LA Fight Club results: Honorio avenges Huerta loss 13 years later
Martin Honorio got his redemption on Friday night at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., after earning the unanimous decision (via scores of 99-91, 98-92, 97-93) over Miguel Angel Huerta in their rematch. The junior welterweight contest was the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card broadcast on Estrella TV.
The fight itself was a perfect definition of a classic Mexican brawl. For 10 rounds, both Mexico City veterans stood in front of each other and exchanged their best power shots. Not a single jab could be remembered, for a window wasn’t needed to be left open because the front door was wide open all evening. Honorio, 33-9-1 (16), simply landed more shots but his face was left just as bludgeoned as his counterpart’s. Huerta, 28-14-1 (18), squeezed out every ounce his 37-year old body could muster and the wide scores didn’t compliment his valiant effort.
“I feel like we delivered a great fight to the people today. I proved that I am resilient and tough fighter. I feel like a draw would have been fair and that the unanimous decision was too far from what my corner and I saw,” lamented Huerta after the fight, continuing, “He didn’t hurt me at all throughout the night and I’m glad that the least I could do was prove my heart and toughness.”
“It was a fight of vengeance for me. I knew he was a powerful fighter after fighting against him in the past where I lost a split decision (in April of 2002). The unanimous decision win was very satisfying for me,” said Honorio after his victory. With the two bringing so much action in the ring, it would be wise for them to square off in a rubber match and an even wiser decision to host it in front of their home crowd.
In a clash between unbeaten featherweights, Joet Gonzalez dominated Marcos Rios after unleashing punishing body shots in the third round for the knockout.
An overhand right stunned Rios two minutes into their opening round and dropped him to the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight but the flash knockdown was nothing compared to what came later. After Rios gathered himself to fight a solid second round, Gonzalez started to focus on the body to break his opponent down. A left hook to the ribcage made Rios wince and back pedal into a corner. Soon afterward, another body shot at the opposite end of the ring left Rios hunched over as if he were tucking his toes to stretch. A standing eight-count was issued by referee Jerry Cantu but it didn’t provide near enough time for Rios to gather his breath. A left hook to the liver soon then dropped Rios to the floor in agony for the third knockdown of the fight and Cantu waved off the bout for the stoppage.
Gonzalez, 12-0 (6), looked calm and collective in the biggest fight of his young career. The 22-year-old from Glendora, Calif., said after the win, “I have been focusing on my conditioning and felt the difference in this fight. I will probably go running again tomorrow and be back in the gym! I can’t wait to get back in the ring again.” Rios, 12-1-1 (8), sat on the stool for quite some time after the fight recovering from the punishing body shots, making his American debut one he will never forget.
In the opening bout of the Estrella TV broadcast, Jonathan Navarro stopped Shaun Lee Henson in the fourth round with a vicious body shot in a junior middleweight contest scheduled for six rounds.
Navarro, 3-0 (2), didn’t waste any time to showcase his heavy hands and went after Henson upon the sounding of the opening bell. All of his power shots were preceded by a jab and, by the second round, Henson’s face was as red as the corner he sat in. Henson, 2-3 (2), was tough, however, and gave a valiant effort, despite getting beat to a pulp. Before the fourth round began, the ringside doctor made sure he was good to go because of the punishment he had been receiving. Navarro finally got to Henson in the fourth after forcing him to a knee for the first knockdown and, only seconds later, Jonathan landed a perfect body shot that echoed throughout the Belasco Theater. Henson folded like a cheap suit and referee Zac Young immediately waved off the bout with 40 seconds left in the round.
“I am very excited about this win,” said Navarro after the fight, continuing, “I felt really prepared, having sparred with fighters like Brandon Rios. I was glad I set the tone and was able to pace myself compared to my last fight.
Tanajara wrecks Alvarado
It didn’t take long for Martin Ricardo Alvarado to feel the wrath of Hector Tanajara Jr. as he was stopped in the opening round after suffering two knockdowns. Tanajara forced Alvarado to a knee after a flurry against the ropes within the first 30 seconds of the fight. Alvarado, 7-8 (6), found himself on the canvas seconds later, after Tanajara landed a flush right hand on the chin. Alvarado rose before the end of the 10-count but stumbled around helplessly for a bit. That’s when referee Lou Moret waved off the contest. A junior welterweight fighting out of San Antonio, Texas, Tanajara, 3-0 (2), now looks to move up to six-round contests.
Allen gets tested late
Junior welterweight prospect Damon Allen Jr. fought beautifully in his unanimous decision victory (58-55 twice, 57-56) over Oscar Santana, yet faced some adversity before the fight ended. Allen, 8-0 (3), Philadelphia, Penn., flashed quick combinations that were unpredictable and misleading. He mixed them up going upstairs, then downstairs, and vice-versa, but the combos never seemed to duplicate themselves. His vision in the ring was also unique, trusting his peripherals to perhaps lure his opponent into a mistake.
Santana, 4-3-1 (2), Pomona, Calif., still came forward, however, and in the fourth, landed a huge right hand that came out of nowhere. It forced the fight into a phone booth in that round and made Allen adjust into a body attack that offered more space for him in the fifth. At the start of the final round, Santana landed a flush right hand again but, this time, it dropped Allen. He was clearly startled by the knockdown and was forced to hold for half the round in order to regain his wits. Allen did recover and proved it in the final 20 seconds of the fight when he landed seven straight left hooks to Santana’s head to close the fight. “I was nervous about fighting on the West Coast for the first time,” said Allen after the fight, adding, “This fight was tough but no fight is perfect. I got the win and that’s all that matters to me.”
Campa bests Valenzuela
Two Mexican super middleweights slugged it out for six rounds in the opening fight of the Golden Boy Promotions card and Alan Campa, 14-2 (9), scored the unanimous decision (58-55 twice, 57-56) over Paul Valenzuela, 9-2-1 (6). Campa dropped Valenzuela in the waning seconds of the opening round but that didn’t deter Paul from coming back in the proceeding rounds to give him a tough fight. Campa, Hermosillo, Mexico, worked the body nicely to slow down his charging opponent but Valenzuela, Santa Rosalia, Mexico, still managed to hit his foe enough to cause Alan’s right eye to swell. The fight largely took place in a phone booth up until the final bell but Campa landed the biggest shots of the contest.