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David Rodela Retires – LOS ANGELES – A pair of veterans fell short against the young guns on Friday night.

Michael “The Artist” Perez won a technical decision in a bloody affair against Martin Honorio and Chimpa Gonzalez knocked out David Rodela at Belasco Theater. Youth emerged on top before a full house on the Golden Boy Promotions card.

New Jersey’s Perez (24-1-2) met Mexico City’s much older Honorio (33-10-1), a veteran of several world title bouts in the past. Immediately it was apparent that Perez was going be in a battle. Immediately both clashed heads and emerged with cuts. Honorio had a two-inch gash above the left ear and Perez seemed to have a cut on his left ear and left eye.

Both ignored the flowing blood and kept on banging.

For the first four rounds of this super lightweight clash it seemed to be an even fight as both had their moments. Around the fifth round Honorio seemed to tire as Perez pounded the body and head. From that point on Perez was in control.

As the fighters went to their corners after the sixth round suddenly the referee Jerry Cantu signaled the fight over because Perez’s eyelids were cut from an accidental clash of heads. The judges scored the fight 60-54 though it appeared to be a much closer fight.

“I don’t agree with the judge’s decision. I felt we were keeping up and were equal in intensity,” said Honorio, 36. “At the end of the day, I accept it.”

Perez, 26, was bloodied but pleased with the outcome.

“In the fight, we both were hurt badly. When I went back to my corner after the 6th round, I could no longer see and this is when we decided to end the fight. I wasn’t at all concerned about the judge’s scorecards because I knew I was ahead in every round,” said Perez. “After this win, I hope 2016 will bring a world title in to my midst.”

Chimpa wins, Rodela retires

It wasn’t the main event but when Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (13-0) knocked out former contender David Rodela (17-13-3) in the first round it represented the widening gap between generations of fighters on Friday.

A full house at Belasco Theater saw youngster Gonzalez enter the ring against the gaunt looking Rodela and connect with a perfect counter right to the chin at 2:16 of the first round to win by knockout in the super featherweight clash.

Rodela could not get up from that blow. It’s one of thousands of blows that Rodela has absorbed in his long career that began 11 years ago in January 2005. But the Oxnard veteran fighter just could not muster the strength to lift himself up from the canvas.

The crowd cheered mightily for Gonzalez, a young, strong and seemingly heavier looking fighter. But that’s youth for you.

“I think the crowds always come out to support me because I always have a smile on my face. I do this for fun, and it’s amazing how my career has just taken off,” said Gonzalez, 20. “I am excited for 2016 and building on my record and hopefully by the end of the year we will hit 10 rounds.”

Rodela, 33, on the other hand is a true professional. He’s fought against the best and was a regular sparring partner for the great Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for many years. His contributions to Pacman’s growth were well appreciated by the Filipino superstar. He allegedly rewarded Rodela with a down payment for a house a while back.

Fans may look at Rodela’s record and call him a mediocre fighter. But it takes a huge amount of professionalism to do what he’s done for more than a decade. The Oxnard fighter stepped in the ring against some pretty impressive fighters like Julio Gamboa, Kevin Kelley, Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis, and Gamalier Rodriguez. In the past few years he’s served as a trial horse for world champions such as Terence Crawford, Jorge Linares, and now Chimpa Gonzalez.

“The way this fight ended just makes me realize this will be my last fight,” said Rodela. “Chimpa is a great fighter, and I wish him nothing but the best in his career. I love boxing, and I can’t wait to continue to mentor up-and-coming boxers.”

Rodela is what I call a professional. Maybe his time has come and gone but he always gave his best.

Other bouts

Colombia’s Oscar Negrete (13-0, 5 KOs) manhandled Tijuana’s Neftali Campos (11-1, 9 KOs) every single round of the eight round super bantamweight bout. It was an old fashion beat down in a fight that looked like it might be a good scrap. Instead, the fight between undefeated fighters turned out to be Negrete’s showcase to prove he is in a higher class of fighters. No knockdowns were scored but Negrete was relentless in punishing Campos every single round. All three judges scored it 80-72 for Negrete.

“I’m glad I got to upkeep my record. I went for the knockout, but I’ll take the win. I hope this 2016, I can fight for a title here in the U.S,” said Negrete.

West L.A.’s Rafael Gramajo (7-1-1, 2 KOs) handed St. Louis fighter Sharone Carter (4-1, 2 KOs) his first loss after six rounds in a super bantamweight clash. Gramajo somehow lost the first round despite Carter running and holding throughout the fight. It wasn’t until the final round that a point was finally deducted from Carter who constantly fell to the ground from trying to dive in to attempt another hold. All three judges scored it 59-54 for Gramajo.

South Central L.A.’s Ivan Delgado (9-0-1, 2 KOs) out-punched Mazatlan’s southpaw Jesus Sandoval (5-9-3) over six rounds in a super featherweight match.  Delgado stunned Sandoval a few times but never could put the finishing touch in. Delgado was the more accurate puncher and once he figured out Sandoval’s lefty style he was able to avoid most of the return fire. One judge scored it 60-54 and two had it 59-55 for Delgado.

Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha (1-0) stopped Dominican Republic’s Jordan Rosario (0-4) at 1:43 of the second round in their super welterweight bout. Rocha, a southpaw, is the younger brother of featherweight contender Ronnie Rios. Rocha looked pretty polished for a debuting fighter.

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