By Francisco Salazar at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez said after the fight that he felt that he was fighting at home for the first time in a long time. He sure gave those fans in attendance at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA a lot to cheer about. Gonzalez dropped voluntary challenger Ramon Garcia twice in the fourth round, the final one prompting the referee to stop the fight in the fourth round before a pro-Gonzalez crowd on Saturday night.
Gonzalez returned to the ring after having fought just six weeks ago at the Palenque de Gallos in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. In that fight, he knocked out Manuel Jimenez with a body shot in the first round of a scheduled 10 round bout.
Despite entering the fight with Gonzalez having lost in two out of his last three outings, Saturday night marked the seventh time in a row Garcia was fighting in a world title bout. Prior to facing Gonzalez, Garcia lost to Donnie Nietes by unanimous decision, losing the WBO world title belt he had won with a fourth round knockout over Jesus Geles last April.
During the first two rounds, Gonzalez landed the sharper punches of the two fighters. His straight right hands were able to connect to the face of Garcia, followed up by a left hook to the head or body.
The southpaw-Garcia had his best round in the third round when he was able to land hard left hands to the stomach and right hooks to the head of Gonzalez. Although Garcia would throw looping punches, he was able to connect somewhat effectively.
Garcia looked good again in the fourth round. Just when it looked as though Garcia had found his rhythm and range against Gonzalez, he was dropped to the canvas by a left-right combination to the head by Gonzalez. Garcia stood up and fought back, but was dropped again by a left uppercut-right hand to the head. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. immediately waved the fight over at 2:09. With the victory, Gonzalez successfully defended his WBA world title belt.
“He was able to surprise me in the first couple of rounds with his ability to box,” said Gonzalez after the fight. “Once he felt my power, he began to back up. When I landed my right hand, I knew he was done. Not too many guys can take my power.”
Asked about future plans, Gonzalez responded that he would like to return to the ring in a couple of months. Some attractive bouts in the future for Gonzalez include possible unification bouts against world title belt holders Ulises Solis, Donnie Nietes, Adrian Hernandez.
González, from Managua, Nicaragua, improves to 32-0, 27 KOs. García, from La Paz, Baja California, falls to 16-4-1, 9 KOs.
Magdaleno too much for Fast
Super bantamweight Jesse Magdaleno stopped overmatched Nick Fast in the first round of a scheduled six round bout. Magdaleno, the younger brother of super featherweight contender Diego Magdaleno, dropped Fast with a right hand to the head. Fast stood up, but was met with a right hand to the body, followed by a vicious right uppercut to the head. Fast went down face first to the canvas, prompting referee Ray Corona to wave the fight over at 2:07. Magdaleno, from Las Vegas, NV, improves to 9-0, 6 KOs. Fast, from Kansas City, MO, drops to 7-2-1, 6 KOs.
Lenk decisions Herrera
Welterweight Anthony Lenk won an eight round unanimous decision over Alberto Herrera. After Herrera won the opening round, the southpaw Lenk (14-1, 7 KOs) was the more-effective fighter by fighting from the outside. He would consistently set up straight left hands behind a right jab. At times, Herrera was effective on the inside, but was not able to be as aggressive to end up there, especially in the last couple of rounds. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Lenk, by scores of 78-74, 78-74, and 77-75. Fightnews.com scored the bout 78-74 in favor of Lenk, who hails from Las Vegas, NV. Herrera, from Riverside, CA, drops to 8-6-1, 5 KOs.
Roman stops Orrantia
Super lightweight Jessie Roman stopped normally-durable Jaime Orrantia in the fourth and final round. From the opening bell, Roman put together his punches very effectively, attacking the body and head with combinations. Although Orrantia would get stunned at times, he would attempt to fire back. In the fourth round, Roman wobbled Orrantia with a left hook to the head and followed up with a barrage of punches. Although Orrantia was not visibly hurt and was fighting back, referee Zac Young stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:13. Roman, from Santa Ana, CA, improves to 10-0, 7 KOs, while Orrantia, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 14-31-5, 5 KOs.
Omotoso stops Smith in 8
Welterweight Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso stopped Larry Smith in the eighth and final round. It was all Omotoso as he was busier and landed the more-effective punches, while Smith attempted to land one counter punch at a time. Although he was reckless at times to the head, Omotoso’s punches began to take their toll. Smith (10-11, 6 KOs) was stunned by two right hands to the head at the end of the seventh and was dropped to the canvas by a right hand in the eighth round. Referee Ray Corona immediately waved the fight over at 2:00. The Nigerian-born Omotoso migrated to Australia and now lives in Hollywood, CA. Smith hails from Dallas, TX.
Turner overwhelms Alvarado
In the walkout bout of the evening, super middleweight Tommy Turner stopped amateur standout Edgar Alvarado, who was making his professional debut, in the first round of a scheduled four round bout. Both had their moments in the round until Turner dropped the taller Alvarado with a counter right cross to the head. Alvarado, who hails from nearby Riverside, struggled to his feet and staggered back to his corner. That prompted referee Zac Young to wave the fight over at 2:55. Turner, from Caldwell, ID, goes to 2-1, 1 KO.
Lawson decisions Franks
Welterweight Holly Lawson won a four round unanimous decision over Tammy Franks. After Franks (2-20), from San Antonio, TX, controlled the first round, Lawson (2-2), from Hollywood, CA, landed the more telling blows. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Lawson, 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Lawson.
Saruhan easily wins over Solis
Super featherweight Vahe Saruhan won a six round unanimous decision over Edwin Solis. Saruhan (5-0 1ND, 2 KOs), from Los Angeles, would easily counter to the head with straight right hands or left hooks whenever Solis charged in. At times, Solis (3-2, 3 KOs), from Pomona, would occasionally land a looping hook or counter, but the more-polished Saruhan continually landed the sharper punches. Saruhan won the bout by scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56. Fightnews.com scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Saruhan.
- Unbeaten junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan, unbeaten super featherweight contender Diego Magdaleno, former bantamweight world champion Richie Sandoval, and former junior welterweight fighter-turned-trainer Juan Valenzuela watched the action from ringside.
- Top Rank promoted the eight-bout “Top Rank Live” card, along with Ray Alcorta and Showdown Promotions.
- Ring announcer was Lupe Contreras.