Alvarez stops Gomez at Staples
Ringside by Francisco Salazar & Miguel Maravilla
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Maybe it was the words that his opponent Alfonso Gomez said about him in leading up to the fight. Or the thousands of fans in attendance that were chanting his now-familiar nickname.
Whatever, it was, Alvarez felt right at home in the center of the ring on Saturday night. Although he had a good fighter in front of him in Alfonso Gomez, Alvarez did not leave his fans disappointed after the fight.
Alvarez stopped Gomez in the sixth round of their scheduled 12 round bout at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. With the victory, Alvarez successfully defended his world title belt.
The bout headlined the “Star Power” card in Los Angeles, and it led up to the televised main event bout between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz in Las Vegas.
The bout had numerous angles that the media and fight fans were intrigued by. This was the battle between two fighters that were born and raised in or near the city of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, located in the western part of the country.
There were also the YouTube videos of Gomez rapping on how he was going to expose Alvarez as a fighter having not fought the best fighters. Gomez also spoke about giving Alvarez his first loss as a professional. The 21 year old Alvarez never responded to Gomez’s videos, only saying he was going to do his talking in the ring.
Alvarez was coming off the first defense of his title in June, stopping Ryan Rhodes in the 12th and final round near Guadalajara. Gomez, who had entered the Alvarez fight on a five-bout winning streak, was victorious in defeating Calvin Green in his last bout in May.
After both traded some punches in the first half of the first round, Alvarez dropped Gomez with what look like a hard jab to the head near the end of the round. Gomez stood up and was not visibly shaken and the bell sounded to end the round.
Gomez came on aggressively in the second round, landing some right hands to the head of Alvarez, which he took well. Alvarez came back in the third, landing a hard right uppercut and digging to Gomez’s body with left hooks.
In the fourth, Alvarez fought with his against the ropes, allowing for Gomez to come forward. Alvarez attempted to counter with right hands to the head as Gomez was looking to land right hands and left hooks to the head.
Towards the end of the sixth round, Alvarez hurt Gomez with a right uppercut, followed by a right cross to the head. Gomez staggered backwards against the ropes where Alvarez pinned against and threw combinations. A majority of the punches missed or landed on Gomez’s arms, but referee Wayne Hedgepeth saw enough and stopped the fight at 2:36, leaving the debate of whether he stopped the fight prematurely or if it was justified.
Alvarez said it was not his call, but felt that a knockout over Gomez was imminent.
“It is not my job to judge what the referee does,” said Alvarez immediately after the fight. “I knew it was only a matter of time before the fight was going to end.”
Obviously, Gomez would have a different outlook on the stoppage.
“I think that the referee was looking for a reason to stop the fight,” said Gomez, who was stopped for only the second time in his career. “The ref asked if I was okay and I was fine. I wanted to continue and go the distance. He (Alvarez) is a great puncher.”
“I worked very hard and I knew it was going to pay off,” said Alvarez, who fights under the Golden Boy banner and has his own promotional company, “I hit him hard in the first round and did my job from the beginning. “I felt more confident because of the fans and I’m glad that they enjoyed the fight.”
Alvarez, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, improves to 38-0-1, 28 KO’s. Gomez, from Whittier, CA by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, falls to 23-5-2, 12 KO’s.
Orozco dominates Rodriguez
Junior welterweight Antonio Orozco remained unbeaten with a one-sided six round unanimous decision over Fernando Rodriguez.
Orozco was impressive throughout the six rounds of action, using an array of combinations to the head and body that included hooks and crosses to the head and body. He also used angles to step away from Rodriguez attempting to counter him with a wild hook or cross. As much as Rodriguez tried to counter with those occasional wide hooks and crosses, he would get hit almost every time by Orozco.
Rodriguez slowed down halfway through the fight and it looked as though it was a matter of time before Orozco would stop him. However, he hung in there, finding success in the pocket and landing occasionally to the body. Although his face began to redden, he hung in there and was able to make it to the final bell.
All three judges, including Fightnews.com, scored the bout 60-54.
Orozco, from San Diego, CA, improves to 12-0, 8 KO’s. Rodriguez, from Dallas, TX, drops to 6-6, 3 KO’s. – Francisco Salazar
Centeno decisions late sub Rivera
Welterweight Hugo Centeno won a lackluster four round unanimous decision over Alfredo Rivera.
Within the first 20 seconds of the start of the first round, Centeno, who spent most of his summer in as a sparring partner in Mexicali, Mexico for Alfredo Angulo dropped Rivera with a left hook to the head. Rivera looked a little groggy getting up, but Centeno, who had a six-inch reach advantage, did not attack Rivera aggressively.
Centeno would outland Rivera during a majority of the exchanges, but Rivera pressed the action. Centeno had his hands low, maybe looking to counter Rivera. However, Rivera would get in some decent head shots, drawing some applause from the STAPLES Center crowd. However, Centeno was the more effective fighter, but needs a lot of work for future fights, especially in using his jabs and throwing combinations.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Centeno, by scores of 39-36, 39-36, and 40-35. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-36 in favor of Centeno.
Centeno, from Oxnard, CA, goes to 9-0, 6 KO’s. Rivera, from Los Angeles, CA, falls to 1-9. – Francisco Salazar
Rivera destroys Gonzalez
Middleweight Ray Rivera scored a one punch knockout win over Rudy Gonzalez in a bout featuring boxers making their professional debut.
The southpaw Gonzalez gave up height to the conventional Rivera. Gonzalez tried to get on the inside of Rivera, but was not successful as Rivera kept countering to the head.
As Gonzalez tried to get inside again, Rivera landed a big left hook to the head of Rivera, dropping him flat onto his back. Referee Pat Russell stopped the immediately at 1:26 of the first round. Rivera hails from Los Angeles, while Gonzalez is from Bakersfield. – Miguel Maravilla
Arreola wins decision
In the opening bout of the “Star Power” card from Los Angeles, featherweight Mikayl Arreola won a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over Juan Sandoval (5-7-1, 3 KO’s). Arreola was dropped in the first round by Sandoval and was stunned again in the third. However, Arreola (18-0, 10 KO’s) landed the more effective punches between the two throughout the fight. All three judges had Arreola winning the fight by scores of 58-55, 58-55, and 57-56. – Miguel Maravilla
- Lightweight contender Jorge Linares, featherweight contender Daniel Ponce De Leon, former world champion Fernando Vargas, and popular Mexican singer Jenny Rivera saw the action from ringside.
- Fight fans in attendance were able to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz bout, along with the Erik Morales-Pablo Cesar Cano bout. Unfortunately, fans were not able to watch the Josesito Lopez-Jessie Vargas junior welterweight bout.
- After the Mayweather-Ortiz bout was shown on the STAPLES Center screens, banda Los Tucanes de Tijuana and rock en Espanola band El Gran Silencio performed in the ring.
- Ring announcer was Joe Martinez.