By Felipe Leon
Photos: Rafael Soto/Zanfer
On midnight, September 16th in 1810, a catholic priest by the name of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered a cry of “Viva Mexico” which marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. To commemorate, Tijuana’s Zanfer Promotions along with Mexican mega channel Canal Azteca traveled a few miles south to the seaside hamlet of Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, to present a seven bout fight card. Equivalent to the United States’ 4th of July, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated with much flag waving and fireworks. It was no different inside the Ernesto Ruffo Apel Municipal Gymnasium as former world champ Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda (36-6-1, 29KOs) did short work of Colombian Juan Carlos Leon in two rounds of the super flyweight contest.
Miranda, who in his last bout was dethroned as the WBO flyweight champ by Brian Viloria last July, is a forty-three fight veteran whose last three losses have come in world title fights and to elite competition while Leon who despite facing former world champions Juan Palacios and Ulises “Archie” Solis had never been stopped.
The action was swift in the first as both fighters circled around each other in the now expected round of study. Leon was originally scheduled to face Giovani Segura in the main even but after the former world champion suffered a late wrist injury, Miranda was elevated to the featured bout to face the visiting fighter.
As Leon circled around him, throwing quick combinations to the head, the southpaw Miranda attacked the body with hard left hooks to the liver. Leon looked very confident and strong to begin the second as he turned up the pressure slightly and went after Miranda with quick combos to the head. Miranda kept plugging away to the body and mid way through the round landed an even harder shot to the body that made Leon slow down and take notice. It was all Miranda from there on in the second as Leon kept punching and moving around the perimeter but his attack did not have the same intensity as the first half of the round. Leon tried to box and get away but the seasoned Miranda was able to close the gaps and trap him against the ropes until the sound of the bell to signal the end of the second.
When Leon sat on the stool, he immediately began to complain of pain on his side and refused to continue forcing referee Juan Jose Ramirez to signal the halt of the contest at the onset of the third. Official time was :10 of the third round.
Orucuta Looks Spectacular in TKO Win
In what turned out to be the best performance of the night, the twenty-five year old Felipe “Gallito” Orucuta (22-1, 18KOs) looked down right flawless in stopping Deiby Perez (14-5-2, 8KOs) of Medellin, Columbia, in five rounds in the semi main event of the night. Orucuta, who was training for a September 24th date, was called last minute when Giovani Segura injured himself and the Mexico City native was immediately given the task of facing the much shorter Perez in a scheduled bantamweight ten rounder.
The hard hitting Orucuta has been destroying everybody in his way and his only loss came in a controversial ten round decision in the final of the “Campeon Azteca” tournament to Daniel Rosas late last year.
The first began with a jab contest as both fighters found their range with Perez’s left hand seeming to get there quicker. By the end of the first three minutes, “Gallito” felt comfortable enough to land a series of left hooks to the body as both fighters closed the round fighting in the inside. To start the second, Orucuta attempted to score with right hands but was not able to find the head of Perez with the punches coming up short. Perez kept scoring with combinations that landed to both head and body but with not much power on them. Orucuta scored the harder punches while Perez was busier.
Orucuta welcomed Perez to the third with a hard right hand on the chin that hurt Perez. Finally Orucuta found the range for his stiff right and began to score with it almost at will. Realizing that perhaps the momentum was turning towards the Mexican, Perez began to throw more punches in hopes of swaying the judges to his side but Orucuta was having none of it as he landed the crisper, cleaner punches and fell into a rhythm with his defense also improving once he deciphered his opponent’s style.
Orucuta’s superb defense continued in the fourth as they continued to exchange in the middle of the ring with both fighters displaying nice timing and speed. Despite being the much taller of the two, Orucuta fought well in the inside when Perez decided to back track towards the ropes and landed well placed uppercuts with either fist. Orucuta began to force the action near the end of the round, trying to hurt Perez who although not showing any visible damage, seemed as the brawl was beginning to be too much for him.
It didn’t take much in the beginning of the fifth since as soon as both fighters met in the middle of the canvas, Orucuta landed a devastating left upper cut to the mouth of Perez’s stomach which sent the Colombian to his knees, reeling in pain. Referee Juan Jose Ramirez had no choice but to administer the ten count raising Orucuta’s hand for the win.
