On Saturday night, two of San Diego’s top pugilists, 27 year-old Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (23-0,15 KOs) and 27 year-old southpaw Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (29-1-2, 16 KOs) were again out there on the world stage
fighting top caliber opponents. This time they were on the undercard of an HBO World Title fight between Lucas Matthysse (37-3, 34 KOs) and Viktor Postol (27-0, 12 KOs) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Pre-fight, Orozco’s opponent, the 18 year veteran Humberto “The Crafty Little Fox” Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs) from Tijuana, B. C., Mexico, had this to say about his pending match with Orozco: “It’s going to be a good fight, youth against experience. I think the people who see this fight are going to be the real winners. Nothing personal against Antonio Orozco, but I do believe experience will beat youth.”
Soto had won his last seven fights to include a 10-round decision win over John Molina in his most recent fight. After being a monstrous opponent for years, many had predicted Soto would win this match. Apparently, Orozco didn’t get the memo. He systematically used his excellent counter-punching skills and took full advantage of his much faster hands to defeat the wily veteran. There were no knockdowns in this 10 round affair but Orozco had a point deducted in round nine for hitting Soto with low blows. Even with that point deduction, the judges still had Orozco winning almost every round. The judges scores read 98-91 and 97-92 twice in favor of Orozco.
With the Super Lightweight division being the toughest in boxing, Orozco’s road to a world title doesn’t get any easier as he will now have to face the gatekeepers, people like Viktor Postol, Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner, Sadam Ali, Timothy Bradley, Jr., Lamont Peterson, Jessie Vargas, Jose Benavides and Felix Diaz.
Mercito Gesta (29-1-2, 16 KOs) also won an unanimous decision over the one dimensional, wild swinging Miguel Angel Mendoza (22-7-2, 21 KOs) of Aguas Caliente, Aguas Caliente, Mexico who took the fight on just two days notice. This one got off to a rocky start when in round two Gesta suddenly lost his footing and referee Jerry Cantu ruled the backward fall a knockdown.
What really happened? The cunning Mr. Mendoza put his left foot behind Gesta’s right foot and gave a shove with his right hand which may have appeared to be a knockdown punch to referee Jerry Cantu who only saw Gesta fall backwards when he was tripped.
If you’ve been around boxing as long as I have, I’m sure you’ve heard the counsel from veteran trainers where they tell a boxer: “Whatever you do, don’t leave the decision in the hands of the judges.” Of all the boxers, past and present, it’s doubtful any have followed that recommendation more than Mr. Mendoza. In his 31 ring appearances, he has only allowed the decision to go to the judges four times.
Prior to Saturday’s fight, many felt Mendoza had no shot against Gesta who has the quicker hands and superior footwork. Then Saturday, Mr. Mendoza went at it like this crouching tiger with wide, looping, all or nothing haymaker punches. It didn’t take long before the “underdog backers” in the crowd got on his bandwagon. Still, it was obvious that Gesta prevailed. All three scorecards had Gesta winning with scores of 97-92 (twice) and 96-93. With the loss, Mendoza has now lost five of his last six.
In the Main Event, Lucas Matthysse from Junín, Buenos Aires, Argentina versus Viktor “The Iceman” Postol from Kiev, Ukraine, the bout ended abruptly in the 10th round after Postol caught Matthysse with a solid right to the left side of his face that sent him to the canvas. At that point the fully attentive Matthysse knelt on one knee and made no effort to get up.
As any smart bookmaker will tell you, Matthysse faced too many obstacles in this matchup. Postol was two years younger, 4½ inches taller, had a 4½” reach advantage, and was fresher from not having fought so many difficult fights. Postol’s tactics involved fighting southpaw, circling to the right, away from Matthysse’s power and keep taking these hard pot shots at the smaller man which eventually took their toll.
If you’re keeping score of the moneys earned, Matthysse is set to make a purse of $500,000, while his opponent Viktor Postol gets $90,000 with more to be made from overseas money. In the co-feature, Humberto Soto and Antonio Orozco are expected to receive $100,000 each.
On the undercard
Unbeaten featherweight, 22 year-old southpaw Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez (15-0, 8 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. won a ten round unanimous decision over 27 year-old Hugo Partida (20-6-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico. The nephew of the late junior lightweight champion, Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez, put in a workmanlike effort to produce the near shutout with scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 100-90, all in his favor.
