By Felipe Leon at ringside
Photos: Leonso Nunez
The much anticipated test of Tijuana female flyweight Brenda Flores (7-2, 2KOs) went down last Friday night at the Tecate Box Tour tent located in the parking of the Caliente Racetrack. Flores faced former IBF straw weight champion and #2 WBC ranked Katia Gutierrez (19-4, 4KOs) of Los Mochis, MX, in a light flyweight six rounder and it was quickly proven she was a big fish in a small Tijuana pond. Gutierrez easily took a unanimous decision in the headliner of a twelve-bout fight card which was taped for later broadcast on Azteca America.
Gutierrez captured the IBF 105lb title back in 2011 by defeating Holly Dunaway via a unanimous decision. She defended it four times before losing to Irma Sanchez although the title was not in play. Flores, who went pro in 2012, was on a six-fight winning streak after losing her second pro fight to newly crowned NABF light flyweight champ Kenia Enriquez but against questionable opposition except for fellow Tijuana fighter Sandra Robles who she defeated in a 2013 war. Flores was coming from defeating Mireya Ochoa in four last January.
The difference in skill and hand speed was evident from the first exchange as Gutierrez easily landed a straight right over the jab of Flores. Gutierrez kept punishing the body with a straight jab followed by that right hand that easily found its mark on Flores face. Flores had her best round in the second as she went after the ex-champ with abandon, throwing wild-punch combinations that didn’t really land but kept Gutierrez from scoring. As Flores slowed down in the later rounds and showed she didn’t really have any answers, the experienced Gutierrez was able to continue to pick Flores apart with her efficient punches.
Showing that she could land almost at will, Gutierrez looked to go after the knock out and at times seemed to hurt Flores in the last couple of rounds including with another straight right to the body that pushed the Tijuana fighter against the ropes. Both females went toe-to-toe in second half of the sixth round as both looked for the knockout for different reasons. Flores looked for the stoppage to win the fight and Gutierrez to give her surprisingly big fan contingent in the fans what they were screaming for since the opening round.
Judges Carlos Flores and Jesus Gonzalez saw it 58-56 each while Alejandro Rochin scored it 59-55, all for Gutierrez. Fightnews scored it 59-55 for Gutierrez.
Nery Survives Early Scare
After his original opponent, Tijuana tough guy Jose Estrella, fell out after a stomach virus, undefeated Luis “Panterita” Nery (12-0, 8KOs) of Tijuana believed he had an easy night ahead of him against Antonio Rodriguez (4-9, 2KOs) of Durango, Mexico. Nery did but first he had to survive and early knockdown in the first on his way to stopping Rodriguez with a brutal body shot in the third round of a scheduled eight.
Nery was caught early in the beginning seconds of the opening round as he exchanged heavy leather with the slightly taller Rodriguez while his back was against the ropes. A short right hook to the chin of Nery dropped the Tijuana fighter but he quickly got back on his feet and looked more embarrassed that hurt.
A head-butt later in the round opened up a huge gash high in the forehead of Rodriguez that began gushing out blood in obscene amounts from the get-go. Nery kept attacking the gash and as expected, it spilled even more blood at a higher clip.
After two checks by the ringside doctor and calls from the crowd to stop the fight in the third, Nery took matters into his own fists and landed a hard body shot that crumbled Rodriguez to the canvas. He beat the count but didn’t look all that enthused in continuing which gave referee Morales Lee reason enough to stop the contest at the 2:28 mark of the third.
Robles Clips Lopez
Although Brenda Flores came up short in the main event against an outside fighter, southpaw flyweight Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles (7-1, 3KOs) of Tijuana was able to defend the honor of the city’s female fighters as she nearly beat to a pulp the tough but over matched Paloma Lopez (1-2-3) of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, in a six rounder.
The fight was a competitive with close rounds of high action but Robles was always one step ahead and scoring one more punch in every exchange against Lopez. Robles was effective right hook that wobbled Lopez more than once and a cruiser-missile like uppercut that snapped her opponent’s head back in the second half of the fight in more than one occasion. Lopez was strong and willing but it was obvious that her conditioning was not up to par with her Tijuana opponent since she was huffing and puffing from the third round on and looked only to survive in the last couple of rounds.
The women did close the show in exciting fashion with a heavy artillery exchange in the last thirty seconds of the fight that had the crowd on its feet. It was no secret that at the end Robles was announced the winner via unanimous decision with scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55.
Tania Enriquez Impresses in Win
Teenage Tania Enriquez (2-0, 1KO) looked impressive as she came back after a six-month hiatus to take on the much more experienced Diana “Mamba Negra” Gonzalez (5-10, 1KO) in a light flyweight four rounder. The seventeen-year-old Enriquez of Tijuana is the younger sister of undefeated NABF champ Kenia Enriquez and proved talent runs in the family as she easily out-boxed Gonzalez who has survived two fights against former champ Mariana “Barbie” Juarez and current champ Yesica Bopp of Argentina.
For the majority of the bout Enriquez counter-punched Gonzalez oncoming attack by moving backwards and catching the much shorter “Mamba Negra” with straight jabs and cross lefts. Gonzalez as times was able to shorten up the distance but didn’t do much work as Enriquez was able to smother her and then quickly get out and control the distance.
Neither was ever in trouble and at the end all three judges saw it 40-54 for Enriquez.
Tijuana lightweight Roberto “Rifle” Ramirez (13-1, 10KOs) struggled a bit but eventually finished off Jesus Perez (4-3, 2KOs) of Culiacan with a body shot in the 4th round of eight scheduled. In a good action fight, Jose “Sonrics” Suarez (4-2) of Tijuana earned a four round unanimous decision over Jonathan Aguilar (3-3, 2KOs) of Chiapas in the super bantamweight division.
Featherweight Carlos “Baby” Castañeda (6-2, 2KOs) got back in the ring after some time out and beat Jose Santos (0-2), both of Tijuana, with a unanimous decision over four rounds. Scores were 40-36 twice and 39-37.
Popular flyweight Victor “Chaky” Sandoval (4-1, 3KOs) scored another knockout win, this time over fellow Tijuana fighter Mario Diaz (0-5) in the second round of a scheduled four. A barrage of punches prompted the corner of Diaz to throw in the towel at forty-six seconds.
Arguably the best 108-112 pounder of the city, Abraham “Choko” Rodriguez (6-0, 3KOs) exacted revenge on former amateur conqueror Francisco Mendivil (0-1), also of Tijuana, easily out-boxing over four rounds. Judges say it much closer seeing it a split decision with scores of 39-37 twice for Rodriguez while the third saw it 39-37 for Mendivil. Fightnews had it 39-37 Rodriguez.
Alan Zavala (2-1, 1KO) defeated Jose “Pipi” Torres (3-3-1, 2KOs), both of Tijuana, via a unanimous decision in a super welterweight four.
Phoenix, Arizona middleweight David Benavides (3-0, 3KOs), younger brother of Jose Benavides, scored yet another knockout win over another overmatched Baja California fighter in first timer Arturo Martinez (0-1). Benavides sent Martinez to the canvas three times in the first with body shots before the fight was called at 2:12.
Juan Ramon Lopez (1-0, 1KO) put Rogelio Arenas (0-4), both of Tijuana, to sleep with a hard but sneaky right hook. No count was needed as Arenas went down hard. Time was forty-one seconds of the first of a scheduled welterweight four.