Ringside at the Cosmopolitan: Antonio Orozco Stops Keandre Gibson

LAS VEGAS-Antonio Orozco won the battle of undefeated super lightweights by knockout of Keandre Gibson to win the vacant WBC USNBC title on Saturday.

San Diego’s Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs) used a punishing body attack to wear down the taller Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs) before more than 500 at the Chelsea Theater in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. ESPN televised the Golden Boy Promotions fight card.

Both Gibson and Orozco were confident entering the boxing ring, but it was immediately certain by the end of the second round when the Mexican-American fighter connected with a left hook to the head of Gibson that he was slightly sharper.

“From the start to the finish I stuck to the fundamentals in this fight,” said Orozco.

Gibson, who trains in Las Vegas, fought back with his own body attack in the third round but landed a heavy blow to the groin that halted the fight momentarily. Both fighters were warned for landing below the belt.

Orozco entered the fourth round with more determination and quickly landed two lefts and a right to the head of Gibson and down he went. The St. Louis native got up but when referee Russell Mora asked him a question he did not answer and the fight was stopped at 1:39 of the fourth round.

“I tried to outbox him,” Gibson said. “Unfortunately, I got caught. It happens.”

Orozco wins the super lightweight title.

“I’m very happy to have won this fight,” Orozco said. “Now it’s time to go home to my family.”

Other bouts

In a fierce 10-round lightweight battle Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta of the Philippines bloodied Mexico’s Gilberto “Flaco” Gonzalez early in the fight and went on to win by a wide margin on the scorecards. But it was a hotly contested 10 rounds of fighting.

Gesta used his movement and boxing ability to pepper Gonzalez throughout the fight but couldn’t avoid all the incoming fire. One thing Gesta proved is he can take a punch. Gonzalez was the taller fighter and looked like a welterweight, but was unable to land more than single punches at a time. But when he landed, they were punishing. A left to the body in the third round floored Gesta, but that was the only time Gonzalez was able to land with any mustard.

After 10 rounds one judge saw it 99-91, another 98-92 and a third 96-93 for Gesta.

“I never let my opponent get too close,” said Gesta. “I plan to lie low after this.”

Glendora, California’s Joet Gonzalez (16-0, 8 KOs) had some trouble with St. Louis featherweight Derrick Murray’s (13-2-1, 5 KOs) speed and movement in the first three rounds, but by the fourth round discovered a place for his left hook. Murray tried to use his quickness but couldn’t seem to avoid the left hook. He was staggered in the fourth round but survived. Murray opened up the fifth round with a two-punch combination but was stunned with a stiff left jab by Gonzalez. That opened the door for more combinations from Gonzalez who fired a looping right cross that staggered Murray. The referee stopped the fight at 1:55 of the fifth round for a knockout win for Gonzalez. Murray’s team was incensed by the quick stoppage.

“Going in I wanted to be smart and cut him off,” said Gonzalez. “Overall, this was a great fight and I’m happy to have another victory.”

Emilio Sanchez (15-0, 10 KOs) jumped on Mexico’s Jose Bustos (11-8-3, 7 KOs) in the eighth round with a left hook-right cross combination that buzzed the taller fighter, then followed it up with a four-punch combination that sent him to the floor. Though Bustos beat the count referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight at 51 seconds of the final round of the featherweight scrap. Sanchez fights out of Los Angeles and is trained by Manny Robles.

“My plan going in to the fight was to be smart and not get hit,” said Sanchez. “I didn’t plan on knocking him out in the last round. The knockout came on its own.”

Cesar Diaz (5-0, 4 KOs) beat Felipe Rivas (17-19-4) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a bantamweight contest. Diaz fights out of Palmdale, Calif. and Rivas hails from Nogales, Mexico.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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