By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Junior welterweight Patrick Ortiz may have the nickname of “El Elegante” (the elegant one), but his fighting style is anything but that. Just ask his opponent, Sergio Rivera. Ortiz dominated Rivera throughout eight rounds, easily winning a unanimous decision victory before over 1,300 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The bout headlined a five-bout “Path to Glory” card, presented by Thompson Boxing Promotions.
Lopez was coming off a first round knockout over Tyler Ziolkowski two months ago. With the victory on Friday night, Lopez has won two in row since his close split-decision loss to Josesito Lopez in April.
This was Rivera’s first fight outside his native Mexico, hoping to pull off the upset against the more-polished Lopez.
After both southpaw fighters sized each other up in the first round, Lopez began to let his hands go in the second round. Lopez did not land behind a jab. Instead, he countered with hard right hooks or lead left hands to the head of Rivera.
Rivera circled around Lopez, trying to land anything to the head and body. No matter what angles or combinations Rivera used, Lopez almost always had an answer for Rivera.
Things became more complicated for Rivera as a nasty cut opened on the Rivera’s right side of his forehead. With blood dripping down his face, Lopez became more aggressive, pressing the action. Despite the cut, Rivera fought on, still trying to find an answer for Lopez’ offense.
Although Rivera began each round consistently moving forward and at times, landing a few punches, he was outpunched by the stronger Lopez. The more agile Lopez landed thudding shots to the head, which to Rivera’s credit, he took well.
Rivera pressed the action in the final two rounds. Although Lopez countered, he dangerously dropped his hands, almost inviting Rivera to land to the head. Still, Lopez controlled the tempo of each round and was in danger, other than the cut over his right eye he suffered in the fifth round.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 80-72.
“After studying him, I realized that he was not going to be able to hurt me,” said Lopez, who represented his native Venezuela in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. “I never had a problem fighting left-handed fighters. Actually, I enjoy fighting left-handed fighters because there are so many in Venezuela. Nonetheless, I was calm in the ring and he took my punches well.”
Asked what his future plans were, Lopez replied, “I feel that I am at the level of the best fighters in the world. I feel that I am ready for a world title shot.”
Lopez, from Caracas, Venezuela, improves to 17-2, 12 KO’s. Rivera, from Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 14-4-2, 10 KO’s. Boxrec.com lists Rivera now as 23-4-2, 15 KO’s.
Welterweights Pavel Miranda and Vardan Gasparyan fought to a spirited six round majority decision draw.
Gasparyan was effective early in the fight as he countered Miranda’s missed punches to the head. Miranda was more active in the second and third rounds, finishing his combinations with left hooks to the body.
Undaunted, Gasparyan did his best work on the inside, slipping counter right hands to the head of Miranda.
Both fighters had their moments in the last two rounds of the fight. Gasparyan pressed forward, hoping to get on the inside of Miranda. Whenever Gasparyan got inside, Miranda tied up until referee Dr. Lou Moret broke them apart.
Miranda was busy in the final round. He was more aggressive as he sensed that Gasparyan was tiring. Miranda countered with jabs and overhand rights to the head. Again, Gasparyan did his best work on the inside until the bell sounded.
One judge had Gasparyan winning the bout 58-56, while the other two judges had the bout scored 57-57. Fightnews.com scored the bout 57-57.
Miranda, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, goes to 18-4-1, 10 KO’s. Gasparyan, from Glendale, CA by way of Yerevan, Armenia, adds another draw to his record of 11-2-5, 5 KO’s.
In a battle of hard-hitting punchers, Super Welterweight Alberto Herrera stopped Jesus Vallejo in the second round of a scheduled six round bout.
Both fighters traded hard and at times wild shots on one another throughout the brief bout. Although Herrera’s punches were hitting their target more than Vallejo’s, Herrera would leave himself dangerously open to be countered to the head.
Vallejo had his mouthpiece hit out of his mouth twice, mainly for fighting with his mouth open. He was warned by referee Dr. Lou Moret of a point deduction if it came out of his mouth again.
In the second round, a left hook to the head stunned Vallejo against the ropes. Herrera poured it on with hard shots to the head. Referee Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:06 as Vallejo was attempting to throw a punch. Vallejo was visibly upset with the stoppage as he felt he could have fought on.
Herrera, from Riverside, CA, goes to 6-0, 5 KO’s. Vallejo, from Great Falls, MT, drops to 3-2, 3 KO’s.
Junior Welterweight Hector Serrano won a six round unanimous decision over Jaime Orrantia.
Originally, Serrano was scheduled to face Raul Franco, but the bout fell through. The veteran Orrantia, who has not won a fight in almost four years and has lost 10 of his last 11 bouts entering Friday night, filled in for Franco last week.
The shorter Orrantia would try to get on the inside of Serrano’s long reach. Serrano countered with punches to the head, but rarely ventured to the Orrantia’s soft midsection.
At times during the fight, it looked as though Serrano waited for Orrantia to throw punches or initiate the action so that he could counter. Nonetheless, Serrano was more effective and accurate with his punches.
To his credit, Orrantia hung in there, eventually landing a few punches on the inside of Serrano’s defense. Serrano pressured Orrantia in the final round, but the veteran Orrantia hung in there until the final bell.
All three judges had Serrano winning by scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55. Fightnews.com scored the bout 60-54.
Serrano, from Huntington Park, CA, goes to 9-0, 3 KO’s. Orrantia, from Lakeside, CA by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, drops to 11-25-5, 3 KO’s.
In a battle of fighters making their professional debuts, Ramon Valenzuela stopped Leonardo Saldivar in the second round of a scheduled four round bout.
Saldivar started strong, throwing wild punches that often times did not hit their mark. However, Saldivar slowed down considerably, which allowed Valenzuela to land more consistently.
Saldivar, from San Bernardino, CA, looked gassed in the second round, fighting off the ropes and throwing one punch at a time. Valenzuela, from Chicago, IL, went to work, landing to the body and head, ultimately drawing blood from Saldivar’s nose.
An accumulation of punches and more likely fatigue dropped Saldivar to the canvas. Referee Dr. James Jen kin stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:59.
– Junior Welterweight Josesito Lopez, Super Featherweight Abraham Lopez, unbeaten Super Lightweight Mauricio Herrera, former world champion Rodolfo Gonzalez, and former contender Armando Muniz took in the action from ringside.
– Thompson Boxing Promotions returns with another stellar card on Friday, January 22nd. For tickets and information, contact Thompson Boxing Promotions at (714) 935-0900.
– Ring announcer was Jim Fitzgerald.
– A 10-count was given for Lou Filippo, who passed away on Monday. From this reporter, Filippo was a genuine man who I enjoyed hearing stories of boxing in years past. He will be missed. RIP Lou.