ONTARIO – Riverside’s Josesito Lopez faced a stern test in Mexico’s hard-hitting Adrian Navarette (14-3-1, 13 KOs) and knocked out the puncher before a large crowd at the Doubletree Hotel on Monday.

Lopez (18-2, 11 KOs) had been training for months in Big Bear refining his technique and it showed against the tough-as-nails Navarette of Durango.

Using a long left jab Lopez snapped off combinations in the first round but Navarette cornered Lopez in the second round and unleashed about 30 punches on Lopez who covered up.

“I let him get off a lot of punches in the second round but he hardly hit me,” said Lopez who was defending his WBC Continental Americas lightweight title. “He hit me a few times, I felt his power.”

Navarette found it difficult to land his power shots throughout the bout. Whenever he got close enough to fire to the body, Lopez tied him up or moved out of range.

“We’ve been working on tying up and brawling only when I have to brawl,” Lopez said after the fight.

Mexico’s Navarette had knocked out 13 opponents of his 17 opponents and seemed able to weather any punches from Lopez. But after stunning Lopez with a left hook in seventh round, he tried to jump on Lopez who turned it around and caught Navarette with a left hook counter. Navarette’s legs wobbled. Lopez attacked with a 10-punch combination and the tough Mexican fighter crumbled to the floor. He beat the count but referee David Mendoza looked at him carefully and waved the fight was over 2:43 of the frame.

“We’ve been working on countering with the hook and it paid off,” Lopez said.

Matchmaker Alex Camponovo of Thompson Promotions, who staged the fight card, said it was the major test for his protégé.

“We had to make this fight,” Camponovo said. “It was an exciting ending.”

Navarette had never been stopped.

Other bouts

Juan Montes De Oca (9-10-2, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas battered former amateur star Michael Walsh (16-5-3, 13 KOs) for three rounds forcing referee Lou Moret to stop the welterweight fight at 2:20 of the third round at the Doubletree Hotel on Monday. Though Walsh never was knocked down, Montes de Oca was unleashing uppercuts and right hands without missing.

It was the third successive time Montes de Oca had surprised an opponent. The hard-hitting Mexican fighter out of Toluca, Mexico has improved in all aspects and has become a deadly opponent. Though he lost his first five pro bouts four of those came against top flight competition including Oscar Diaz and Jesse Feliciano.

“It’s been my dream to become a world champion,” said Montes de Oca who now fights primarily at welterweight and has been picked up by Robert Diaz. “When I was young I was always looking for a boxing gym. So I came to the United States and chose Las Vegas because I know people there.”

Montes de Oca was a sparring partner for Enrique Ornelas who was preparing for his bout with Aussie Sam Soliman. Ornelas lost by majority decision.

“I learned a lot from Enrique,” Montes de Oca said. “I’d like to thank him for his help.”

In a rematch between Colombia’s Yonnhy Perez (8-0, 6 KOs) and Mexico’s Arturo Bracamontes (4-9) ended in a knockout this time. A right hand stunned the Mexican from Nayarit and Perez pounced on him. Referee Jack Reiss let the action continue for two more punches and saw Bracamontes body began to reel and wisely stopped the action at 1:46 of the sixth and final round. Perez is returning to Colombia for the holidays where he has a taxi company.

A featherweight match between Blythe’s Andrew Cancio (3-0-2) and Cuba’s Freuidis Rojas (1-2-1) ended in a majority draw. Cancio started quickly using body shots to score points early but forgot the tactic and let Freudis back into the fight. It was a pretty impressive match between fighters with only three professional fights each. The judges scored it 40-36 for Cancio and 38-38 twice for a draw.

Canada’s Joel Mills (1-1) grabbed his first professional win in a junior middleweight bout against Fresno’s Loren Myers (2-3). A second round knockdown by Mills helped seal the victory. It was an overhand right to the back of Myers ear that dropped the tough boxer. The judges scored I 39-36 for Mills.

Present at the fight card was Marco Antonio Barrera, the WBC junior lightweight titleholder, doing some scouting for his company.

Also present was former world champions Rodolfo “Gato” Gonzalez and Chango Carmona. In an emotional ceremony, the WBC’s Rudy Tellez presented Carmona with the championship belt. Back in the 1960s in a world title bout, Gonzalez beat Carmona who then gave his victor the belt temporarily. He never received it back. Gonzalez never knew that he had Carmona’s belt after all these years. When Tellez presented Carmona the green WBC belt in front of the 2,000 fans the ex-champion accepted it as tears ran down his face. It meant that much to him.