Emmanuel Diaz begins his pro career with a TKO Victory

Emmanuel Diaz, Mario Diaz

San Diego’s Emmanuel Diaz (l) kept connecting with the jab to set up the combinations against fellow debutant Mario Diaz of Tijuana to eventually secure the TKO win in his pro-debut in Rosarito, B. C., Mexico on Saturday.  Photo: Jim Wyatt

Saturday, August 10, 2013 

If you missed the pro/amateur boxing show on Saturday at Papas & Beer in Rosarito, B. C., Mexico, you missed a fun experience. You just can’t beat the open air atmosphere of their street level restaurant.


The popular nightspot, which is just off the main drag and overlooks the beach in Rosarito, had a decent crowd; a crowd that benefitted big time from the unobstructed view of the 10 bouts, four Amateur and six professional.

Four amateur bouts warmed up the crowd for the headliners.

Four amateur bouts warmed up the crowd for the eventual headliners.

With the beach at your backdoor, it was easy to become a girl watcher.

With the beach only a few steps away, it was easy to become a girl watcher.

One of the bouts drawing a lot of attention was the much anticipated pro debut of San Diego’s Emmanuel Diaz. As an amateur, the 22 year-old, along with his younger brother Elias Diaz, have been wiping up the competition, not only locally but nationally. On Saturday, Emmanuel faced the much shorter, 23 year-old Mario Diaz, who was also making his transition into the pro ranks.

The photos below show how one-sided this one was. Diaz was almost flawless as he delivered these two and three punch combinations, plus the crushing shots to the midsection to break his opponent down and lead to the early stoppage coming at 10 seconds of the third round. At that point, Mario Diaz decided to remain on his stool and refused to answer the bell for Round #3.

Mario Diaz, Emmanuel Diaz

(top, center photo) Boxers Mario Diaz (l) and Emmanuel Diaz (r) pose for photos before the beginning of their first professional fight.

Bt 6b Emmanuel Diaz over Mario DiazBt 6 c

Hondo Fontan, Saul Rios, Emmanuel Diaz, Greg Diaz, Juan Estrada.

Wouldn’t it be grand if behind every boxer, there was a similar brain trust, support group, looking out for the interests of an athlete hoping to become a champion. (l to r) Hondo Fontan, Saul Rios, pro boxer Emmanuel Diaz, Emmanuel’s father Greg Diaz and the well respected boxing trainer Juan Estrada. Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the main event they had 30 year-old Cesar Lopez (8-2-1) taking on the consummate professional 38 year-old Hector Velazquez (53-18-3, 36 KOs). Velazquez’s resume includes bouts with such notables as Manny Pacquiao, Jorge Linares and the now deceased Edwin Valero.

It would be an accurate assessment to say Lopez was doomed from the outset. Velazquez came into this bout as if it were another championship tilt. He was in top notch shape. After being on the receiving end of these blasts to the stomach, Lopez would agree. With so many shots to the midsection, Lopez’s hands soon dropped and you could see the pained expressions on his face.

With the second round TKO victory, Velazquez moves up to (54-18-3, with 37 KOs), while Lopez drops to (8-3-1).

Hector Velazquez, Cesar Lopez

(top photo) Before the Main Event began, Hector Velazquez (center) and his support group posed for photos. (below) Just before his match against Velazquez, his opponent Cesar Lopez (left) loosened up and attempted to get his game face on.

Bt 9 b Hector Velazquez over Cesar Lopez Bt 9 dHector Bt 9 e Bt 9f

Cesar Lopez, Hector Velazquez

After being knocked off his feet several times and enduring those hard shots to the liver, there was no way Cesar Lopez could continue. Here we see referee Juan Manuel Rincon (r) raising the arm of Hector Velazquez (l) after he defeated Lopez.  Photo: Jim Wyatt

Juan Manuel "Mantecas" Medina

Manuel “Mantecas” Medina was introduced to the crowd. Over a career which began at the age of 14, this man has held different versions of the World Featherweight title five times.

