By Francisco Salazar
Super Middleweight Fernando Zuniga wants to get rid himself of being a gatekeeper in his weight class. The label of “contender” in his opinion would suit him just fine. Zuniga is on the right track as he defeated veteran Daniel Stanislavjevic over eight rounds before an almost-sellout crowd of almost 1,000 last Saturday night at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello, CA.
The bout headlined a seven-bout “Battle of the Rising Stars” card, presented by All Star Boxing Promotions.
Zuniga, who has been fighting professionally for over 13 years, had won his last bout almost a year ago with an eight round split-decision victory over Carlos De Leon in February. Zuniga has also fought Sam Soliman, David Lopez, Ricardo Cortez, and Thomas Tate.
Stanislavjevic has fought top fighters from the Welterweight to the Super Middleweight divisions. He has such fighters in his career such as Marco Antonio Rubio, Tarvis Simms, Alfredo Angulo, and Danny Perez.
Within the opening rounds, Zuniga looked rusty and out of sync. Stanislavjevic moved forward and attempted to fight Zuniga on the inside. He was able to land some right hands, but Zuniga was busier and landed lefts and rights as well.
Besides Stanislavjevic standing in front of him, Zuniga had to contend with a cut over his left eye that opened at the end of the second round. Despite blood seeping out of the cut during most of the fight, Zuniga fought on.
Zuniga began to find his range in the middle rounds. He was able to consistently counter Stanislavjevic with each passing minute. Undeterred, Stanislavjevic kept moving forward in hopes of landing looping overhand right hands to the head.
Zuniga dominated the final two rounds. He conservatively stayed on the outside, peppering Stanislavjevic with jabs followed by the occasional right hand. Stanislavjevic slowed down considerably and looked gassed in the final round. Stanislavjevic was cut over the right eye and was bleeding profusely. Overall, a decent performance by Zuniga as he attempts to secure a big money or regional title shot down the line.
All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favor of Zuniga. Fightnews.com scored the bout 79-73 in favor of Zuniga.
Zuniga, from Downey, CA by way of Quito, Ecuador, improves 28-9, 20 KO’s. Stanislavjevic, from Los Angeles, CA, falls to 8-15-3, 4 KO’s.
Featherweight Jesus Hernandez remained unbeaten with a workmanlike six round unanimous decision over veteran Manuel Sarabia.
Hernandez was the more polished fighter of the two. Hernandez boxed well from the outside and was able to work the body of Sarabia.
Hernandez was able to momentarily stun Sarabia in the second with a right hand that was set up with two jabs. However, Sarabia was able to withstand the onslaught of punches and fought back to end the round.
Sarabia began to increase his punch output and aggressively attack Hernandez in the middle rounds. He was rewarded as he caught Hernandez with occasional counter right hands to the head.
Although Hernandez countered or was content to box from the outside, Sarabia pressed the action from the outside. However, Hernandez was just faster and accurate with his punches than Sarabia.
All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Hernandez. Fightnews.com scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Hernandez.
Hernandez, from East Los Angeles, CA by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, goes to 8-0, 2 KO’s. Sarabia, from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 16-28-9, 10 KO’s.
Heavyweight Joe Hanks remained unbeaten, but was taken the distance by Shidevin Brown in a four round bout.
Hanks started strong, jabbing his way in followed by straight right hands. Hanks, with trainer Pepe Correa in his corner, tried to counter with left hooks to the southpaw Brown as well.
However, Brown was able to roll with most of the punches and was able to counter. Despite Brown’s rotund physique, he moved well and showed Hanks different angles.
Hanks, who had knocked out his last two opponents in a row, made himself to predictable as he moved forward. Brown was able to catch him with lead left hands to the head. Despite this, Hanks was the deserved winner as he landed the more telling blows throughout the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Hanks with scores of 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Hanks.
Hanks, from Atlantic City, NJ, improves to 5-0, 3 KO’s. Brown, from Denver, CO, falls to 2-5, 1 KO.
Elliot Seymour stopped John Dunham in the fourth round of a scheduled four round bout.
The southpaw Seymour was able to land the harder and more telling punches across the face of Dunham. He was content to let Dunham move towards him and land right hooks or left crosses.
Dunham was able to find success moving in and out of Seymour’s defense. He did land a few hard right hands that did catch Seymour.
However, Dunham began to slow down in the final round. Seizing on the opportunity, Seymour rocked Dunham with a barrage of punches to the head. Seymour backed Dunham in a corner and continued to land hard shots until referee Raul Caiz stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:48
Seymour, from Pasadena, CA, goes to 1-1, 1 KO. Dunham, from Stockton, CA, falls to 0-3-1.
Light Heavyweight Tyrell Hendrix won a sloppy four round unanimous decision over Ryan Davis.
The southpaw Davis at times looked as though he did not want to exchange with the wild swinging Hendrix. Davis backed away as Hendrix pressed forward.
Davis’ awkward style was able to land him punches across the face of Hendrix. However, Davis was quick to cover up or hold onto Hendrix during exchanges.
Overall, Hendrix connected more punches and was more aggressive in the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Hendrix with scores of 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Hendrix.
Hendrix, from Los Angeles, CA, improves to 2-0, 1 KO. Davis, from Lancaster, CA, falls to 0-3.
Super Bantamweight Hugo Ramos stopped Jose Pacheco in the first round of a scheduled four round fight.
Both fighters went at each other in the opening moments, each landing their fair share of hard shots. Ramos landed a solid shot that hurt Pacheco and had him trapped in a corner. Despite fighting back, Pacheco was hurt again by a left hand to the head, prompting a stoppage at 43 seconds.
Ramos, from Palm Springs, CA, wins his professional debut. Pacheco, from Cudahy, CA by way of Guanajuato, Mexico, falls to 0-5-5.
In the walkout bout of the evening, Heavyweight Seth Colebrook won his professional debut with a second round stoppage over Mike Finney.
Colebrook, from Bakersfield, CA, was able to land at will against Finney. However, Colebrook began to slow down, which allowed Finney to land shots.
It was short-lived as Colebrook hurt Finney and backed him up in a corner. Colebrook let his hands go, landing hard shots across the head of Finney. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:28 of the round.
– Unbeaten Super Welterweight Alfredo Angulo, Lightweight Amir Khan, Cruiserweight Joel Godfrey, and former world champion Simon Brown watched the action from ringside.
– Next All Star Promotions show will be on Friday, March 27th at the Quiet Cannon. For tickets, call All Star Boxing at (323) 816-6200 or (323) 781-4871.
– Grammy award-winning singer and producer Brian McKnight sang the national anthem.
– Ring announcer was Jim Fitzgerald.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda