INDIO, CA.—Maybe there’s bad juju for Antonio Orozco at Fantasy Springs.
Orozco entered the ring against Mexico City’s Miguel Angel Huerta in a junior welterweight showdown and barely survived the first round at the Indian casino…again. But he emerged with a knockout win.
San Diego’s Orozco (19-0, 15 Kos; seen smashing Huerta in Ray Flores photo) faced a former world title challenger with power in Huerta (27-12-1, 18 Kos) and was nearly capsized by the veteran in the first three minutes of the televised Golden Boy Promotions fight card. Two and a half years ago he was floored in the same venue but rallied with a knockout win.
Huerta was all business when he entered the ring. For the first two minutes of the fight you could easily see he was studying the movements and timing of the younger fighter. Finally, when Orozco let go with a right hand, Huerta used that opening to launch a wicked left hook that staggered the undefeated boxer from San Diego. But the younger boxer managed to make it to the second round after some shaky moments.
Many in the crowd were buzzing during the intermission. Orozco was building up steam.
“What can I say? He caught me good and he hits hard,” said Orozco, 26. “The opportunity to think goes out the window. But I decided to come out hard and I managed to finish him.”
Orozco bolted from his stool like a charging rhino and engaged Huerta with a two fisted attack. A sharp left hook caught Huerta flush and down he went in a heap. As he got to his knees he looked pretty beaten. But he surprisingly beat the count. Orozco did not want to let him regain his senses so he pummeled the Mexico City fighter with more than three dozen blows. Referee Pat Russell saw enough and stopped the fight with Huerta on his feet at 1:19 of round two.
“He’s a very strong fighter,” said Orozco, who now has a stronger footing in the talented junior welterweight division.
East L.A. boxer Julian Ramirez (10-0, 6 Kos) knocked down the dangerous Derrick Wilson (10-6-2, 3 Kos) twice to win by a comfortable margin after eight rounds in a junior featherweight contest. Straight lefts did the job for Ramirez who floored Wilson in the first round with lefts to the body and head. In round seven a one-two sent Wilson down again but the fighter survived for all eight rounds. The scores were 79-71 and 78-72 twice for Ramirez, who is managed by Joel De La Hoya. “I gave myself a C because I didn’t finish him off when I knocked him down,” said Ramirez, 20. “But he told me he trained the hardest for this fight so that proved to me I beat him at his best.”
Former U.S. heavyweight Olympian Dominic Breazeale (9-0, 7 Kos) withstood a head on attack by the barrel-chested Homer Fonseca (10-7-3, 6 Kos) in the first round and eventually won by technical knockout. The smaller 300-pound Fonseca used those shorter arms to wing some big blows against the much taller Breazeale. But after the fast start Fonseca wore down and Breazeale was able to blast away. Both heavyweights absorbed big blows but neither was knocked down. Finally, after visibly tiring, Fonseca could not continue after the third round to give Breazeale the win by technical knockout. Fonseca fights out of Texas and Breazeale lives in Rancho Cucamonga.
Former world champion Cornelius Bundrage (33-5, 19 Kos) was accidentally butted several times against southpaw Joey Hernandez (23-2-1, 13 Kos) of Miami, but still managed to win by unanimous decision after 12 rounds in the junior middleweight fight. Detroit’s Bundrage won the right to fight for the IBF title with the victory. He will now face the winner between current IBF champion Carlos Molina and Jermell Charlo who fight on March 8, in Las Vegas.
Santiago Guevara (6-0, 3 Kos) of L.A. attacked hard early against Rocco Espinoza (4-8) of Las Vegas to win by split decision in a junior lightweight rumble. Guevara scored early but after the first round, things changed. Espinoza seemed to be the busier more effective boxer. Only one judge ruled in Espinoza’s favor.
Kevin Watts (4-0, 2 Kos) of Lancaster used sharp punching and a knockdown to defeat Julian Cruz (1-4) by unanimous decision after four rounds. Watts used a right hand to send Cruz to the canvas but could not finish off the boxer from Acapulco.
Tevin Watts (1-0-1) of Lancaster and Gus Lopez (0-1-1) of King City, Calif. fought to a majority draw after a four-round junior middleweight clash. It was an even scrap with both landing good blows but unable to hurt the other. One judge scored it 39-37 for Watts but the other two saw it 38-38.
Santa Ana’s Jesus Delgado won his pro debut by unanimous decision against Kirk Bills (0-1) of Las Vegas after four rounds in a welterweight match. Delgado was able to land the heavier and more effective blows against Bills, who walked in the ring with former champion Zab Judah.
L.A.’s Manny Robles Jr. (5-0, 2 Kos) won a tense and close six round featherweight contest against Oxnard’s Ricky Lopez (10-3, 4 Kos). Robles is managed by Al Haymon.
Former football star Gerald “Gallo Negro” Washington (11-0, 8 Kos) was engaged in a slow methodical heavyweight bout with Arron Lyons (12-15-1) through four mostly uneventful rounds. But in the fifth stanza, the Mexican-born linebacker from USC blitzed Lyons with about 12 consecutive right hand blockbusters. Referee Pat Russell decided he had seen enough and stopped the bludgeoning at 50 seconds of the round.