By Felipe Leon
Photos: Renzo Novara
Despite the Independence Day celebrations being held a mere ten miles north across the border, no fireworks were seen at Tijuana, Mexico’s Hanger 27 in a fight presented by Gonzalez Boxing Promotions. A run of the mill bantamweight six rounder topped the short card, for Tijuana standards, with Reynaldo “Rey” Russell (9-2-1, 5KOs) over late sub Enrique “Cholito” Flores (0-17-1), both of Tijuana.
Flores, a substitute for that not much better originally scheduled Allan Varela (0-5) of Mexicali, from the opening bell knew exactly what his role was it wasn’t to win but to survive and make Russell look good. After a slow first round, the slightly shorter Russell began to put his punches together in the second and began to score well with an over hand right. Flores slightly went off the script during the same round as he put together a combination of a right hook to the body and then followed it up with a hook to the chin that caught Russell flush. At the bell to end the third, Russell scored with a straight right as Flores moved laterally and was able to send his over matched opponent done. Flores beat the count and continued to just throw slow punches in the fourth and fifth as Russell cruised along with heavier artillery but not enough to hurt Flores again.
Flores didn’t really step on the gas until the final round when he had his best three minutes and pushed the fight surprisingly scoring with two straight rights that caught Russell’s attention. Too little, too late as the end came at the end of six with all three judges scoring it a lopsided shutout for Russell with scores of 60-53 three times.
Zavala Wins a Close One
In the semi-main event, Tijuana lightweight Ivan “Oso” Zavala and Cristian Barajas put together a busy four round contest with Barajas meeting the canvas in the first due to an over hand right in their first exchange. Barajas began to box from the outside as Zavala relied on counterpunching his slightly taller opponent’s attack. Barajas scored more often by Barajas’ punches were harder even if he only was able to score one punch at a time when he got on the inside.
In the fourth and final round, both threw punches but missed most of them while Barajas looked to be the one looking for the fight. A head butt caused a cut over Barajas left eye but he was able to make it until the final bell. Judges Diana De La Mora and Esteban Franco scored it 39-37 for Zavala while Jesus Gonzalez saw it an even 38-38. Fightnews scored it 38-37 for Barajas.
Junior welterweight Alexis Gurrola (1-0, 1KO) only needed fifty-eight seconds of the first round to make his pro debut a good one when two consecutive right hands dropped Manuel Lopez (0-1), both of Tijuana, to the canvas. Lopez beat the count but was in no way able to continue.
After struggling in the first two rounds, Tijuana welterweight Pastor Elenes (5-1, 2KOs) dropped Eduardo “Kromo” Espinoza (03-1), also of Tijuana, with a short right hand in the second and then out boxed the shorter Espinoza. “Kromo” tried to make his fight bull rushing but Elenes met him as he came in with either an uppercut or a hold. After the four rounds, scores were 40-35, 38-37 and 39-36 for Elenes.
Francisco Pedroza (1-2) earned his first win as a professional with a majority decision over the tough Norberto Espinoza (0-1), both of Tijuana, in a flyweight four rounder. Scores were 39-37 and 40-36 for Pedroza while one judge had it an even 38-38.