By: Felipe Leon
Photos: Felipe Leon
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Box Latino and PM Promotions joined forces on Saturday night to put on an exciting seven bout fight card billed as “The Revenge” at the legendary El Foro Theatre in the heart of TIjuana, MX. The theatre housed Jai Alai matches in its previous life but now is known at the house that the sweet science built since its considered the home of Tijuana club shows. In a stunning upset, Carlos Rueda (12-3, 11KO) of Nicaragua stopped previously unbeaten David “Flecha” Gaspar (9-1-1, 6KO) with a third round TKO in a scheduled ten round super flyweight match up while in the semi main event Juan Luis “Perla Negra” Hernandez earned a tough split decision over Costa Rica’s Alejandro Martinez in ten bantamweight rounds.
After an uneventful round and a half of study where Gaspar tried to find his long range over the much shorter Rueda, “Flecha” let his hands go near the end of the round and lands a hard counter right hand that gets the attention of his opponent. In the second, Gaspar heeds the instructions of his corner and begins to attack the body with focused attack. The strategy earns dividends quickly as Rueda is forced to take a knee to slow down the onslaught. As Rueda beats the count, Gaspar lands a hard right uppercut in the inside as Rueda survives the round.
Seconds into the third, a determined Rueda lands a picture perfect left hook to the chin of Gaspar who crashes down to the canvas. Gaspar gets to his feet quickly only to be met with another left hook this time followed with a right hand that sends him down again. With a dazed look on his face, Gaspar reaches his feet once again but Rueda smelled blood and attacked the twenty one year old to the other side of the ring landing a right hand that sent Gaspar crashing against the ropes forcing referee Juan Jose Ramirez to halt the massacre at the 1:02 mark of the third round.
With Box Latino and PM Promotions planning to set up a rematch of last year’s Tijuana fight of the year between Juan Luis “Perla Negra” Hernandez and the victor of the main event Carlos Rueda in which after getting his jaw broken Rueda rose from the canvas to stop Hernandez (13-2-1, 8KO) in the seventh round, they assigned Alejandro “Timon” Martinez (12-1-1, 8KO) of Costa Rica to the fan favorite Hernandez this time around.
It could of derailed the plans.
Martinez of Mexicali, MX, by way of Costa Rica, began the bout relaxed and quicker to the punch as he counter punched Tijuana’s Hernandez easily developing a mouse under the right of Hernandez by the end of the first stanza. Hernandez took control in the second as he attacked the body trying to slow down the come forward style of Martinez. Near the end of the round, Hernandez lands a right hand that gets Martinez’s attention and “Perla Negra” tries to finish the night early attacking furiously until the bell but to no avail. Hernandez begins to slug it out in the third hoping “Timon” had not recouped from the last round. Martinez begins to box as he tries to keep the attacking Hernandez at bay. By mid round, Hernandez hurts Martinez again and speeds up his assault but only to leave himself open for a left hook that makes his knees buckle. In the third round, Hernandez slowed down considerably as he began to breathe thru his mouth.
The fight moved to the center of the ring for round four as both fighters were content to make it a phone booth war and began to exchange upper cut from either fist. Hernandez seemed to have the upper hand. Hernandez began to box for the beginning of round five, using the ring and moving around its perimeter. Despite Martinez not being as skillful on the inside as Hernandez, standing awkwardly at close range, “Timon” decided to force the action once again to the proverbial phone booth and attacked the body of Hernandez. In the sixth and seventh, a stronger and fresher Martinez stalked Hernandez around the ring as the Tijuana favorite looked worse for wear and boxed around the ring trying to stay away from his attacker.
Early on in the eighth Martinez rocks Hernandez with a hard right hand and seconds later lands a left hook to the body that drops “Perla Negra” to the canvas wincing in pain. Suprinsingly, Hernandez beats the count and goes on the counter attack and wins the round. Presumably behind on the score cards, Hernandez begins the ninth boxing from the perimeter but then thinks against it and invites Martinez into the phone booth in the middle of the ring again and goes after the mid section of the Cosa Rican trying to end the night early. Martinez gets hit with pot shots as Hernandez although seemingly winded is still able to box in the tenth round. As Martinez tries to gain real estate coming in with his hands down, Hernandez meets him with jab/right hand combinations through out the tenth and final round.
Judge Juan Carlos Pelayo scored it 95-94 for Hernandez while Monique Rendon saw it the other way for Martinez also with a 95-94 tally while the tie breaking judge Juan Jose Ramirez scored it 96-93 awarding a split decision for Hernandez.
After dropping Juan Velazquez (13-7-4, 3KO) of Mexicali, MX, twice in the first round, super featherweight Omar Estrella (10-1-3, 6KO) took his foot off the gas and let his opponent survive until the fourth round when an accidental head butt forced referee Juan Jose Ramirez to halt the contest and declare a technical draw.
Estrella dropped Velazquez with a stiff right hand in the opening seconds of the first stanza and then followed up with a thundering left hook. Confusingly, Estrella did not pick up the pace in the ensuing rounds and was awarded with the decision for his inaction. Official time of the stoppage was 2:34 of the fourth round of a scheduled eight.
Flyweight Felipe Salguero of Tijuana sent Ciudad Obregon’s Jesus Valenzuela with a right cross at the end of the first and then again mid way thru the third with a hard compact left hook to the chin that sent knocked out Valenzuela cold and had to be revived for several minutes.
With the win, Salguero goes to 8-2, while Valenzuela drops to 1-4, 1KO.
In a four round battle of overweight middleweights, Jorge Juarez (8-11-3, 2KO) and Ruben Porras (1-6-2) fought to a draw. Both fighters hailed from Tijuana.
Los Angeles, CA’s Jesus Balderas did quick work of Rene Ruiz of Ensenada, MX, stopping him mid way thru the first round. After dropping Ruiz with a stiff right hand, Balderas ended the affair with a hard left hook to the chin that sent his opponent down to the canvas. The referee Juan Morales Lee decided to waive off the fight with no count. Official time was 1:10 of the first round. Balderas goes back home with a 7-3-1 record while Ruiz drops to an even 2-2, 2KO.
In a whirlwind battle of super featherweights, Rogelio Lugo Jr. (1-0) made his pro debut a good one with a first round stoppage over southpaw Cristian Zavala (0-2) of Tijuana at the 2:09 mark of the first round. Lugo Jr. of Los Angeles by way of Mexicali lost his cool after being hit with a flush left hook to the jaw early in the fight and attacked Zavala for the remainder of the round. After dropping his opponent with a body blow, Lugo Jr. went in with the kill forcing referee Juan Morales Lee to waive off the contest.
For more info on the San Diego/Tijuana boxing scene, please visit www.SDFights.com