Santa Cruz breaks down Cota
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Before he stepped inside the ring against unbeaten super bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz on Thursday night, Jose Angel Cota was announced with a record of 20-4, with 17 knockouts by the ring announcer. The bout sheet listed him as 15-4, with 11 knockouts, although Boxrec.com listed him as 8-4, with six knockouts.
Whatever record Cota had, did not make a difference, as Santa Cruz slowly broke him down in earning a third round stoppage victory before an almost-sellout crowd at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif.
The bout headlined a nine-bout “Fight Night at the Commerce 3” card, presented by TKO Boxing Promotions.
Santa Cruz wasted very little in taking the fight to Cota. The taller Santa Cruz rained hard punches down at Cota, who pressed the action to get on the inside of Santa Cruz.
In the second, Santa Cruz dropped Cota with a left hook to the head. Despite the knockdown, Cota was competitive, attempting to counter and even pressing the fight more. However, the more Cota threw, the more he was vulnerable to being repeatedly hit to the head. Santa Cruz was very accurate with his punches, peppering Cota with left hooks and straight right hands.
Santa Cruz picked up where he left off in the third round. Midway through the round, Santa Cruz stunned Cota with a hard right hand to the head. As he was about to go in for the kill, referee Raul Caiz, Jr. saw enough and stopped the scheduled eight round at 1:35.
The 21-year-old Santa Cruz has now stopped his last three opponents in a row, all at the Commerce Casino.
Santa Cruz, from nearby Rosemead, by way of Huetamo, Michoacán, Mexico, improves to 13-0-1, 5 KOs. Cota hails from Bell Gardens, CA by way of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Lorenzo stops Salmon
In the co-feature bout of the evening, former world title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo knocked out Daryl Salmon in the third round of a scheduled eight round bout.
Lorenzo, who was signed by TKO Boxing Promotions this week, knocked out Wilmer Gonzalez in the second round in March. It was his first bout since losing a 12 round split-decision Sebastian Sylvester in September. Prior to his bout against Lorenzo, Salmon had lost his last three bouts in a row.
From the opening round, Lorenzo continuously landed hard right hands to the body as Salmon did very little to counter. Towards the end of the round, an accumulation of punches dropped Salmon to the canvas. Salmon was able to survive the round.
Salmon did better in the second round. He was able to make Lorenzo miss, but instead of countering, he clenched onto Lorenzo.
Lorenzo continuously landed hard shots to the body in the third round. He was able to back Salmon up, now throwing left hooks to the body as well. Towards the end of the round, Lorenzo landed a counter left hook to the head that dropped Salmon to the canvas. Referee Raul Caiz Jr. counted Salmon out at 2:53.
Lorenzo, from Washington Heights, NY, goes to 29-2, 21 KOs. Salmon, from Savannah, GA, drops to 16-4, 4 KOs.
Juarez decisions Marquez
In an all-out war, Junior Bantamweight Austroberto Juarez won a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over Ernie Marquez.
Juarez landed the more telling blows, while the shorter Marquez attempted to get inside of Juarez’ reach. As the bout progressed, Marquez was busier and was able to counter effectively to the head of Juarez.
However, starting in the fourth round, Juarez was able to land more effectively, scoring with hard left hooks to the body. Juarez bloodied Marquez with a hard right hand to the head in the fifth round. Both fighters had their moments in the final round as both let their hands go.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Juarez, with scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55. Fightnews.com scored the bout 58-56 in favor of Juarez.
This was a decent performance for Juarez, who was stepping back inside the ring for the first time in over three and a half years due to personal matters.
Juarez, from Ventura, CA, improves to 9-0, 2 KOs. Marquez, from Fort Morgan, CO, falls to 9-7-1, 3 KOs.
Caballero overwhelms Bedwell
Super Bantamweight Randy Caballero stopped overmatched Travis Bedwell in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
Caballero dropped Bedwell with a right hand to the head. Although Bedwell stood up, it was only a matter of time before Caballero would land another hard punch to put Bedwell away.
