Results from the Thursday Night Fights in Tijuana

When you head south to Tijuana to watch a boxing show, there’s one thing you never have to worry about… and that would be? Seeing some top notch entertainment. Thursday evening’s fight card at Salon Las Pulgas (the Fleas Night Club) on La Avenida Revolucion was yet another example of this truism, clear evidence our southern neighbors have so much to offer.

On arrival at Las Pulgas, the bright lights and patrons clamoring for tickets resembled those huge multiplex theaters you see at LA’s Hollywood and Vine. After entering, you’re part of this wave of people heading passed a large packed night club, on through a maze of cavernous rooms, another had 750 or more empty chairs/stools awaiting weekend revelers, and then all of a sudden, there it was. An ideal showcase for boxing with bright lights, veteran officials and anxious fight fans looking down from three tiers of seats. I immediately took note of how small the ring was. According to my calculations, it had to be the smallest size allowed.

Then I remembered where I was. In a country known for its machismo, where boxing fans demand the very best from their fighters. Mexican boxers have always shown a penchant for slugging it out. In Mexico it’s hardly enough to be a great professional boxer with a 20-0 record, you must fight with the right style, showing the correct measure of ferocity and aggression in order to be heralded as great. A Mexican boxer doesn’t back up or get on a bicycle; he’s right their in your face.

The three generations of boxing: Before the show opened, I spoke with the boxing legend, referee Raymundo Solis (L), his son Ray Solis, a well respected coach and one of his current students, Eric Orozco. Over his 47 years as a ref, Raymundo Solis, now 89, refereed 81 title bouts with such notables as Sugar Ray Robinson and Julio Cesar Chavez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Before the first bout, the management offered a warm-up, an amateur bout between Anthony Quinones, the son of the distinguished promoter, Gabriel Quinones, going full blast with another youngster, Alfredo Pita. You would have thought it was the finals of a Golden Gloves Tournament as neither boxer let up.

In a warm-up role, Anthony Quinones (R) of Chula Vista Boxing battled it out for three rounds against Alfredo Pitta from the Ray Solis’ Gym in Tijuana. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After being energized by that three rounder, the crowd was ready for the real thing with its high energy ring entrance music.

Jose Ramirez (L), pinned in his corner, gets hit in the midsection by Cesar Sanchez in Bout #1. Photo: J. Wyatt.

In Bout #1, a four rounder, Jose Luis “Zurdo” Ramirez was in charge throughout and it didn’t get testy until the closing minutes. That’s when his opponent, Cesar Sanchez, pulled out all the stops and went for broke. Aside from an occasional combination or straight right hand, Sanchez could not penetrate Ramirez’s comfort zone.

After their all out battle in Bout #1, the ref raises the arms of both Jose Ramirez (L), the eventual winner, and his opponent, Cesar Sanchez. Photo: Jim Wyatt

After his TKO victory over Hector Figueroa, Reynaldo Russell is joined by Kid Melo (R) and his trainer, Monica Abedith Rico. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #2 had Reynaldo “El Rey” Russell doing a number on Hector “Chucky” (I failed to see the resemblance) Figueroa.

In the first round, Russell started things off with a devastating roundhouse right that got Chucky’s attention. Russell had no respect for Figueroa’s nickname and kept coming. By Round #2, Figueroa had been on the canvas once and lost his mouthpiece twice. In Round #3, after a flurry of punches that ended with a powerful uppercut, the referee felt he had seen enough and called an end to the one sided bout.

Adrian Vargas (R) is shown unloading an overhand right on his opponent Hector Rivera (L).

Bout #3 featured Adrian Vargas of the Undisputed Fitness & Training Center in San Diego’s downtown going up against Hector Rivera. Vargas, an outstanding amateur, has been on a tear ever since turning pro in late February.  Just from their physical presence you knew the bout wouldn’t last long and it didn’t.

Rivera was knocked off his feet twice. After a right hand caught him square on the chin, the bout was over. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Rivera landed just one punch.

Ducking under a right hand, Christian Bojorquez (L) lands a body shot on his opponent, Mario Lara (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #4 featured one of the top matches on the fight card. Christian Bojorquez, an above average stand up boxer, going up against, Mario Lara, a much smaller, inside brawler.

Lara, who came out swinging for the fences, did more than enough to take the first round. The only problem with his wild and wide of the mark looping punches, some were infractions that drew the ire of the referee who began to issue warnings, two for low blows and one for a rabbit punch.

