The crowd of about 750 patrons at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego were barely back in their seats before the main event between lightweights Mercito Gesta and Alain Hernandez was over.
The Thursday night event, Rogue Boxing’s first fight card, included a Jimi Hendrix style national anthem, a unique outdoor venue near the pool area, a cool vibe and a dreadlocked ring announcer.
Gesta and Hernandez don’t belong in the same ring. Gesta, a rising prospect with above average skills, took on Hernandez of Tijuana who was completely befuddled by Gesta’s fast hands and accuracy.
It was obvious from the second the bell rang, that the plodding and slow mauling style of Hernandez was going to be easy pickings for the native of Cebu City, Philippines. It took only forty four seconds as Gesta landed a barrage of unanswered shots on Hernandez’s face which prompted referee Pat Russell to call a halt to the fight. Hernandez protested the stoppage vehemently.
Some in the audience proclaimed it a quick stoppage but I had to agree with Russell’s call, as he stated that Hernandez was out on his feet. If anything, Russell spared Hernandez from a prolonged beating since Gesta (15-0, 6 KOs) is obviously in a whole other realm (boxing-wise) than Hernandez who drops to 14 wins 7 losses and 7 knockouts.
“I was expecting a much tougher fight but I’m glad it’s over,” said a jubilant Gesta afterwards.
Molina stays undefeated
One of Espinoza Boxing club’s brightest young prospect is Carlos Molina, who’s looking to make a name for him self in the lightweight division. He was matched up against Anthony Martinez of Costa Rica in a six rounder. Martinez was game but severely outmatched by Molina’s accurate punching and fast combinations. The kid out of Commerce, Ca. outworked and severely punished Martinez who wasn’t willing to go down even after taking several flurries of punches against the ropes. It was an easy night for Molina who stays undefeated with a record of 7 wins, no losses and 3 knockouts while Martinez drops to 21 wins 30 losses and 9 knockouts. The scorecards were announced by Dave Diamante as 60-54 all the way across.
Han and King put on a show
It was a torrid six round battle between Abraham Han and Ibrahiem King in the night’s best matched fight between two undefeated up and coming middleweights. Things started off quickly in the first round as King sneaked a hard shot to the head of Han who took the impact well. Han came back in the second as he used his snappy and speedy combinations to hurt King and he also landed several hooks to the head of his opponent.
Both men took their turns staggering each other but it was Han who landed the more significant punches with more frequency.
Han was the aggressor throughout as he came forward throwing every punch with fight ending expectations. King has obvious athletic talent but tends to pose too much instead of keeping busy. By the fifth round it was obvious that Han’s solid work rate and harder landing punches were all the difference as he took the decision from the judge’s scorecards which read 60-54 on one card and 56-58 on the two others.
The Ronny Rios express keeps rolling
Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios (5-0, 2 KOs) stopped Alvaro Muro (6-15, 5 KO’) at 2:29 of the second round with a vicious body shot after having dropped the Durango, Mexico native in the first. Rios’ speed, footwork and combinations were impressive and as usual as he set up the final punch beautifully. Rios, another member of Espinoza Boxing, sets a quick pace and keeps constantly busy with an assortment of eye pleasing combinations.
Espinoza outclasses Abraham
Benito Abraham is as tough as they make them, but he was out sped by the much more technically savvy Sergio “The San Diego Sensation” Espinoza. Abraham was easy pickings as he was shut out on all scorecards which read 60-54 on all three judges’ cards. Abraham, of Tijuana, fought back valiantly to the very end as Espinoza carefully picked him apart. The San Diego city native improved his record to 16 and 5 with 5 knockouts. Abraham drops to 9 and 16 with 6 knockouts.
Faces in the crowd: Former five time world champion Manuel “Mantecas” Medina, NABO Champ Antonio De Marco, “Bumpy” Parra, hot prospect Marvin Quintero, female bantamweight champion Jackie Nava and Hall of famer Terry Norris.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV