Report and photos by Felipe Leon
After about an hour and a half wait for the ambulance to set up, Tijuana’s Zanfer Promotions put on a quick six-bout fight card on last Friday night featuring a number of rookie local fighters to sparse crowd, despite being a free event, at the Tecate Box Tour tent installed in the parking lot of the historic Caliente racetrack. No real fighters or moments of note transpired in one of the most lopsided night’s in recent years with the highlight being the local commission utilizing for the second time a new system spearheaded by the WBC in which the judges do away with their paper and pens and now using a tablet to turn in their scores. Five out of the six fights ended before the halfway mark of the bout with all the obvious favorites winning in easy fashion.
In the announced main event, Tijuana rookie Luis “Panterita” Nery (7-0, 4KOs) had no trouble in stopping Rafael Alvarado (2-1) of Ensenada in the second round of a scheduled bantamweight six. After a spirited first half of the opening round where they exchanged a series of power shots, the southpaw Nery landed a left hook to the chin that dropped Alvarado. Alvarado easily beat the count, more embarrassed than hurt, only to be dropped again near the end of the round, this time from the same punch but from his opponent’s right hand.
The second was much like the same but with Nery pressing the gas pedal a bit more and really letting his hands go while the slighter shorter but stockier Alvarado looked for ways to get out of harm’s way. No luck since at the halfway mark of the round Nery scored a devastating left hook that landed squarely on the chin that sent Alvarado literally flying to the canvas. Some of that flight might have been aided by either Alvarado’s dramatic flair or him jumping to get out of the way. None the less, third man in the ring Juan Morales Lee had seen enough and decided to waive off the contest without a count, official time was 1:31 of the second round.
Quirino Jr Goes the Distance with Cañete
Southpaw super flyweight Jose “Gallito” Quirino Jr (4-0, 2KOs), son of former WBO 115 lbs. champ Jose Quirino, went all the four rounds against limited Marino Cañete (0-4), both of Tijuana, in the only bout to go the distance. For those in the know, this fight should have ended early with Cañete, a young fighter that lacks much skill but makes up in heart, on paper being a wide underdog.
Early on Cañete did not seem bothered by Quirino’s lefty stance and made a point to score with an over hand right. Once warmed up, Quirino Jr. went for the body of the lanky and taller Cañete but his opponent did a good job in protecting himself as he moved away from the onslaught. By the third, the difference in skill became more evident as Quirino Jr. began to have an easier time in punishing Cañete to the body as well now to the face with more frequency which led to a bloody nose. Despite of this, Cañete kept going for the win, offering a lazy jab as a range finder and then looking for the same over hand right that gave him success earlier.
By the fourth and last round, Quirino Jr. was just too much as Cañete looked winded and now was just looking to survive until the end. Both judges Carlos Flores and Sergio Lechuga had it a shut out with scores of 40-36 while Jesus Gonzalez saw it 39-37, all for Quirino Jr.
Ocampo Shines Against Manriquez
Ensenada, Mexico’s junior welterweight Carlos “Chema” Ocampo (4-0, 3KOs) forced Rodolfo “Osama” Manriquez (0-4) of Tijuana to retire at the onset of the third round of a scheduled four. Ocampo had no trouble in scoring with hard right hands from the opening bell as Manriquez had no answer for the skill and quickness of the young man but did score with an overhand right that caught the attention of Ocampo. A left hook to the body near the end of the first dropped Manriquez but he was able to beat the count. Manriquez, perhaps displaying his frustration, went very low to open the second, going under the cup of Ocampo. After a couple of minutes, Ocampo recuperated and went after Manriquez. “Osama” looked to repeat the success of the first round with the over hand right but Ocampo was waiting for it, was able to slip it and counter with a jab and straight right more than once.
As soon as the fighters returned to their respective corners at the end of the second round, Manriquez’s coach had seen enough and immediately began to take off the gloves from his charge giving Ocampo the win. Official time was :10 of the third round.
Russell Stops Gonzalez
A measured but determined Reynaldo “Rey” Russell (8-2-1, 5KOs) of Tijuana had not trouble stopping Daniel “Flaco” Gonzalez (5-17-1, 2KOs), also of Tijuana by way of Guaymas, Mexico, in the second round a scheduled featherweight four. Russell began the bout slowly as he not necessarily looked for open spots since they were always there but looked to get in some rounds. He began to go to the body with a jab and then quickly added one to the head. Gonzalez had nothing as it looked like he was looking for a way out as soon as the fight began.
He didn’t have to wait long as a left hook dropped him. Surprisingly, Gonzalez opted to beat the count and finish the round. After much of the same in the second where “Rey” took his time to score to the body while Gonzalez continued to miss with pretty much everything, Russell scored with a beautifully executed combination of a right hook to the body followed with another left hook to the chin that crumpled Gonzalez to the canvas. No count needed. Official time was 2:14 of the second.
Reyes Knocks Out Mendoza
After a semi-competitive minute, Anthony Reyes (1-0, 1KO) beat up Carlos Mendoza (1-2-1), both of Tijuana, for nearly two rounds before forcing the technical knockout. Reyes dropped Mendoza dropped Mendoza in the first and with lead straight right hands causing a cut over his opponent’s right eye. A barrage of punches at the 1:51 mark of the second of a scheduled super bantamweight four forced referee Christian Curiel to stop the bout.
Lopez Made his Debut a Good One
From the Jackie Nava gym, lightweight Pedro “Manos de Piedra” Lopez (1-0, 1KO) had no trouble ending his first professional fight with a win when he stopped Michel Cañete (0-2) in the first round of a four rounder. Lopez looked raw but even so more skillful than Cañete who went down twice, the first time from a body shot and then from a left hook to the chin, ending the bout at the 1:51 mark of the first.