By Round #2, Bojorquez had settled in and began to give Mr. Lara a boxing lesson. In Round #3, with both men trading punches at the same pace, it was going to be difficult to score. Then, just before the round ended, Lara again threw a low blow. This one the referee couldn’t ignore and so a point was deducted.

Since the final round could decide the match, Lara and his corner people decided to go down fighting. In that final round, with Lara going for the knockout and his corner yelling and banging the canvass, it was sheer bedlam. Despite being caught numerous times in that final round, Bojorquez managed to win over the judges by countering off Lara’s misses and landing the more accurate blows to Lara’s head.

As the judges’ score cards indicated, it was a very close match which in the end came down to who finished the strongest. Since both boxers had a large fan base present, it was a foregone conclusion that the boo birds would be howling their displeasure.

Personally, I thought it was masterful, how Bojorquez was able to fight while backing up. Most boxers can not fight this way. It was definitely one of the best bouts of the year. If not for that point deduction, the decision could have and maybe should have been scored a draw.

In a stunning upset, Eduardo Iniguez gets the win over German Perez by knockout in the first round. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #5 featured the always tough but unorthodox German Perez (undefeated in his first seven fights, 5-0-2) going up against Eduardo Iniguez (1-4-1).

Iniguez, who is familiar with Perez’s roughhouse, bullying style felt he needed to get him early and he did. Within the first minute, Iniguez was all over Perez, connecting with the short right crosses followed by a left right on the button. Down went Perez and down went his undefeated mark.

After a two year sabbatical, Emilio Bojorquez (18-1-0) is back in the ring.

Bout #6 was the most anticipated bout of the evening. The question that the Tijuana and San Diego fight fans wanted answered? Could Emilio Bojorquez return to form after his long layoff of almost two years. As a singer for El Grupo Traviesos de Tijuana, Bojorquez had been living like a fat cat, partying and enjoying life with his sweetheart. He was no longer the trim athlete that went undefeated for three straight years, won 17 bouts with 12 KOs and lost only once.

It didn’t matter who he was about to face, it was going to be a major test. Well, the transformation is complete…Emilio is back. His many close friends couldn’t believe his stunning weight loss.

Bojorquez’s opponent on Thursday evening, Alejandro Alonso (2-8-1),   had been hand-picked. From Round #1 on, Bojorquez was the Bojorquez of old. His punches went thud to Alonso’s midsection. The only thing that saved Alonso was his circling to his left to stay out of Bojorquez’s power alley. With the many accurate blows, Bojorquez took every round to get win number 18.

Edivaldo Ortega (R) has his arm raised after defeating Pedro Lopez (L). Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #7 featured the undefeated super bantamweight, Edivaldo “Sobre Ruedas” Ortega (10-0-1, 4 KOs) being challenged by Pedro Lopez (4-3-0, 1 KO).

This one didn’t last long as Lopez soon realized he didn’t have the stomach to take the thunderous kidney shots from the more powerful Ortega who walked right through the punches thrown by Lopez. Before the first stanza ended, Ortega was hovering over his opponent daring him to get back on his feet. Hardly breaking a sweat, Ortega’s corner celebrated by propping their hero up on their shoulders and carried him back to the dressing room.

One of Julio Cesar Felix’s biggest fans is Antonio Margarito, shown just to the boxer’s right. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Bout #8, the Main Event of the evening, featured Julio Cesar “El Gatito” Felix (15-3-0, 6 KOs) going up against Sergio “Elegante” Nunez (4-6-0).

Throughout his bout with Julio Cesar Felix, Sergio “Elegante” Nunez, used some questionable tactics. Photo: Jim Wyatt

This one had a very odd start, as Felix threw very few punches in both Round #1 and Round #2 and soon heard the boos from the crowd. It appeared Felix’s strategy involved having Nunez punch himself out/tire so he wouldn’t last the 10 rounds. Nunez had never gone 10 rounds. But he wasn’t all that active either and even got warned about his tactic of pushing his opponent and twice pushed Felix backwards so he fell down.

By round #3, that strategy of tiring out your opponent was shelved and the gloves started to be thrown. Overall Nunez’s punches were softer and wide off the mark whereas Felix’s punches were straight and had more pop. From the fourth round on, it was Felix the Cat getting to the center of the ring first, establishing that he was the aggressor and amking certain that he landed more punches.

In the end, two of the judges had Felix winning, while the third judge had Nunez ahead. After my discussion with media row, they all felt as I did, Felix had won going away.

As soon as Emilio Bojorquez finished his bout, the local press were all over him trying to get his reaction to his performance after being out of boxing for almost two years. Photo: Jim Wyatt

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