The biggest dream for a boxer besides winning a world title is to perform as a champion of their division in front of their hometown fans, family and friends. That dream became a reality Saturday night for WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (26-2, 20KOs) in a big way as he became the first man to knock out former title challenger Miguel “Mickey” Roman (37-10, 28KOs) in the fifth round of a scheduled twelve in the first defense of the title he captured late last year with a come from behind knock out victory over Venezuela’s Jorge Linares. DeMarco launched his crowd at Los Mochis, Mexico, enclosed Polideportivo “Centenario” into a frenzy when after dominating Roman for the majority of the five rounds, scored with a double right uppercut combination followed with a hook from the same fist that sent Roman of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, face first into the canvas. The main event was televised live in Mexico by mega channel Televisa and topped a Baja Boxing and Gary Shaw Promotions event which was attended by a couple of thousand people in the multi-purpose venue.
It was evident from the first round that DeMarco was too much of everything for Roman as the native of Los Mochis set the distance with a stiff jab that kept the shorter Roman at bay. Roman had his only winning round in the third as he was able to pressure DeMarco, who has lived in Tijuana for the last twelve years, into the ropes and score to the body for the majority of the three minutes. Roman’s most effective punches were right over hand rights that landed occasionally on the forehead of DeMarco.
DeMarco resumed control in the fourth as Roman began to lose form while he figured out that he was in over his head. It was all DeMarco as he slipped Roman’s assault with lateral movement and continued to punish Roman to the body which began to take effect evidenced with Roman’s heavy breathing.
After four rounds, DeMarco was ahead 39-37 on all three judge’s scorecards.
The well-educated boxing crowd of Los Mochis began to urge their man on with chants of “Tony, Tony” in hopes of seeing a spectacular finish.
They didn’t have to wait long.
DeMarco duplicated his success in the fifth as in the previous round but this time, was able to deliver the deadly combination ending the contest with only a second to go in the round. As DeMarco landed the right hook that ended the night, Roman face planted on the canvas as the Luarantina Ramirez administered the count.
Seconds after the fight, an elated DeMarco stated, “I feel like a more mature fighter, a more complete one. This fight goes to my people of Los Mochis and my grandfather who had a dream to become a world champion and although he wasn’t able to achieve it, I did it for him.”
“Cañitas” Lozada Wins War of Words with His Fists
When talks got heated in the days and weeks leading up to their face off, Tijuana light welterweight Antonio “Cañitas” Lozada Jr. (26-1, 22KOs) took matters literally into his own hands and earned a tough unanimous decision over Yabaros, Sonora, Mexico’s Daniel Valenzuela (22-11-1, 11KOs) in a ten round contest.
At the final press conference and even before, Valenzuela was not shy in stating that he considered the twenty-one year old Lozada a kid and that he would be surprised if he had any trouble with the Tijuana fighter. The hard-hitting Lozada responded by saying that a number of his past opponents had said the same thing and only ended apologizing after they were knocked out.
The ebb and flow of the fight took center stage from the opening bell as the momentum swung from one fighter to the other like a pendulum. At times Lozada forced the fight with hard power punches led by upper cuts from either fists while Valenzuela would score with straight hands.
In the sixth Lozada Jr. weighed the scale in his favor by dropping the Sonora native with a lead right hand followed with a left uppercut. Valenzuela beat the count on wobbly legs but survived the round. With both suffering from swelling on both eyes, both kept battling on but Lozada turned up the heat in the seventh and began to score more to the body. The war ended with Lozada hurting Valenzuela again in the tenth round with a three-punch combo but not enough to drop him again. No official scores were announced.
“Che Che” Lopez Bounces Back with Win
Juan Pablo “Che Che” Lopez of Tijuana, Mexico, landed every punch in the book but was not able to drop the battle tested Arturo “Tebaqui” Gutierrez of Los Mochis, Mexico, in a six round light welterweight contest in his first fight back after suffering his first professional loss last September.
