By Rocco Morales at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Abner Mares (25-0-1, 14KO) successfully defended his WBC super bantamweight title in an action packed unanimous decision victory over former WBA bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno (33-2-1, 12KO). Mares applied heavy pressure all through the bout and finally caught Moreno with a hard right cross that dropped him at the end of round five. Mares was warned on numerous occasions for fouls, at least twice for low blows and the other for a punch to the back of a turned Moreno. Instead, however, it was Moreno who was penalized a point in the eleventh round for pulling on the head of Mares while clinched, as referee Raul Caiz Jr. did his best Russell Mora impression (Mares vs. Agbeko I). Judges scored the bout 116-110 (twice) and, inexplicably, 120-106, in favor of Mares.
Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13KO) retained his IBF bantamweight champion in impressive fashion stopping determined challenger Victor Zaleta (20-3-1, 10KO) at 1:42 of the ninth round. Santa Cruz first dropped Zaleta in the fourth round with a left hook and again in the seventh round with a beautiful left hook to the body, left uppercut combo. Zaleta, despite being hit by more than 50% of the power punches from Santa Cruz, never stopped coming forward, not until a right hand caught him flush and dropped him hard prompting the referee to stop the fight.
Alfredo Angulo (21-2, 18KO) abruptly ended a one year layoff that included 7 months in a federal immigration detention center, by knocking out game Raul Casarez (19-3, 9KO) at just 0:56 of the first round in a scheduled 12 round junior middleweight contest. Casarez proved to have more heart than brains when he chose to initiate a slugfest with the powerful Angulo. While trading left hooks, Angulo’s landed first and it was lights out for Casarez.
Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12KO) successfully defended his WBO light heavyweight title against unranked and outclassed Shawn Hawk (22-3-1, 16KO) by way of a dominant eighth round knockout victory. It was target practice all night for Cleverly and he took his time in picking apart Hawk before dropping him twice in the seventh round and twice more in the eighth round. After the fourth knockdown, referee, Tony Crebs called a halt to the bout making Cleverly the winner by TKO victory at 1:53 of the eighth round.
Antonio Orozco (16-0, 12KO) overcame a spirited effort by once defeated challenger Danny Escobar (8-2, 6KO) and finally stopped him at 2:06 of the sixth round following a barrage of punches that had Escobar out on his feet. It was a crowd pleasing and competitive fight but Orozco’s power proved to be too much for Escobar.
Those who blinked missed the fight as 21 year old middleweight Chris Pearson (6-0, 5KO) wasted no time in demolishing Jeremy Marts (8-13, 6KO), flooring him with a left hook for the count at just 0:44 of the first round. The 36 year old Marts would be wise to consider it a career given his 44 second destruction in what not only the 13th loss of his career but also the 8th knockout loss of his career.
In a mild upset, welterweight Alonso Loeza (3-7-1, 3KO), scored a fourth round knockout victory over previously unbeaten local favorite Zachary “Kid Yamaka” Wohlman (4-1-1, 1KO). Loeza, the loser of five of his previous six bouts, got off to a slow start and ate a few hard uppercuts in the opening round from Wohlman. Wohlman, however, appeared to already be tiring in the second round and started getting hit regularly by clubbing right hands by Loeza. Loeza dropped Wohlman hard late in the third round and Wohlman barely beat the count and was saved by the bell. After getting pounded from the onset of the fourth round, referee Thomas Taylor saved Wohlman from further punishment and called an end to the bout at 0:17 of the fourth round.
Bantamweight Isaac Torres (5-0-1, 4KO) saw his perfect record come to an end as he had to settle for a majority decision draw against David Reyes (2-2-1) in a four round bantamweight contest. Neither fighter was able to take control of the action or land any damaging blows making the majority decision draw seem the most appropriate outcome for the bout.
In opening bout action, a scheduled four round lightweight bout, debuting Robert Easter (1-0, 1KO), landed a perfect left hook to the body of Eddie Corona (0-2) late in the second round. Corona struggled to his feet but the referee waved off the bout at 2:39 to make Easter’s debut a successful one.