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Boxing back in Tijuana

By Felipe Leon

This Saturday night sees the return of Erik “Terrible” Morales’ Box Latino to his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Box Latino have not presented an event in Tijuana since Morales’ second comeback fight back in December of 2011 when “El Terrible” earned a tough unanimous decision over late sub Francisco Lorenzo. Now Morales and company return with “Sangre y Patria (Blood and Country)”, a multi-bout fight card scheduled for the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium. The fight card will be featured on Mexico’s premier TV network Televisa on their weekly boxing series “Sabados de Corona”. Slick boxer Oscar “Finito” Gonzalez (27-1, 21KOs) will match up skills against the always tough Mario “Maka” Briones (21-1-1, 15KOs) for the vacant WBC International super bantamweight strap.

After conquering the top spot in last year’s “Reto de Campeones (Champion’s Challenge)” tournament sponsored by the WBC and telecast by Televisa in which Gonzalez of Mexico City defeated foreign fighter’s such as Roberto Vazquez and Vacharakrit Senahan, Gonzalez is looking for a defining win over Briones to take a step in the direction towards a world title in 2012. Briones of Guadalajara, Mexico, will not be an easy out as he is a tried and true fighter who at the moment holds the WBC FECOMBOX 122 lbs. title. Late last year, Briones dropped a controversial decision to AJ Bernal in the Philippines but has recouped as he is coming off a fourth round stoppage of Octavio Ascencio in November of last year.

In the semi-main event, Tijuana’s popular son Javier “Cobra” Mendoza (15-2-1, 12KOs) will go after Armando “Chiquita” Vazquez (20-7, 4KOs) in the second defense of his WBC Continental Americas light flyweight title. Vazquez of Mexicali, Mexico, is a six-year veteran who has challenged for minor regional titles in the past such as the Mexican minimum title belt, the NABF 105 lbs. title and battled Manuel “Menny” Jimenez in a WBO elimination bout back in early 2010. Mendoza is an exciting knock out artist who either knocks his opponent out or gets himself knocked out. In spectacular Mendoza fashion, the “Cobra” struck against Osvaldo “Drakys” Ibarra in June of 2010 and categorically stopped him to capture the then vacant WBC Continental Americas strap. A year later in July of 2011, Mendoza was he himself ceremoniously knocked out by unknown Jorge Guerrero in an exciting six minute war that had a packed Tijuana Auditorium on its feet. Now Mendoza will look for redemption versus Vazquez

In a special attraction, the next link in the Morales’ boxing dynasty, unbeaten super flyweight Ivan “Niño Maravilla” Morales (15-0, 10KOs) as he takes on veteran Ricardo “Rocky” Armenta (15-13-1, 7KOs) in a eight round contest. The southpaw Ivan is the younger brother of Erik and Diego Morales.

Also featured on the card is Tijuana super flyweight Jose “Hollywood” Estrella (9-3-1, 8KOs) as he faces a stern test in Pedro (Guerrero) Melo (7-2, 1KO) of Mexico City in a six rounder, exciting lightweight Mario “Popeye” Padilla (9-4-3, 1KO) and flyweight Osvaldo “Waldo” Castro (11-4-1, 8KOs) are also scheduled.

Three more bouts flesh out the card.

Tickets are available at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium “Fausto Gutierrez Moreno”. Prices range from $7 dlls to $16 dlls ($80-$200 pesos). Doors open at 4:30pm with the first punch thrown at 5:30pm. All ages welcome.




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