LOS ANGELES-Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado probably didn’t read the script and upended Venezuela’s Roger Gutierrez with a seventh round knockout and his first loss before a surprised and amused audience on Friday night.
A crowd of more than 800 packed the tidy Belasco Theater, and witnessed the wily veteran Alvarado (25-8, 16 KOs) use his experience to topple the previously undefeated Gutierrez (15-1-1, 12 KOs) in a fight that was one-sided in the Nicaraguan’s favor.
Alvarado tested Gutierrez early with combinations coming from all angles. Gutierrez never could figure out the punch slots and constant barrage of blows coming his way. And when he tried to fire back he mostly hit air.
Though Gutierrez never was dropped for a knockdown , his head snapped back so many times he probably was going to wake up the next morning with whiplash.
After the sixth round it looked like Gutierrez’s corner was going to stop the fight, but it was allowed to continue. Alvarado continued his assault and had Gutierrez’s head snapping back even more before the Venezuelan’s corner signaled referee David Mendoza to stop the fight at 1:34 of the seventh round.
Alvarado has never been an easy opponent for anyone and continued his tradition of being a gatekeeper for contenders.
Los Angeles fighter Edgar Valerio (11-0, 6 KOs) traded knockdowns early with Jairo Ochoa (18-12, 9 KOs) but pulled away in the later rounds to win by unanimous decision after eight rounds in a featherweight clash.
Valerio connected with a short left hook in the first round when both missed punches, but the taller fighter pivoted quickly and caught Ochoa with a left hook that sent him down. He survived the first round knockdown.
In the second round Ochoa caught Valerio with a left hook and dropped him. The L.A. fighter beat the count and the over-aggressive Ochoa was caught with another Valerio left hook and down he went for the second time in two rounds. He beat the count once again but lost the momentum.
Valerio seemed the stronger fighter from the third round on. Though both exchanged punches freely throughout the match, it was clear that the taller Valerio had more pop in his punches.
The best round after the two knockdowns occurred in the fifth round. In the prior round Ochoa seemed to land the better blows, but in the fifth Valerio let loose with a right and was met with a right. Then Valerio connected with three successive left hooks that changed the momentum once again.
After eight rounds two judges scored it 80-71 and a third saw it 79-72 all for Valerio.
Riverside’s Joshua Franco (12-0, 7 KOs) won by unanimous decision after six tough rounds against Mexico’s Antonio Rodriguez. Franco never could land one of his patented counter rights and needed a little time to figure out the taller Rodriguez’s sneaky long right counter. Once he did Franco began landing counter left hooks for the first four rounds. He then used the step back counter right to land in the final two rounds. Neither fighter was hurt but each took hits. Rodriguez took more blows but gave Franco his toughest fight so far. All three judges scored it 60-54 for Franco, a native of San Antonio, Texas.
In a battle of awkwardness Chris Ortiz (2-0) caught up to Pomona’s shifty Ronald Rodriguez (1-6) and knocked him down with a left hook in the second round. After he beat the count, Ortiz caught Rodriguez walking into his left hook for a knockout at 1:46 of the second round. Referee David Mendoza immediately called the super lightweight fight over.
Meiirim Nursultanov (3-0, 2 KOs) needed only 1:47 to find the proper combination to send Lanny Dardar (5-8-2) down to the canvas. A left hook to the body followed by four more blows to the head ended the night for the middleweight from Louisiana. Nursultanov fights out of Oxnard and is managed by Egis Klimov.
Photo credit: Al Applerose
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