Photo by Katherine Rodriguez
LOS ANGELES-Arizona’s Juanito Garcia out-slugged Huntington Park’s Hector “Teco” Serrano in a six round junior welterweight match between two fighting for survival to win a majority decision on Thursday at the Club Nokia.
The Golden Boy fight card at the Club Nokia was filled with some competitive fights after a long layoff as a boxing venue. Garcia and Serrano lit up the boxing venue.
Both Garcia (15-3, 5 KOs) and Serrano (13-3, 5 KOs) wasted no time with only six rounds to work and soon established a pattern for destruction with blasts and counter blasts from the body to the head.
Early on Serrano teed off with some full impact to the body and head but never could hurt the Arizona boxer who was looking to make a comeback after a two year absence. The first two rounds seemed to go to Serrano who boxes out of Perris, California but it was close.
The third round saw Garcia bust Serrano’s nose and blood began to pour vigorously but the two continued blasting away at each other.
“I prefer it like that,” said Serrano who has been in numerous bloody and brutal fights. “I like people to say that guy is a tough fighter.”
Serrano changed the momentum in round four with several one-two combinations to the head but still Garcia hung in with quick burst combinations.
Rounds five and six saw Serrano’s nose begin to bleed heavily again and Garcia changed direction and fired left hooks to the body that slowed his opponent. More hooks to the body along with some right uppercuts gave Garcia the edge.
“The blood didn’t bother me at all,” Serrano said. “
After six one judge scored it 57-57, the other two saw it 58-56 for Garcia in a very close match.
“We came in here saying I was going to fight my fight. That was the plan,” said Garcia who trained in Big Bear with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and Frankie Gomez. “I caught him with some good body shots in the fifth and the sixth. I was looking for the knockout but I was rusty.”
It had been several years since Garcia had fought and won.
“People were saying I was a quitter. It was fuel to the fire,” said Garcia.
East L.A.’s Ramon Valadez (10-1, 5 KOs) floored left-handed Noe Lopez (8-10) with a lead right in the first round and from there on he kept the fight in his rhythm for the remaining six rounds. With a mixture of stiff jabs and combinations to the body Valadez kept the momentum and won by decision after six round 59-54 on all three cards.
Dion Savage (11-1, 6 KOs) got back on the win column with a six round decision over Ed Tigs (1-2-1) in a light heavyweight clash. Savage lost by knockout in his last bout in San Diego.
Ernesto Ocon (4-0, 2 KOs) discovered why Juan Carlos Diaz (7-14, 6 KOs) has become a regular fighter on the Club Nokia cards as he was forced to fight his way out. Diaz pressured the youngster Ocon for all four rounds and hit whatever he could find in the four round welterweight. The judges scored it 40-35 twice and 39-36 for Ocon.
Santa Ana’s Jose Sanchez (5-2, 2 KOs) stopped La Habra’s Ricardo Garcia (2-2) at 1:11 of round two of a junior lightweight match for bragging rights in Orange County. A first knockdown occurred with a straight left down the pipe by Sanchez early in round two. The second knockdown was a left hand-right hook combination that dropped Garcia for a final time as the referee stopped the fight.