Courtesy of BoxingInLasVegas writer Butch Gottlieb
and photographer Mary Ann Owen
Friday night at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, Layla McCarter (32-13-5, 7 KOs) retained her WBA and GBU lightweight titles with a unanimous decision win over former world champion Fujin Raika (18-6-1, 6 KOs) in the main event of “The Rematch” card (click here for photos). In other notable bouts, jr middleweight Carlos Nascimento (24-1, 20 KOs) won a ten-rounder against Juan Pablo Montes de Oca (9-17-2, 6 KOs) and heavy-handed jr middleweight Antonio Mesquita (35-1, 27 KOs) blitzed Hugo Correa (9-4, 5 KOs) in one.
McCarter-Raika was an excellent fight despite the lopsided scores of 100-90 on all cards. Raika took a lot of punishment but never once took one step backwards. McCarter did not look like she had been out of the ring for eleven months as she jabbed and moved, threw right hands and moved. Raika made the work much easier for McCarter as she was right in front of her the entire fight. It looks like the only one left in the 135 pound weight class for McCarter to fight is Ann Marie Saccurato, the current and three-time WBC champion.
The semi main event between Carlos Nascimento (24-1, 20 KOs) and Juan Pablo Montes de Oca (9-17-2, 6 KOs) could very well have been fought in a phone booth. These two warriors battered and bruised each other for 10 rounds with Nascimento winning a unanimous decision. Montes de Oca was visibly upset at the decision saying that he thought he had won the fight. Usually Montes De Oca comes in brawling and forgets about any game plan. But in this fight he used angles, timing and slipped and countered Nascimento with some strong uppercuts that the Brazilian had no answer for. It seems that being the sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather paid off for Juan Pablo in everything but the decision.
Antonio Mesquita (35-1, 27 KOs) returned to the ring after an 18 month layoff plus his only loss of his career and promptly destroyed an over matched Hugo Correa (9-4, 5 KOs) dropping him for the count at the 2:10 mark of round one. Correa was down for about five minutes but did leave the ring on his own.
Omar Valencia (1-3) finally put one in the win column with a majority decision win over Jose Pacheco (2-6-5).
Rodrigo Romero made his pro debut a successful one by winning a split decision over David Springer (1-1-3)
Much to the chagrin of many of the fans in attendance, the fight between Vegas native Michele Gutierrez and Andrea Johnson was scratched after Johnson failed her pre fight physical.
“The Rematch” was the inaugural card of promoter Anthony LaMonica of American Boxing Promotions and matchmaker Luis Tapia.