On Friday night from the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, CA, Golden Boy Promotions in association with Jorge Marron Productions presented Solo Boxeo Tecate “Test of Courage.” In the eight round featherweight main event, undefeated prospect Raul Hilares Jr. (12-0-1, 7KOs) of La Paz, MEX, kept his undefeated record intact with an upset victory over the “Pride of Paramount” Charles Huerta (16-2, 8KOs) of Paramount, CA, by split decision.
Huerta entered the scrap using the whole ring as his workstation snapping back the head of Hilares with a consistent jab. In the early goings, Huerta was sticking mainly to that jab with an overhand right here and there while Hilares was the busier fighter releasing left hooks to the head and body as well as right crosses upstairs all behind the jab. Charles defended well though and towards the end of the round. Huerta began to throw three and four punch combinations that were finding their target. Hilares outworked Huerta in a good paced opening period but Huerta’s guard was high and Raul caught mostly leather while Huerta was connecting with clean effective punches and a small cut was opened over Hilares’ left eye from what seemed to be a punch.
The pace was high in the 2nd round as the fans were treated to some good exchanges that Huerta was getting the better of. Hilares’ attack consisted of many rights and lefts both to the head and body as well as numerous right uppercuts while Huerta used lots of jabs followed up by overhand rights and right crosses as well as consistent hooks to the ribs in a close round that saw Hilares close the gap towards the end with a high work rate.
The script continued in the 3rd as Huerta circled and boxed while Hilares stalked and brawled, and at 45 seconds into the round, Hilares connected with a forceful right cross up top followed by a right uppercut – left hook combination to the dome of Huerta. Charles stayed composed sticking to his game plan of technical boxing while chipping away at the body of the Mexican. Hilares returned the favor at 1:34 with a borderline double left hook combo to the waistline of Huerta that hurt him and had him in full retreat. Hilares chased him to the corner and unleashed a flurry that Huerta answered with his own barrage of punches and they began to exchange on the inside to the head and body. Huerta was busy but his blows were mostly blocked while Hilares started connecting with combinations in a round he clearly won.
The combatants continued to fight in a phone booth entering the 4th round and Hilares connected with another stout left hook to the body that Huerta thought was low and again hurt the “Pride of Paramount” as he evacuated the scene. Hilares chased Huerta to the corner and fired off some combinations that Charles answered back with combos of his own. Halfway through the round, Hilares connected with a double left hook to the body, the second of which was clearly low so the third man in the ring Pat Russell warned Hilares for low blows. Huerta retreated to the neutral corner looking for time to rest and recover but none was awarded by Russell and the warriors went right back to work in the center of the ring. Raul and Charles were leaning on one another while they blasted away at the head and body and it looked as if Hilares was getting the better of the trading.
It was more of the same in the 5th as they fought on the inside with Hilares connecting with nice right uppercuts and crosses up top while Huerta didn’t seem to have much steam on his punches and on my score card, he was falling behind. With a minute to go in the period Huerta got a break as he was hit with another Hilares low blow that resulted in a point being taken from Raul by referee Pat Russell.
At the start of the 6th round Huerta landed a hard right to the jaw of Hilares that Raul answered with a left hook upstairs then connected on a huge over hand right to the mouth of Huerta that had the San Diego crowd oohing and awing.
Huerta was having a better 7th connecting with many body blows but he was still allowing Hilares to counter with quick crisp combinations up top that were scoring. Huerta seemed content to stay busy while trying to score points with technical boxing but it wasn’t working and he didn’t show the desire or urgency to really go after it and ensure a victory. On the other hand, Hilares was fighting with passion and enthusiasm showing the judges that he was doing everything he could do to win the fight.
In the 8th and final round Huerta needed a knockout to win on my card but he didn’t have enough in the gas tank to make a surge until the last forty-five seconds when they traded in the center of the ring both landing hard blows until the bell. It was too little too late for the “Pride of Paramount” and when announcer “Big” Joe Martinez announced the tallies, David Denkin had it 77-74 Huerta, while Jonathan Davis scored it 78-73 Hilares and Alejandro Rochin’s total was 77-74 Hilares, giving Raul Hilares a split decision victory as he remains undefeated with an upset victory over a top prospect.
