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www.Fightnews.comMartinez KOs Perez

Ringside by Francisco Salazar Photography by Rocco Morales

Welterweight Aaron Martinez at times has had a tendency to brawl in previous fights. However, he found an easier formula in his bout against Santiago Perez this past Thursday: Box more!

“My corner told me to box more,” said Martinez to FightNews explaining his change in style and his key to victory.

Martinez applied that simple game plan, winning an eight round unanimous decision over Perez before a crowd of 800-plus at the Expo Center in El Monte, CA.

The bout headlined a five-bout “Noche de Boxeo” card presented by Big Star Productions.

Martinez was coming off a five round technical decision victory last month over Hilario Lopez. With the victory over Perez, Martinez has now won his last three bouts since a majority decision loss to Abdon Lozano (in November 2008).

From the beginning of the bout, Martinez was the quicker fighter trying to use speed to land straight right hands. Perez countered well with right hands to the head.

A left hook in the third round by Martinez shook Perez momentarily. Not to be outdone, Perez recovered quickly and came on strong to finish the round.

Martinez controlled the middle rounds, but Perez came on in the sixth and seventh rounds. Martinez’ punch output dropped, allowing Perez to become more assertive and press the action.

Just when it seemed Perez might have the momentum for the eighth round, Martinez took control in the final round. Martinez moved in-and-out of Perez’ range, landing to the head and body as Perez tried to counter. Martinez’ threw and landed his combinations up until the final bell.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Martinez, with scores of 78-74, 79-73, and 80-72. FightNews scored the bout 78-74 in favor of Martinez.

“I had to box more intelligently in this fight,” said Martinez, in analyzing his performance after the fight. “He came to fight. He came in and wanted to trade. But, I followed the game plan to box more.”

Martinez, from East Los Angeles, CA by way of Michoacán, Mexico, improves to 11-1-1 with 3 knockouts. Perez, from Los Angeles, CA by way of Guerrero, Mexico, drops to 11-3-2 with 2 knockouts.


In the fight of the night, former 130 pound world champion Mike Anchondo won a hard-fought six round majority decision over Octavio Narvaez.

Anchondo, fighting as a welterweight for this bout, returned to the ring in April after suffering a knockout by Darling Jimenez two years ago. In his comeback fight, Anchondo won a six round unanimous decision over Hector Alatorre.

The fighters began to trade from the opening bell. Narvaez pressed the action, throwing a high volume of hard punches at Anchondo. Undeterred, Anchondo countered by landing short left hooks and right hands to the head and body of Narvaez.

Narvaez began to land more accurately and effectively left hooks to the head of Anchondo. After both fighters traded during an exchange, Anchondo was cut over his right eye, although it was unclear if it was from a head butt or a clean punch.

The cut did not seem to faze Anchondo as he countered well to the head of Narvaez. Anchondo controlled the tempo of the fourth and fifth rounds by slowing down the pace and finding openings in the defense of Narvaez.

Narvaez came on in the final round, landing hard left hooks to the head of Anchondo. A few left hooks did momentarily stun Anchondo, but Anchondo came back to land his share of punches as well. It was good two-way action until the bell sounded.

One judge scored the bout even at 57-57, while the other two judges scored the bout 58-57 and 59-57 for Anchondo. FightNews scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Anchondo.

“It was a great fight,” said Anchondo, who won the WBO super featherweight title in July 2004 over Julio Pablo Chacon. “I want to thank Narvaez for a great fight. It was a fast start and I came to fight. We’re just hoping for a world title opportunity. My goal is to stay dedicated to this.”

Anchondo, from nearby La Puente, improves to 29-2, with 19 knockouts. Narvaez, from Chinandega, Nicaragua, falls to 7-7-1, with 4 knockouts.


Former featherweight world champion Freddie Norwood won an eight round unanimous decision over former welterweight contender Jose Celaya.

Norwood was fighting as a middleweight for this bout, far removed from championship years from 1998 to 2000 when he campaigned at 126 pounds. Prior to the Celaya fight, Norwood had lost his last two bouts. Celaya was making his comeback to the ring after his loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. back in February 2008.

Norwood scored a knockdown in the first twenty seconds of the opening round. Norwood landed a left hand to Celaya, who looked off-balanced as the punch landed.

At times, Norwood looked rusty and his timing was off. As the bout progressed, Norwood began to connect more with lead left hands to the head as the rounds progressed. Norwood was able to make Celaya miss and comeback with an effective counterpunch that kept his opponent constantly off balance.

Still, Celaya at times was aggressive and did land left hands. However, it was few and far between. At 5’ 10” and the naturally bigger man, the taller, bigger, and stronger Celaya did not utilize his physical advantage over the 5’ 6 1/2” Norwood.

Celaya’s best round was in the eighth as he pressed the action, throwing wild right hands. However, it was too little, too late as Norwood - a veteran of twenty years - used his vast experience to work from the center of the ring and counter effectively for most of the fight.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Norwood, with scores of 78-73, 79-72 and 80-72. FightNews scored the bout 78-73 in favor of Norwood.

“Celaya was a durable guy and he’s a (former) contender,” said Norwood after the fight. “I did what I had to do tonight. I want to fight at 130, 135, or 140 pounds, preferably at 140 pounds. To all the champions, I’m on my way back!”

Norwood, from St. Louis, MO, improves to 43-3-1 with 23 knockouts. Celaya, from Salinas, CA, falls to 31-5 with 16 knockouts.  


Abraham Lopez won a four round unanimous decision over Shawn Wate in a four round lightweight bout.

The awkward style of Wate would at times make Lopez miss, however Lopez was able to close the gap as the rounds progressed to connect to the body and head of his opponent. Lopez landed the harder and more effective punches, although Wate did have his moments.

All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Lopez. FightNews scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Lopez.

Lopez, from Oxnard, CA, improves to 1-1. Wate, from Los Angeles, CA, falls to 0-4-1.


In a battle of middleweights making their professional debuts, Manuel Roman stopped Hector Moreno in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.

Both fighters threw wild punches, although Roman’s punches had more effect mostly due to Moreno leaving himself wide open.

Roman, from Inglewood, CA, dropped Moreno with a left hook to the head. After Moreno got up, he was dropped again by a counter right hand to the head. Moreno, from Visalia, CA, got up from the canvas, but referee David Mendoza felt that Moreno was in no condition to continue, stopping the bout at 1:17 of the opening round.


- Former world champions Terry Norris and Simon Brown plus welterweight contender Jesus Soto-Karass took in the action from ringside.

- The national anthems of the United States and Mexico were sung before the main event.

- This is the first show for Big Star Production. They will promote a card once a month and each card will be televised on Spanish language station Channel 22 (KWHY).

- Ring announcer was Jimmy Lennon Jr.


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