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Gallardo defeats Quevedo

Ringside report and photos by Felipe Leon

Zanfer Promotions, along with the regional Azteca channel affiliate, returned to Tijuana, Mexico's Municipal Auditorium for the second round of the "Guante Azteca (Aztec Glove)" tournament last Friday night in front of over a thousand fans.

The tournament consists of a field of eight bantamweight fighters facing off in four round bouts to determine who is the best local 118 pounder. The first round was held two weeks ago with Luis "Tigre" Cayetano and Luis "Chupacabras" Gomez, both of Tijuana, winning their bouts and advancing to the semi-finals. Now, it was the turn of four more warriors to go after the two remaining berths. The winner of the tournament pockets $5,000 dlls. and immediate inception to the national tournament known as "Campeon Azteca (Aztec Champion)". The night also saw the first round of the light welterweight tournament commence.

In the main event, Oscar "Bebe" Gallardo (5-1, 3KOs) imposed his will over the more experienced Daniel "Cuate" Quevedo (10-11-2, 6KOs) over four bantamweight rounds.

Quevedo started out strong landing his jab to keep Gallardo at bay. Gallardo of San Luis Rio Colorado, MX, although having trouble getting in, was at times able to land hard body punches which paid dividends near the end of the round when "Bebe" landed a hard left hook to the liver of Quevedo which sent him down to the canvas. Quevedo of Los Algodones, MX, beat the count and the bell.

Quevedo quickened the pace in the second with controlled aggression as he threw and landed the more effective punches trying to make up for lost point in the first. the bout soon took a familiar ebb and flow as Quevedo scored with the straighter punches while Gallardo counter punches with the wider power punches making it difficult to determine who was winning the rounds. In the fourth and final round, Quevedo came back to his jab in hopes in winning the final round and was able to catch Gallardo every time the shorter fighter tried to come in and attack. Near the end of the fight, Quevedo added an occasional right hand that hut Gallardo a couple of times.

At the end of the four rounds, judge Monique Rendon saw it 38-37 for Quevedo while Guillermo Ayon and Jose Cobian both gave it to Gallardo with scores of 39-36 and 38-37, respectively, for the split decision win.

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Tamayo Disqualified

In the disappointing semi main event, Jose Tamayo (1-8) of Tijuana, was disqualified after a intentionally head butting Mexicali, MX's Jesus Navarro (17-3-1, 13KOs) in the second of four bantamweight rounds. Both southpaws went at it in the first round with Navarro landing the crisper and more precise punches. It was evident from the first exchange that Tamayo was naturally over matched and in turn, used dirty tactics to even out the playing field. As Navarro tried to fight from the outside with a long range jab and straight right hands, Tamayo tried to gain the inside real estate coming in with his head as he tried to punch to the body. At the start of the second during a clinch, Tamayo intentionally head butt Navarro, opening a gash over the Mexicali fighter's right eye. Referee Juan Jose Ramirez at first took off a point from Tamayo and let the action continue. As Tamayo again clinched and again tried to head butt Navarro, Ramirez had no alternative but to call off the action. Official time was 2:54 of the second round. Navarro continues to the second round but is unsure if he would be able to continue since the cut needs to heal.

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Tournament Favorite Tapia Loses

In an unforeseen result, the experienced Tijuana, MX, light welterweight Humberto Tapia (15-14-1, 8KOs) is taken out of in the first round of the 140 lbs. tournament by Jesus Gurrola (13-1-1, 5KOs) of Mexicali, MX, via majority decision. The action began quickly in the first as Gurrola came after the hometown favorite and caught him against the ropes and began to unleash punches. Tapia, who with his 29 professional fights was the most experienced fighter in the field, kept his cool as he slipped some of the punches and escaped the corner. Gurrola, the obvious stronger and faster fighter, stringed together a series of punches punctuated with a short inside left hook that sent Tapia surprisingly to the canvas. Tapia composed himself but only seconds later, he found himself on the canvas once more as Gurrola landed a left hook to the top of his head. Knowing that he was behind on the cards, Tapia came out with both guns firing in the second, throwing and landing bombs but Gurrola was willingly able to oblige as he threw some big punches himself. Tapia was content in getting inside and landing hard hooks to the body and head of Gurrola while the fighter out of Mexicali tried to box and put together quick combinations that easily found their mark.

In the third, Tapia became the stalker as he tried to walk Gurrola down towards the ropes and score points to make up for the two knockdowns of the first. Gurrola circled around and set himself to punch and was able to score enough to make Tapia's nose bleed. Tapia followed the strategy of the third round in the fourth as he pressured Gurrola with power punches and clinches trying to tire his opponent out. Gurrola was able to catch Tapia continuously as he came in with stiff jabs adding to the bloody nose that began in the third. At the end, Tapia's attack was enough for judge Jose Cobian to give him a draw with scores of 37-37 while Monique Rendon and Guillermo Ayon both saw it for Gurrola 39-35 and 38-36, respectively, giving Gurrola the majority decision.

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Castillo Blasts Out Sanchez

In the second bout of the light welterweight tournament contest, Cesar Sanchez's (0-2-2) of Tijuana, game plan was obvious, to come out hard and heavy in hopes of pulling out an upset and catching hard hitting Misael Castillo (15-0, 14KOs) not ready. As soon as the opening bell was rung for their four round contest, Sanchez did just that as he ran across the ring and began to unleash on onslaught on Castillo of Ensenada, MX, that caught the undefeated fighter off guard. Castillo was caught in his own corner as he tried to slip punches and counter punch the wide looping hooks that Sanchez was throwing. As soon as Castillo was able to escape the corner and take the fight into the center of the ring, he was able to take over and began to land hard body shots. Near the end of the round, Castillo returned the favor and caught Sanchez against his own corner and landed a left hook that as soon as it landed, disconnected Sanchez from his senses prompting Juan Jose Ramirez, the third man in the ring, to waive off the contest without a count. Official time was 2:48 of the first round.

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Rey Beats Rosales

In inaugural fight of the 140 lbs. tourney, Luis Rey (8-4-1, 5KOs) of San Luis Rio Colorado, MX, survived an early attack from Gabriel "Zurdo" Rosales (4-4, 1KO) of Ensenada, MX, to advance to the second round. Rey seemed to have trouble deciphering the southpaw style of Rosales early in the first round. Both fighters used the first round as a feeling out three minutes as the action was sporadic. Rosales found a home for his left hook early as he began to land it almost at will in the second round. Rey was successful in scoring with body shots from the inside as he tried to negate the stance of Rosales. As Rey was able to get used to the angles from where Rosales' punches were coming from, he began to apply pressure in the third and began to throw more punches. Rosales, who seemed winded, began to only score with one punch, mainly the left hook which was successful in the second round. When Rosales was not throwing that left hook, he was clinching, made easier by the in-coming Rey. By the fourth and final round, clinching was all Rosales was doing which led referee Jose Morales Lee to deduct a point, sealing the win for the busier Rey. The official scores were 39-36 twice and 38-37.

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"Temible" Castillo Returns

Making his return to the ring after his disappointing loss at the hands of Alfonso Gomez last March, the two time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo (61-10-1, 52KOs) of Mexicali, MX, by way of Empalme, MX, earned a somewhat lackadaisal eight round unanimous decision over perennial journey man Roberto "El Viejo" Valenzuela (51-53-2, 42KOs) of Agua Prieta, MX, in a special attraction contest. with 178 bouts between them against some of the biggest names in boxing in the last ten years, it would be expected that these two fighters would do more that go through the motions of a professional boxing match, but that was not to be expected. What was expected was for Castillo to resort to his number one weapon, the left hook to the body, which he learned as chief sparring partner to the great Julio Cesar Chavez many moons ago. Castillo used the punch frequently as Valenzuela had success counterpunching it with a straight right hand on top. In the third, Castillo tried to finish the night early as he trapped Valenzuela and went to town attacking the body and slipping punches with good lateral movement. The taller Valenzuela, boxed from the outside, using his longer reach to catch Castillo coming in and landing hard right hands set up by the jab. Valenzuela added a series of uppercuts to his arsenal in the fourth as he continued to box from the outside while Castillo kept pushing the contest towards the ropes and attacking the body.

Even though Valenzuela seemed to be hanging in there with the former champion, the tide really turned in Castillo's favor in the fifth as he began to land more frequently to the body with that famed left hook to the liver spiced up with a straight jab to the mid section as Valenzuela began to tire out from boxing on his toes. Ever the crafty veteran, Valenzuela mounted his last attack in the sixth as he strung three and four punch combinations that made little damage on Castillo but looked for the judges. Valenzuela even gave "Temible" a dose of his own medicine as he trapped the shorter Castillo against the ropes and landed at will.

Castillo cruised the rest of the way although Valenzuela had success all the way to the end with the right hand over the left hook to the body. At the end, Castillo was awarded a unanimous decision although no official scores were read.

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Martinez Weathers Storm

Three time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito's brother in law Hanzel Martinez (8-0, 7KOs) survived an early attack to stay undefeated against game Ramon Mondragon (0-2), both of Tijuana, in a scheduled four round flyweight bout.

It was obvious that Mandragon did not care who Martinez's relative was as soon as the first bell rang, he scored with hard punches to the head of Martinez as the fan favorite tried to slip the punches. The punches were coming from all angles as Mondragon scored hard and frequently with straight right hands and shots to the body. Martinez tried to slip the punches with lateral movement but for some reason kept his hands down, getting caught easily. Martinez scored early in the second with an over hand right but Mondragon walked right through it and kept coming after Martinez. Both fighters attacked non-stop in the center of the ring exchanging right hands with Mondragon mixing in a left hook to the body for good measure. By the end of second, it seemed that Martinez's punches were starting to make a little bit more damage on Mondragon as the slightly taller fighter seemed to be getting hurt. Martinez built on his work at the end of the third as he began to land more frequently, causing more evident damage on Mondragon. With the end in sight, Martinez scored another over hand right that hurt Mondragon and kept battering until the Juan Morales Lee prompted the stop.

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Other Results:

Jr. flyweight Maximino Flores (5-0, 4KOs) of Ensenada, MX, was taken the distance for the first time by Sergio Nuñez (0-4) of Tijuana, MX, earning a four round majority decision with scores of 40-36 twice and 38-38 once.

Tijuana's Alex Lopez (4-0, 3KOs) only needed one and half rounds to stop Ignacio Mondragon (0-7), also of Tijuana, in a super bantamweight fight. Lopez dropped Mandragon three different times in the second round but all with the same punch, the left hook to the body. Official time was 2:38.

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