VALLEY CENTER, CALIF.-Moreno Valley’s Kaliesha West kept her winning streak intact with a hard-fought split-decision and Jason “The American Boy” Litzau made short work of New York City’s Emmanuel Lucero at Harrah’s Rincon on Friday.
West proved to be the quicker and stronger fighter against San Diego’s Carly Batey (3-2-2) in a six-round bantamweight fight fought at close quarters for all six rounds.
“She was stronger than the others I’ve fought,” said West (7-0) who remains undefeated and is ranked in the top 10 as a bantamweight. “We must have head-butted each other a million times.”
From the first round till the sixth both fought nose to nose and fired shots between each other’s guard looking for the knockout blow. It never came.
West came out strong landed powerful blows with quickness that showed she was not going to be bullied by Batey’s strength. Body shots from the left and right hand dictated the pace for West.
Batey made some adjustments in the second round and caught West with a riveting right hand flush. Back to the body West went but not with the effectiveness of the first round.
In the third round Batey fired quick punches and out-punched West. But Batey’s punches lacked the snap of her opponent.
West returned in the next three rounds with loud snapping punches compared to Batey’s less sounding combination blows. The Moreno Valley fighters attack to the body could be heard throughout the outdoor arena.
“We fought the fight we wanted to do,” said Juan West, father and trainer of Kaliesha. “I think we showed we could fight inside and make Carly Batey try and match Kaliesha.”
The judges scored it a split decision for West 59-55, 58-56 and Batey 58-56.
Minnesota’s Litzau, a junior lightweight, returned to San Diego County with another power display.
“Who wants it,” said Litzau (22-1, 19 KOs) after the quick victory.
Litzau chased the much shorter Lucero (23-5-1, 14 KOs) around the ring the entire first round. A short right hand dropped him in his corner with a right hand in front of a crowd estimated over 1,200 at the outdoor venue.
Lucero survived the round and erupted out of his corner in the second round firing body shot after body shot. Litzau calmly kept his distance than fired a right hand on the ducking Lucero’s temple. The Mexican fighter’s eyes looked dazed and he took a knee as referee Jose Cobian counted him out for the knockout.
“This is becoming my second home,” said Litzau as fans attempted to grab his autograph.
The Minnesota-based fighter said he wants a fight with all of the talented California lightweights.
“I want all of them,” he said.
Michigan’s Tyrone Harris (21-3, 14 KOs), a regular fighter in the Inland area, looked to be in an easy lightweight contest when he landed several crushing blows to Oregon’s Rafael Ortiz (14-11-2, 13 KOs) in the first round.
Though battered Ortiz survived the first round and slowly began to gain momentum, but never enough for the sharper punching Harris. The judges scored the fight 99-90 twice and 98-92 for Harris.
Riverside’s Jose Reynoso (9-1)started slow against Texas’s Miguel Ortiz (4-5) and rallied in the last three rounds with some accurate power punches to score a majority decision. The judges scored it 57-57 judge Alejandro Rochin, 58-56 judges Jerry Cantu and David Denkin scored it for Reynoso.
A six-round junior lightweight fight between Brazil’s Agnaldo Nunes and Mexico’s Baudel Cardenas ended in a unanimous decision for Nunes. The Brazilian’s speed gave him the edge he needed according to the judges who scored it 60-54 and 58-56 twice for Nunes.
In a junior lightweight contest Mexico’s Cuahtemoc Mendoza scored a unanimous decision over Riverside’s Hector Reynoso after four rounds. The judges scored it 40-36.