CABAZON-The return of former world champion Jesus “El Matador” Chavez started slowly but after a few rounds the relentless pressure proved the difference in his win over Puerto Rico’s Daniel “Azuquita” Jimenez on Friday.
Chavez pounded his way to Jimenez’s body over 10 rounds in winning a unanimous decision over the slick fighting Puerto Rican before several hundred people at the Morongo Casino Spa and Resort.
“I feel good, it was a good test for me,” said Chavez (43-4, 29 KOs) who had not fought since losing his lightweight world title due to an injury a year ago. “I’m glad the fight went the way it went.”
Wearing a knee brace on his right leg, Chavez ate some right hands early in his fight against Jimenez who showed quickness and mobility. For three rounds it looked the Texan was going to have a difficult time.
But the rust began wearing off during the fifth round as Chavez began moving quicker and increasing his punch rate. Jimenez began feeling the effects of Chavez’s punishing body attack.
From the fifth to the eighth round Chavez’s body and head attack put Jimenez in reverse gear and unable to land many of his quick right hand strikes. But the Puerto Rican boxer found his timing in the ninth and 10th round with better movement and short punches. It wasn’t enough.
The judges scored it 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Chavez.
“It was an honor to fight this fight,” said Jimenez (17-3-1, 10 KOs), who had problems with his eyes and was forced to visit the doctor three times during this week to get cleared to box. “I learned a lot from this fight.”
Chavez said the injured leg that forced him to quit against Julio Diaz last year in their title bout is better.
“My knee is feeling good. I have to wear the brace for mental support,” said Chavez.
The ex-champion seeks another title bid.
Former champion Jhonny Gonzalez ate some left hooks in the first round, then unloaded several left hooks of his own to dispatch of veteran Edel Ruiz (28-20-5, 17 KOs) in a junior featherweight bout in the third round.
“I feel very comfortable at this weight,” said Gonzalez (37-6, 31 KOs), who held the bantamweight title at 118 pounds. “I hope Golden Boy Promotions can put me back in a championship at 122 pounds.”
Several double left hooks began the downfall for Ruiz who couldn’t find a defense for that combination. After three knockdowns referee Jose Cobian stopped the fight at 2:23 of the third round.
In a battle between Oxnard fighters David “El Peligroso” Rodela (9-1-3, 4 KOs) landed a vicious counter right hand that dropped Mexico’s Ramon Ayala (6-1) for the count of 10 at 1:08 of the fourth round.
“I’ve improved a lot with my new trainer Rob Garcia,” said Rodela, who wore camouflage shorts in honor of his hero, the late Diego Corrales. “I knew he was from Oxnard, but it didn’t matter.”
Rodela, who sparred with Manny Pacquiao and Joel Casamayor, was the much more accurate puncher. Ayala proved to be pretty strong despite his first loss.
San Francisco heavyweight Ashanti Jordan (3-0, 3 KOs) fired a stiff left jab that stunned Lancaster’s Joseph Jones (4-3, 2 KOs) and left him open for an all out assault that ended at 1:47 of the third round.
“It was a right hand that dropped him,” said Jordan, whose last fight was canceled on the day of the fight. “It felt good to get some work.”
Jordan’s primary weapon was a shotgun left jab that backed Jones up a step or two every time it landed. But Jones, from Lancaster, used his speed and right hand to keep pace with the San Francisco fighter until one of those Howitzer left hands bombed him again.
Jordan saw the opening and finished him in the third round.
“I’m glad his fight finally went more than one round,” said Steve Martini, who advises Jordan. “We got to work on some things like his jab.”
Mexico City’s Luis Fernando (20-0, 16 KOs) battered fellow Pablo Montes De Oca (9-14-2, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas with a pinpoint attack to the head and body. The fight ended at 2:16 of the sixth round for the undefeated junior middleweight Fernando.
De Oca, who is never in a dull fight, was simply over-powered by Fernando.
“Montes De Oca hit really hard but I was faster than him, that’s why I won the fight,” said Fernando. “It was a good fight for me, it’s been a year since my last fight.”
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: