ESPN2 report: Antonio Orozco stops KeAndre Gibson

Photo credit: Gene Blevins/HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Photo credit: Gene Blevins/HoganPhotos/Golden Boy Promotions

 

In a match-up of unbeaten junior welterweights, Antonio “Relentless” Orozco stopped KeAndre Gibson in the fourth round Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. Scheduled for 10 rounds, the contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card televised on ESPN2.

 

Orozco, 29, needed to produce some real evidence that he was a legitimate contender at 140-pounds and, on a big stage, he wasted no time pleading his case. By the second round, he landed enough body shots that forced Gibson to show signs of wear. The quick-handed 27-year-old boxer found himself with his back against the ropes in that round and, while some of those shots strayed low, Gibson showed signs of desperation – even complaining to his corner his body hurt on the stool before the third.

 

Gibson, 16-1-1 (7), tried to repay the earlier body shots but one shot garnered a stern warning from referee Russell Mora after it went too low and had Orozco in pain for the remaining minute in the third. In the fateful fourth round, Orozco doubled his jab and opened a window for his follow-up right hand. It caught Gibson’s temple and dropped him to a knee after a delayed reaction. Gibson took his time getting up and stayed on a knee until the count of eight from Mora. Once getting up, Gibson walked away from Mora to a neutral corner and, after being asked if he’d like to continue, Gibson shook his head. Mora waved his arms at the 1:31 mark and hugged Gibson, who looked over at the man who beat him for the first time.

 

“Fundamentals,” exclaimed Orozco in the post-fight interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna and Golden Boy Promotions executive and former two-division world champion Bernard Hopkins. “Fundamentals plays a big part in boxing and we knew (Gibson) was quick – great foot movement, great boxer – but patience was key and we prevailed.”

 

Orozco, 26-0 (17), won in tremendous fashion and in a performance greatly needed. His last scheduled fight was canceled because of his troubles making weight, which, in turn, became a brief medical issue. The San Diego native was rushed to the hospital while trying to cut down to 140 pounds last December and was forced to make a decision in which division he’ll fight going forward. After hiring a nutritionist, he managed to stay at 140 and not only maintains his No. 11 IBF, No. 8 WBA and No.4 WBO rankings but may have improved them after an impressive win.

 

Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta won a unanimous decision over Gilberto Gonzalez in the lightweight co-feature. 99-91, 98-92 and 96-93 were the scores after 10 rounds.

 

Coming off an 18-month layoff due to injury, Gesta, 30-1-2 (16), didn’t have any signs of rust early in the contest. The Filipino southpaw had the speed advantage and, with it, Gesta had Gonzalez bleeding from his nose and the Mexican’s left eye was already swelling after two rounds. However Gonzalez was never deterred and, with an uppercut in the third, he sent Gesta to the canvas.

 

Gonzalez, 26-4 (22), showed how he could damage Gesta with sheer determination, and the fight quickly morphed into an exciting back-and-forth battle. The Mexican stalked Gesta for just about the remainder of the fight but was still stunted with a lack of hand speed, Gonzalez couldn’t quite erase the flurries his opponent was able to score and Gesta fought well off the back foot and, with wary lateral movement, was able to evade from Gonzalez’s timely counterpunches.

 

In the final round, Gonzalez sensed that he needed a knockout for the win and his intensity brought about a great final round to cap off the competitive fight. The final scores may have been a bit wider than what the fight had indicated but there was no doubt Gesta did enough to get the nod and moved forward in this crossroads contest.

 

In the opening bout of the ESPN2 card, which was also streamed live on ESPN3, Joet Gonzalez preserved his unbeaten record by forcing a stoppage of Derrick Murray in the fifth round. The featherweight contest was scheduled for eight rounds.

 

A 23-year-old prospect fighting out Glendora, California, Gonzalez performed well against, arguably, his best opponent to date. With a consistent jab, Gonzalez, 16-0 (8), dictated what went on between the ropes and started imposed his will against a fighter trying to outbox him.

 

Murray, 13-2-1, (5), St. Louis, Missouri, just couldn’t evade Gonzalez’s follow-up right hands or the jab. Murray also focused on his body and, in the fourth round, Gonzalez started to land his biggest shots of the fight. It was the first time Murray looked visibly hurt and he was forced to rely on his legs for the extent of the three minutes. Gonzalez couldn’t get his guy to hit the canvas with full force but Murray came out in the fifth, huffing and puffing. As the beating continued in the fifth, referee Russell Mora kept a close eye on the proceedings and waved off the fight with Murray still on his feet. Murray protested but Gonzalez did enough to warrant the stoppage as he was clearly the better man on this evening.

 

 

You can reach Michael Baca II at mikebaca2@gmail.com and follow him at twitter.com/mikebaca2.

 

 

 

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