After Bedwell stood up, the former amateur star went right at his opponent. Caballero landed an accumulation of punches and although Bedwell did not go down, referee Tony Crebs stepped in and stopped the bout at 56 seconds.
Caballero, from Coachella, CA, goes to 3-0, 3 KOs. Bedwell, from Jackson, TN, drops to 0-2.
Chudinov stops gutsy Bedwell
Middleweight Dmitry Chudinov stopped Nathan Bedwell in the third round of a scheduled four round bout.
Chudinov landed the harder and more effective punches of the two fighters. Although the southpaw Bedwell was competitive early, he was dropped by a left hook to the body by Chudinov.
After surviving the first round, Bedwell did not back down, even landing an occasional right hook to the head of Chudinov. Any rally by Bedwell was short-lived as he was hurt by an accumulation of punches towards the end of the second round. Chudinov went in for the kill in the opening moments of the third round. Bedwell was defenseless against the ropes, prompting referee Raul Caiz, Jr. to step in and stop the bout at 18 seconds.
Chudinov, from Los Angeles, CA by way of Serpukhov, Russia, improves to 5-0, 3 KOs. Bedwell, Jackson, TN, falls to 1-3.
Ali wins easy over Tinajero
Cruiserweight Emad Ali won an uneventful four round unanimous decision over Valente Tinajero.
After a sloppy opening round, Ali was at his best when he created distance between himself and Tinajero. Ali landed overhand right hands to the head, although a majority of them were arm punches with no snap to them.
Although the shorter Tinajero was only busy when both fighters were in close, Ali was more accurate with his punches throughout most of the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Ali, with scores of 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37. Fightnews.com scored the bout 40-36 in favor of the Egyptian-born Ali.
Ali, from Brooklyn, NY, goes to 6-1, 3 KOs. Tinajero, from Roy, UT, drops to 8-2.
Fierro defeats Sanchez
Popular local Heavyweight Steve Fierro won a four round unanimous decision over Tony Sanchez.
The taller Sanchez threw mostly jabs throughout the fight, while Fierro was the busier fighter. Fierro landed the more telling blows throughout the fight.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Fierro.
Fierro, from East Los Angeles, CA, goes to 4-3-3, 1 KO. Sanchez, from Perris, CA, falls to 0-2.
Ortiz stops Craig
Super Middleweight Mario Ortiz won by technical knockout when his opponent, Ray Craig, did not come out for the sixth round of a scheduled six round bout.
After a slow start, both fighters traded hard shots over one another. Ortiz scored a knockdown in the fourth round with a left hook to the head. Ortiz scored another knockdown when he dropped Craig with a counter right hand to the head.
After the fifth round, a ringside physician recommended to referee Raul Caiz, Jr. to stop the fight.
Ortiz, from Belen, NM and now residing in nearby Orange County, goes to 9-9-1, 7 KOs. Craig, from Oakland, CA, drops to 5-8, 2 KOs.
Flores stretches Hale
In the walkout bout of the evening, Heavyweight Alexander Flores knocked out Richard Hale in the second round of a scheduled four round bout.
Hale was able to score early with his awkward style, but would leave himself wide open to be countered. Flores had a difficult time keeping his mouthpiece where it should belong: in his mouth. Time was stopped three times for Flores’ mouthpiece to be retrieved from the canvas.
An overhand right hand to the head dropped Hale hard to the canvas, prompting referee Tony Crebs to stop the bout at 1:15 of the second round.
Flores, from Pomona, CA, goes to 2-0, 2 KOs. Hale, from Chandler, AZ, falls to 1-2.
- Interim world titleholder Alfredo Angulo, junior flyweight titleholder Giovanni Segura, Middleweight contender Sergio Mora, unbeaten Bantamweight Chris Avalos, former champion-turned trainer Robert Garcia, and first lady of boxing Jackie Kallen took in the action from ringside.
- Fight fans watched Game one of the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Boston Celtics on flat screen televisions inside the venue before and in between fights.
- Ring announcer was Thomas Treiber.