By Robert Hough
Photos: Tri Nguyen
Bantamweight Bruno Escalante (12-1-1, 6 KOs) pulverized Lorenzo Trejo (33-29-1, 20 KOs) with a first-round, no-count knockout with a left to the body and right to the head – the third fight in a row in which the fighter from Sonora, Mexico, has been stopped in the first round.
Escalante, from Cebu, the Philippines and fighting in his adopted hometown at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, Calif., said after the fight that he tried to step up his power. “We were working on a lot of things and for this fight we focused on throwing powerful punches with both hands, especially my right, said the 25-year-old southpaw. “I saw he was going for my feints so I set him up.”
Trejo, 36, offered little resistance or offense as Escalante, who was dramatically faster and more active, pressed the action before finishing it at 3:00 of the opening round.
Don Chargin, who co-promoted the card with Paco Presents, said Escalante’s ready for considerably tougher competition. “He’s only had 14 fights now, but I’d say he’s ready for the lower end of the top 10,” said Chargin, 85, who promoted his first fight 63 years ago. “He works hard and takes it seriously, he’s an exciting fighter and people like him so he could go a long way.”
Chicas Crushes Castandea Jr.
Welterweight Jonathan Chicas (13-1 6 KOs) had an easy time defeating Rogelio Castaneda Jr. (26-20-3, 8 KOs), stopping the 37-year-old at 54 seconds of the fourth round with a big left uppercut that brought an immediate stoppage as Castaneda collapsed to the canvas.
Chicas, 25, from nearby San Francisco, blasted away at will and scored knockdowns in the second and third rounds against the overmatched fighter from Sacramento, Calif. Castaneda, who turned pro in 1996, fought Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse in 2008.
Pinell Decisions Benitez
San Francisco middleweight Ricardo Pinell (7-1-1 5 KOs) stepped it up down the stretch to earn a unanimous decision over Saul Benitez (2-5-1), from Mesa, Ariz. Scores were 59-55 and 58-56 twice.
Pinell found his range in the fourth round and landed lots of big shots. While Benitez weathered the assault, Pinell was in control from that point forward.
Johnson Stops Gopaul
Cruiserweight Tony Johnson, San Jose, Calif., (8-0, 3 KOs) stopped Harry Gopaul (1-7, 1 KO) Sacramento, Calif., at 26 seconds of the third round. Johnson, who worked effectively in the first two rounds without doing damage, exploded at the beginning of the third round and Gopaul had no answers for the barrage.
Valenzuela Stomps Sandoval
Junior lightweight Cesear Valenzuela (5-3-1, 1 KO) obliterated Jesus Sandoval (3-2-3), Redwood City, Calif., with a savage, one-punch knockout at 1:02 of the first round. Sandoval let his hands down just long enough for the Phoenix, Ariz., bóxer to land a big uppercut that finished the fight without a count.
Mallard Edges Zavaleta
Sacramento junior middleweight Darren Mallard (2-0) got a split decision over Mauricio Zavaleta (1-1, 1 KO) in a fight that was either all action or no action. Scores were 39-37 and 40-36 for Mallard and 39-37 for Zavaleta. Both men would fight with caution and care or burst into action that made Rocky-movie fights look dull. The fourth and final round was non-stop fighting as both men hammered away to the bell.
Vigney Vanquishes Tinae
Heavyweight Xavier Vigney (1-0, 1 KO), who moved from kickboxing to boxing, scored a knockout in his pro debut, stopping fellow debutant Andrew Tinae (0-1) at 1:56 of the first round. Vigney, from Antioch, Calif., landed a couple sharp rights to the body and finished Tinae with an uppercut that left him reeling and the referee waiving it off.