LAS VEGAS – It was a bad day for California-based prizefighters.
WBC junior flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria was dethroned and Mira Loma’s Carlos Bojorquez, a middleweight, was stopped by technical knockout at the Orleans Casino on Thursday before more than four thousand fans.
The pocket destroyer Viloria (19-1, 12 KOs) was unable to find Mexico’s Omar Nino who befuddled the former champion from the third round until the final 12th.
“It was a regular fight for me,” said Nino (24-2-1, 10 KO), fighting for the first time outside of Mexico. “I saw in the tapes that he didn’t like to fight inside. It worked very well.”
Nino, the shorter fighter between the two, landed many more jabs and fired five and six-punch combinations. Viloria seemed intent on firing the killing blow. It never came.
“I knew he was going for the knockout,” said Nino. “I stayed in my defense.”
All three judges scored it big for the Mexico fighter 119-110, 117-111, 117-112.
It was the third consecutive time a major card held in the Orlean’s Arena resulted in an upset. The first was Vernon Forrest, a 3-1 favorite, losing a rematch to Ricardo Mayorga. The second was Kassim Ouma soundly defeated by Roman Karmazin immediately after the African signed a long-term agreement with Golden Boy. Now it was Viloria losing to the completely unknown Mexican Nino.
“This was my first opportunity to fight for a world title. I waited so long for this moment,” Nino said. “I’m very, very happy.”
In the Mexican middleweight showdown between Bojorquez and Jose Luis Zertuche (19-2-2, 14 KOs), it was the older gatekeeper versus the new.
Both began the first round slowly with Bojorquez stunning Zertuche with a long right hand. Then the momentum shifted as Zertuche seemed to have the quicker hand-speed during the exchanges.
“The fight was not the one we planned,” said Ruben Castanon, who trains Bojorquez. “It just didn’t work out for Carlos.”
Bojorquez (26-9-6, 22 KOs) was hurt badly in the second round but fought out of the trouble. His punching power must have still been strong because Zertuche did not want to take unnecessary chances.
But the rounds kept mounting up against Bojorquez who traded whenever possible as fans screamed and some covered their eyes. At 1:25 of the eighth round an overhand right to the temple stunned the Mira Loma fighter and a left hook to the jaw finally ended matters. Referee Robert Byrd waved it off.
Bojorquez was sent to Valley View Medical Center in Las Vegas for a mandatory CAT scan. Any fighter stopped by knockout is required to take one.
In another middleweight bout, Ireland’s Andy Lee (4-0) used his 6-1 height and left-handed speed to race to a hard-fought victory over Carl Cockerman (12-12-3). There were no knockdowns. The judges scored it 60-54 for Lee.
Lee is trained by Emanuel Steward at Kronk Gym in Detroit.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV