Tecate Box Tour hits TJ!
Ringside report and photos by Felipe Leon
For the fourth and latest installment of the popular "Guante Azteca (Aztec Glove)" tournament, Zanfer Promotions pulled out all the stops when it was made part of the Tecate Box Tour that hit Tijuana, Mexico, this past Wednesday.
Instead of the usual home for the fight card, the six bout night was held at the makeshift arena that was contructed in the parking lot of the Hipodromo Caliente. With over one thousand boxing fans enjoying of the party atmosphere inside the huge tent, a unprecedented result in the tournament was witnessed in the main event when junior welterweights Jesus Gurrola (13-1-2, 5 KOs) and Rafael Cobos (11-4-3, 5 KOs) fought to a six round draw.
Instead of the slug fest the enthusiastic crowd was expecting, they got a hug fest instigated by both fighters from the first round on. The first episode was a feeling out one where both fighters fought in spurts, looking to counter punch. When one did actually step forward and throw punches to begin an exchange, usually Gurrola of Mexicali, MX, both fighters will end up in a mess of entangled arms. In the second, Gurrola tried to take the initiative as he threw but rarely landed a right hand uppercut as the shorter Cobos of Tijuana, rushed in. Once in, Cobos attacked the body with short left and right hooks to the body of Gurrola.
Gurrola's strategy began to pay dividends in the third as he began to score more with that lead uppercut that Cobos had no answer for. Unfortunately, Gurrola did not have the second half of the plan as once he scored with the occasional punch, he would walk right into Cobos clinch. The tide turned in the fourth as Cobos landed a hard right hand to start the round as Gurrola's back was to the ropes. Cobos stepped up the pace as he stalked Gurrola around the ring and tried to trap him against the ropes or in the corner but the Mexicali native was able to quickly slip out of the trap.
By the fifth round, fatigue began to set in and the clinches became even more frequent with referee Guillermo Ayon at times pleading over the jeers of the crowd for the fighters to throw punches. Gurrola took the round, not with activity but because he scored the best punch of the three minutes with hard left hook that got Cobos attention. The sixth wasn't much different but again Gurrola scored the best punch of the round, this time a straight right hand to start the round. The rest of the stanza was a series of holds and occasional punches landed by both fighters.
At the end, one judge saw it 58-56 for Cobos, another for Gurrola with the same score and the third 57-57. As the bout was the semi-final to determine who would face Ensenada's Misael Castillo on August 27th, it was decided that Cobos and Gurrola will meet again in two weeks at a venue to be determined.
Navarro Barely Advances
In the semi-main event, which was the semi-final of the bantamweight tournament, Mexicali, MX's Jesus "Kalaka" Navarro (18-3-1, 13KOs) squeezed by Oscar "Bebe" Gallardo (14-2, 4KOs) of San Luis Rio Colorado, MX, with a majority decision over six rounds.
The slighter taller Navarro began the bout in the center of the ring, controlling the real estate as Gallardo circled around him, pot shoting with long hooks to the body of the southpaw "Kalaka." The bout began to take shape in the second as Navarro tried to press the action while Gallardo was contect to move in and out of range quickly while he tried to score with hooks to the body or the occasional lead right to the head. At times Navarro looked confused as Gallardo was moving to quickly out of harm's way and "Kalaka" was having trouble finding the range for his long straight punches.
By the fifth, the fans and Navarro were growing restless but Navarro pushed forward trying to land his punches and slow down the quick footed Gallardo. Navarro began to catch up to "Bebe" as he trapped Gallardo against the ropes but only for seconds at a time. Navarro began to signal Gallardo to slow down and fight which drew cheers from the crowd who wanted to see a fight. Thinking that he had the fight in the bag, Gallardo danced even more in the sixth but Navarro clearly took the round with measured aggression as he was able to score sporadically until the end of the bout.
Despite the lack of consistent action from both fighters, Navarro was able to earn the win with scores of 58-56 twice and 57-57. With the win, Navarro advances to the final bout against Tijuana favorite Jose "Tigre" Cayetano, to be held on August 27th.
In a slugfest that brought the rabid Tijuana fight fans to their feet, hometown favorite Fernando "Ferocito" Vargas (13-6, 11KOs), who was eliminated from the tournament by Jose Cayetano in the first round, stopped the all heart Jose Miguel Tamayo (12-9-2, 7KOs) of Ciudad Obregon, MX, in the sixth round of a scheduled ten.
The war swayed back and forth for the first half of the fight but by the fifth round, Tamayo was looking worse for wear from the hard power punches from the quick Vargas. With his nose bleeding, Tamayo caught a left hook to the body while his back was against the blue corner near the end of the round. Tamayo took a knew but beat the count only to be battered for the thirty second remaining in the stanza.
When the bell rang to start the sixth, it seemed as if Tamayo was going to stay stated but when referee Juan Morales Lee reached seven, Tamayo shot straight up and stated he wanted to continue.
He should have stayed seated.
Vargas went after him and landed a hard right hand that sent Tamayo again to the canvas prompting Morales Lee to waive off the contest. Official time was 1:47 of the sixth round.
Ensenada, MX, lightweight Alberto Ocampo (3-0, 2KO) had his knockout streak end when Julio Paz (1-1, 1KO) took him the distance in a four rounder. Official scores were 39-36 twice and 38-37.
Gilberto Rodriguez (2-0) of Ensenada, MX, ruined the pro debut of local cruiserweight Jorge Huerta (0-1) with a unanimous decision. No scores were announced.
After causing a cut over the right eye of Tijuana's Cesar De La Mora (1-1, 1KOs), Byron Gonzalez (2-0, 2KOs) of Pomona, CA, had no trouble attacking the gash and forcing a TKO stoppage in the third round of a scheduled super featherweight four.
"Guante Azteca" Notes:
-Three time world champion Humberto "Zorrita" Soto as well as former two time bantamweight champion Jackie "Aztec Princess" Nava were the invited to do color commentary by the local Azteca affiliate.
-Along with Soto and Nava, bantamweight Jose Cayetano, five time lightweight champion Manuel "Mantecas" Medina and former WBC interim super featherweight champ Humberto "Betillo" Gutierrez were at hand to witness the festivities.
For more coverage on the San Diego/Tijuana scene, please check out SDFights.com