In a sparsely attended fight card held at the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium last Saturday night, former WBC super flyweight champion Tomas “Gusano” Rojas (38-13-1, 25KOs) danced his way to a unanimous decision win over former world title contender Julio “Sombra” Zarate (28-6-2, 17KOs) in the ten round super bantamweight main event of another marathon event presented by Tijuana’s Zanfer Promotions. Originally scheduled to be headlined by the first defense of newly crowned WBO champion Moises Fuentes, that bout got scratched when Fuentes suffered a hand injury earlier this week.
The bout marked the first time Rojas climbed into the ring after allegations of a fixed fight back in ’07 when Rojas claimed that he was offered $8,000 to throw the fight versus Jorge “Travieso” Arce. In his last bout, Rojas stopped Feliciano Ledesma in two round last November. Zarate, who at one point held the interim WBA bantamweight title, had not fought since July of ’10 when he knocked out Gabriel Lopez in four heats.
The fast pace was set from the get go as the southpaw Rojas established his jab early on while Zarate tried to score with the bigger punches. While Rojas tried to box, Zarate forced the fight on the inside and by the fifth round it was a war of power punches with Zarate scoring with a hard straight counter that rocked Rojas and almost dropped him.
Rojas went back to boxing and dominated the action with feints, jabs and movement. Zarate shut down after the seventh round as he troubled to decipher Rojas’ style. At times Zarate was able to push the issue and score but for the most part it was all Rojas as he potshot himself to a win. Judge Christian Uriel and Roman Cruz scored it 97-93 while Benjamin Rendon saw it 99-92.
“Rayito” Garcia Shines Bright In KO Victory
Former WBO 105 lbs. champion Raul “Rayito” Garcia (32-2-1, 20KOs) knocked out Filipino Michael “Wildcard” Landero (15-6-4, 5KOs) in the third round of a scheduled minimumweight ten. Landeros was originally scheduled to challenge Garcia’s conqueror, Moises Fuentes, for the WBO title but after the champion suffered the aforementioned hand injury, Garcia got the call. Garcia was in camp getting ready to face WBA champ Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in two weeks’ time but instead took on Ledesma.
Garcia took the initiative in the first and came out as the aggressor with all the intent of ending the night early with every punch. Despite Garcia’s offense, Landero was the one to score the most telling shot with a huge right hand at the end of the round that forced Garcia to take a step back. The southpaw Garcia landed to the body in the second and in the third changed his target to the head and early on scored with two hard left hands to the face of Landero that hurt the Pinoy fighter and sent him back towards the ropes. Unable to defend himself, referee Juan Jose Ramirez saw no other recourse but to jump in and halt the action. Official time was 1:49 of the third round.
The tough Luis Contreras of Tijuana (0-1) took Daniel Nava, cousin of current WBA female super bantamweight champion Jackie Nava, all four rounds but at the end Nava got the well-deserved unanimous decision. Nava (2-0, 1KO) was in control all the way as he applied constant pressure through out the four light welterweight rounds. Nava busted up Contreras’ nose in the third with a hard left hook and almost dropped him in the last round.
Rugged Gregorio Ronquillo (2-0-1, 2KOs) ruined Javier Felix’s first time out when he forced his opponent’s corner to throw in the towel in the second round. Felix (0-1) landed some telling shots in the first, even hurting Ronquillo early on with a left hook but the Ronquillo soon took over and battered Felix from pillar to post. After a second round of much the same, the one sided contest was stopped at 2:35 of the second round.
Veteran Guadalupe “Bronco” Rosales (30-7, 17KOs) earned a unanimous decision over Carlos “Kali” Guzman (10-6-1, 4KOs) in an eight round featherweight bout. Despite Guzman of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, giving as well as he took, Rosales scored the most telling shots and for the most part was in charge of most of the action. No official scores were announced.
Brandon Rios look alike in features and style, Danny Escobar (8-1, 5KOs) was awarded a unanimous decision over the tough and previously undefeated Abner Lopez (4-1, 3KOs) of Aguaprieta, Mexico. Escobar of Tijuana took over the action early on but Lopez fought himself back in the second half of the light welterweight six rounder in what turned out an all out war. At the end, Escobar was able to pull of the win with more pressure in the last rounds. No official scores were announced.
After a tedious four rounds in the mini flyweight division, Monterrey, Mexico’s Francisco Rodriguez (6-0, 5KOs) remained undefeated with a majority decision over Sergio “Elegante” Nuñez (4-9, 1KO) of Tijuana. It seemed that after the first round, Nuñez was more interested in surviving that winning and held for the remainder of the bout as Rodriguez tried to break away and land punches. Judge Roman Cruz saw it an even 38-38 while Benjamin Rendon and Christian Uriel both scored it 40-36 for Rodriguez.
In a slight upset, Tijuana’s Rigoberto “Planchitas” Casillas knocked out Rogelio Romero of Mexico City in the third round of a scheduled flyweight six. Romero (11-4, 7KOs), who is trained by the legendary Nacho Beristain, controlled the first round and some of the second but by the third the bodywork from Casillas (8-6-1, 5KOs) began to make effect and slowed down Romero. Casillas was able to mount a sustained assault in third and finally stopped his man at the 2:37 mark.
Welterweight KO artist Daniel “Galeno” Sandoval (26-2, 26KOs) defeated Tijuana’s Jose Maria Valdez (3-6-2, 1KOs) via fourth round TKO. Valdez had his moments as he scored more than once with an over hand right but the taller Sandoval was just too strong and ended the night with a straight right. Official time was :52 of the fourth round of a scheduled eight.
In a closely contested four round featherweight bout, all the three judges saw it for the Nacho Beristain trained Jose Luis Caiyeca (1-0) of Mexico City over Tijuana’s Antonio Villa (0-3).
Developing lightweight Rafael Guzman (6-0, 6KOs) looked impressive as he scored yet another knock out win when he was awarded a 2nd round TKO over Tijuana’s Rodolfo Arevalo (0-3). Guzman scored with an over hand right mid way through the second heat that dropped Arevalo and then forced the stoppage with a barrage of punches.
In an all action slugfest, first timer Saul “Bebe” Hernandez (1-0, 1KO) made his pro debut versus Veracruz, Mexico’s Armando Ballado (0-1) one to remember as he forced referee Manuel Rincon to stop the contest in the third round. Official time was 2:31.
Tijuana by way of Santa Ana, CA, super featherweight Jessie Roman (9-0, 6KOs) stopped Martin Armenta (16-26-3, 12KOs), also of Tijuana by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, at the 1:58 mark of the third round of a scheduled four after referee Manuel Rincon had seen enough of the battering Roman was administering. Armenta was never in the fight.