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Local Top Ten

San Diego Fights

Many top ten pound for pound lists in existence on other sites or print media include fighters from through out the world. Here on, we only include local fighters who make their home in either San Diego or Tijuana and have been active in the last year.

1.  Erik Morales (52-7, 36KO)  Morales achieved another first this year when he bacame the first Mexican born fighter to win four absolute world title in as many divisions.  Was it against an elite level opponent? Maybe not but the thirty-five year old made lemonade with the lemon he was given and made it an exciting contest while it lasted.  By then, Pablo Cesar Cano was completely annihilated by the punches and more importantly, the experience “El Terrible” weilded his way.  Morales has had an illustrious 18-year career which is surely come to an end in 2012 or early 2013.  No there is no denying he is a first ballot hall of famer and hands down the most decorated fighter to come out of the San Diego/Tijuana region.  It would be no surprise that Morales has a couple more surprises up his sleeve for 2012.

Current Title: WBC Light Welterweight Title

Past Titles: WBC Silver Light Welterweight Title, WBC International Super Featherweight Title, IBA Super Featherweight Title, WBC Super Featherweight Title, IBF Super Featherweight Title, WBC Featherweight Title, WBC Super Bantamweight Title, WBO Super Bantamweight Title, NABF Super Bantamweight Title, Mexican National Super Bantamweight Title, WBC Mundo Hispano Super Bantamweight Title

Last Position Held: 1 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

2. Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19KO)  Only one man had a better year in 2011 than DeMarco and that man is ranked #1 on this list.  After holding the WBC interim/silver lightweight belt on and off since ’09, DeMarco finally made good on his life long dream and crowned himself king of the lightweight division according the World Boxing Council with one of the most dramatic endings to a fight in recent years.  Being down on the cards for the majority of ten rounds, DeMarco dug deep in the eleventh and spectacurlarly stopped former two-time world champ Jorge Linares to capture the vacant belt.  Now perched securely on top of the heap in the 135 lbs. division, DeMarco has his pick of the litter for his next opponent.  Talks of a rematch with Linares are heard but it looks like DeMarco will make a voluntary defense in February and then he might face off against the Venezuelan once again.  Will DeMarco be able to top his last performance?  That remains to be seen.

Current Title: WBC Lightweight Title

Past Titles: WBC Silver Lightweight Title, Interim WBC Lightweight Title, WBO NABO Lightweight Title

Last Position Held: 2 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

3. Juan Carlos Burgos (28-1, 19KO)  The twenty-four year old fighter out of the Azteca Gym made his shot on the biggest stage of his career count when he defeated highly touted prospect Luis Cruz via majority decision to conquer both the WBC Silver and WBO Latino super featherweight titles on the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez III as he also jumped four spots on our list to be the biggest mover of quarter.  After his loss  last year versus Hozumi Hasegawa for the WBC 126lbs. strap, Burgos didn’t bother to look back and put two wins together versus very respectable opponents in Frankie Archuleta who he stopped in two and Gilberto Sanchez Leon.  Burgos then got the call to face Cruz as the under dog but instead upset the young Puerto Rican and took his “0”.  Burgos will now face former champ and fellow Tijuana native “Lacandon” Cruz on ESPN in what should be a keep busy fight in hopes of bigger things in 2012.

Current Title: WBC Silver Super Featherweight Title, WBO Latino Super Featherweight Title

Past Titles: WBC CABOFE Featherweight Title

Last Position Held: 7 Next Bout: Vs. Cristobal Cruz Feb. 24th

4. Mercito Gesta (24-0-1, 12KO)  “No Mercy” stays steady at #4 only because of Burgos’ jump to #3.  Gesta signed on with Top Rank in 2011 after a minor bidding war between them and another elite promoter.  It is no secret why the services of the Filipino southpaw were in high demand as Gesta’s combination of speed, agility and power is exactly what makes boxing exciting.  Gesta looked solid as he remained undefeated with four wins in ’11 wit the biggest being his last one, Ricardo “Pelon” Dominguez  who he completely dominated in ten rounds.  Top Rank is looking to take things slow with Gesta and have not made any statements regarding the higly world ranked fighter and a world title shot.  It should be only a matter of time until Gesta gets a chance at the big time but against who, only the big brass know.

