INDIO, CA-Ever improving Oscar Negrete steamrolled through dangerous Sergio Frias like a 21st century version of Henry Armstrong with his nonstop punching to win by knockout on Friday.
Negrete (17-0, 7 KOs) captured the NABF bantamweight title over Frias (18-7-2, 9 KOs) before a 1,200 fans at Fantasy Springs Casino. It was a significant win in front of the crowd at Indio who expected hometown hero Randy Caballero who pulled out due to injury.
If Caballero was watching he got a good glimpse at what to expect should they meet later this year. Negrete is a human tornado.
Mexico’s Frias was expected to be a stern test for Colombia’s Negrete, especially after knocking out former world champion Vic Darchinyan cold with one blow last year. His height and long arms were expected to be a factor — they were not.
Negrete kept pressure in every round and the perfect distance to dart in and fire blows and then jump just out of reach for return fire. Frias tried every trick he knew but nothing worked except for the occasional body shot.
An exchange of right cross leads saw Negrete beat Frias to the punch and floor the Mexican fighter in the third round. Frias beat the count but was nearly dropped again with a right cross to the head and left hook to the body at the bell.
“The plan was to attack the body early and wear him down,” said Negrete. “He is a tall fighter and very experienced. He beat two former world champions by knockout so I had to be careful.”
The Colombian tornado was in full control and in the eighth round was battering Frias who could not fend off the furious attack. At the end of the round Frias’s corner stopped the fight giving Negrete the NABF title by knockout.
“I want Caballero next,” said Negrete.
But the real question is what weight would be fair, 118 or 122?
San Diego’s Genaro Gamez (5-0, 4 KOs) annihilated Northern California’s Devon Jones (2-5), flooring him twice before fans could settle into their seats. A Gamez overhand right ended the lightweight fight at 1:04 of the first round.
“We were the swing bout, so I tried to send everyone home as early as I could,” said Genaro Gamez. “Of course I’m so excited for this win, I’m trying to keep my knockout streak alive.”
Ryan Martin (19-0, 11 KOs) used his height and sharp punching to defeat Marcos Jimenez (22-8, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10 round super lightweight match. Martin trained in Big Bear and had superior defense and strength as Dominican Republic’s Jimenez tried to penetrate Martin’s guard. After 10 workman-like rounds, Martin was the winner on all three judge’s cards.
“This was my first time going the full ten rounds, and by the eighth, I was like ‘darn, he’s still standing?!’ Overall, I felt that I could be more consistent with my style, and I wish I would have listened to my coaches more while I was in the ring, but I am satisfied with my performance,” said Martin.
Lamont Roach (14-0, 5 KOs) made adjustments to pull away from Mexican southpaw Jesus Valdez (20-3-1, 9 KOs) and win the WBC Youth featherweight title by unanimous decision after 10 rounds. Roach was the quicker fighter but Valdez was clever in closing the distance and going to the body. But Roach solved that puzzle and closed out the last three rounds with some pinpoint combinations including some sharp uppercuts. The judges scored the fight 100-90, 98-92, 97-93 for Roach who fights out of Washington, D.C.
“He was a tough opponent, and he was able to catch me a couple of times,” said Roach.
KeAndre Gibson (17-1-1, 7 KOs) defeated Dennis Dauti (14-3, 7 KOs) by split decision after eight rounds in a welterweight contest. Gibson used his speed to pull out ahead but Dauti went into overdrive and used his aggression to make the fight closer in the latter part of the fight. One judge scored it for Dauti but the other two saw Gibson the winner. Gibson returned to the win column after losing by knockout to Antonio Orozco who was sitting ringside as a boxing analyst.
“This fight gives me a confidence boost,” said Keandre Gibson. “Most fighters who come from overseas are pretty awkward in their styles, and he was no exception – he had strange head and shoulder movements that could have become accidental head-butts.”
Damon Allen (12-0-1, 5 KOs) survived a knockdown in the fifth round to win by technical split decision against former world champion Gamaliel Diaz (40-17-3, 19 KOs) after six rounds in their super lightweight fight. An accidental clash produced a cut on the Mexican veteran Diaz left eye. Referee Tom Taylor stopped the fight at 2:59 of the sixth round and it went to the score cards where two judges had it 58-55, 57-56 for Allen with the other 57-56 for Diaz. The winner fights out of Philadelphia.
Milwaukee’s Luis Feliciano (2-0) showed off excellent boxing skills against super tough Balthazar Ramirez (3-3, 3 KOs) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds in a super lightweight clash. Feliciano engaged Ramirez in a slugfest for the first three rounds then slowly separated himself as the better fighter with crisp double uppercuts and lead rights. Once he got going his combinations were unpredictable and extremely successful. Ramirez to his credit showed a great chin but couldn’t match punch for punch with Feliciano in losing by unanimous decision.
Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions
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