The queen of Tijuana and quite arguably of female boxing, WBA super bantamweight champion Jackie Nava (27-4-3, 11KOs) put on an impressive performance as she defended her newly captured title versus San Pelayo, Colombia’s Diana “La Leona” Ayala (12-7-3, 7KOs) with a unanimous decision over ten championship rounds. The contest was the main event of “La Batalla En Tijuana (The Battle in Tijuana)”, a marathon fight card held at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium and witnessed by over three thousand loyal Nava fans. The night was presented by Zanfer Promotions and broadcast live by Azteca in Mexico.
Nava, known as the “Aztec Princess”, defeated Panama’s Chantall Martinez earlier this year to strap the WBA belt around her waist in her second straight appearance in her hometown of Tijuana. Becoming an unstoppable draw in the border city, Nava has reached unprecedented popularity for her since her two battles versus Ana Maria Torres last year.
The experienced Colombian is coming off a 2nd round KO win over Maria Alejandra Alvarado last March and was no stranger to world title fights having challenged for the WBO light welterweight title versus Fernanda Soledad Alegre early last year and the interim WBC featherweight belt against Maureen Shea in December of ’11.
Nava’s advantage in speed was quickly established in the first round as she began to tag the shorter and stockier Ayala with a stiff jab early on. Despite being the slower of the two, Ayala still tried to counter punch Nava with right hands that at times found their mark and brought a smile to the Tijuana fighter’s face. By the third, Nava was scoring with multi-punch combos and near the end of the two-minute round stunned Ayala with a hard right hand square in the nose of the South American.
After Nava established her right hand as her weapon of choice, Ayala began to develop mouse under her right eye by the fifth. Still willing to put on a show, Ayala welcomed Nava to the sixth with a sneaky left hook that almost made Nava chuckle at the thought of being caught with such a punch. Nava signaled Ayala as to say, “keep them coming”, in hopes of giving the Pro-Nava crowd a fight. By the seventh, it was all of Nava as she scored almost at will with Ayala following her around trying to land something.
Ayala had her best round in the eight and almost seemed to take it as she pressured Nava for the better half of the stanza but Nava came back to close the heat in the second half. With a spent and obviously beaten Ayala, Nava went for the knock out in the last two rounds but the strong Ayala was able to survive until the final bell.
All three judges saw it exactly the same, 100-90, for Nava.
Thirty-seven year old former bantamweight and super bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez (41-7, 37KOs) quickly disposed of Eric “Mighty Mouse” Aiken at the 2:26 mark of the first round of a scheduled featherweight ten. Marquez of Mexico City had last been seen in a losing effort versus Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka in an unsuccessful bid for the WBC 122lbs. title. Now campaigning in the featherweight division, Marquez looked unstoppable as he dominated former IBF champion Aiken of Washington D.C.
Marquez controlled the action early as he went to Aiken’s body with a stiff jab and began to score on top. From the opening bell, Aiken looked hesitant and almost fearful as he circled the ring and away from Marquez attack. “Rafa” finally caught up to him with an over hand right that landed on Aiken’s forehead as the American’s back was to the ropes. Marquez noticed the punch hurt Aiken and began to score with a heavy-handed assault to both the body and head. Aiken slumped to the canvas but beat the count administered by referee Juan Jose Ramirez. Smelling blood, Marquez went for the finish with the Tijuana crowd behind him and again dropped Aiken, this time for good.
After a slow start, local welterweight Jorge “Pantera” Silva (19-2-1, 15KOs) closed the show and beat Culiacan, Mexico’s Orlando “Torito” Escobar (14-7, 8KOs) from pillar to post in the last two rounds of an eight rounder. Judge Guillermo Ayon scored it 78-74 while Jose De La Mora saw it 79-72 and Roman Cruz scored 78-73 all for Silva.
In a rough and tumble super featherweight four rounder, Adan Mares, younger brother of newly crowned WBC super bantamweight champion Abner, won a unanimous decision over Jorge Sillas, both of Tijuana, with scores of 40-36 three times. With the win, Mares stays undefeated with a ledger reading 4-0, 2KOs while Sillas drops to 1-7, 1KOs.
In a give and take super bantamweight six rounder, popular Tijuana fighter Jose “Tigre” Cayetano (11-1, 4KOs) escaped with a split decision over the tough and previously unbeaten Edson Ramirez (1-1) of Mexico City. Official scores were Jose De La Mora and Roman Cruz 60-54 for Cayetano while Sergio Lechuga saw it 59-55 for Ramirez.
After dropping Tijuana journeyman Osvaldo “Drakys” Ibarra (4-13-2, 8KOs) three times in little over a minute of the second round, Ensenada, Mexico’s Maximino Flores (12-1, 10KOs) was awarded a TKO victory. Official time was 1:20 of second round, scheduled for a flyweight six.
Middleweight Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui (12-0, 9KO) of Tijuana by way of Venezuela completely dominated Mexico City’s Josele “Mantequillas” Napoles (5-3, 4KOs) for four rounds before referee Juan Jose Ramirez halted the action after the tall and lanky Uzcategui scored with a hard right hand right to the chin that sent Napoles back pedaling. Uzcategui dropped Napoles in the first with a left hook to the jaw in the first. The bout was scheduled for six rounds.
Bantamweight Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez (12-0-2, 7KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico, remained undefeated by stopping Tijuana’s Daniel Navarrete (4-4-1) in the first round.
In a mild upset, Guadalupe “Lupillo” Ramirez (3-2, 2KOs) scored and impressive second round technical knockout of Brian Ramirez (9-4, 5KOs) with a devastating left hook to the chin. Bryan beat the count but referee Juan Morales Lee did not see him fit to continue and waived off the bout at the 1:33 mark of the second round of the scheduled super featherweight six.
Super flyweight Hanzel “Tornadito” Martinez (17-0, 13KOs), Antonio Margarito’s in-law, took a quick fight at featherweight and systematically destroyed Daniel “Flaco” Gonzalez (5-12-1, 2KOs), both of Tijuana, in two rounds of a scheduled four. The key to victory was a hard over hand right with Martinez dropping Gonzalez once in the first and again in the second. Official time was 1:53.
Tijuana’s Diana “La Torbellina” Gonzalez (5-5, 1KO) dropped a unanimous decision to unheralded but better skilled Zenny Sotomayor (6-1, 2KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico, in a six round bantamweight match up.
Luis “Pantera” Nery (1-0, 1KO) made his pro debut a good one when he only needed 1:04 of the first inning to stop Erick “Danger” Jimenez (0-4) in a scheduled bantamweight four. “Danger” was quite the opposite as he obviously just came in to pick up a paycheck and did nothing but occasionally paw out a jab to try to keep the attacking Nery at bay. Referee Juan Manuel Rincon quickly saw enough and waived off the bout. Both fighters are out of Tijuana.
Faces in the crowd: WBO female bantamweight champion Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West, three-time welterweight champion Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito, welterweight Omar “Businessman” Chavez, junior flyweight Giovanni Segura, IBF lightweight champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
Ring Announcer: Lupe Contreras