INDIO-Coachella’s Randy Caballero grabbed the WBC Youth super bantamweight title and his East L.A. buddies Frankie Gomez and Seniesa Estrada pulled out victories too in a fight card featuring outstanding prospects on Friday.
Coachella’s Caballero (12-0, 7 KOs) found himself in his first true test against Phoenix’s long and limber Alexis Santiago (8-1-1, 2 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Casino.
“He tried to keep me away because he’s taller. My jab was going to work over his jab and I took over the fight,” said Caballero.
Caballero’s quick check left hooks kept Santiago at arms length in the first round after he ran into a few. The Arizona boxer has long arms and used them sparingly but landed a few blows. Caballero’s speed was quicker.
A counter right by Santiago opened round two. A left hook to the body landed early. Caballero opened his scoring in with an overhand right that connected flush. Both exchanged and landed midway through the round. Then a double left hook landed flush for Caballero as Santiago moved backward.
Santiago had a good third round especially with some nifty right uppercuts. Caballero connected with some overhand rights but allowed Santiago to land some unanswered blows early in the round.
In round four Caballero went for a guerrilla attack by going in and out firing punches to the body and head. Two punch combos proved difficult for Santiago to defend as the Coachella boxer kept him on defense.
After several feints Caballero rushed in and exchanged with Santiago in round five. The Coachella boxer began to pierce the Arizona fighter’s defense with some sharp left hooks, overhand rights and right crosses.
Caballero landed a big overhand right that sent Santiago across the ring to open round six and he complained. Referee Pat Russell signaled the punch was legal. Caballero countered with a right hand at the end of the round.
A slow round seven was punctuated with a big left hook from Caballero who feinted to the body and fired the blow that snapped Santiago’s head back. The Phoenix boxer tried to rally with several combinations but the round ended with no serious blows landed.
The last round Santiago seemingly waiting to land a big blow that never came. Instead Caballero pot shotted a few punches and walked away raising his hand at the final bell.
“He’s a tough kid. I fought him in the amateurs and he was not going to come to lose. That’s why we went all of those eight rounds,” Caballero said.
All three judges agreed he was the winner 80-72 twice and 79-73. Caballero picks up the WBC Youth super bantamweight title.
“It means a big step to me and it means I’m going on the right track and we keep going from there, said Caballero.
East L.A.’s Gomez (10-0, 8 KOs) met the sturdy chin of Khadafi Proctor (7-6-1) but was still able to stop the tough Hesperia fighter after a short struggle.
“It wasn’t difficult, he was a little awkward,” said Gomez. “He was tough.”
Gomez fired some combinations to open the round but Proctor got his blows in too. The speed of Gomez proved the difference in round one.
Both fighters couldn’t seem to connect in round two. A couple of left counters landed for Gomez but most of their blows were not landing in the lightweight bout.
Pushing and showing continued between the two boxers in round three. Several left hooks by Gomez landed flush but Proctor didn’t flinch. Toward the end of round three a left and right by Gomez landed and Proctor fell to his knee after a delay for a knockdown according to the referee.
Round four saw Gomez begin setting up his right hand bombs that snapped Proctor’s head back repeatedly. Gomez then began setting up left hand bombs to go with the rights and the referee decided he had enough and stopped the fight at 2:25 of the round for a technical knockout victory for Gomez.
“He was dead tired. He was throwing without strength in his punches,” Gomez said of his opponent. “He was already done in the fourth. If the ref didn’t stop it I would have stopped him in the next round.”
The East L.A. flyweight Seniesa Estrada (2-0) used her speed and nifty moves to create firing lanes and out-land San Bernardino’s tough Blanca Raymundo after four rounds to win by unanimous decision.
“She didn’t cause any problems than I thought. She could fight. She was real aggressive. I felt I was a little sloppy. I had one day of sparring. My timing was off. But I thought I pulled out off,” Estrada said.
The East L.A. boxer never ran but found herself trying to avoid Raymundo from grabbing one of her gloves and hitting with the other.
“I was trying to move and slide under,” Estrada said of Raymundo’s holding and hitting tactic. “They don’t let you do that in the amateurs.”
It was Estrada’s second pro fight and second pro win.
“It feels good to fight without the head gear. I can see without the head gear better and my reactions are better,” she said.
San Bernardino’s Juan Sandoval (5-6-1, 3 KOs) got another win this time by handing Indio’s Eduardo Vazquez (4-1, 2 KOs) his first defeat with a withering body attack and constant pressure in the junior lightweight contest.
Both fighters got their punches off with Sandoval landing a lead right to open things in round one. Vazquez worked his left lead and left uppercut too.
The next two rounds saw both fight on the ropes with Sandoval forcing his way by pinning the Indio boxer on the ropes.
A thunderous body attack by Sandoval won over the fans in round four as he pounded away on Vazquez’s left and right sides.
During an exchange of blows a one-two combination from Sandoval floored Vazquez who started round five furiously but lost ground on the knockdown. Both fighters charged at each other until the final bell in the six-round match. All three judges scored it for Sandoval 59-54, 58-55 twice.
San Diego’s Antonio Orozco (11-0, 8 KOs) survived a first round knockdown to out-muscle Rhode Island’s Joshua Beeman (4-10-2) and win by knockout at 2:03 of round three.
Orozco floored Beeman in round one but found himself on the ground too from a flash knockdown. From there on he took over and muscled his way inside. Two knockdowns in round three by Orozco resulted in the East Coast boxer calling it a night.
Coachella’s Lupe Salcido (1-0) beat Lindsay, California’s Stephen Rubalcava (0-5) by unanimous decision after four rounds of a junior welterweight match.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV