SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 7, 2020 – Headliner Jose Zepeda came off his narrow decision loss to Jose Ramirez with a skilled victory over Kendo Castaneda, making his case for another bid at a title in the super lightweight division. Scores were 98-92 X 2 and 97-93.
Zepeda of La Puente (31-2, 25 KOs) commanded the first half of the fight against a game Castaneda of San Antonio (17-1, 8 KOs), who stepped in as a replacement for Ivan Baranchyk, who withdrew due to a rib injury during training. Zepeda could hardly miss with his left hook and found a home for the left uppercut multiple times. But Castaneda wasn’t willing to roll over, and as Zepeda eased up slightly, he did enough to win a few rounds.
“When you throw combos, he can’t stop you,” said Zepeda’s father and trainer Rene Zepeda during the ninth round. “Get busy.” The Californian took care of business against a fading Castanada, who took the fight on short notice and didn’t embarrass himself.
“I think it was good, you never know when the new opponent comes in and no one knows a lot about him,” said Zepeda. “Today I noted he can get hit, he can get punches. It was a good performance, I could get better. When the level of opposition goes up, I go up too.”
With the potential for the division to deliver a unified champion if Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor agree to a fight, Zepeda wants the winner holding the four title belts. “I have four names in mind. We’re going to work hard to get it,” said Zepeda
It was a skilled outing and the outcome wasn’t ever in doubt, but you can’t call it a memorable fight. It’s not out of line to say Zepeda gave a better performance in his loss against Ramirez. If the lack of opposition failed to give him motivation, he needs to figure out where to find it on his own to become a top tier competitor.
Luis Alberto Lopez goes shark fishing, defeating Andy Vences
Working his way back from a loss to Albert Bell, Andy “El Tiburon” Vences of San Jose (23-2-1, 12 KOs) was expected to prevail in a tough fight over Luis Alberto Lopez of Mexicali (21-2, 11 KOs). It was tough, but Lopez had other plans for the evening. The durable Lopez made Vences fight his way, raining down punches on Vences while avoiding anything worse, getting a split decision win. Scores were 96-94 X 2 for Lopez, 96-94 for Vences.
Vences and Lopez stayed fairly even on the scorecards round by round, but Lopez made an impression when he hit Vences with a snapping right hook in the fifth round. Vences stayed on his feet, but just barely. In the next round, Lopez suffered a bad cut over the left eye due to a headbutt, and Vences was nicked on the forehead. It lit a fire under Lopez, but it was Vences who was most affected.“The headbutts really got to me, the cuts in my mouth. I’ve never been this beat up,” said Vences.
Vences didn’t dispute the way the judges saw it after the fight, “It was a good decision. I’m not going to blame anyone, I just got caught. I thought he was coasting the whole end of the fight,” said Vences. Vences said he was happy about the way he listened to his corner’s directions through the fight, focused and did what they asked.
Bubble banging: Cortes scores victory over Salinas
Lightweights Andres Cortes of Las Vegas (13-0, 7 KOs) and Alejandro Salinas of Youngstown, Ohio (10-4, 9 KOs) put on a fun show in their eight-round bout, letting the leather fly. Cortes got himself in trouble but managed to dig out of the hole and come away with his record intact by unanimous decision. Scores were 79-73, 77-74, and 76-75 for Cortes.
Cortes suffered a wicked cut over the left eye due to an accidental head butt. While Stitch Duran kept the cut under control, it distracted Cortes and gave Salinas an opportunity. Salinas scored a knockdown when he caused Cortes’s legs to buckle and he fell onto the ropes. Referee Celestino Ruiz spotted it and properly called it a knockdown. Cortes kept his cool. He knew he needed to stay off the ropes and put it on Salinas for the rest of the fight. He took over the bout and with a little help from his cutman, he made it to the final bell. The two young bangers threw a total of 836 punches thrown in the eight rounds, just the right action fights for Bubble undercards.
Undercard results: El Maestro returns for second win in The Bubble
Bantamweight and pre-school teacher Gabriel “El Maestro” Muratalla of Fontana, California (4-0-3 KOs) got his second win in The Bubble, this time against Sergio Lopez of Las Vegas (4-5-3). Scores were 40-36 X 2 and 39-27. Muratalla produced plenty of action and a varied arsenal of punches against the durable Lopez. It’s a pleasure for boxing fans to watch a prospect like the 26-year-old Muratalla improving in real-time.
Off the telecast, San Diego based welterweight Genaro Gamez of San Diego (10-1, 6 KOs) scored a first-round knockout of Reymond Yanong of the Philippines (11-6-1, 9 KOs). Yanong was also making his second Bubble appearance coming off a split decision win over Clay Burns on June 25. You have to admire the ambition of the fighters staying busy in Las Vegas this summer.
Eric Puente of Vista, California (3-0) won a majority decision victory of Diego Elizondo of Carson City (2-2-2) in their four-round lightweight fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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