SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 13, 2019 – No matter the name of the venue, the open-air arena in Carson, California has a well-deserved reputation for delivering all-action fights and surprise wins. The headline is Vargas defeats Kameda.
Tomoki Kameda of Japan (36-3, 20 KOs) hoped to cap off a night of upsets with one of his own, but he couldn’t deliver the Mexican style victory he hoped for as Rey Vargas of Mexico (34-0, 22 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory by scores of 117-111 on all three cards. Vargas remains the WBC Super Bantamweight champion.
Kameda isn’t called “El Mexicanito” for nothing. In the early rounds, Kameda made Vargas fight his game plan, taunting him to “fight like a Mexican” in the lead-up of the fight. Vargas did and while it was crowd-pleasing, it wasn’t a smart idea. The Japanese fighter found a home for right and left hooks and body shots.
Vargas avoids a dangerous firefight with Kameda
Thanks to guidance from veteran trainer Nacho Berestain, Vargas came to his senses. The much taller, lankier Vargas began to box from the outside behind his reach and excellent jab, frustrating Kameda. Vargas rolled up rounds. The fans weren’t thrilled, and Kameda didn’t help his cause by being docked a point for hitting after referee Rudy Barragan separated the pair from a clench. It didn’t end up making any difference.
Vargas credited his experience for the win. “The idea was to draw a lot of punches and have a very intelligent fight,” said Vargas. “I believe we made a smart fight.” Asked about the crowd’s negative reaction, Vargas said, “He brought a lot of Japanese people. That’s why the crowd is yelling. I knew Kameda was going to push – again, we did a very smart fight.”
Vargas then addressed unified WBA and IBF champion Daniel Roman ringside. “Danny, you’re here. When are we going to unify titles? Why not? Well Danny, we’re ready. The people want the fight. When a Mexican fights a Mexican, it’s a war.” Roman will present a far greater test than Kameda. Bring it on.
Kameda thanked the fans who cheered him on. “I want to say thank you to the people. But I recognize Vargas won, I respect him as a champion … I need to learn and practice to get another belt. I’m grateful for the Mexican fans, in the next fight I will fight double so I can be a world champion again.”
Ronny Rios rips into Diego De La Hoya in the fight of the night
A well-prepared, take-no-prisoners version of Ronny Rios from nearby Santa Ana (31-3, 15 KOs) delivered an upset TKO victory over Diego De La Hoya of Mexicali (21-1, 10 KOs) in six rounds. Rios takes the NABF gold super bantamweight strap from De La Hoya.
De La Hoya promised before the fight he and Rios would steal the show from the main event, but he couldn’t have predicted how Rios would beat him down. After a feeling out round, Rios began blasting away at De La Hoya. He took it to the body of De La Hoya, and he found De La Hoya’s chin with hooks and uppercuts from both sides.
In the sixth, Rios hit De La Hoya with a hard right hand after several body shots. De La Hoya took a knee and then told referee Rudy Barragan he couldn’t continue. “I told him I didn’t feel good,” said De La Hoya after the fight. “I don’t know. I was hurt in my head. I didn’t feel well, I didn’t feel right. I did my best camp possible, but I didn’t feel like that in the ring. You have to accept your losses as well as the wins.”
Rios, who lost his title fight against Rey Vargas in the same ring two years ago, said “I feel great, it’s an unbelievable feeling winning in front of my fans, friends, and family. I did it from my heart, I did it for you” he said to the crowd.
Rios said after his loss to Vargas and another to Azat Hovannisyan, it was hard to come back.
“I was in a dark place … Thanks to my team, especially (trainer) Edgar Lopez who pushed me. I got mad at him, but he inspired me to come back, not for anyone else but for myself.”
De La Hoya says his comeback is a lesson for anyone. “Boxing, your career, anything you want, go for it. I know I’m not done, I got a lot more years and I’m going to continue to push it to the max.”
