Castaneda pounds 'Polito'
Ringside report & photos by Felipe Leon
Three divisional world champion Erik Morales' Box Latino joined forces with his brother, former bantamweight champion Diego "Pelucho" Morales of PM Promotions, to stage a seven-fight bout card in the small beach town of Rosarito, Mexico, about 20 minutes south of the San Diego-Tijuana border, Saturday night.
Held at the Ernesto Ruffo Appel Municipal Gymnasium and televised nationally in Mexico by Cadena Tres, the night was headlined by a scheduled 12-round clash for the WBC International strawweight title.
In the main event, local favorite Jose "Polito" Figueroa (9-3, 7 KOs) came up short, as he was dropped three times within seven rounds by Raul Castaneda (8-2, 6 KOs) to lose by TKO at the 1:30 mark.
The trouble for Figueroa of Tijuana, began early as he was caught with a flush straight right to the chin that sent him crashing down to the canvas early in the first round. Figueroa looked more stunned than hurt by the punch as he recovered quickly. "Polito" quickly got back in the fight with hard left hook to the body that slowed down the aggression of his attacker.
In the second, Castaneda began to land hard combinations in the inside including a beautiful left uppercut/right hook combination as Figueroa's back was to the ropes. "Polito" tried to score while boxing and counter punching with his left hook as Castaneda tried to repeat his success of the first round by repeatedly landing the right hand, this time trying his luck with an over hand one.
In the third, Castaneda began stalking Figueroa trying to make it a brawl. By the end of the round, Figueroa was cut over both eyes.
"Polito" came out furious in the fourth throwing an array of punches, mostly to the body of Castaneda. Figueroa had his best round in the fifth, scoring with quick combinations punctuated with the straight right hand.
Castaneda was undeterred in the beginning of the sixth round as "Polito" continued with his attack. Near the end of the round, with his back in the corner Castaneda caught Figueroa with a thundering left hook to the chin that sent the Tijuana native down for the second time. Figueroa was barely able to beat the count and Castaneda went on the attack but the round ended shortly after.
With fire in his eyes, Castaneda attacked with no mercy the still stunned "Polito". At the 1:30 minute of the seventh round, Figueroa visited the canvas again after another left hook to the head. Before Figueroa was able to beat the count, his corner threw in the towel to end the bout.
With the win Raul Castaneda captures the vacant WBC International 105-pound title.
Gaspar destroys 0-5 foe
In the semi-main event, super flyweight David "Flecha" Gaspar (9-0-1, 5 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif., finished off the overmatched Cesar Rodriguez (0-5) of Ciudad Obregon, Mex., 42 seconds into the second round of a scheduled eight with a left hook to the head.
Tijuana's Alain Hernandez (14-6-2, 7 KOs) needed all six rounds against Juan Velazquez (4-10-2, 2 KOs) of Mexicali, to earn a unanimous decision in the jr. welterweight division.
Hernandez controlled of the little action that transpired in the slow and methodical bout. Velazquez had his best round in the fourth when he caught Hernandez against the ropes and went for broke, throwing every punch in his arsenal but to no avail since Hernandez was able to slip the majority of them. Scores were 60-54, 59-57 and 58-56.
Bantamweight Andres Gutierrez (3-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of fellow Tijuana fighter Manuel Armendariz (0-11), dropping him twice with hard left hooks to the chin. The official finally stopped the bout at the 1:37 mark of the second round of a scheduled four.
After an all out bantamweight brawl that went for eight rounds. Tijuana's Juan Luis Hernandez (11-2-1, 7 KOs) earned a split decision over Jesus Rodriguez of Mexicali. Hernandez was deducted two points for head butts but still was able to connect more especially after he switched to a southpaw stance to mirror his opponent. Both fighters gave as good as they got but Hernandez was more efficient with left handed uppercuts. Scores were 77-75 and 77-74 for Hernandez while the third judge saw it an even 77-77.
In a rough and tumble four round brawl between Tijuana junior lightweights, crowd favorite Jorge "Negro" Silva (7-0, 5 KOs) caught Javier Gomez (4-4, 3 KOs) with a left hook that made his legs wobble. Silva continued connecting with hard right hands to the unprotected chin of Gomez. Once Silva caught his opponent against the ropes and started to attack without abandon, the referee waived off the bout. Official time was 2:00 of the fourth round.
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