Wow! The evolution of our local fighters plus the competitive arena for local promoters has certainly heated up. Once again, a local promoter outdid himself and once again local boxing fans became the beneficiaries.
Friday night, it was the long awaited return of super lightweight Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta of San Diego by way of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines (27-1, 15 KOs) who in the eighth and final round stopped the rugged Edgar “Basuras” Riovalle of Mexico City, Mexico (37-18-2, 26 KOs) to get the victory. This was the latest show in the “Ringside at Del Mar” boxing series held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and presented by Paco Presents, A&T GYM, Don Chargin in association with Barron Entertainment. As far as the talent level, each show has gotten better by hosting more and more competitive bouts. You talk about competition, check out these heavyweights of music.
The competition within the competition: the applause meter went through the roof after Gaytan finished his impeccable delivery of the Mexican National Anthem. As mentioned above, the swift of foot, even swifter of hands, Gesta scored his first win in his first fight back after a 16 month layoff. The fight came to an end at the :47 mark of the eighth round after Riovalle’s corner threw in the towel. At the time of their decision, Riovalle was getting pummeled by one flurry after another, unanswered shots to the both the stomach and head. Riovalle knew early on that he wasn’t going to be able to out-point Gesta, so all he could hope for was to land that one, big, knockout blow. Round after round, Riovalle was like a spider beckoning Gesta to come close so he could jump all over him and land the knockout blow. He’d often absorb six or seven of Gesta’s rapid fire punches just to land his own two to three punch combination.
By the seventh round, with all the earlier rounds in Gesta’s coffer, the situation got dire. That’s when Riovalle threw caution to the wind and Gesta made him pay for it with his repeated left hooks to the head and body to cause a late round knockdown.
Video of Gesta vs. Riovalle match provided by WhyYouScammin
In the opener, a super featherweight clash, they featured a classic righty versus lefty match-up between Riccy Hood, a tall, muscular righty from the San Diego Combat Academy and making his pro debut, going up against Mercito Gesta’s younger brother, southpaw Anecito “DonDon” Gesta.
This was one of those tit for tat matches. Each time Gesta would clobber Hood with a straight left, Hood made certain to return the favor with an even more powerful straight right. As long as he remembered to move to his left and stay away from Gesta’s power, he was doing fine. Then, three quarters of the way through round one, the fighters legs got tangled up and Hood, off-balance, fell to the canvas. The fall wasn’t caused by a punch, it was more of a slip and shove. Regardless, referee Jose Cobian ruled it was a knockdown, which gave Gesta a 10-8 round to start the contest. To make up for this gaffe, Hood spent the rest of the fight making certain he won every exchange, every round to earn the identical scores of 38-37 on the scorecards of judges Tony Crebs and Pat Russell. The contrarian score of 39-36 for Gesta by judge Fritz Werner is frankly unexplainable.
Bout #2, a light heavyweight match, featuring Manuel “El Venado” Ceballos of Merida, Yucatán, Mexico and Jamel “9MM” Reynolds from Los Angeles, CA was a bombs away slugfest in round one with both fighters landing countless big punches. Midway through the second round, that situation deteriorated substantially for Reynolds who suddenly went into survival mode. Everything he threw was off target. Everything Ceballos threw landed square. From that point, Reynolds was like one of those police in riot gear hiding behind a plastic shield. Only problem, his gloves and arms couldn’t stop the powerful, looping power shots to his head and body. Before long, Ceballos caught Reynolds with a punch that sent him flying backwards to the canvas. Reynolds beat the count but from that point on, he became Ceballos’ punching bag until the 2:21 mark of the third round when referee Pat Russell figured it was the proper time to call a halt to this beat down. The frustrated Reynolds became incensed and protested bitterly against the early stoppage.
In a super featherweight match, Bout #3, Roque “Rocky” Ramos of Vista, CA defeated the durable Luis Silva of Tijuana, B. C., Mexico with scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice. From past outings, it appears Silva has gotten much better. That being said, he had no chance against the better conditioned, harder throwing Ramos who likes to stand right there in front of you and bang away. When the scores were announced, two of the three judges had given Silva the one close round, round #2, when in fact Ramos finished that round by doubling up on two of the hardest right uppercuts that you’ll ever see. At that point, the action was in the far corner where two of the judges likely had an obstructed view.
In Bout #4, a featherweight contest, Prince “Tiger” Smalls (4-0-1) of the San Diego Combat Academy won an easy four round unanimous decision over the winless Michael Haigood (0-3). Simply put, Smalls’ accuracy combined with his head snapping jabs plus the occasional two and three punch combinations stopped Haigood dead in his tracks. Things got sloppy in the third and fourth rounds after the battered Haigood went with this smothering tactic of grab and hold which helped him last until the final bell.
In Bout #5, a featherweight contest, Chula Vista’s Jorge “Tito” Ruiz (6-1-0, 2 KOs) won an impressive, unanimous decision victory over the hard punching Oscar Venegas (3-4-0, 2 KOs) of Maywood, CA. In the action packed first round, Ruiz did well after establishing his stiff jab which set Venegas up for the occasional left hook or right cross. If that didn’t work, he’d wait on Venegas to throw his jab, then counter with the more accurate left hooks. In round two, Ruiz mixed things up and soon had Venegas’ face red. After becoming even more elusive in round three, he went back to the well placed counters. In round four, as if punctuating his fine performance, Ruiz landed the hardest punch of the fight, a big overhand right.
Venegas was certainly a worthy opponent but accepting the fight on just three days notice may have been his downfall. A Special Edition of “Ringside at Del Mar” will take place on Thursday, May 15th at 7 p.m. and be a part of the popular Golden Boy Live! On FOX Sports 1 boxing series presented by Corona Extra and O’Reily Auto Parts. This event will be televised live on both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes and be promoted by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in association with Paco Presents, A&T GYM, Don Chargin Productions, and San Diego based Barron Entertainment.