“School Boy” Gets Taught a Lesson Again
Monterey Park, CA’s Walter “School Boy” Sarnoi (9-2, 5KOs) traveled south as he has done in his last five fights only to meet disaster once again as Ensenada, Mexico’s Francisco Piña (5-2-3, 2KOs) again was able to defeat Thai fighter but this time in an eight round featherweight decision.
Piña first welcomed Sarnoi to Baja California last December by administering a beating in which he dropped the “School Boy” twice, once in the first and the fourth, en route to a six round unanimous decision. Sarnoi, after earning two TKO wins over lesser opposition, decided to go after his previous executioner in a rematch.
With perhaps vengeance on his mind, Sarnoi didn’t transmit the feeling to his fists as he was never able to muster enough action to convince the judges he wanted to win. Piña wasn’t any better but at the end he proved that if anything, he brought the fight enough to Sarnoi to take the bout.
Through out the contest, Piña looked the more confident of the two while Sarnoi, perhaps careful of Piña’s power which he had experienced before, the more hesitant. The action didn’t really start until the third when Piña took a risk and went after Sarnoi, landing a hard left hook that stuns the “School Boy”. Sarnoi comes back with one of his own and pushes Piña towards the ropes but after that, didn’t do much more to press the action and the round fell back to one of inactivity and empty feints.
Sarnoi was effective with his jab as he landed it enough that by the fourth Piña began to develop a mouse under his left eye. This time Piña was the one that trapped Sarnoi against the ropes but he did not waste the opportunity and landed a good combination that forced Sarnoi to get tangled up in the ropes prompting referee Manuel Rincon to break them up.
Starting in the fifth, Piña became even more of the aggressor as he continued to attack to the body. In the sixth, Piña counterpunched well over the Sarnoi jab and landed a jab and straight right of his own. In the seventh and eighth, neither fighter did much and occasionally they met to exchange a series of punches with neither one coming up on top.
At the end, all three judges saw it the same with scores of 77-75 for Piña.
In a battle of debuting bantamweights, Gregorio Ronquillo (1-0, 1KO) stopped Jose Luis Caravantes (0-1), both of Tijuana, at the 2:22 mark of the second round. Ronquillo, the more traditional boxer of the two, fought from the middle of the ring while Caravantes circled the perimeter with his lead left hand near his waist. Ronquillo went to the body while Caravantes looked stiff in the exchanges. As soon as the second began, Caravantes looked winded and his work rate slowed down considerably. He scored with a straight right and Ronquillo took that as his cue to step up the pace and force Caravantes towards the ropes with a barrage of punches. As expected, referee Manuel Rincon stepped in and stopped the action.
Ensenada, Mexico’s Martin Romario (1-0, 1KO) made his debut fight a good one as he stopped Oscar Diaz (0-1) of Tijuana in the first in a joke of a fight. Diaz looked as if it was the first time that he strapped on a pair of gloves. Romario scored with a hard right hand that forced Diaz to touch a glove to the canvas which referee Rincon marked as a knock down. Romario wasn’t much to talk about but he did enough with a bunch of punches that gave Rincon enough reason to put Diaz and the boxing fans in attendance out of their misery. Official time was :48 of the first round.
After four flyweight rounds, sixteen year old Jonas Salvatierra (2-0) scored the second win of his career with a unanimous decision over Angel Rodriguez (0-1) of Tijuana. Salvatierra of Ensenada, Mexico, looked relaxed as he found a home for his right hand early in the first round. Salvatierra continued his dominance in the second but this time coupling his right hand with nice jabs and left hooks to the body although with not much behind them. Rodriguez displayed good movement as he tried to stay away but didn’t do much in the way of offense. Rodriguez made a push in the third and threw more punches but Salvatierra caught him coming in with a right hand. By the fourth, Rodiguez’s fatigue was visible and Salvatierra went for the knock out but to no avail as the fight came to an end. Salvatierra was awarded the unanimous decision although no official scores were announced.
Light flyweight Francisco Rodriguez (4-0, 4KOs) kept his perfect record intact as he made very quick work of Artemio Garcia (0-1) in the first round. Rodriguez of Monterey, Mexico, looked impressive as he seamlessly switched from southpaw to orthodox as he dropped Garcia early with a hard combination. Garcia beat the count only to be met with a hard straight left from Rodriguez’s southpaw stance to fall against the ropes. Rincon had seen enough and waived off the bout. Official time was 2:16 of the first.