TEMECULA-Martin Honorio kept his NABO lightweight title with a thoroughly professional and near flawless effort against Minnesota’s formerly undefeated Wilton Hilario on Friday night.

Forget that Honorio looks like Alfredo “Perro” Angulo’s little brother, they’re not related.

Looking to cash in on his win at Pechanga Resort and Casino a few months ago, Mexico City’s Honorio (28-4-1, 14 KOs) showed all of his boxing skills including combinations that seemed to surprise Hilario (12-1-1, 9 KOs) in front of more than 1,000 fans on the Goossen-Tutor Promotions.

Honorio’s ability to box and move and occasionally frustrate the younger and stronger Hilario proved effective for the first five rounds just as it was back in November. Then after several exchanges, Honorio let loose with several banging combinations and down went the youngster Hilario. He beat the count and another four-punch combination dropped Hilario again. He survived the rest of the round, barely.

The second half of the fight saw Honorio try to stop the fast rushing Hilario but the big blow never came. Hilario on the other hand knew that the older fighter had wasted a lot of energy trying for the knockout. The Minnesota fighter looked for a knockout but could never connect. Uppercuts and wide right hands never found the mark though he tried emphatically until the final bell.

All three judges scored it for Honorio 120-106 and 119-107 twice.

“I had him hurt but I couldn’t finish him but I was ready for 12 rounds,” said Honorio who was making his first title defense. “I’m happy because I m one step closer to a championship and I hope this helps me get there now.”

Other bouts

Rico Ramos (15-0, 9 KOs) fired a left hook to the liver to finish off Mexico City’s veteran Cecilio Santos (24-13-3, 14 KOs) in the fourth round of a junior featherweight match to keep his NABO Youth title.

Santos had fought numerous top level opponents including Wilfredo Vasquez, AJ Banal and Olivier Lontchi and lost. But he did fight to a draw with Dmitry Kirilov who held the world title at the time. Ramos worked patiently and found an opening for his left hook that made the Mexican fighter wince then drop to the floor a few seconds later. Referee Mendoza counted Santos out at 1:19 of the fourth round for the knock out.

At the sound of the bell Covina’s John Molina (19-1, 15 KOs) jumped on Mexico’s Ricardo Medina (31-36-5, 17 KOs) and traded body shots for about 20 seconds then fired a right hand and left hook that staggered the fighter and down he went. After beating the count Medina tried to fend Molina’s second attack and this time a left hook followed by a right cross sent him down for good. Referee David Mendoza signaled the fight over at 1:40 of the first round of the lightweight bout. It was Molina’s first bout since losing to Honorio in November.

Newly signed Sergey Karpenko (0-1) lost a split decision to Las Vegas heavyweight Alvaro Morales (4-6-5)  in a four round fight. It seemed Karpenko was busier than Morales but the judges saw it otherwise in scoring it 39-37 twice for Morales and 39-37 for Karpenko. On two instances referee James Jen Kin could have deducted points from the Ukrainian for use of an elbow and for wrestling Morales but gave him a break. It was Karpenko’s pro debut.

Michael Dallas Jr. (12-0-1, 3 KOs) was given a perfect opponent in Mexico’s slow footed and slow handed Fabian Luque (21-10-4, 12 KOs). The undefeated Bakersfield welterweight had target practice in bludgeoning Luque and stopping him at 2:58 of the first round.

Walter Sarnoi used an effective jab and strafing right hand to beat Fresno’s Jerry Mondragon in a four round junior featherweight bout. A Sarnoi left to the liver hurt Mondragon and a right hand put him down in the third round but he survived. The judges scored it 40-35 twice and 39-35 for Sarnoi.

Buttonwillow, California’s Ephraim Martinez (4-0) eked out a split decision against Santa Maria’s quick-handed Rufino Serrano (4-3) in a four round bantamweight fight. Two judges scored it 39-35 and 39-37 for Martinez and another 39-37 for Serrano.