The fast pace was set early with Lopez being the more technical of the while Gutierrez a brawler typical of the Los Mochis style. Through out the fight it seemed as Lopez could have ended the night at any moment but either did not have enough power or Gutierrez’s chin was just that solid. For the most part Lopez was able to have his way with combination punches but Gutierrez was able to take that and more and had his moments, especially in the third and in the sixth and final round when it lighted up the night with bombs from both fighters.
At the end, Lopez was awarded the unanimous decision. No official scores were announced. With the win Lopez goes back to Tijuana with a 21-1, 18KOs ledger while Gutierrez stays home with his now 12-6-2, 11KOs record.
In an explainable finish, lightweight Adan Mares (2-0, 2KOs), younger brother of former bantamweight champion Abner Mares, scored a freak knock out win over local Omar Ruiz (0-3) of Los Mochis. As soon as the action was heating up inside the ring, Mares scored a hard right hand that seemed Ruiz to slip more than get hurt. The referee Javier Peñato still ruled it a knockdown and despite Ruiz beating the count, Peñato strangely still stopped the contest much to the dismay of both fighters. Official time was :49 of the first of four.
In a classic “somebody’s ‘0’ has to go” bout, bantamweight Alem Robles (4-0, 1KOs) took the unanimous decision over hard hitting. Manuel Gutierrez (3-1, 3KOs). The taller Robles of Los Mochis was able to score from the outside more effectively but Gutierrez had his moments when he was able to get inside and score to the body. Robles earned the decision by being able to close stronger in the last two of the four rounds. Official scores were not announced.
Shaggy haired Jesus Cruz (2-0, 2KOs) survived an early wild attack from the shorter Bernardo Robles (0-4), both of Los Mochis, to score a straight right to the body that sent Robles down for the count. After Robles came out guns a-blazing’ in the opening seconds of the round, the calm and collected eighteen year old Cruz just bided his time and stayed on the outside to land the harder straighter punches. The final one came at the official time of 1:47 of the first of four flyweight rounds.
Light welterweight German Perez (7-1-2, 3KOs) returns to his hometown of Los Mochis from his headquarters of Tijuana to earn a tough unanimous decision over the game Francisco Sahuari (2-7-2 RECORD), also of Los Mochis. Perez took the win with the harder landed punches but Sahuari gave as well as he took but it wasn’t enough to convince the judges. The official scores were not announced.
The very precise Eric “Pantera” Robles (2-0, 2KOs) scored another knock out win in the welterweight division by stopping in the second round Ciudad Obregon, Mexico’s Alberto “Beto” Felix (0-1) in his pro debut. Robles of Tijuana controlled the action from the opening bell as the hesitant Felix was more occupied in surviving that launching an offensive. After Robles scored a series of hard right hands straight to the chin, Felix spit out his mouthpiece as well as a mouthful of blood to signal referee Javier Peñato that he had enough. Official time was 2:25.
Tijuana super featherweight Enrique “Bravis” Arevalo (2-0, 1KO) won a run of the mill unanimous four round decision over local Los Mochis’ Guillermo Vera (3-18, 2KOs). Arevalo dropped Vera twice, once in the first and in the second, while the hometown fighter pushed more towards the end. Official scores were not announced.
Exciting Tijuana lanky lightweight Roberto “Rifle” Ramirez (2-0, 3KOs) only needed twenty-four seconds of the 1st round to starch local Abraham Barraza (3-9, 1KO) and keep his record perfect. After quickly sizing up his opponent, Ramirez scored with a jab followed with a picture perfect right hand that floored Barraza for the count. The bout was scheduled for four rounds.
In a quick super bantamweight contest, Miguel “Miguelito” Gonzalez (5-0, 5KOs) knocked Santos Lozoya (1-1, 1KO), both of Los Mochis, out on his feet at the 2:15 mark of the first round of a scheduled four. After Gonzalez landed a barrage of punches, referee Javier Peñato realized that Lozoya dropped his guard and his head while quickly waiving off the beating despite Lozoya not falling to the canvas.
In a slight upset, Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, late sub Luis Rey (9-11-2, 5KOs) dropped local favorite Hugo “Camaron” Valdez (14-4, 11KOs) in the first round en route to a four round split decision win. No official scores were announced.