In the co-feature, it was Victor “Sina” Fonseca (5-1-1, 3 KOs) going up against 29 year-old Juan Zuñiga (1-12-1).  In Zuniga’s last two bouts, he didn’t get past the first round. Against Fonseca, he miraculously made it into the second round before falling victim to Fonseca’s hard shots to the liver.

Victor Fonseca, Juan Zuniga

(top, right), boxers Victor Fonseca (purple trunks, white stripe) and Juan Zuniga (black trunks, red stripe) pose for photos prior to their match.

(top, right), boxers Victor Fonseca, Juan Zuniga 7 c Victor Bt 7 d Victor

Victor Fonseca's family

After stopping Juan Zuniga in the third round, Victor Fonseca was joined by his friend and family members for a photo.

The rest of our fight card:

At 30 years-old, Villalobos showed true grit as he proved repeatedly that he was unafraid to take that one punch in order to deliver three even harder punches. Before too long, Nunez, bloody nose and all, became Villalobos’ first conquest.

Miguel Villalobos, Omar Nunez

Prior to their bout, Miguel Villalobos (white trunks, blue stripe) and fellow rookie, 17 year-old Omar Nunez (red trunks, white stripe) posed for photos with their coaches and referee Juan Manuel Rincon. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Miguel Villalobos, Omar Nunez.

Miguel Villalobos, Omar Nunez.

At the conclusion of their bout, it was Miguel Villalobos (bottom photo, right) getting the TKO win over Omar Nunez. Photos: J. Wyatt

Eye candy

Where would boxing be without the eye candy?

Bt 4 1 aaEye candyBt 4  Eye candy 3Next, they had 27 year-old Rigoberto “Planchita” Casillas (8-11-1, 6 KOs) going up against 30 year-old Herminio Bautista from Ensenada, B. C., Mexico. 

After a first round in which Bautista looked reasonably sharp and countered well, he seemed to runout of gas for the remainder of the bout. I was told later that up till recently he had been homeless and wasn’t getting the proper nutrition. That alone would be a good enough reason for suddenly tiring.

Rigoberto Casillas, Herminio Bautista

(top photos) Prior to their bout, Rigoberto Casillas (l) and Herminio Bautista (r) looked across the ring at each other.

Herminio Bautista, Rigoberto Casillas

It seems the second round was the make or break round as both Herminio Bautista (r) and Rigoberto Casillas were unloading their heaviest shots at each other.

Herminio Bautista, Rigoberto Casillas

At some point Bautista decided he had had enough. His corner people looked up at him with empathy as he sat there on his stool while the ref counted him out.

Bucking Bronco

On a more positive note, this gentleman from the audience accepted the challenge from Papas & Beer’s mechanical bull and for the longest time, he had it mastered. The challenge which they say is tough enough to throw even the best professional bull rider finally nailed our boxing fan. The sneaky, over-sized bull pulled a fast one on our cowboy.

In our final pro-bout, we saw two more novices making their debuts, 33 year-old Brandon Gushiken, a former Mixed Martial Artist originally from Hawaii, making the transition over to boxing facing 21 year-old Hector Alvarez from Tijuana. 

Alvarez made it out of the first round mainly by threatening Gushiken with these feints and wild, off-target haymakers. Meanwhile, Gushiken, the much shorter of the two, kept advancing ever so cautiously to mix it up. In the second round, Gushiken cornered the jittery Alvarez and landed this stiff overhand right and down went Alvarez for good.

Juan Jose Rincon, Juan Manuel Medina, Brandon Gushiken, Hector Alvarez

Juan Manuel Rincon and the combatants, Brandon Gushiken (sky blue trunks) and Hector Alvarez (blue trunks) along with their trainers pose for photos prior to their match.

Bt 2 b the beginning of the end

Hector Alvarez

After getting clipped by the overhand right and going down, Hector Alvarez appeared completely disoriented.

Brandon Gushken

After the announcement of his victory Brandon Gushiken had his arm raised.

The Papas & Beer boxing show was presented by Alejandro Gonzalez of Gonzalez Promotions of Rosarito, B. C., Mexico in association with Gabriel Quinones of Promociones Quinones of San Diego, California. 

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