Latest developments on California boxing scene – new promoter, pro debuts, new champions

Jorge “Tito” Ruiz of Chula Vista, Ca is joined by his dad (L), coach Sergio Melendrez (rear left) plus members of his supporting cast after getting the KO victory over Ivan Diaz in his first professional fight. Photo: Jim Wyatt

On Friday, November 30, boxing returned to the newly refurbished indoor arena, Auditorio Fausto Gutiérrez Moreno in Tijuana for a show titled, “La Nueva Generacion” – “the New Generation.”


The 4,500 seat venue, built in 1969, has been primarily used for basketball, being the home court of the Tijuana Dragons and Galgos de Tijuana and of course home base for the wrestlers of Lucha Libre. Now the administration has invited V & B Promotions of San Diego to join their mix and present a boxing show monthly.

With the help of V & B Promotions, the newly refurbished indoor arena, Auditorio Fausto Gutiérrez Moreno is expecting to add boxing as a once a month featured event to go along with their Wrestling, Basketball and Concert Series.

According to insiders, V & B Promotions has plans to showcase more and more of Southern California’s boxing talent against the superabundance of talent now in Northern Baja – Tijuana, Tecate, Mexicali, Ensenada, Rosarito, etc. On each of V & B’s sizable pro-cards, they plan to devote at least three bouts to the up and comers who quite frankly are better trained and have a more extensive background in the sport than the old guard. The sport is blowing up and the proof of that is seen in the proliferation of boxing gyms on both sides of the border.

In Friday night’s Main Event it was Christian Bojorquez (R) taking on Daniel Gonzalez (L). It didn’t take long before Bojorquez had Gonzalez off his feet which then had referee Juan Jose Ramirez issuing multiple ten counts. Photos: Jim Wyatt

In Friday’s Main Event super bantamweight Christian “El Huevo” Bojorquez (123½ lbs.) had no problem dispatching Daniel “Flaco” Gonzalez (122¼ lbs.) in their scheduled six rounder. Before the match, Gonzalez’s record was (5-14-1, 2 KOs) while Bojorquez was undefeated at (8-0-0, 1 KO). The fact Gonzalez had won just once over the last seven years and been knocked out 11 times, was a strong indicator of how this one would turn out.

From the outset, Bojorquez’s single punches, then combinations were right on target. Around about the two minute mark of the first round, Bojorquez had Gonzalez in trouble and referee Juan Jose Ramirez was soon pondering when it would be the proper time to call an end to this mismatch.

Then as the photos show, Gonzalez kept getting dropped, first with a right cross just as he was coming forward. He beat that first count but went down again after another brisque one-two combination. Again Gonzalez beat the count but back came Bojorquez peppering his opponent with in-your-face punches. On the final knockdown, coming at the 2:50 mark of the first round, the referee felt he had seen enough and simply waived off the contest.

To open the show, Bout #1 featured Angel “Diablito” Ramos (1-0-0, 1 KO) going up against the game Artemio “Norteño” Garcia (1-2-1). In this one, Ramos was clearly the more accurate puncher. After being the busier fighter in Round #1, Ramos then landed seven consecutive, unanswered solid lefts to dominate Round #2. By Round #3, Ramos had his opponent on the canvas. Still, the game Garcia hung in there and on the rare occasion did land a solid overhand right. All three judges Jocelyn Ortiz, Francisco Navarro and Esteban Franco had identical 40-35 scores for Ramos.

In Bout #1, it was Angel Ramos (in the blue trunks) earning an unanimous decision victory over Artemio Garcia. Photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 featured lightweights, Miguel Mendieta (1-0-0, 1 KO) going up against Enrique “Cid” Guzman who was making his pro debut. At first, Mendieta scored from long range. After gaining confidence he started working over the body. He worked over Guzman’s midsection so much, that by Round #3, Guzman started grimacing with each left hook that Mendieta threw. All three judges Ortiz, Navarro and Franco had identical 40-36 scores favoring Mendieta.

