped Rodriguez against the ropes. Midway thru the round, Rodriguez began to fight back landing power punches in the inside. The two fighters exchanged leather until the end of the round. The second saw more of the same as the crowd chanted “Rudo, Rudo” in support of Rodriguez.
The third brought an energized Isais as he utilized his range and used his long jab coupled with an overhand right hand to set the pace. Rodriguez was not to be left behind as near the end of the round he began to shorten up the distance and land short quick uppercuts and a big right hand that wobbled Isais. With both fighters bleeding, Rodriguez from the nose and Isais from a cut above his left eye, the fourth round was a war beyond words. Rodriguez was an animal as he stalked, pushed and punched Isais from pillar to post to almost send the crowd favorite to canvas.
Isais was able to withstand the barrage to earn a unanimous decision with scores of 39-37 twice and 39-36. Isais wins his first bout while Rodriguez loses his first.
Special awards were granted between bouts to Jose Lopez and Lou Messina, long time local boxing supporters for their long years of service.
In attendance was up and coming junior middleweight Alfredo “Perro” Angulo who will face off against former super welterweight champion Kermit Cintron on May 30th. Angulo was in the house supporting his Mexican Olympic comittee team member Emilio Bojorquez.