On Friday night, Mayen Promotions, considered Tijuana’s top promoter, launched their 2014 season with their first show under the Tecate Boxing Tour Tent in the parking lot of the Caliente Racing Track & Casino. Over the past two years, Mayen Promotions has held their highly regarded shows on Wednesday evening at Salon Las Pulgas on Avenida Revolución in Tijuana’s downtown. All that changed when there was some interfamily squabbling between the owners of Las Pulgas and the adjoining hotel.
This development forced Guillermo Mayen, the mastermind of Mayen Promotions, to look elsewhere for a venue. He then closed a major deal with Zanfer Promotions to move his shows permanently to Fridays on the Caliente racetrack grounds under the aforementioned Tecate Boxing Tour tent. The caveat of this move is the availability of TV revenue from Azteca America. With any change, you are going to have disparaging remarks and there were some grumblings from the patrons.
Getting back to our show, “Reyes y Reinas,” (translation: “Kings and Queens”) - it was the three bouts involving the ladies that drew the most interest.
In the main event, Bout #8, the enormously popular flyweight Kenia Enriquez of Tijuana improved her record to (9-0, 5 KOs) by thrashing the previously undefeated Selene Lopez (3-1-3, 1 KO) of Los Mochis, Sinoloa, Mexico, in record time, 1:16 of the first round.
People talk about Deja Vu, Lopez is the younger sister of Enriquez’s last opponent, Karely Lopez, who came to Tijuana on October 23, 2013 and according to the judges lost every round in their six round affair. For Friday’s contest, you had the same referee, Cristian Curiel and two of the same judges, Benjamin Rendon and Sergio Lechuga and to top it off, the sisters look a lot alike.
Instead of revenging her sister’s loss to Enriquez, who is now the #7 ranked Flyweight in the world, Lopez didn’t even get past the halfway mark of the first round. Wasting little time, Enriquez pressed forward and eventually had Lopez in retreat mode. You could see Enriquez’s accuracy and hand speed was far superior and before long Lopez’s head was snapping back, enough to justify an early stoppage.
On Friday, February 28, 2014, Enriquez is scheduled to make her U. S. debut against an opponent to be named at the Crowne Plaza Hanalei Hotel in Mission Valley, San Diego. I highly recommend you go and see her next fight because Enriquez is special.
Continuing with the ladies, in Bout #6, southpaw Sandra “Perla Negra” Robles of Tijuana improved her record to (6-1, 3 KOs) by overwhelming Los Mochis’ 2013 Rookie of the Year Mary “Mariposita” Gastelum (3-1-1, 1 KO). Since Robles’ game plan involved throwing these straight lefts to the head and body, the wild swinging Gastelum became easy fodder.
The end game in round #2, when Robles had the bewildered Gastelum down on the canvas after delivering a solid right to the jaw. When the referee saw Gastelum’s eyes were glazed and she was in no hurry to get back to her feet, he immediately called for the stoppage at 1:30 of round two.
The final female match, Bout #4, saw bantamweight Brenda “Bonita” Flores (7-1-0, 2 KOs) of Tijuana taking on the third and most assuredly the toughest of the three visitors from Los Mochis, Mireya Ochoa (1-4, 1 KO).
Unlike the other ladies, Ochoa never took a step back. She came to throw leather and did so for four straight rounds. This was one of those fights where you knew both boxers were taking a pounding and only the most gutsy would come away with the victory.
What really helped Flores was the way she was able to duck under or sidestep a punch and then counter. As the fight progressed Flores became even sharper and when needed most she put together the solid combinations just before the end of each round.
Ochoa did most of her damage when outmuscling Flores and trapping her against the ropes. At the conclusion of this barnburner, all three judges had Flores winning every round in what this boxing pundit felt was a much closer contest.
The mismatches involving their male counterparts:
In the opener, Bout #1, super featherweight Rafael Rivera (9-0-2, 5 KOs) took care of Cristian Scott (1-3), by delivering a wide assortment of well leveraged punches punctuated by a left hook that sent Scott sprawling to the canvas. Even though the referee started to administer the 10-count, he stopped immediately after noticing Scott was in trouble. Official time was 1:47 of round #2.
In Bout #2, David Benavidez (2-0, 2 KOs) from Phoenix, Arizona, the brother of welterweight sensation Jose Benavidez, dropped Rosarito, Mexico’s Omar Aizpuro (1-2, 1 KO) three times in the first round of their scheduled light heavyweight four rounder before referee Juan Jose Ramirez stopped the action. The official time was 1:15 of round #1.
Bout #3, a welterweight clash between Jose Torres (3-2-1, 2 KOs) and Jose Arteaga (1-2-2) ended in a draw. How so? Simply put, these gents took turns fighting. In Round #1, Torres went on the offensive. In Round #2, Arteaga went on the offensive. The combatants were systematically taking turns regarding which one would take the round off. When Torres pushed the action, Arteaga went on his bicycle. When it was Arteaga’s turn to be the aggressor, he threw punches like a sharpshooter. The grumbling from the crowd had no affect on Arteaga who definitely had the best shot of winning the match, especially after Torres’ nose started bleeding in round #1.
Judge Carlos Flores scored the bout 38-37 for Torres, judge Esteban Franco scored it 39-37 for Arteaga and finally, judge Leonardo Ibarra had it an even 38-38.
In Bout #5, one of Tijuana’s favorite sons, welterweight Victor “Sina” Fonseca took his time early, as if he were a master tailor measuring arm lengths and inseams. Once he had taken his measurements, Gerardo Mendoza was dead meat and on the receiving end of some really powerful shots to the body and head.
The lighter, shorter, less experienced Mendoza had no chance in this contest as Fonseca surgically took him apart. The end came at the 2:15 mark of the second. With the win, Fonseca improves to (7-3-1, 5 KOs) while Mendoza, who has yet to face anyone with a losing record, drops to (1-3-0, 1 KO).
The final massacre, Bout #7, involved the Dario Garibay destruction of Cristian Lopez (0-4) who after four straight bouts has now been knocked out four straight times. While Garibay of Tlalnepantla, México, Mexico, improves his record to (9-1-1, 7 KOs), it appears Lopez of El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico should try another sport.