In Bout #2, it was Miguel Mendieta (black trunks) getting the best of Enrique Guzman.

Bout #3 had southpaw Jesus “Topo” Lopez (1-0)going up against fellow flyweight Cristian Ceciliano in his pro-debut.The two men were as even as you can get which was reflected in the judges’ scoring.Each time Lopez landed a punch, back came Ceciliano to land a similar punch.Judge Ortiz scored the bout 38-38, judge Navarro scored it, 38-38 and judge Franco must have been splitting hairs when he scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Lopez. As a result, the bout was declared a mixed decision draw.

Bout #3 between Jesus Lopez (L) and Christian Ceciliano (R) ended in a draw.

Bout #4 featured two flyweights, both debutants, Jose Toribio of San Diego and Francisco Pedroza of Tijuana. When it comes to a fighter’s pedigree, Toribio had the edge. From his early years at the National City CYAC with Jessie Tanner and later help from Joe Vargas plus all the in-house sparring partners to benefit from, he then moved with Vargas along to the Undisputed Fitness and Training Center in San Diego’s Downtown. It would be difficult to name anyone who has worked harder at his craft.

From the opening round, Toribio was compact like a ninja turtle, tough to hit and giving no ground. If he wasn’t blocking a punch or covering up, he was slipping Pedroza’s punches. Spotting an opening, he’d strike out with karate like accuracy.

By 2:43 of Round #2, the punches were coming in bunches and it was a no-brainer for referee Juan Morales Lee to step in and call a halt to the unanswered blows.

The problem Toribio will have is finding opponents at his size and weight. Trips to Japan, the Philippines and Mexico might become a regular thing.

Prior to their four round bout, referee Juan Jose Ramirez had Jose Toribio (R) and Francisco Pedroza (L) face the crowd. Below we see Toribio successfully unloading on Pedroza, first with an overhand right and then with a solid left hook to the Pedroza’s chin.

A very large group from the Friday night crowd was there in support of Jose Toribio. This is confirmed by the many fans wearing the green and red pullover displaying the huge green T.

After the stoppage, Jose Toribio (L) has his arm raised in victory, first by referee Juan Morales Lee and then by the stunning Ring Card gal. Later, he was joined by members of his support group. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 had featherweight Rafael Rivera (2-0-1, 1 KO, 123½ lbs.) of Tijuana going up against super bantamweight Erick Jimenez “Young Danger” Maldonado (0-4, 119 lbs.). 

In “Young Danger’s four losses he’d only been a danger to himself, having been KO’d three times. The game Maldonado appeared to be a sitting duck for everything that came his way. Four minutes, six seconds into the match, Maldonado was down for the count and thus his fourth KO loss.

In Bout #5, Rafael Rivera wasted little time and was soon all over Erick Jimenez to get the early stoppage.

After the battering he took from Rafael Rivera, Erick Jimenez (shown here) really needs to consider another sport, another past time, perhaps golf, tennis, bowling, or pinnacle.

In Bout #6 it was super bantamweight Carlos “Memin” Carlson (7-0, 4 KOs, 119 lbs.) taking on featherweight Santos “Cachorrito” Valenzuela (0-6, 124½ lbs.).

With all six of Valenzuela’s losses coming by way of knockout and four of Carlson’s seven victories coming by way of knockout, you would figure somebody better get the pillow ready for Valenzuela’s head so he could have a soft landing. This was also Valenzuela’s first pro-bout in over nine and a half years.

The bout, lasting all of 33 seconds, kept Cachorrito’s streak alive by registering his seven straight knockout loss.

Carlos Carlson (in the red trunks) had his way with Santos Valenzuela and registered his fifth win by knockout.

Bout #7 featured Jorge “Tito” Ruiz (122¼ lbs.) of Chula Vista’s Alliance Training Center making his long anticipated pro-debut against Ivan Diaz (124½ lbs.) of Tijuana who was also a first-timer.

