Story by Felipe Leon Photos by Felipe Leon and Renzo Novara
After a successful all-female fight card last month, the most prolific Tijuana promoter of the year, Mayen Promotions, hooked up with Zanfer Promotions to showcase a bevy of local talent last night at the legendary Las Pulgas night club located on Revolucion Avenue in the heart of the bustling border city. With soccer fever brewing with the local pro team, Xolos, making it to the final which begin on Thursday, Tijuana sports fans still make it a point to come out and support local favorite Edivaldo “Indio” Ortega (15-0-1, 7KOs) defend his Baja California Super Bantamweight title against Ensenada, Mexico’s Francisco Piña (5-5-4, 2KOs) over ten lackluster rounds. The main event was recorded for future broadcast in the United States by Azteca America.
Ortega won the title by unanimous decision over the much more experienced Enrique Quevedo last July. Considered by many as one of Tijuana’s promising talents, Ortega has left much to be desired the last year as he has won but looked lackadaisical in his efforts. Piña was coming off two straight losses after a heated draw versus 23-5 Fernando Vargas. Piña also owns two wins over Walter “School Boy” Sarnoi.
After three initial rounds of posturing but not much landing, the southpaw Ortega began to let his hands go in the fourth and began to land straight punches to through the high guard of Piña. Piña would take the punches but look to counter punch with upper cuts as his back was to the ropes and didn’t look all that worried. Ortega kept pushing forward in the fifth as he looked to try to finish off his opponent and try to force referee Juan Jose Ramirez to stop the action. Piña defended himself well and even landed a series of punches that made Ortega think twice about closing the gap.
Piña has his best round in the sixth as he tried Ortega’s strategy and went after the Tijuana favorite with a barrage of punches. Ortega was able to survive the assault and close the round strong by trapping Piña against the corner and landing power punches to the head. After a busy seventh for both, Piña again took the initiative in the eight but after he took his foot of the pedal and let Ortega control the last three rounds and cruise to the win.
Judge Lorena Gaxiola saw it a wide 99-91 while Sergio Lechuga and Omar Ortiz scored it an inexplicable 100-90. Fightnews scored it a little more generously for the loser, giving Piña three rounds but the win to Ortega by scores of 97-93.
“Gatito” Roars in Comeback
After positioned himself under the wing of promoter Guillermo Mayen, former world ranked Tijuana straw weight Julio Cesar “Gatito” Felix (18-4, 7KOs) worked towards a world title challenge against Moises Fuentes earlier this year but things did not end up as planned as he was stopped in the first round due to a well-placed body shot. In his first fight back, Felix looked impressive as he won a unanimous decision over Mexico City’s Noe Media (4-3, 1KO) with scores of 79-73 three times.
Medina came out like a bat out of hell from the opening bell hoping to catch Felix off guard. Medina attacked the body with abandon as he tried to duplicate Fuentes’ luck against Felix but the experienced “Gatito” was able to slow down the pace and take control at the end of the round.
From that point on, Felix was punished Medina throughout the clash, scoring with combinations to the head while Medina concentrated more to the body. By mid-bout Felix was easily out-boxing Medina and even began to walk him down and punish him without rest. Medina scored well to the body even as much to make it at times uncomfortable for Felix but not enough to come close to winning the contest.
In the best fight of the night, San Diego light welterweight Israel Arellano (5-0, 4KOs) had to go to hell and back to walk away with a four round unanimous decision over Tijuana perennial loser Adan “Ojitos” Gamboa (1-15). Despite his record, Gamboa proved to be a tough customer as he took everything Arellano dished out including two huge left hooks to the chin and even asked for me. Gamboa even made a case for himself in the last half of the brawl as he scored around Arellano’s defense with power hooks and even bloodied his nose. No official scores were announced.
Undefeated Tijuana bantamweight Luis “Panterita” Nery (4-0, 1KO) looked great as he handed previously unbeaten and much taller Joan “Amarillo” Sandoval (1-1-1, 1KO), also of Tijuana, his first loss. Nery was always in control as he darted in and out and scored to the body of Sandoval. Sandoval was never able to catch up to the faster Nery. Official scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice.
After going down to the canvas in the first from a right hook, bantamweight Heriberto “Tremendo” Delgado (3-0, 1KO) of Tijuana peeled himself off the canvas to stop the enthusiastic first timer Kevin Moreno (0-1) with a straight right in the third. Official time was 2:27.
In a match-up of popular Tijuana light welterweights, Jackie Nava’s younger cousin Daniel Nava (4-0-1, 2KOs) and Erick Martinez (0-0-1) fought to a majority draw. Two judges had it an even 38-38 while the third saw it for Nava 39-38.
Super featherweight Jose Galvez (2-0, 2KOs) scored an impressive right hook in the second round over southpaw Ray Galindo (0-1), both of Tijuana. Official time was 1:49.
Hard hitting Tijuana middleweight Antonio Gutierrez (7-0-1, 5KOs) was taken the distance by Israel “La Bestia” Perez (0-1), also of Tijuana, in a four rounder. All three judges, Lorena Gaxiola, Joselyn Ortiz and Diana De La Mora, saw it the same way with scores of 40-36.
Velenzuela’s Angel Rodriguez (4-0, 2KOs) scored his TKO over the clearly over matched and visibly over weight Juan Antonio “Panadero” Rivera (0-1). A right hook to the chin near the end of the round did Rivera in. Official time was 2:03.