It was fitting that the main event of the card titled “Salute to Heroes 2” turned into a war since the fight took place at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in Northern San Diego County.
Former WBC Junior Flyweight Champion Eric Ortiz (25-6-1 16 KO’s) of Tijuana defeated San Diego’s Benji Garcia (11-8-3, 1 KO) by unanimous decision in a tougher than expected fight for Ortiz. The first round was tentative as both men looked for their range. A left by Garcia got Ortiz’s attention. Ortiz urged Garcia to come in and brawl but both men were just warming up as the pace quickened in the second. After the second bell, Ortiz came out aggressively and attacked Garcia, landing some nice shots to the head and a couple of low blows that halted the fight momentarily. Garcia took a few seconds to compose himself and the fight continued. Seconds later, a left hook dropped the San Diegan for an eight-count. Garcia seemed slightly dazed as more left hooks by Ortiz hit their mark.
The body shots by Ortiz were clearly bothering Garcia and had him in retreat by the end of the third stanza. The always brave Garcia came out in the fourth and landed some good straights. He would also be met with more left hooks and more body shots that seemed to be Ortiz’s plan of attack for the night. The fifth saw some high energy action with both men exchanging hooks with Ortiz getting the slight advantage. Garcia managed to land a couple of uppercuts that shook Ortiz momentarily. Fortunately for Ortiz, Garcia doesn’t pack much of a punch as evident in his one knockout in twenty-two fights. What Garcia lacks in power he makes up for in spirit and resilience. In the sixth, Garcia was still fighting courageously against the former world champion and landed several left and right hooks.
A hard right by Garcia staggered Ortiz in the seventh during a heated exchange. Ortiz started off the eighth round by landing a left and right hook combination. Uppercuts by Ortiz backed up Garcia but the San Diegan would not stop throwing punches. A good exchange ended the round with both men trading evenly. The ninth had more exchanges with Ortiz getting the clear edge in power as he landed some hard over hand rights. Ortiz was credited with a knockdown as he landed a body shot that threw Garcia off balance and onto the canvas. Garcia was undamaged but nevertheless got a count from referee James Jen Kin. The last round came and Benji wasn’t about to give in as he threw volleys of punches that won him the round and the support of the crowd. The final scores announced by ring announcer Joe Martinez were 97-90, 95-92 and 96-91 for Ortiz. Ortiz came in currently ranked #9 by the IBF.
Shawn “The Sioux Warrior” Hawk (13-0, 11 KO’s) of Thompson, South Dakota made short work of Karl Evans (5-14-1, 5 KO’s) in a heavyweight match. Hawk walked into the ring wearing a traditional Native American headdress and accompanied by the sound of drums. Hawk came out aggressive from the first second as he pumped a hard jab into Evans’ face. Evans was game but was outmatched by the faster and stronger Hawk. A double left hook dropped Evans the first time for an eight-count. Evans got up and continued but was later caught with a right and left combo that finished the job as Evans dropped to the canvas badly hurt which prompted referee Jose Cobian to wave off the contest. The end came at 1:15 of the first round. Hawk is training with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles and is likely to drop to the Light Heavyweight division.
Bantamweight Heather Donoho (3-0-1) of San Diego and Amanda Knight (1-1-2) of Orlando, Florida fought to a four-round draw in a spirited women’s bantamweight fight. Donoho came out brawling from the start while Knight used some nice movement to offset Donoho’s forward charge. Good exchanges ensued with both ladies landing some hard shots. The scores were 40-36 for Donoho, 40-36 for Knight with one judge having it even at 38-38. A good showing for both ladies who put on a fight worthy of a rematch.
Super lightweight Alain Hernandez (7-4-1) of Tijuana won a unanimous decision over Yair Aguilar (6-4) from Culiacan, Sinaloa. All cards read 60-54.
Bantamweight Christopher Martin wins by TKO in the fourth round over Saul Santoyo at 1:41.
Super Featherweight Osvaldo Medina wins a four round decision over Domingo Mendoza in the opener. The scores were 40-36 on all cards.
The card was put on by Sycuan Ringside Promotions and was free to all Camp Pendleton Personnel and their families.