By Felipe Leon
Photos: Leonso Nunez
Using a venue rarely seen for Tijuana boxing, sporadic promoter Round 13 Promotions gathered a solid audience at the Parque Morelos Palenque to enjoy live music, amateur fights and then a solid seven-bout fight card that maybe be the best of the year so far for the border city. The eight round main event between local super bantamweights Reynaldo “Rey” Russell (13-2-1, 6KO) and Rosalio “Aspid” Rios (7-3, 6KO) is without a doubt the best local fight of year.
It was Russell early on despite being the much shorter and physically smaller man inside the ring. His quick footwork and even quicker hands proved difficult for Rios. By the third Rios had warmed up and despite being the one with the height advantage, he was happy to stay on the inside and mix it up with Russell whose accurate punches began to hurt Rios. Rios attacked the body while Russell concentrated more on the head.
In the fourth Rios began to turn the tide towards his side with sheer aggressiveness, pushing the fight and not allowing Russell to move around as much as in the earlier rounds. From here on out, the rounds began to see-saw with Russell winning his with quick punches, boxing in and out and scoring the more accurate attack while Rios just poured on the onslaught. When Russell was near enough, Rios would explode with a flurry of punches, some landing and some not.
After eight rounds of non-stop action and with every round a difficult one to judge, all three judges surprisingly for Tijuana saw it for the same fighter. Jesus Gonzalez scored it 78-75 while Esteban Franco and Julian Palombo saw it 77-75, all for Russell giving him the unanimous win.
Avala Dominates Robles
In the four round bantamweight semi-main event, undefeated Christian “Coralillo” Ayala (7-0, 4KO) dominated Julio “Sexy Boy” Robles (3-3-1), both of Tijuana, in an exciting match up. Ayala utilized an aggressive style to stay on top of the southpaw Robles with right uppercuts and a long straight right. Robles kept digging to the body but it didn’t seem to make an effect on the determined Ayala who kept punishing “Sexy Boy” with crosses including one that sent Robles to the canvas early in the second.
Despite the knockdown, Robles was not deterred and came out stronger than ever in the second half of the fight. The last round was the best one for Robles since Ayala gave up the distance and allowed the shorter Robles to get on the inside and do some work. It was a little too late as all three judges saw it for Ayala with scores of 40-35, 40-36 and 38-37.
A left hook to the body was all it took for light heavyweight Ricardo “Maikito” Martinez (4-0, 3K) to lay out Ivan “Pantera” Ojeda (0-1), both of Tijuana, in the first round of a scheduled four. Official time was twenty-one seconds.
Junior flyweight Felix “Chapito” Rubio (3-7-1, 3KO) wore down Carlos Lopez (0-10), both of Tijuana, in the second round and stopped him with a barrage of punches at the 2:48 of the round. Lopez gave a good account of himself in the first but Rubio took over in the second and was too quick and too strong. A series of punches with Lopez against the ropes did the trick and forced referee Juan Manuel Rincon to stop the fight.
In one of the best fights in Tijuana this year, Saul “Bebe” Hernandez (5-5, 4KO) earned a TKO win over tough as nails Pedro Palma (3-5, 2KO) in the fourth and last round of (weight) war. The much shorter Palma, known as a tough out, went after Hernandez and had no trouble getting on the inside and went to work. Hernandez of Tijuana had better luck on the outside and was able to catch Palma in the third with an uppercut that sent the Palma down. Palma came out of the fourth and went after Hernandez but his aggressiveness cost him the fight as Hernandez was able to catch him with hard punches against the ropes and hurt him. For once in a long time referee Juan Manuel Rincon did the right thing and stopped the fight at the 2:36 of the fourth and the final round.
In a surprise move, referee Juan Manuel Rincon stopped what looked to be the good start of a exciting scrap between Erick Orozco (3-1-1, 2KO) and Antonio Perez (0-1), both of Tijuana, in the first round. Good action from the opening bell but after a barrage of punches from Orozco, Rincon stopped although Perez didn’t look hurt. Official time was :22 seconds of the first of a scheduled four.
Light welterweight Michele Cañete (1-2, 1KO) finally earned a win with a knockout of first timer Humberto Zavala (0-1), both of Tijuana. After dropping him in the first with a left hook, Cañete let Zavala live for in the second and then scored a well-placed uppercut in the third to drop him for good. Official time was thirty-four seconds of the third round of a scheduled four.