By Felipe Leon
Photos: Leonso Nunez
A night of upsets and great fights were lived this past Saturday night in Tijuana when Zanfer Promotions brought their show home and presented yet another marathon fight card with eleven bouts scheduled at the Tecate Tour tent located at the Caliente Racetrack in the heart of the city. A nearly packed house were present to catch former title challenger and homegrown son Felipe Salguero (19-6-1, 14KOs) give everything he had but still fall against former world champion Giovanni Segura (32-3-1, 28KOs) in the ten round super flyweight main event which was broadcast live in all of Mexico by the Azteca network.
Segura is in line for a title shot against current reigning WBO and WBA flyweight champion Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada and took the stay busy fight in Tijuana while he waits for Estrada to face him. Segura nearly got more than he could handle when Salguero, no stranger to big stages as he has challenged for a world title before including last October when he faced IBF champ Johnriel Casimero in Manila, Philippines, at times looked to be in control of the action.
As expected the southpaw Segura was the aggressor scoring with his straight left as he stalked Salguero against the ropes and flung power punches to head and body of his slightly smaller opponent. Salguero had success early on as he stayed with a game plan of catching Segura in between punches with straighter missiles down the middle. In front of his home crowd that kept chanting his name, Salguero proved he showed up to fight and was giving a valiant effort as he was able to turn Segura around and score combinations while Giovanni had his back against the ropes. During one of those exchanges near the end of the fourth round Segura was able to catch Salguero flush with a left hook that sent Salguero down to the canvas. Salguero beat the count.
Salguero began to box from the sixth on looking to counter Segura’s non-stop attack and succeeding to score hard and quick combinations. Segura was still scoring the bigger punches and by the seventh Salguero showed the signs of the battle as he was cut over and under his right eye. Salguero was expanding a lot of energy trying to keep Segura at bay with his boxing and keeping up with him in the punch output. By the eighth he was spent but still throwing and catching punches.
A left hook in the tenth near a neutral corner hurt Salguero but was still able to dip under the wild and wide hooks Segura used to follow up. The punch coupled with overwhelming fatigue proved to be too much as Salguero crumbled down to the canvas as he back pedaled against the ropes trying to get away from Segura’s on coming attack. One look from referee Juan Jose Ramirez was enough for him to waive off the fight giving Segura the tenth round TKO win. Official time was 1:55.
“Topo” Rosas Beats “Cobra” Gonzalez Jr
In the semi-main event, former world champion Alberto “Topo” Rosas (39-8, 27KOs) of Nayarit, Mexico, proved to be too much for the rising Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr (22-1-2, 14KOs) handing the LA by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, his first loss via a unanimous decision with scores of 80-72, 77-75 and 78-74. The scheduled ten round super bantamweight contest was cut short in the ninth when a clash of heads opened up a cut in Rosas’ right eye.
Neither man was a stranger to the border city since Gonzalez Jr made his name in Tijuana by defeating to tough up and coming prospects in Hanzel Martinez and Jose “Tigre” Cayetano while Rosas lost his last fight against Daniel “Bad Boy” Rosas last October at the same venue.
Rosas laid out the blueprint early on as he put his head on the chest of the much taller Gonzalez Jr as if a magnet was holding it there and then just proceeded to slap punches to the head and body of his opponent from every direction and angle. Mid-way through the fight Gonzalez Jr’s face was busted up from the onslaught, as he just was not able to create distance between himself and “Topo” and was not being beaten to the punch but simply outworked.
It wasn’t until the sixth that “Cobrita” was finally able to use his jab and score some long shots but by the middle of the round Rosas was back inside and kept punishing Gonzalez Jr’s every way he could. The action heated up in the seventh with both scoring to the body hard but Rosas taking the round with three uppercuts to the face of Gonzalez Jr while by the next round Rosas had not only clearly won the fight up to that point but the crowd as they chanted “Topo, Topo” willing him to finish the fight in spectacular fashion.
The end was anti-climatic since a clash of heads early opened up a gash in the eyelid of Rosas and after the ringside doctor Ernesto Franco took a look, decided it was to dangerous to continue and advised referee Juan Jose Ramirez to stop the fight.
