Wednesday, January 31, 2013
On Wednesday evening Jolene Blackshear, the former IFBA Flyweight Champion, reaffirmed she is resolute, unwavering in this her second run at a world title. Along with her trusty support staff from the Cital Boxing & Nutrition Center in La Mesa, CA, the 42 year old returned to the ring to snatch her second straight victory on the comeback trail. Not to rummage through the past but it’s now three years, nine months and 15 days since Blackshear fought Dan-Bi-Kim in South Korea for that world title and in boxing years, that’s a long, long time.
In Wednesday’s bout, her second visit to Salon Las Pulgas in Tijuana’s Downtown, her opponent, Linda “La Muñeca” Soto, may have appeared to be as dainty as a Barbie doll, but she had a lot of power in each punch. The 25 year-old was not only 17 years younger, three inches taller, her last three wins came by way of knockout. In Blackshear’s last bout, October 25, 2012, she stopped Lili Barajas in the first round.
From the outset, the two ladies went full blast and it appeared Soto took Round #1 (10-9) by capitalizing on her leverage and longer reach. Round #2 went to Blackshear (10-9), who started ducking under Soto’s lead punch and timing her counters.
With Round #3 being so close, you had to figure the Mexican judges would favor Soto (10-9) who at times out-muscled Blackshear and had her backing up.
The all important fourth Round was in my estimation the back breaker for Soto, who by this time had run out of ideas on how to stop the formidable Blackshear who just kept on coming, kept on slipping punches and kept on landing the hard shots to Soto’s body and occasionally to the face. Soto was now getting a boxing lesson from the veteran. Blackshear takes the round (10-9).
Both the fifth and sixth rounds went to Blackshear who now had her opponent baffled. She continued to duck under Soto’s misses and came up inside to counter with the harder and harder straight shots to Soto’s face. To their credit neither boxer let up, neither boxer took a step back in that final round.
With all three judges in agreement, Jesus Gonzalez, Carlos Flores and Juan Jose De La Mora, the scores were identical 58-56 for Blackshear. With the win Blackshear improves to 7-3, 3 KOs and Soto drops to 5-2, 3 KOs.
Now for the rest of Wednesday's fight card:
Bout #1 featured Daniel “Huracan” Ramirez (4-0-0, 3 KOs) going up against Antonio Villa (1-5-0, 1 KO), two local lightweights from Tijuana. At first it appeared the tall and rangy Ramirez would have no trouble but that thinking was derailed after he became the victim of a flash knockdown. Despite the gaffe, Ramirez did land more of the cleaner shots throughout to earn the hard fought, four round split decision victory which ended with scores of 38-37 and 39-37 for Ramirez and a 38-37 for Villa.
Before Bout #2 started, there was some fanfare coming from the rear where the boxers make their entrance. One of the combatants, Andrew Ruiz (5-0, 3 KOs) had a famous trainer working his corner, none other that Robert Garcia of the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard, CA, the former IBF Super Featherweight Champion and older brother of Mikey Garcia, the current WBO Featherweight champion. Garcia has trained such notables as Nonito Donaire, Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Margarito, Brandon Rios, Joan Guzman and Marcos Maidana.
If you think this development made Jesus Montenegro (0-8) of Tijuana uncomfortable, you’re right and as expected this one was over in a flash - bam, bam. The official time was 2:06 of Round #1.
Then for all of two minutes, Garcia worked the corner for featherweight Emilio Sanchez of Los Angeles. Sanchez was making his pro debut against Luis Alfredo Rodriguez (0-2) of Rosarito, B. C., Mexico. At 1:13 of the first round that match was finito and Garcia was helping Sanchez remove his gloves. A big left hook ended Rodriguez’s night.
Garcia must have the magic touch. Neither of his boxers worked up a sweat and within minutes they were headed out the door with Antonio Margarito and some other mates.
The slick punching Jesus Antonio Gutierrez earned his eighth win the hard way by taking on Jorge Camacho, a tough club fighter from Los Angeles, CA who was making his Pro-debut. Gutierrez must have been miffed by Camacho’s resiliency as he kept coming even after getting hit with Gutierrez’s best shots, up top and down below. For the longest while Camacho appeared to be unaffected and kept pressing the action with his roughhouse tactics. Finally, with a welt under his left eye and blood trickling from his nose, the fight doctor recommended the bout be stopped at the 2:42 mark of the fourth and final round.
