INDIO, Ca.-With only one stretcher available, one fallen fighter needed to walk out of the ring with assistance because it had just been used for Santa Ana’s Ronny Rios, who was knocked out by Mexico’s Robinson Castellanos in the previous fight on Friday.
It was a stunning upset to see Rios dazed and bewildered as Mexico’s Castellanos landed powerful blows beginning in the first round at Fantasy Springs Casino. It was the main event and most expected the kid from Orange County to maintain his undefeated streak. Not on Friday.
Rios (23-1, 10 Kos) is managed by Frank Espinoza, who had guided his career like a master navigator. He also manages Antonio Orozco, who was also matched against a top level boxer. It was a crossroads fight for both fighters. On this day Orozco passed and Rios did not.
A Castellanos (20-10, 13 Kos) overhand right dropped Rios in the first round and he was on wobbly legs for the entire first round. The fight could have been stopped as Rios staggered and swayed for the remaining minute plus, but he survived. For the next four rounds he rallied a bit, but Castellanos used his experience and his long left jab to snap Rios’ head back viciously. Punches kept coming until 11 seconds into round 5, when the referee wisely stopped the fight.
Rios left on an ambulance. No information on his health was available at press time.
Antonio Orozco defeated former world champion Steve “Two Pounds” Forbes, a pro’s pro. It was a heated fight for the first four rounds but slowly the fight’s complexion changed as Orozco’s strength and stamina took over and Forbes couldn’t match it.
“I was set up to throw some big shots but he kept working with small shots,” said Forbes, who has fought many world champions, including Oscar De La Hoya. “He pressured a bit, but more important kept throwing. He was smart.”
It was an important fight for Orozco, who needed a win over someone that had lived and fought in the A level. Forbes is known for his skill and chin and defensive prowess. During these past few years those boxers wishing to pass through Gate A toward the elite fighters must fight Forbes. Orozco was successful because he was able to use his youthful tools to manipulate through the web of defenses that Forbes can toss at any opponent much like the Marvel character Dr. Strange can toss spells. The San Diego fighter cut through those webs by mounting a machine gun attack and did not resort to cannon fire. Everyone knows you can’t knock out Forbes.
“I fight to win. I tried to land big shots but he was strong,” said Forbes, who now lives and trains in Los Angeles. “He’s a big kid.”
De La Hoya
Diego De La Hoya (7-0, 5 Kos) simply out-quicked fellow Mexican Luis Ruiz (5-3-1) in a six round super bantamweight clash. De La Hoya was moving and firing punches at 100 mph and Ruiz was at the legal speed limit of 70.
The youngster who trains with Indio’s Joel Diaz was more defensive in this fight and was able to avoid most of Ruiz’s shots. Even when standing right in front the taller Ruiz, the lightning fists of De La Hoya seemed to ooze confidence away from Ruiz each round.
After six rounds it was obvious that De La Hoya won each and every round and he did 60-54 on all three cards.
Mexico’s Tony Gutierrez (16-0-1, 7 Kos) won by majority decision over Dashon Johnson (15-16-3), who exposed the lack of speed by the Tijuana fighter. But Johnson took his foot off the pedal and allowed the illusion that Gutierrez was winning rounds by staying inside and allowing the Antonio Margarito-like fighter to fire punches.
Santiago Guevara beat Rocco Espinoza to the punch for two rounds, then seemed to get tired. That allowed Las Vegas’ Espinoza to fight his style and though he lost every round according to the judges, it was a more competitive fight. The scores were 40-36 for Guevara.
Oscar Negrete (8-0, 3 Kos) of Colombia defeated Salvador Perez (2-6-2) by knockout at 1:55 of round two. A left to the body did the job in the super bantamweight match up.
Neeco Macias (7-0, 3 Kos) knocked out Roberto Crespo (4-5) at the end of round two. Crespo could not answer the bell for round three.
The last fight of the night was between two junior welterweights with three pro fights between them. Jesus Delgado (2-0-1, 1 KO) fired a wide left hook behind the ear of Chula Vista’s Joan Valenzuela (1-1) and down he went for more than a minute. Sadly, the stretcher had been taken to transport Rios so Valenzuela lay on the canvas for several minutes and then was escorted arm in arm to the dressing room.
The next Golden Boy fight card at Fantasy Springs Casino is planned for Nov. 13. Jojo Diaz will be the main event and he will be joined on the card by Diego De La Hoya and Julian Ramirez.