By Bob Hough at ringside
Ricardo Cortes worked his way back to the win column Thursday—in the wake of two swift knockouts in 2008 at the hands of James Kirkland and Alfredo Angula—with an easy victory over James Buggs. In a 161-pound match, Cortes (23-3-1, 16 KO’s ), a San Jose, California native fighting in his hometown at the Hp Pavilion before a crowd of 2,841, scored a third-round TKO over James Buggs (8-10-3), who hadn’t fought since November, 2007. Cortes, who weighed as two pounds over the limit while Buggs came in at 158, consistently pressed the action and landed effectively against his overmatched and undersized opponent. Buggs fought gamely and landed with some regularity, though his punches had no apparent effect. The end came at 2:44 of the third of eight scheduled, when Buggs appeared more to have a hurt eye than to be hurt in the traditional sense.
Hirsch hones his craft
In the last of a six-fight program of four-round fights, Oakland, California’s Tony Hirsch (9-2-1, 5 KO’s) looked sharp and strong in overpowering Francisco Garcia (5-3, 4 KO’s) in a fight at 160 pounds, stopping the Los Angeles fighter with a TKO at 2:46 of the first round. Hirsch, who spent time in the Oakland Raiders’ training camp, continues to progress in the ring, showing fluid movement and crisp, strong punches.
Barajas dominates debutant
Fernando Barajas (5-2, 1 KO) dominated Pedro Rios (0-1) in a 168-pound bout and scored a TKO victory at 2:57 of round 3. Barajas, active with both hands to the head and body, fought with confidence and the experience of having been in six fights.
Gutierrez debuts in style
Claudia Gutierrez (1-0), sharp and aggressive in her pro debut earned a unanimous decision (39-37 on all three cards) over Michelle Nelson (1-2) in a 115-pound fight. Nelson came to fight, but couldn’t match Gutierrez in technique and accuracy.
Tepoz tops Alcantara
Juan Tepoz (2-1) was busy and strong in defeating Jonathan Alcantara (0-1-1) by split decision in a 122-pound fight. Scores were 38-37, Alcantara; 38-37 and 39-36 for Tepoz, who appeared to control the action while landing more blows and bigger punches.
Coronel hammers out a wise win
Clint Coronel (1-0-1, 1 KO) looked like a smart, skilled veteran in posting his first victory, defeating Tony Juarez (0-3) in a third-round TKO. Fighting at 154 pounds, Coronel immediately launched a nasty body attack and maintained it, clearly hurting Juarez and dropping him in the first and second rounds. As Juarez desperately protected his body, Coronel closed the show at 57 seconds of round three by landing several unanswered, undefended head shots.
Technical draw for Slade and Dunham
In the evening’s first contest, Maurice Slade (0-2-1) and John Dunham (0-4-1) fought at 147 pounds to a technical draw. The fight was stopped in round 2 after a head butt cut Dunham above his right eye.