RINGSIDE AT THE BELASCO THEATER -Hometown favorite Chimpa Gonzalez was brutally knocked out in the second round by Filipino lightweight Romero Duno who won the WBC Youth title with the win on Friday. Gonzalez was sent to the hospital after the fight.
Duno (13-1, 12 KOs) walked in with a reputation as a hard puncher and defeated the equally hard-punching Gonzalez (16-1, 14 KOs) who was defending the WBC Youth lightweight title in front of more than several hundred fans at Belasco Theater.
There was little warm up. Both fired their best from the opening bell.
Gonzalez was winning the first round with more precise punching when suddenly, with only 20 seconds left in the round, Duno connected with a counter right that collapsed the taller fighter. Gonzalez staggered around the ring but managed to beat the count. He continued but the round ended.
Duno quickly attacked in the second round, but Gonzalez seemed to have regained his wits during the break. Both fighters exchanged fierce combinations when suddenly another counter right from Duno connected again. Gonzalez went down suddenly and tried to get up but staggered 10 feet toward his own corner. The referee Tom Taylor waved it over at 57 seconds, then looked at Gonzalez who seemed unconscious. It took around 10 minutes for Gonzalez to be ambulanced out of the venue.
At press time there was no word on Gonzalez’s condition. According to the California State Athletic Commission, the fallen fighter was taken at either California Medical Center or USC Medical Center.
“In terms of the knockout, I was just listening to my coach and kept boxing,” said Duno who hails from General Santos City, Philippines. “I based my strategy in seeing what my opponent was doing and adjusted whenever I needed to.”
In a lefty versus lefty match Santa Ana’s Alexis Rocha (7-0, 5 KOs) right hooked his way to victory by knockout over New York’s Marcus Beckford in a super welterweight clash. Rocha downed Beckford in the first and second rounds. The New York southpaw was also deducted a point for holding in the fourth round. At the end of the fourth round the fight was stopped by Beckford’s corner.
“From the early knockdown, I started to load my hands trying to knock him down again, but I learned that I need to stay composed,” said Rocha. “In regards to my performance, I did okay and definitely had learning moments.”
A battle between burgeoning pros with only one pro fight apiece brought out the star power. Colombia’s Jhon Leon (2-0) is managed by Laker star forward Metta World Peace and pulled out a win over East L.A.’s Angel Bojado (1-1) after four rounds of a middleweight match. Both fighters showed great skill for only having one pro fight. But Leon was in better condition and used his height and length to out-point Bojado who had his moments; just not enough of them. All three judges scored it 39-37 for Leon.
“I think I fought very intelligently,” said Leon. “I roughed him up a bit here and there but stuck to my style of boxing and I’m happy to come out with the victory.”
Niko Valdes (4-0, 4 KOs) was ambushed by a barrage of blows from Alejandro Osuna (4-3, 2 KOs) but withstood the furious assault and by the end of the first round had turned things around. It was his most impressive performance to date. The southpaw from Miami was able to find the holes in Osuna’s defense and round by round picked him apart. A Valdes right hook and two lefts snapped Osuna’s head and referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight at 2:16 of the fourth and final round of the super middleweight clash. Osuna fights out of Mazatlan, Mexico.
“My opponent was a very tough fighter,” said Valdes. “I was throwing a lot of hard punches, but the coach told me to start going to the body and that seemed to work moving forward in the fight.”
Middleweight Marvin Cabrera (3-0, 3 KOs) of L.A. stopped Saadallah Al-Tameemi (2-1-1) at 2:35 of the third round. Cabrera hurt Al-Tameemi in every round but several head snapping left uppercuts forced referee Tom Taylor to end the fight. Indiana’s Al-Tameemi was never grounded but was over-whelmed.
“I think I performed well for tonight’s fight, focused on my combinations and was happy to come out with the knockout victory,” said Cabrera.
Las Vegas featherweight Francisco Esparza (6-0), who is trained by the great Fernando Vargas, out-fought L.A.-based Emmanuel Castro (2-4) over six rounds of total action. Both fighters tired around the fourth round but Esparza was slightly sharper and more accurate. Castro had his best round in the third round. All three judges scored it for Esparza 60-54 twice and 59-55.
“My opponent put a lot of pressure, it was a tough fight, but today I feel I grew as a boxer,” said Esparza. “I did a lot of things in the ring I can learn from.”
Photo credit: Al Applerose
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