With a pending month long celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial around the corner in September, the fireworks came early this past Friday night at Tijuana, MX’s Municipal Auditorium compliments of bantamweight Jose “Tigre” Cayetano (7-0, 2KOs) as he systematically destroyed Jesus “Kalaka” Navarrete (18-4, 13KOs) in two rounds in the final of the “Guante Azteca (Aztec Glove)” tournament presented by Zanfer Promotions and Canal Azteca.
The pride and joy of Colonia Aleman, of one of the roughest neighborhoods in TIjuana, Cayetano was the least experienced of the field of eight that began the tournament but he got passed the tournament initial favorite Fernando “Ferocito” Vargas with a split four round decision back in June after dropping him in the second and then earned an eight round unanimous decision over Luis “Chupacabras” Gomez in early July to secure his place in the final.
Navarrete of Mexicali, MX, did not have it any easier on his way to the final bout scheduled for eight rounds as he suffered a nasty gash caused by an intentional head butt from his first opponent Jose Tamayo which led to a disqualification win and then won a majority decision in late July over Oscar “Bebe” Gallardo to reach the final.
With a heavy pro-Cayetano crowd of over two thousand fight fans against him, the southpaw Navarrete began to establish his jab early on the first round while Cayetano swiftly slipped with his guard down and by leaning back towards the ropes. Mid way through the round with this back in the blue corner, Cayetano landed a counter looping right hand that sent “Kalaka” tumbling toward the middle of the ring as the crowd erupted with chants of “Tigre, Tigre” as they urged the local fighter to finish his opponent off. Cayetano chased Navarrete down and trapped him against a neutral corner and was able to hurt him again with another right hand but the Mexicali fighter was able to survive the round.
The end came soon there after as Cayetano again landed a counter right hand to start the second but this time it sent Navarrete crashing down to the canvas in the corner. Navarrete was able to beat the count but on wobbly legs and with the crowd behind him, Cayetano swarmed over his opponent and began to throw looping punches with abandon as Navarrete tried to hold on. Cayetano scored again and dropped his opponent again. The game Navarrete beat the count administered by referee Juan Morales Lee once again but only to be met with a straight right hand seconds later that sent him down for the third and final time as Morales Lee did not bother to count and instead waived off the contest. Official time was 2:32 of the second round.
With the win, Cayetano was crowned the first ever Guante Azteca bantamweight champion and was awarded a check for $50,000 pesos, roughly a little over $4,000 U.S. dollars as well as earning the right to represent Baja California in the upcoming “Campeon Azteca (Aztec Champion)” reality tv series to be taped and broadcast later this year in Mexico.
Castillo Out Hustles Gurrola
In the semi-main event, former amateur standout and Mexican Olympic team alternate Misael Castillo (17-0, 15KOs) kept his perfect record intact as he earned a tough unanimous decision over his stiffest test to date, Jesus “Pantera” Gurrola (23-2, 16KOs) over eight rounds. With the win, Castillo is also named as the first ever Guante Azteca light welterweight champion and also took home a check for the same amount as Cayetano. Castillo’s berth in the “Campeon Azteca” tournament is also secure as he will represent Baja California in the reality tv show.
Both fighters began the bout affording no quarter towards his opponent as they began to land hard power punches to the mid section. Gurrola of Mexicali, MX, seemed the slightly more confident of the two as he began to get the better of the exchanges while Ensenada, MX’s Castillo appeared to be hesitant to exchange, especially after Gurrola landed a hard straight right hand to end the round. More of the same from both fighters in the second with Gurrola landing the harder the punches. Castillo kept attacking the body in hopes of it paying dividends later in the bout. Castillo picked up the pace in the third and took the round as he hurt Gurrola with an overhead right which made the Mexicali native hang on for dear life, visibly hurt.
By the fourth, Gurrola began to move around the perimeter of the ring, trying to avoid Castillo’s relentless attack to the body. When Castillo was able to trap Gurrola against the ropes or a corner, “Pantera” did not hesitate to defend himself with offense as Castillo attacked with hard left hooks to the liver. By the end of the round, Gurrola seemed to be spent but in the fifth Gurrola matched Castillo’s rhythm and scored with a series of hooks to the head of Castillo in close quarters. Despite trying to use his legs at the onset of sixth and boxing a little more, Gurrola was trapped once again by the web of power punches to the mid section weaved by Castillo and was forced to slow down and fight in the proverbial telephone booth.
Gurrola gave it his all in the seventh as he gave signs of getting his second wind and was more active, scoring with his jab. Mid way through the round though, Gurrola was hurt with a straight right hand and the end appeared to be near but the visibly fatigued Castillo was not able to finished him and continued to attack the body with no mercy until the final bell.
Alejandro Rochin and Dr. Roman Cruz both scored it 77-75 while Monique Rendon saw it 78-74, all for Misael Castillo.
After knocking down Tijuana’s Sergio Najera (4-3, 2KOs) twice in the second round, super bantamweight Raul Hirales (11-0, 7KOs) of La Paz, MX, won via TKO. Official time was 2:25 of the second of a scheduled six.
Daniel “Profe” Navarete (7-3, 4KOs) earned a unanimous decision with scores of 57-56, 58-56 and 58-55 over Victor Capaceta (2-3-2) in a six round bantamweight fight. Both fighters hail from Tijuana.
Tijuana middleweight Felix Castro was awarded a rough and tumble four round unanimous decision over Francisco Espinoza, also of Tijuana. With the win, Castro stays undefeated and sees his record climb to 2-0, 1KO while Espinoza suffers his second defeat with three wins, with one via knock out. Official scores were not announced.
In a four round super featherweight bout, Pedro Lopez (2-3, 1KO) of Tijuana saw his record go over .500 with a unanimous decision over Ensenada, MX’s Isaias Ocampo (0-2). Official scores were not announced.
Super flyweight Guadalupe Barrera (1-0) made his pro debut a good one while ruining Juan Salas’ (0-1) first time out with a four round unanimous win. Official scores were not announced. Barrera and Salas fight out of Tijuana.
Ezequiel Avilez (0-0-1) and Felix Estrada (4-4-1, 1KO), both of Ensenada, fought to a super featherweight draw. Alejandro Rochin had it 39-37 for Avilez while Monique Rendon saw it 40-36 for Estrada while Dr. Roman Cruz scored it an even 38-38.
Super lightweight Victor Ortiz (2-0, 1KO) of Tijuana scored his second win and first knock out when he stopped Rosarito, MX’s Eduardo Iñiguez (1-1-1) in the first round. Official time was 1:18.
The first bout of the evening was a quick one when in a rare showing of light heavyweights, Rogelio Ruvalcaba (1-0, 1KO) only needed fifty-one seconds to make his first outing a successful one over previously unbeaten Israel Villa (1-1). Both fighters hailed from Tijuana.
-Two former world champions worked corners in separate bouts when former two time jr. middleweight champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia toiled as the chief second for Victor Capaceta while former IBF minimumweight champion Roberto “Mako” Leyva worked in the Misael Castillo corner.
-Other notables in the crowd where former WBC interim super featherweight champion Humberto “Betillo” Gutierrez, former IBF featherweight champion Cristobal “Lacandon” Cruz and former IBF light flyweight champion Victor Burgos who seems to have made a nice recovery since suffering head trauma in his last bout back in 2007 against Vic Darchinyan.