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Column

San Diego/Tijuana Fight Scene

By Felipe Leon

With an overwhelming number of professional boxers in the San Diego/Tijuana region, there is no rest for the fighters on both sides of the border. In the next couple of weeks before the end of the year, many pugilists from the region have career defining fights on their doorstep.

In boxing, nothing is official until a contract is signed. For Filipino southpaw lightweight Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (26-0-1, 14KOs) of San Diego by way of Cebu, Philippines, things just got serious as he has signed his side of the deal that will put him in a ring across IBF lightweight champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez (32-3, 13KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday, December8th, on the under card of Pacquiao-Marquez IV in Las Vegas, NV. To get ready, Gesta has traveled with his team to Big Bear, CA, to take advantage of the high altitude to get the conditioning he must more certainly need to cut the ring for the running Vazquez. Vazquez is coming off a more than an uninspired performance versus another local fighter, Marvin “Cachorro” Quintero late last month.

Quintero’s gym mate and current WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21KOs), who along with Quintero trains out of Tijuana, Mexico’s CREA gym under the tutelage of Romulo Quirarte and his sons, is more than ready to take on Adrien Broner on Saturday, November 17th, in Atlantic City, NJ, broadcast live on HBO.

On the same night super flyweight Ivan “Niño Maravilla” Morales (18-0, 12KOs), younger brother of former champions Diego “Pelucho” and Erik “Terrible” Morales, will fight for the second time under the Golden Boy Banner in Mexico City when he takes on Oscar “Bebe” Gallardo (12-4-1, 5KOs) over ten rounds. In his last bout, the twenty-one year old Morales won a hard-fought technical decision over the experienced Luis “Titi” Maldonado (36-9-1, 27KOs). In it Morales suffered a cut over his right eye in the tenth and final round that put him out of commission for a couple of months. In Gallardo, the southpaw Morales will face a tough fighter out of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico who has faced much better opposition than the young Morales and is considered a good gauge for the brother of a living legend.

One night before in, the “SD Kid” Christopher Martin (24-2-3, 7KOs) will be part of his new promoter Thompson Boxing’s “Lock ‘N’ Loaded” club show at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA. The super bantamweight has had a tough 2012 with a draw over Teon Kennedy and then a controversial loss against Luis Orlando del Valle. Martin got back on the win column with a knock out win over Mexicali’s Roberto Castañeda and is now ready to give the southern California fans the type of fight he is known for.

After his impressive showing with two week’s notice against Japanese Yoshihiro Kamegai, twenty-year old Tijuana welterweight Jorge “Pantera” Silva (19-2-2, 15KOs) is rumored to be next in line to take on former world champion Marcos Maidana on December 15th in Argentina. In his last fight in early October, Silva fought the highly touted undefeated Kamegai to a majority draw in a fight many saw him win. Silva hurt Kamegai in the first and almost had him out mid fight but the tough Kamegai was able to survive. Now Silva is being tapped to go to the South American country and take on his toughest opponent to date.

One who is taking a big step on Saturday, November 10th at the Staples Center is light welterweight Antonio Orozco (15-0, 11KOs) of San Diego. Orozco will be facing Danny Escobar (8-1, 5KOs) in his first scheduled ten rounder in his four fight of the year. Orozco has been featured on a number of high profile under cards since signing on with Golden Boy Promotions on Saturday night will be no different as he will perform on the under card of the much anticipated Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno championship bout.

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