Nicolas Arce (5-0, 5 KOs) stopped Juanito Hernandez (3-1) from Tijuana, B. C., Mexico with a well timed left hook to the liver at 0:29 of round four in this super featherweight match which was scheduled for six rounds. With the good back and forth action early, the 19 year-old’s fans, most wearing pink shirts, went wild for their hometown hero.
Marcelino Nicolas Lopez (32-1-1, 17 KOs) of Arribenos, Buenos Aires, Argentina had virtually no problem defeating the 33 year-old veteran David Rodela (17-12-4, 7 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif. The beating lasted all of seven minutes in the scheduled 8 round super lightweight contest. The 29 year-old Argentinian native was all over Rodela in the first round, dropped him with a hard left in the second and then pummeled him even harder in the third round until referee Eddie Hernandez waved off the bout at 1:04 of the third. While Lopez was making his U.S. debut a success, Rodela was busy dropping his seventh in his last eight bouts.
D’Mitrius Ballard (10-0, 7 KOs) won an unanimous decision over 28 year-old journeyman Juan Carlos “Chiflado” Rojas (8-13-1, 7 KOs) of Saltillo, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico in their super middleweight bout with scores of 60-53, 59-54 and 58-55. The 22 year-old from Temple Hills, Maryland boxer landed the cleaner, harder shots and was in charge from the opening bell.
The only real upset on the night occurred in the opener when 26 year-old super featherweight Alejandro Ochoa (7-10-2, 1 KO) from Bell Gardens, Calif. earned himself a majority decision over 25 year-old Kevin “K-Smoove” Rivers Jr. (12-1, 9 KOs) from Landover, Maryland in their six round affair. Ochoa simply outworked his opponent and by the final round you could see Rivers was hurting from the unrelenting body attack. Judges scored the bout 59-53 (twice) for Ochoa and then the one blind judge scored it a very generous 56-56 draw.
On Friday, September 25, in the co-main event of a show in Ontario, Calif., 23 year-old Giovani Santillan of San Diego (17-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated after winning a hard fought majority decision against the taller Ernesto Ortiz (10-3, 7 KOs) of Morelos, Mex.
Ortiz, who made weight at junior welterweight, could have easily made weight at welterweight. In the match he possessed quick hands and a powerful right hand. Santillan, off since February due to a hand injury, showed no evidence of ring rust and was able to mix in uppercuts with crushing body shots throughout their 8-round fight.
In the seventh round, the fight might as well have taken place in a phone booth as both fighters stood toe to toe. In the end, it was Santillan coming away with the majority decision victory, perhaps the closest victory of his career with scores of 76-76, 78-74 and 80-72.After the fight, Santillan (red trunks) said, “I think this is exactly the type of fight that I needed. Ortiz is a great competitor and the only way to get better is to be in these tough fights.”
Also on this weekend, our local San Diego USA Amateur boxers representing LBC 44 had a field day in Oxnard, Calif. at the 41st Annual National PAL Tournament. The various San Diego County representatives won so many honors, so many trophies, they were thinking about renting a U-Haul-It truck to bring them home. On hand to bestow the 2015 National Pal Trophies and Belts were former world champions Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Fernando “Ferocious” Vargas and Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill.
Also present was our LBC 44 head of officials Willie Kuhn and wouldn’t you know it, Mr. Kuhn was honored by the local Police Athletic League as their top judge – for a fourth time.
When it comes to the 2015 National PAL Champions, we mustn’t forget Andrea “The Boss” Medina (l) and Martin Ramirez (r) from the Bound Boxing Academy on Broadway in Chula Vista. The Bound Boxing Academy will be hosting another of their Friday Night Fights Shows on Friday, October 16th starting at 7 p.m.
The good news never stops
Tomorrow, October 6, 2015, 24 year-old Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui (23-1, 19 KOs) of Tijuana by way of El Vigia, Venezuela, who trains at the Undisputed Downtown Gym with Jose Cital, will be taking on 28 year-old Julius “The Chef” Jackson (19-0, 15 KOs), the son of the legendary Julian “The Hawk” Jackson of Saint Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands at the Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, Texas in an IBF super middleweight title eliminator or should we say thriller.
Jose Uzcategui of the Undisputed Downtown Gym is shown training with his coach Jose Cital at the Mayweather Boxing Club, Las Vegas, NV ahead of Uzcategui’s clash with Julius Jackson.