In Bout #5, Norberto Vaal managed a split decision victory over the much smaller Pablo Lopez in a four round flyweight bout. If Lopez, making his Pro-debut, had not gone down from a flash knockdown in the third, it’s possible he would have come out of this with the victory. The close scoring validates this point - 39-36 and 38-37 for Vaal and 39-37 for Lopez. With the win, Vaal goes to 2-0-1, 1 KO while Lopez ends up (0-1).
In Bout #6, a battle of first timers, Hector Flores came out the stronger of the two when he stopped Janathan Coronado in the second round. The shorter but fearless Flores forced the stoppage after trapping Coronado against the ropes and battering him with a series of unanswered blows. Official time was 1:49 of the second round.
Bout #7 was another of the featured bouts because of the recent exploits of both Saul “Bebe” Hernandez (2-3-0, 2 KOs) and Jose “Hollywood” Estrella (11-4-1).
In late October, Hernandez ko’d tough guy Rigoberto Casillas in the second round of a match at the Gimnasio Eufrasio Santana in Tecate. Estrella, with his nine KOs, has always been a crowd pleaser and not once has he failed to go the distance.
As advertised, the two kept throwing their best shots. Especially Estrella who showed he has a lot of power and knows how to maximize his leverage. He had Hernandez backing up from Round #2 through Round #5. Certain he was behind on the score cards, Hernandez’s corner advised him to go for broke in the final round and that’s what he did. The two men stood toe to toe and fought it out to the bitter end.
Bout #8 didn’t last long, but boy-oh-boy was it exciting. Both Eduardo De La Cruz and Alejandro “Cruel” Solis were making their pro-debuts and the adrenaline was running high. After De La Cruz caught Solis square on the chin, down he went. Peeved at his own carelessness, Solis came at De La Cruz as if he had disrespected his family’s name. His barrage of punches, featuring two overhand rights, sent De La Cruz down for the count at the 1:07 mark of round one.
In Bout #10, Tijuana super bantamweight Jose “Tigre” Cayetano (14-1, 6 KOs) looked impressive in his destruction of Jesus “Piriguas” Lopez (6-9-1, 5 KOs) from nearby Mexicali. The so-called Main Event lasted all of four minutes and 16 seconds.
Cayetano dropped Lopez three times in the first round and for good measure a fourth and final time at 1:16 of Round #2 before referee Juan Jose Ramirez stepped in to stop the carnage.
Bout #11 was almost a repeat of Bout #10 as Erick Martinez (2-0-1, 2 KOs) went nonstop after fellow lightweight Miguel Angel Garcia who was making his Pro-debut. From pillar to post and back, the pounding went on for three minutes and 36 seconds until referee Juan Jose Ramirez called for the stoppage.
Bout #12 was a bit more competitive, but not much. Heriberto “Tremendo” Delgado did the chasing in this one and the much taller David Gomez, who was making his Pro-debut, did the covering up. The scoring by the three judges was identical 40-36, giving every round to Delgado.
The oh-so popular Erick “Tepeyac” Cebreros (5-0, 1 KO) had trouble early but somehow managed to get the majority decision over fellow featherweight Carlos Avila (0-1-1). Avila has a few bad habits, one in particular, he keeps his hands down which made him look bad against the more disciplined Cebreros. Scores were 40-36, 39-37 from judges Esteban Franco and Leobardo Ibarra Bracamontes for Cebreros. Judge Alejandro Rochin had the match even at 38-38.
The next boxing show in Tijuana is scheduled for February 16th. It will take place at the Auditorio de Tijuana. The Main Event is a world championship bout between 25 year-old Alejandro Lopez (24-2-0, 7 KOs) of Tijuana and 26 year-old Jonathan “Momo” Romero (22-0-0,12 KOs) of Cali, Columbia for the vacant IBF Super Bantamweight title.
In Lopez’s last couple of matches, he soundly defeated Takalani Ndlovu (33-7-0,18 KOs) and Teon Kennedy (17-0-1, 7 KOs). On September 21, 2012, Romero defeated Efrain Esquivias (16-1) at the Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA.