‘L.A. Fight Club’ results: Charles Huerta hands Ivan Delgado his first defeat
For the second time in a row, a Golden Boy Promotions prospect has lost in the main event of its “L.A. Fight Club” series.
Charles Huerta knocked out Ivan “Striker” Delgado in the third round, causing an instant uproar after the South L.A. prospect suffered his first defeat. Hosted at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, the junior lightweight contest was scheduled for eight rounds.
Fighting out of Paramount, California, Huerta, 19-5 (11), got a read on his foe, once Delgado was itching to get in a fight. Huerta was patient with his game plan but with Delgado’s power shots coming off so wide, there was clearly an opening. Shortening his punches was all Huerta had to do give Delgado trouble. In the second round, he doubled up his jab and Delgado gave him an easy target on which to follow-up, as he sat in the pocket far too long. A couple of counter left hooks wobbled Delgado in that second round, and a competitive fight was clearly taking place, but that all ended quickly in the third.
Thirty seconds in, a one-two ending with a power right hand dropped Delgado to the canvas quickly. The 26-year-old was badly shaken as he rose to his feet. Referee Thomas Taylor had a close eye on him as action resumed, then Huerta went in for the kill. Just seconds after time resumed, Delgado was bombarded with an accumulation of shots that had him backpedaling to an eventual fall to the mat a second time. Taylor waved off the fight immediately, embracing Delgado,11-1-1 (4), with a hug as he was still on the ground.
“He was a tough fighter but I knew I had to stick to the jab,” said Huerta. “As the fight went on, I was seeing everything he was giving me and, after the second round, when I went back to my corner, I told my dad, ‘I got him.’ Coming into this fight, I knew my experience was key and that is what I was able to show.”
Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro forced a fifth round stoppage of Joan Valenzuela in the co-feature. The junior middleweight contest was scheduled for six.
Fighting out of East Los Angeles, California, Navarro, 9-0 (6), smartly committed his attack to the soft body of his opponent. Valenzuela, 4-8-1 (4), clearly avoided doing any sit-ups in preparation for the fight but what he lacked in abs, he made up for in confidence. Navarro’s shots to the body echoed through the theater but Valenzuela still had the gusto to mock Navarro in the second round. Navarro didn’t overreact, however, and, by sticking to his game plan, Valenzuela was hinting at taking a knee from all the body shots. In the fifth, the Mexican finally did take that knee and, just moments after the knockdown, referee Ray Corona stepped in at the 2:21 mark once he saw Valenzuela had nothing left.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a knockout, so it feels great to end on that note,” said Navarro. “Valenzuela kept taunting me during the first two rounds but I adjusted myself to his style by the third round and was able to start landing my shots to the body. I’m really proud of my performance and I can’t wait to get back into the ring.”
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV telecast, Manny Robles Jr. imposed himself on Antonio Martinez for six rounds to eventually earn a wide unanimous decision (60-54 twice, 59-55).
Making his debut under the Golden Boy banner, Robles, 12-0 (4), displayed a sharp counterpunching ability that peppered his opponent’s head back and forth the entire fight. With his famed father in his corner, Robles sat on a lot of his punches, causing plenty of thudding shots that got reactions from the crowd. Martinez, 7-9 (5), a Mexican tough guy, often found himself lost in an abundance of shots, once getting countered, but showed immense toughness by fighting back. Robles almost stopped Martinez in the fifth round once trapping him against the ropes and, although Martinez did survive, he still suffered a leaking cut from the punishment that will be a reminder of the bout for days to come.
“I’m happy to be back at a Golden Boy event and I’m glad I got this first fight with them out of the way,” said Robles, a 130-pounder. “The plan was to go to the body and try to hurt (Martinez) there. I still have a lot to work on and, when I go back to the gym, I’ll be working on just everything.”
Pablo Rubio Jr. was given a fight from Angel Aguilar Jimenez but, with scores of 59-55 across the board, the junior lightweight prospect remained undefeated after six tough rounds.
Otherwise known as “The Shark”, Rubio, 9-0 (3), quickly found himself in front of a game opponent in the opening round, in which Aguilar’s aggressiveness on the inside caused concern. Fighting out of Mexico City, Jimenez, 8-12 (1), was quicker to the punch, when the two stepped into a phone booth and the only way Rubio could ward him off was through his long jab. The Whittier, California native did that in the second round and followed up with a left hand, forcing Aguilar to stumble backward and to the canvas for a knockdown. Jimenez never faded, however, and continued to bite down in the second half of the fight, giving Rubio no room for error. Rubio, 20, handled the pressure well, despite getting hit flush a couple of times.
“Every time I would try to press forward and land my combinations, (Jimenez) would just run away,” said Rubio. “He brought in a lot of ring experience and he caught me off guard with some of his punches. My dad and I came in with a game plan to win and that’s what helped us secure the victory.”
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio scored a stoppage victory over Francisco Dominguez after the conclusion of the second round. The featherweight contest was scheduled for six.
Valerio, 10-0 (6), generously threw his lead left hook at a fighter who was often hesitant to let his hands go. Other than a low blow in the first round, that required a timeout, Dominguez, 7-10 (1), hid behind his guard for much of the second round and, with the bell looming, after the 10-second warning, he dropped his hands in a crucial mistake. Valerio’s left hook struck him down and the bell sounded just as his body hit the canvas. Dominguez got up in time but his corner waved it off for him just moments later.
“My dad and I plan for everything; it’s just a matter of timing,” said Valerio, who fights out of Los Angeles, California. “I feel good about the win but, like how all fighters say, I’m just ready for the next win.”