ANAHEIM, California, August 28, 2016 – There aren’t many boxers as well-liked and respected as men more than Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo. Their devoted fans at the Honda Center in Anaheim did what they could to encourage both in their bouts Saturday night in what were must-win fights.
But it wasn’t enough, with both losing decisions to ambitious journeymen.
Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs), lost a 12-round split decision to David Peralta (26-2-1, 14 KOs) of Argentina. Judges had it close on the cards, with Max Deluca 116-112 and Zachary Young 115-113 for Peralta, Jerry Cantu 115-113 for Guerrero.
Guerrero went to the body of Peralta early, while trying to avoid the much taller man’s reach. Peralta didn’t employ his jab in the early rounds, and would perform an Ali shuffle to reset when Guerrero hit him. Guerrero showed his power early, landing several looping left hands in the fourth round. But Peralta could take it, and when he decided Guerrero’s best punches didn’t give him that much to fear, he stayed closer. He made Guerrero eat a hook in the fifth round and from this point started taking rounds away.
In the ninth round, Peralta appeared to knock Guerrero down but that he was held up by the ropes. A replay showed Peralta may have tripped Guerrero. Referee Ray Corona didn’t call the knockdown. When asked about it after the fight, Peralta smiled, shrugged, and said “I’m only the fighter, I have no right to my opinion. Whatever the referee says, I must obey.”
It wasn’t a difference maker. In the last few rounds, Guerrero needed to find something new to work with to prevail, and he couldn’t. Peralta was steady and landed the surer punches. Where Guerrero needed a knockout, Peralta could keep on doing just what he had been doing the last half of the fight.
Peralta said he was grateful for the opportunity to fight in the U.S, and the Argentinean said he could now concentrate only on boxing as his career. “No more taxi driver, I am 100 percent in the gym,” said Peralta. “I came to fight and I knew I would win. He is a very good fighter but I hit him with the harder shots.”
Peralta, who will turn 34 years old next Tuesday, had considered making this his last fight if he lost. Not anymore. “Yes, I want to fight bigger names now, no way I’m going to retire now. I’ll be ready again to fight soon, this was no joke and I can beat a lot of great fighters.”
Peralta described Guerrero as an idol of his, someone he’s loved watching his entire career.
Guerrero saluted the supportive crowd after the bout. Later, he said “I thought I clearly won the fight. For the judge to say I lost eight rounds sounds crazy to me. Peralta was very awkward but I felt I won. I won the rounds when I boxed.” His father and trainer Ruben was even more outspoken about the scores.
Guerrero assured his fans he isn’t done with boxing. “This is very disappointing but I’ll be back, that you can count on.”
While Guerrero had opportunities to win, Alfredo Angulo (24-6-0, 20 KOs) never got his motor running against opponent, Freddy Hernandez (34-8-0, 22 KOs) of Mexico City. Hernandez won by unanimous decision. Judges Max Deluca and Carla Caiz scored it 97-93, judge Zachary Young 98-92.
Both men were rusty; Angulo had been out of the ring a year, Hernandez 15 months. As predicted, it was a sloppy super middleweight fight. Angulo appeared slow and couldn’t find the target. He waited too long attempting to pick his shots; meantime Hernandez threw and though he wasn’t very accurate, he was landing more shots than Angulo.
By the middle rounds, Angulo seemed to have a burst of confidence, perhaps due to a cut opening over Hernandez’s eye. But the “El Perro” of old could have ended the fight with one punch. Saturday, punches were landing but not biting like they once did.
Angulo’s loyal supporters did their best to cheer Angulo on, but Hernandez had his share of “Freddy, Freddy” cheers in the crowd. Hernandez didn’t let up, and Angulo finally ran out of options.
After the bout, Hernandez said he knew he clearly won the fight. “He still punches hard, but I hit him harder tonight. I have a great deal of respect for Alfredo. Tonight the people saw two real Mexican warriors.”
Hernandez, who was fighting for the first time above 154 pounds, admitted super middleweight was too much for him, and he would return to 154 pounds. There is a lot of competition in this hot division, so Hernandez will really get to see what he’s made of. But for now, said Hernandez, “I’m going to eat some tacos.”
Angulo left the ring without speaking with media. He has some serious thinking to do about his career, and there isn’t a boxing fan in the world who doesn’t wish him well.
Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (19-0, 9 KOs) did just enough to pull out a majority decision over a scrappy Steven Martinez (16-3-0, 13 KOs) of New York. Scores were 97-93 from Jerry Cantu and Jonathan Davis, while judge Zachary Young scored it a 95-95 draw. Gausha continues to have trouble making the transition to professional boxing. In the early rounds, Gausha hd his jab working but little more, which Martinez scored with solid body work. Martinez was by far the aggressor early and was outhustling Gausha.
Perhaps Martinez began to tire in the later rounds as Gausha started to put together better combinations. Martinez showed a tough chin and kept right on coming at Gausha. Gausha was a lot sharper in the ninth and tenth rounds and it allowed him to get the victory on the close cards.
Gausha won’t rise to the top of one of the most competitive divisions currently in boxing without improving his skills. He’s got the bad fortune to be in the division the same time as truly talented men like Demetrius Andrade, (names). Steve Martinez also needs to improve but he showed promise and fans will welcome seeing him in the ring again.
Four fighters made their professional debuts in Anaheim, led by featherweight Daniel Gonzalez of Oxnard. Gonzalez is a new fighter with Mayweather Promotions. Gonzalez (1-0) won a unanimous decision in his four round fight by scores of 40-36 over Javier Cepeda of New Mexico (0-2) with a pleased Floyd Mayweather watching ringside.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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