‘L.A. Fight Club’ results: Christian ‘Chimpa’ Gonzalez decisions Gamaliel Diaz
Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez earned a unanimous decision victory over Gamaliel Diaz, on Friday night but didn’t walk away unscathed. The lightweight contest was the main event of an “L.A. Fight Club” card held at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California, and televised on Estrella TV.
They shook hands and hugged at the fight’s end but for every one of the eight rounds, Gonzalez and Diaz seemingly despised each other. It certainly wasn’t something stirred on pre-fight, nor was it really from the punches they exchanged throughout, but it stemmed from the rhythmless affair that featured headbutts, fighter timeouts, rabbit punches, complaints and plenty of holding.
Gonzalez, 18-1 (15), showed early on that he was susceptible to the right hand from Diaz but the accidental clashes of heads were giving him bigger issues. Referee Jack Reiss, who certainly had to earn his paycheck in this one, had already ruled two head clashes before the second round could end, forcing a reset for each fighter rhythmically every time the action was stopped – including the moment when Diaz’s mouthpiece fell out and the Mexican veteran elected to try and pick it up under his own accord without time being stopped. Diaz didn’t pick it up and instead inadvertently kicked it out of the ring, which caused an even longer break.
Diaz, 40-18-3 (19), had a style that specialized in holding after landing a clean shot. It was usually the right hand Gonzalez couldn’t see but the holding proved more effective than anything. Many times, Gonzalez complained to the referee, then the former WBC junior lightweight titlist would counter by airing out his grievances because he thought rabbit punches were being thrown. About half of the fight was fought in a clinch but Diaz’s antics would eventually get thwarted by Reiss. In the fifth, Reiss scolded Diaz and his corner for virtually trying to call time out by spitting out his mouthpiece again. Then, before a final headbutt forced a cut above Gonzalez’s left eye, Reiss docked a point from Diaz for holding.
Gonzalez, Buena Park, California, wasn’t necessarily innocent either as he definitely landed a few blows to the back of the head and gave Diaz a low blow to cause a time out he didn’t want. That said, in the end, the judges at ringside felt like Gonzalez’s power right hands were the most effective shots of the fight. 79-72 twice and 76-75 comprised the final tally in Gonzalez’s favor but the bout wasn’t as wide as the first two scores indicated.
“A win is a win and this was a difficult fight,” said Gonzalez. “We knew, watching the tapes, that he’d be a more experienced, slightly dirty fighter but we weren’t expecting him to be that dirty, with all the headbutting and hitting to the back of the head. I want my next fight to be a 10-rounder.”
“I take comfort in one of the judges’ scores because the fight was close,” proclaimed Diaz. “Being in the game for so long, I know when I win. It’s always difficult coming into the house of another boxer. Either way, I’m a professional and I will take this loss. This isn’t the first time I’ve been robbed.”
Featherweight prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio easily wiped out Martin Cardona by sending him to the canvas three times within two rounds and earning a knockout victory in the co-featured bout.
Valerio, 12-0 (7), set a precedent with what seemed like the first jab he landed in a fight scheduled for eight rounds. The shot stumbled Cardona backward into the ropes and, while the Mexican wasn’t necessarily hurt, there was a surprised look on his face. On the other hand, Valerio, 23, was emotionless and, soon enough, his steady jab had power right hands and left hooks proceeding it. Early in the first, a blow near the back of Cardona’s head dropped him to the canvas for a knockdown and, although everyone saw what happened, a wonderful lead left hook to the head in the waning seconds of the first had him back on the canvas in a more definitive fashion. Cardona, 22-9 (14), seemed a bit wobbly to start the second and, before he had a chance to warm his legs back up, Valerio knocked him down hard with a right hand to the chin 21 seconds into the second round. The shot was near-perfect and, after already giving Cardona two counts in the first, referee Zac Young decided to wave off the fight immediately.
“I felt good. I had an amazing training camp,” said Valerio after the victory. “I was being smart and working smart pays off. I give all the glory to God, my family and my manager Joel De La Hoya.”
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV card, Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez forced a stoppage of Ricardo Fernandez in the opening round to remain undefeated and extend an impressive streak.
Gonzalez, 6-0 (6), a junior lightweight prospect out of Glendora, California, had his opponent reeling soon after the opening bell and his aggression sent Fernandez to a knee after an accumulation of punches. Not even a minute had passed once time resumed and referee Jack Reiss was already keeping a close eye on Fernandez, 3-7-4. Gonzalez, 22, took advantage of a left guard Fernandez just couldn’t help but keep down and his own left to the body helped the right hand aiming for the head. The battering continued up until Fernandez’s nose stared bleeding and after one final right hand to the head from Gonzalez snapped back Fernandez’s head, Reiss had enough, waving off the fight at the 2:10 mark. The stoppage marked this one as the sixth first round knockout for Gonzalez in his sixth pro fight and, perhaps in his seventh, he will be able to tell us his experience of sitting on a stool between rounds for the first time.
“I’m happy with the victory but there are mistakes that I could fix,” admitted Gonzalez. “I could maintain my composure a little bit more after I see that my opponent’s been hurt but those are just things you learn as a professional. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the ring soon.”
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan knocked out Uriel Gonzalez in the first round of a junior middleweight bout, scheduled for six.
Fighting out of North Hollywood, California, Kerobyan, 6-0 (3), was responsible for what seemed like more than half of those who showed up to the venue and, although his fight lasted only 68 seconds, the Armenian contingent supporting him were more than satisfied with the 19-year-old’s performance. Popping out the left jab to start, Kerobyan stumbled Gonzalez into a corner with the first follow-up right landed in the fight and quickly it was revealed whom the opponent in this one was. Gonzalez, 1-2-1 (1), was in there trying to survive 30 seconds in, until a left hand to the body hunched him over and made him further vulnerable. Kerobyan landed another left to the temple and that shot is what did Gonzalez in. Gonzalez immediately spat his mouthpiece out to think about it but as referee Zac Young got to the count of 10, he was still down on bended knee.
“I felt great and I didn’t want to rush it,” said Kerobyan afterward, “but when the opportunity presented itself, I had to take full advantage of it. Hopefully, I’ll be fighting again very soon and hope to deliver another knockout performance.”