Rios landed 42 percent of his total punches thrown (131/316) compared to 33 percent for De La Hoya (112/336). The boxer landing 117 power punches of 225 thrown (52 percent) versus 95 power punches De La Hoya 95 of 213, 45 percent). Rios may now get an opportunity to fight Vargas/Kameda.
Early night for Rocky Hernandez with an upset loss to Roger Gutierrez
Roger Gutierrez of Venezuela (22-3, 19 KOs) pulled out an upset in style with a first-round knockout win overexciting super featherweight prospect Rocky Hernandez of Mexico (28-1, 25 KOs). Gutierrez handed the Mexican his first loss at 2:39 of the round.
The 24-year-old Gutierrez had faced plenty of Golden Boy fighters in California and said he didn’t intend to make it easy before the fight. Gutierrez said after the fight he came in with the right mentality. “I came here to rip his head off, and that’s what you saw. It was my mentality that made the difference, said Gutierrez. “Everyone on my team believed in me, and that’s what did it … The era of Roger Gutierrez has begun.”
Joet Gonzalez sets himself up for title fight with a win over Manuel Avila
Featherweight prospect Joet Gonzalez of Glendora (23-0, 14 KOs) took out a determined Manuel Avila of Fairfield, California (23-2-1, 8 KOs) in six rounds. Gonzalez wins the WBA Continental American featherweight title.
After Avila started out strong, Gonzalez turned the fight. Working behind the jab, he delivered solid body shots, mixing in uppercuts and hooks. Little by little he poured it on, backing Avila up. Avila’s right eye started to close and his output started decreasing as he got discouraged. Gonzalez knocked down Avila near the end of the seventh round. Avila got up and survived to the bell, but after taking nothing but hard shots for most of the sixth round, his corner called an end to the fight.
“I’m confident when I say I’m going to do something, I do it” said Gonzalez, adding he could see Avila wearing down by the third round and knew he couldn’t box much longer, and by the sixth “it was time to go.”
Asked who he’d like to fight for a championship, Gonzalez said “Anyone at 126, or anyone running their mouths,” naming Shakur Stevenson and Golden Boy stablemate Joseph Diaz Jr. “They run their mouths on social media. I’m a grown-ass man, I don’t fight on social media … I don’t care if I lose, I’m not afraid to fight the best. I’m not a cherry picker,” Gonzalez declares.
Undercard results: Rocha, Madiyev, Gonzalez, Esquivel win
Nonetheless, Alexis Rocha of Santa Ana (14-0, 9 KOs) scored his ninth knockout near the end of the eighth round against Berlin Abreu of the Dominican Republic (14-4, 11 KOs). In the corner after the third round, Abreu told his trainer Rocha was “really, really good.”
Rocha focused on ripping Abreu to the body, looking for a fight-ending hook to the head when he saw his chance. Abreu was game but the damage piled up. After one knockdown in the round as the seconds ticked down, referee Jack Reiss had seen enough at 2:56 of the round.
Returning to action after nine months, super lightweight Ruslan Madiyev of Kazakhstan (13-1, 5 KOs) was rusty. However he dud manage a unanimous decision in eight rounds over a tough Ricky Sismundo of the Philippines (35-14-3, 17 KOs). Trainer of just two weeks Joel Diaz said he wasn’t too happy with Madiyar’s performance but promised far better results after getting a full camp with the Kazakh.
Gonzalez v. Padrom
Super featherweight Jousce Gonzalez of Glendora (9-0, 9 KOs), younger brother of Joet Gonzalez, blasted through Jorge Hugo Padron of Mexico (3-4, 3 KOs) with ease, scoring two knockdowns in the first round on the way to his second-round TKO win.
Super middleweight Jonathan Esquivel of Anaheim (11-0, 10 KOs) needed just 1:40 of the first round to take out Gregory Clark (4-4-1, 1 KO) of Washington DC with a beautiful body shot right on target.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
Copyright © 2019 by Falcon Valley Group