In the evening’s co-feature “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr. (14-0, 9KOs) of Capitol Heights, MD, breezed through Arboletes, Columbia’s Feider Viloria (23-8-2, 16KOs), to win a unanimous decision in a featherweight eight.
Russell Jr. came out moving straight ahead and snapping a crisp jab in the face of the Mexican who was circling to the left while trying to employ a jab of his own. A minute into the scrap, Russell Jr. landed two nice straight lefts to the mid-section and followed that up with a right hook to the side of Viloria’s head. The speed difference was apparent from the outset as Gary’s punches looked swift with snap on them as he continued to land high-velocity straight lefts to the mouth of Viloria.
Viloria was exclusively on the defensive in the first stanza but came alive in the 2nd round with left hooks and straight rights upstairs as the fight began to heat up. Russell Jr. was lunging forward with his straight lefts and it was resulting in the fighters heads coming together often. Gary was releasing his jab with conviction as it was pushing Viloria back and doing damage then midway through the 2nd, he landed the best punch to that point, a straight left to the chin of Viloria and followed up with a stout left cross to the rib cage. Russell Jr. continued to snap back the head of Feider with his rapid jab and connected on four straight lefts in a row to the face of Feider who was retreating and being outclassed.
Once again Viloria came out aggressive to start the 3rd round winging hard overhand rights and hooks to the body then landed a hard right cross to the mouth of the Maryland scrapper. Gary came back with a stiff right hook and straight left in what was a good exchange between the two men and at 1:54 of the 3rd, Russell Jr. landed a huge counter right hook on the button but Viloria took it well. Both pugs were keeping a high guard though Viloria’s hands would come down to his chest from time to time allowing Russell Jr. with his lightning quick hands to touch him up. Viloria finally began to use his height advantage a little in the 3rd which allowed him to get off a lot of punches, some of which were landing but every time he landed a few, Gary came right back with more impressive and damaging combinations.
Russell Jr. dominated the 4th with really hard right hooks and straight lefts up top as well as straight lefts and jabs to the stomach of Feider. Gary connected with many clean powerful lefts and rights but his opponent was showing very good whiskers.
Russell Jr. was lighting Feider up in the 5th when at 45 seconds of the round, he blasted the retreating Mexican into the ropes with a few straight lefts and floored him with the third one as Viloria’s arm was caught in the ropes and he crashed to the canvas for the eight count. Feider didn’t seem hurt to badly and after the knockdown, Gary stayed composed and measured instead of getting reckless looking for the finish and landed a few more authoritative shots on the fleeting Viloria who survived to the bell.
The 6th round saw Russell Jr. focus on the body and as he punished the mid-section of Viloria, the Colombian began standing stiff-legged and straight up with his hands down which allowed Gary to thump him with clean straight lefts to the jaw.
In the 7th round, their heads came together and a cut was opened up over the right eye of Viloria and when referee Jerry Cantu asked Feider whether he could see he said, “No”. After convening with the doctor, the bout was waved off at 2:05 of the 7th round due to an accidental head-butt and it was just as well because Viloria was getting lit up with little resistance. When the score cards were read, judges David Denkin and Alejandro Rochin had it 70-62 while Jonathan Davis scored it 69-63 all for the winner by unanimous decision “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr.
Undefeated super middleweight Bastie Samir (9-0, 9KOs) of Las Vegas, NV, by way of Ghana, remained undefeated by stopping the over matched Fresno, CA’s Loren Myers (7-11-1, 2KOs) in the 5th round while super lightweights Anthony Martinez (6-0-1, 5KOs) of Las Vegas, NV, and Sacramento, CA’s Carlos Musquez (3-3-3, 3KOs) fought to a controversial draw in which most of crowd believed Musquez won.
In a female jr. flyweight four rounder, local favorite Amaris Quintana (4-0-2) was awarded a unanimous decision over Blanca Raymundo (0-2). Emmanuel Robles (2-0) of Chula Vista beat David Morales (2-1-1) with a four round majority decision.