From the outset, these two gents were throwing heavy leather and had the patrons on the edges of their seats. In round #1, Ruiz was sharper, but only matched his opponent blow for blow. He seemed content to be more patient and get a better lay of the land. In Round #2, Ruiz abandoned the strategy of countering off each Diaz miss, and clearly took the offensive. After an accumulation of blows, it was clear to referee Juan Jose Ramirez that Diaz was finished. The end came at 2:26 of the third round.

Among the many on hand for Ruiz’s maiden voyage was super bantamweight contender Chris Martin and his family. Being a longtime friend and stablemate who has worked long hours with Ruiz, Martin was all smiles when giving his buddy the thumbs up.

Prior to their Bout #7 match, referee Juan Jose Ramirez has both Jorge Ruiz (R) in the black trunks and Ivan Diaz (L) in the yellow trunks face the audience.

Panel (left side below), shows referee Juan Jose Ramirez stepping in to call a halt to the contest after Ivan Diaz failed to protect himself against the pummeling he was getting from Jorge Ruiz. In the right panel, Jorge Ruiz has his arm raised in victory by Ramirez. Top photo shows Ruiz joined by his trainer Sergio Melendrez while both Ramirez and the Ring Card Girl raise up his arms to signify the victory. All photos; Jim Wyatt

Bout #8 featured lightweight 35 year-old Gerardo “El Torito” Zayas (19-20-2, 11 KOs)earning an unanimous decision victory over Jorge “Matralletas” Sillas (1-11) in a six rounder. The win had to be a confidence builder as this was only his third victory over the last seven years. All three judges scored the bout in Zayas’ favor: Daniel Lopez Rivera 59-55, Francisco Navarro 58-56 and Esteban Franco 60-55.

Prior to Bout #8, referee Juan Jose Ramirez (C) has both boxers, Gerardo Zayas (Red Trunks) and Jorge Sillas (yellow trunks) face the audience.

Bout 8 winner Gerardo Zayas has his arm raised by the lovely ring card gal. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Hopefully, with V&B Promotions being added to the mix of promoters, our local boxers will not go wanting for a venue to display their skills.

Latest boxers to be added to the list of California World Boxing Champions 

Since boxing fans everywhere are usually pulling for the underdog, Saturday night’s match must have been quite riveting when this 31 year-old by the name of Carina Moreno (23-5, 6 KOs) from Watsonville, California scored a 10 round split decision, upset victory over the 25 year-old former unified world champion Susi Kentikian (29-2, 16 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA female flyweight title.

With Moreno being at least 5,600 miles away from home, in a place called Burg-Waechter Castello in Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, this must have been quite an undertaking. Even before accepting the fight, Moreno’s trainer Rick Noble was quoted as saying, “After being robbed in her last two fights, we’re hoping beyond hope that we get a fair shake when we travel to Germany to face Kentikian.”

Until recently, Kentikian, aka “Killer Queen” was considered by many to be pound-for-pound the best female boxer in the world. That accolade has certainly gone out the window after the December 1 performance.

Moreno, who had lost four of her last five matches, had been given virtually no chance in H-E-double hockey stick of hanging with the formidable Kentikian. But she did. Moreno won by scores of 96-94, 96-94 on two cards, while the third judge favored Kentikian 97-93.

The two World Champions, Carina Moreno, the female World Flyweight Champion and Robert Guerrero, the interim WBC Welterweight Champion are almost neighbors.

With Robert Guerrero of Gilroy, CA, just winning the interim WBC World Welterweight title with his victory over Andre Berto a week ago, on November 24, 2012, it’s only fitting we post this photo of him with the newest California World Champion, Carina Moreno. The two live only a stone throw fromeach other.Gilroy is a 30 minute drive from Moreno’s gym in Watsonville, CA.

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