It was world class experience against pure grit as former minimumweight world champion Roberto “Mako” Leyva (27-5-1, 20 KO’s) of Ensenada, Mexico took on Benji Garcia (12-10, 1 KO) in the main event of a card promoted by Bobby D Presents, Top Shelf promotions and sdfights.com. The card was presented at the Fourth and B in downtown San Diego.
Garcia came out aggressive in the first round as he backed Leyva into the ropes and landed a flurry of shots that went unanswered by the former world titlist. Good action in the second as Garcia again backed up Leyva and landed some flush shots. The speedy San Diegan landed repeatedly as Leyva tried to make a stand with little success. Good combinations by Garcia in the third as Leyva tried to defend the oncoming attacks but just couldn’t pull the trigger.
The smaller looking Garcia came out looking to do damage in the fourth and landed well on Leyva who absorbed the shots and was clearly bothered by them. Leyva’s experience came more into play as he was able to maneuver himself out of several problematic situations. Leyva fought with more urgency in the fifth round and got more aggressive as he came forward but was met with some well timed counter punching.
The final round arrived and Garcia came out swinging. He landed several straight rights as Leyva desperately tried to salvage the last round. His last effort wasn’t enough on the judge’s scorecards which were announced by Benny Ricardo as 58-56, 59-55 and 60-54. “Beating a former world champion feels really good,” Garcia said excitedly after the bout. “It’s the best win of my career.”
Leyva stormed out of the ring after the decision was read. Leyva became the IBF minimum weight world champion in 2001 after defeating Daniel Reyes. He held the title until 2002.
Aaron Garcia soundly defeats Gabe Garcia
Southern Californian, Aaron Garcia (9-1, 2 KO’s) faced off against Gabe Garcia (4-4, 1 KO) in a six round featherweight bout. The first round was competitive as both men landed on an even basis. In the second round, Garcia, a San Marcos, California resident was able to find his range a little better and connected with more accuracy. This didn’t deter his opponent as he gamely fought on. It was in the third that Aaron Garcia’s experience as a successful amateur made the difference as he started to outclass his gutsy opponent.
By the fourth round, the Phoenix resident was getting caught with more frequency as Aaron Garcia finally found his range. He punished his opponent to the body and head repeatedly. If the former Golden Boy promotions signee could punch, his opponent wouldn’t have made it past the round. Gabe Garcia was on the verge of going down again in the fifth round courtesy of a well placed body attack. He made it to the sixth round only to be met by several barrages of punches that bloodied him and again had him on the brink of being stopped. It was a hard fought battle by both men with Aaron Garcia getting the nod with scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 60-54.
Dickerson punishes Baker
Marcus Dickerson (3-0, 2 KO’s), a heavyweight who trains out of Encinitas with former light middleweight contender Eddie Sanchez, earned a hard fought unanimous decision over Lawson Baker (5-4-1, 2 KO’s) of San Diego. The scores of 40-36 did not accurately reflect the competitiveness of the fight. Dickerson came out bouncing on his toes from the first round, scoring with some hard jabs and over hand rights. Baker was the aggressor but without much of a defense, Dickerson was able to land at will on the granite chinned San Diegan.
The second round seemed even as Baker landed some hard shots that shook up Dickerson momentarily. The third and fourth rounds were a real war of attrition as Dickerson landed from the outside and Baker moved forward and scored with several combinations.
A bloodied Baker fought on bravely to the end of the fourth round after having been punished repeatedly.
Super featherweight Eugevny Khil (4-2-1) completely outclassed Noe Inzunza (7-15-1, 2 KO’s) in winning a four round unanimous decision with the cards reading 40-36 all the way across. The Russian who trains out of City Boxing in San Diego cut and punished the Coachella resident en route to an easy win.
Super welterweight Abon Lozano (2-0, 1 KO) defeated Ray Ortega (1-3, 1 KO) by unanimous decision. The scores given were 40-36 by all three judges in favor of the winner.
Faces in the crowd: Former multi division world champion Terry Norris, former title contender Rodolfo “Gato” Gonzalez, former contender Tony “Bazooka” De Luca, Russian Light heavyweight Dennis Grachev, lightweight prospect Jairo Ramirez and Super featherweight up and comer Emilio Bojorquez.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV