INDIO-Coachella's Randy Caballero toughed it out to win the NABO bantamweight title against Mexico's Jose Luis Araiza and Indio's Omar Figueroa beat Ramon Ayala on Friday in a lightweight bout that should have won him a regional title but he didn't make weight, so he wasn't eligible.
Caballero (14-0, 7 KOs) expected a tough night but was a little surprised at Araiza's (32-6-1, 23 KOs) experience at Fantasy Springs Casino before a crowd of more than 1,200. The Golden Boy Promotions was shown on Showtime and had Oscar De La Hoya and Buster Douglas watching the proceedings.
Caballero won the fight by unanimous decision but was unsatisfied with the victory.
“I wasn't myself,” said Caballero, 21. “I kept getting caught with those overhand rights.”
A counter right hand followed by a Caballero a left hook stunned Araiza a bit in round two as the action began to heat up. Caballero seemed more comfortable with his distance and timing.
Araiza landed a few clean shots on the fast approaching Caballero in round three. A left-right combination landed squarely followed by a short crisp left hook to the jaw in a rather slow round.
The fourth round saw a few good exchanges with a right uppercut sneaking in for Caballero and a four punch combination for Araiza to the body. A long counter right by Caballero was the last clean scoring blow of the round.
Araiza turned things around in rounds six and seven by landing big shots and mixing in blows to the body. Caballero stopped the rally by resorting to the jab in round seven. He also used more distance forcing Araiza to walk in more to the punches.
Caballero became slicker with his punches and began to sharpshoot the shorter Araiza. But the last two rounds saw both engage with Araiza landing the overhand rights and Caballero the shorter uppercuts inside.
All three judges scored it for Caballero 97-93 and 98-92 twice. The Coachella prizefighter wins the vacant NABO bantamweight title.
“It feels good my name is right there now,” Caballero said about winning the title. “But I got to make sure I never make those mistakes again.”
In the co-main event Omar Figueroa (15-0-1, 12 KOs), who trains in Indio but lives in Texas, stopped Mexico's Ramon Ayala (22-3-1, 10 KOs) at 2:52 of round two of a lightweight match. A barrage of blows to the body then the head ended the fight decisively in favor of Figueroa. But he didn't win the vacant WBO Youth title for weighing more than 135 pounds on Thursday.
Andrew Cancio (13-1-2, 12 KOs) didn't disappoint his many fans in knocking down Mexico's Gerardo Zayas in round one and round three for the one-sided decision in a junior lightweight match. Cancio fights out of Blythe and was too strong for the veteran Zayas. The judges all scored it 60-52 for Cancio.
Oxnard's Alfonso Blanco (8-0, 3 KOs) overwhelmed Utah's Eddie Cordova (4-1-1) knocking him down once in the first round and finally ending the fight with a barrage of blows at 1:13 of round five. Blanco is originally from Venezuela.
In a battle between debuting neighbors it was Gerardo Juarez who emerged with his first win by stopping Indio's Josh Robertson at 2:28 of round one. Juarez of Palm Springs pounded Robertson until referee Lou Moret stopped the junior lightweight fight.
Indio's Javier Barragan (2-0) stopped Riverside's Vicente Medellin (0-3) with a right hand at 2:36 of round two.