Piña Upsets “Hercules”
In a slight upset, Francisco Piña (11-11-5, 4KOs) of Ensenada, Mexico, defeated Filipino lefty Rogelio “Hercules” Doliguez (18-1-2, 14KOs) in a six round super featherweight bout in the classic Mexico-Philippines rivalry. Piña promptly showed that he wasn’t here to form the welcoming party for the visiting “Hercules” as he hurt him early in the first round with a right and followed seconds later with another that sent Doliguez to the canvas. Clearly shook, Doliguez beat the count and as Piña looked to finis him was able to survive the stanza.
Doliguez went on the offensive in the second scoring straight lefts that caused a slight mouse under the left eye of Piña as the Mexican countered by slipping the wild left and scoring with his own right. Doliguez was the busier of the two but Piña scored the harder punches including solid two-punch combos of a body shot followed with a right hook to the head.
Piña was able to close strong and the upset was revealed once announcer Pablo Flores read the scores of 59-55 twice and a much closer 57-56 all for Piña.
Baez Earns Unanimous Decision
In an all-action four round super bantamweight clash, Mexicali, Mexico’s Eduardo Baez (2-0) survived a non-stop attack from Alejandro “Cruel” Solis (3-1-1, 1KO) of Tijuana to take a unanimous decision in a much closer fight than the scores indicated. Baez looked to be scoring the best punches from the opening bell as he kept his distance and unleashed his long arms but near the end of the round Solis finally was able to connect solidly with an overhand right that buckled Baez’s knees. From that point on Baez looked uncertain in his punches, as it seemed that he held back in fear of getting caught again.
Despite Baez’s not opening up all the way he still was the more effective and accurate of the two as Solis’ looked for that big punch that never came. Solis still was able to score to the body and head of Baez but never with the same power than that right hand in the first. Judges Brenda Lopez and Teodoro Perez saw it 40-36 while Carlos Flores scored it 39-37 for Baez.
A fight broke out in the first fight after the televised portion of the night where Aaron “La Joya” Herrera (26-3, 17KOs) of Merida, Yucatan, out-gunned Ensenada’s Misael Castillo (26-3, 24KOs in eight junior welterweight rounds with a unanimous decision. The heavy artillery came out early as both forgot what a jab was and instead just threw big power punches to the body and head. The war continued and by the fourth both were bleeding from cuts when in an exchange Castillo scored a left hook that dropped Herrera. Castillo was deducted two points in separate rounds for spitting out his protector while Herrera closed out with harder punches and nearly sending Castillo to the canvas in the eighth and final round. Official scores were 76-73, 78-72 and 76-72 for Herrera.
A good scrap between Tijuana light flyweights Hector Flores (6-0-2, 2KOs) and Felix Rubio (2-7-1, 2KOs) was cut short after Flores suffered a cut in his right eyelid in the fourth round. Flores sent Rubio to the canvas in the third with a right hook while Rubio was having his moments with wild power shots. The bout scheduled for six rounds was deemed a no contest. Alejandro “Peque” Santiago (8-1-1, 3KOs) out of the CREA gym of Romulo Quirarte earned a unanimous decision over Francisco Landeros (1-3), both of Tijuana, with scores of 60-54 twice and 58-56 in a flyweight six rounder.
Mexicali’s Leonardo Baez (4-0, 3KOs), twin brother of Eduardo, stopped first timer Javier “Colibri” Castro (0-1) of Tijuana with a barrage of punches at the 2:08 mark of the first of a scheduled bantamweight four. Castro beat the count but referee Manuel Rincon deemed him fit not to continue.
Tijuana’s middleweight Antonio “Tony” Gutierrez (15-0-1, 7KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact in the toughest fight of his career against previously unbeaten Mario Baeza (5-1, 4KOs) of Guadalajara. Gutierrez took a unanimous decision with scores of 59-55 despite the action being much closer with Baeza giving Gutierrez all he could handle. An accidental head butt in the first opened up a gash over the right eye of Baeza that never kept bleeding and despite being in his first sixth rounder, Gutierrez closed the show well scoring his best attack in the last two rounds.
In a good give and take six round bantamweight fight Jesus “Estrellita” Ruiz (32-5-5, 22KOs) took a unanimous decision over Jose Carlos Vargas (13-9-1, 8KOs). Ruiz of Nogales, Mexico, scored the better punches and was quicker to pull the trigger but Guadalajara’s Vargas gave a good account of himself unfortunately not reflected in the scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
In the walk-out bout of the night, Cristian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (4-0, 4KOs) of Buena Park, CA, made quick work of Cristian Lopez (0-1) of Tijuana dropping him with a body shot at the 1:24 mark of the first round of a scheduled four. The contest was fought in the featherweight division.