By Felipe Leon
Photos: Leonso Nunez
A festival of club-level four rounders was presented by new Tijuana promoter Gonzalez Boxing Club Promotions last night at the Hangar 27 nightclub in the Rio district of the border city. Despite the nine-scheduled bouts only going four rounds or less, a healthy array of talent from Tijuana and across the border was on tap to give the small but enthusiastic crowd a full night of professional boxing. In the main event, a small upset was witnessed when former MMA and Muay Thai fighter Fernando Fernandez (1-0, 1KO) made the jump to the boxing ranks to stop Juan “Buffalo” Dominguez (4-2, 2KOs), both of Tijuana, in the first round of a scheduled four in the heavyweight division.
The well-over six foot tall and 264.5-pound Fernandez looked solid enough with his boxing skills to attack Dominguez early with a solid jab. The lighter and more mobile Dominguez moved around looking for a way to get on the inside against his much taller opponent. Twenty seconds into the round Dominguez moved near a neutral corner and there is where Fernandez caught him with a left hook through the high guard of Dominguez followed by a left uppercut which dropped Dominguez with a thud. No count was given as referee Juan Morales Lee waived off the bout and called the ringside doctor to check on Dominguez. After about a minute, Dominguez was able to reach his feet on his own accord.
Lopez Gets Robbed
In arguably the best fight of the night, Angel “Tamalito” Lopez (3-1-1, 1KO) of Tijuana was robbed of a win when his four round super bantamweight bout against Julio “Niño” Castillo (3-1-1) was deemed a draw with scores of 38-38, 39-37 for Lopez and 40-36 for Castillo.
Despite being the smaller man, Lopez controlled the action with a consistent body attack of sneaky lunging left hooks to the body and once in close, a wide looping over hand right. Castillo never used his natural physical advantages in height and arm length instead smothering his punches and falling into Lopez’s fight plan.
Near the end of the fight Castillo finally decided to stay on the outside and score with a couple of long right hands that seemed to bother Lopez. To the crowd, who was behind Lopez for his all-out fighting style and bravado, booed the announcement of a draw as soon as it was read. Fightnews had it 39-37 for Lopez.
Sanchez Continues Unbeaten
Miguel “Zurdo” Sanchez (7-0, 6KOs) of Culiacan, Sinaloa, continued his reign over up and coming welterweights in Tijuana with a dominating performance over Tabasco’s Jairo “Gato” Gutierrez (0-1) stopping him in the first round of a scheduled four. The southpaw Sanchez made Gutierrez miss and then pay with straight lefts but Gutierrez was not deterred as he kept coming forward throwing punches in bunches. Sanchez kept scoring and at the 2:18 mark of the first round scored a harder left that made Gutierrez give his back. Referee Juan Morales Lee did not hesitate to waive off the contest at that exact moment.
Sandoval Excites in Pro Debut
The “Hitman” Edwin Sandoval (1-0, 1KO) made his much awaited pro debut with an exciting third round stoppage of the game but over matched Ramon Gamboa (0-1). Sandoval made it a point to score the body early looking to slow down Gamboa who was attacking at a frenzied pace. Sandoval coupled his hooks to the body with straight rights to the head that would rock Gamboa’s head back. Gamboa had his moments as he also landed rights but wild and much wider as Sandoval tended to keep his hands down while in close.
Sandoval picked up the pace in the second and looked to stay with what worked, the straight right hand from the outside as Gamboa kept attacking. Near the end of the round Sandoval scored a series of rights that seemed to finally beat down Gamboa but surprisingly the Tijuana fighter made it to the end of the round.
Gamboa still had some fight in him early in the third but Sandoval took it away as he became sharper and tighter with his punches and landed the snapping right hand almost at will. He was able to trap Gamboa against his own blue corner and land to the head and body with thudding power shots finally forcing referee Juan Manuel Rincon to stop the fight at the 1:46 of the third round.
Ellis is Left Wanting More
Boston, Massachusetts welterweight Ronald “Akeem” Ellis (7-0, 6KOs) didn’t even get a chance to warm up before referee Juan Manuel Rincon ruined a fight that was warming up by prematurely stopping Jose Luis Esparza (0-2) of Tijuana in the first round of four when he got caught up against the ropes. The action began early with both throwing punches from the opening bell with Ellis scoring the quicker and straighter ones. As Esparza was backing out of the way, he got caught up against the ropes and seemed to trip at the same time Ellis landed a right hook. Rincon wrongfully thought Esparza and stopped the fight after helping the Tijuana fighter untangle himself. Esparza argued but to avail. Official time was thirty seconds of the first round.
In a never seen before result, a scheduled super welterweight four round bout was ruled a no-contest when first timer Hector Alvarez of Tijuana took one look at his opponent, Guillermo Castillo (1-0) of San Diego, and decided not to come out for the opening bell. He promptly climbed out of the ring and said good-bye to his boxing career.
Jose Toribio (4-1, 1KO) earned a hard-fought four round unanimous decision in the super flyweight division against fellow tough Tijuana fighter Pedro Palma (2-3, 2KOs). The relentless Palma kept coming forward without much style or grace but found a way to score to the body of the slightly taller Toribio who counterpunched Palma’s attack for most of the fight. The final scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37.
In a rare light heavyweight fight in Tijuana, Jorge “Bandido” Escalante (1-0, 1KO) of San Diego made his first time as a professional a successful one hurting Tijuana’s Alejandro “El Ondiado” Castorena (0-1) in the first with a hard left hook and again in the second before finally scoring the closing shot, another left hook to the chin. Castorena dropped against the ropes and referee Juan Manuel Rincon waived off the bout without a count. Official time was 2:54 of the second of a scheduled four.
Tijuana journeyman Mario Lara (6-11-3, 2KOs) stopped fellow gym mate Mario Diaz (0-6), also of Tijuana, in three with a simple but effective body shot attack. Official time was 2:08 of the round. Bout was scheduled for four in the bantamweight division.