Current Title: WBO/NABO Youth Lightweight Title

Past Titles: None

Last Position Held: 4 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

5. Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27KO)  How far the mighty have fallen.  Back in ’08 nobody could withstand the ferocious winds of the “Tijuana Tornado” but now the winds have slowed down to a gentle but relentless breeze.  2011 was a tough one for the former three time welterweight champ as he only fought once and was systematically stopped by Miguel Cotto in their rematch of the all out war that pushed Margarito into the boxing limelight.  With over half his life as prizefighter, the wars have finally caught up with Margarito and now with the right eye injury that Pacquiao caused in their late 2010 bout resurfacing versus Cotto, Margarito’s career is in serious jeopardy.  Tony looks for closure in the trilogy versus Cotto but at press time it is not certain that he will get it.  If this is the end for Margarito, it can not be denied that he has been one of the most exciting fighters in recent years not only in the San Diego/Tijuana region but in the boxing world in genera

Current Title: None

Past Titles: WBA Welterweight Title, IBF Welterweight Title, WBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Title, WBO Welterweight Title, WBO NABO Welterweight Title

Last Position Held: 3  Next 2Bout: Vs. TBA

6. David De La Mora (24-1, 17KO) 
The twenty-three year old fighter realized a dream come true in 2011 when he traveled to Japan and fought for a world title.  After being floored early in the contest versus the world class Koki Kameda, “Morita” fought back valiantly to the point where many US and Mexican boxing fans believed he deserved a draw if not a hotly contested win. De La Mora has kept his head held high and is already looking to challenge for another title in 2012.  Since his loss, De La Mora stopped Colombian Eddy Julio on his way back the rankings.  De La Mora’s makes up for a questionable defense with power in both fists which make for exciting fights.  Look for De La Mora to make a splash in the new year.

Current Title: WBC FECOMBOX Bantamweight Title

Past Titles: None

Last Position Held: 6 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

7. Christopher Martin (23–1-2, 6KO) 
Martin takes a tumble in our list after his first professional loss earlier this year.  Even though #6 ranked De La Mora also suffered his first loss, his came in a world title bout while Martin’s came to tough journey man Jose Angel Beranza in Martin’s first foray in Las Vegas last October.  To add kerosene to the fire, the bout was Martin’s first after signing with boxing’s premier promoter, Top Rank.  Now Martin must earn his keep in January 2012 when he takes on highly touted Teon Kennedy on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights”.  With a win there, I am sure Martin’s star will once again shine bright not only on this list but in the eyes of Top Rank.  Martin is no stranger to upset’s as his biggest win came over once hot prospect Chris Avalos.  We will look for the “SD Kid” to repeat the feat.

Current Title: USA California State Featherweight Title

Past Titles: USA California State Super Bantamweight Title

Last Position Held: 5 Next Bout: Vs. Teon Kennedy Jan. 13th

8. Humberto Gutierrez (28-3-1, 20KO)  “Betillo” has not performed since his last outing in April of ’11.  In that bout, which he traveled to the land of the rising sun for, he took on Takahiro Ao for the WBC 130lbs. title.  Unfortunately, Gutierrez came up short via 4th round stoppage.  His only two other losses came to the respectable Guadalupe Rosales and Vitali Tajbert who he lost his interim WBC 130lbs. title to.  Gutierrrez is a skillful boxer who doesn’t usually fight in the typical come forward style that Mexican fighters are known for.  Known to have trouble with his weight, we will soon see if he will stay in the super featherweight division or climb up to lightwieght.  If so, there is a lot of interesting matches that can be made their including once against the current WBC champ Antonio DeMarco.  We’ll see if he fights by April to be able to stay on this list.

Current Title: None

Past Titles: Interim WBC Super Featherweight Title, Interim WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title

Last Position Held: 8 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

9. Marvin Quintero (24-3, 20KO)  “Cachorro” had a successful 2011 as he stopped all of his four opponents by knock out in the early rounds.  Granted the opponents not being of the hightest quality, the quick fisted southpaw had his best showing last April when he stopped the much taller Juan Santiago in only three rounds at the Pechanga Resort and Casino.  Quintana was in full control for all three rounds as he battered the game Santiago around the ring.  Marvin, who is trained by the legendary Romulo Quirarte, has a nice sized test when he takes on John Molina in January ’12.  Quintero usually comes up short when he steps up in competion but he is looking to make 2012 his break out year and will look to upset the apple cart by defeating Molina.

Current Title: WBC FECARBOX Super Featherweight Title

Past Titles: None

Last Position Held: 9 Next Bout: Vs. TBA

10. Omar Estrella (15-3-2, 10KO)  Just like in his career, Estra can make a huge leap in the Top Ten if he leaves the ring with his hand raised in his next fight.  Estrella will be facing former 122lbs. champ Daniel Ponce de Leon in early 2012.  Estrella might be Tijuana’s best kept secret as not many people know of him despite being a sought after sparring partner by the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Humberto “Zorrita” Soto, Erik Morales and Antonio Margarito among others for his fluid boxing skills and toughness.  With a win over Ponce de Leon, Estrella will be a secret no more since the fight will be showcased live in Mexico by Televisa.  Now all he has to do is win.

Current Title: Mexican Pacific Coast Featherweight Title

Past Titles: None

Last Position Held: 10 Next Bout: Vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon Jan. 21st


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