By Francisco Salazar
If you are a young prospect and can get by the gritty Javier Gallo, the boxing world should keep an eye on you.
Another fighter was able to do that on Saturday night, but had to pay a price in the process.
Super bantamweight Ruben Garcia won a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over Gallo before a vocal crowd at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, north of San Diego, Calif.
The six-bout "Battle off the Saddle" card was a special edition of the "Ringside at Del Mar series," which was co-promoted by A & T Promotions, Paco Presents, and Marron Productions.
Fight fans arrived for live boxing or attended the racetrack for live horse-racing, which began at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Garcia, who was fighting for the first time in the United States, drew the tough assignment in facing Gallo, who has fought a number of bantamweight and super bantamweight contenders and prospects. Although Garcia had a height and reach advantage, Gallo showed his experience during the fight.
Gallo found success early on when he walked Garcia down, landing to the head when he got inside of Garcia's guard. As the bout progressed, Garcia would catch Gallo coming in with overhand right hands to the head or a counter left hook to the head.
Garcia controlled the middle rounds, but Gallo would find some success landing counter overhand right hands to the head. The impact of the punches produced swelling underneath Garcia's left eye that got worse with each passing moment. But Gallo seemed to tire, as hhis punch output dropped and his punches had little impact on Garcia, who looked decent in his American debut.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Garcia, 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56.
Garcia, from Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, improves to 11-0-1, 5 KOs. Gallo, from Buena Park, falls to 21-10-1, 12 KOs.
In a fight between southpaws, featherweight Yovan Gonzalez won a one-sided four round unanimous decision over Raymond Chacon. Gonzalez (6-2, 1 KO) repeatedly beat a chacon to the punch throughout the fight. At the bout progressed, Gonzalez put Chacon (5-9) on the defensive, backing him up in a corner and connecting to the body and head. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Gonzalez.
In a back and forth affair, lightweight Ricky Quevedo won a hard-fought four round unanimous decision over Raymond Benavides. Both fighters went at one another from the opening bell, providing solid exchanges between the two. Quevedo (1-1) did well in the first round, while Benvides landed the more effective punches in the second round. Benavides, who was making his professional debut, seemed to sputter midway through the third round, allowing Quevedo to land repeatedly in the final two stanza, more so in the fourth round. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Quevedo, 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36.
Super welterweights Yair Aguiar and Mario Angeles fought to a four round majority draw. Aguiar (11-21, 8 KOs) dictated the pace, landing repeatedly with left hooks. Angeles (1-5-2) did his best work in the second round, even opening up a cut on the right cheekbone of Aguiar with a left hook. Angeles looked tired during the third round, throwing mostly arm punches in spurts, while Aguiar was the busier fighter during the last two rounds. One judge scored the bout 39-37 for Aguiar, while the other two judges scored the bout 38-38.
Light heavyweight Manuel Ceballos remained unbeaten with a workmanlike four round unanimous decision over Jerome Buchanan (0-2). Ceballos was in control during most of the action, stunning Buchanan a few times early in the fight. Ceballos (3-0, 2 KOs) was content to outbox the southpaw Buchanan during the second half of the fight, leading to all three judges scoring the bout 40-36 in favor of Ceballos.
- in a battle of rival jockeys, Elvis Trujillo won a three round exhibition bout over Corey Nakatani. Proceeds from the event and their fight will go to a retired jockeys' fund to assist jockeys who were injured throughout their racing careers.
- HBO play-by-play announcer Jim Lampley, featherweight contender Ronny Rios, super bantamweight Manuel Roman, and unbeaten female fighter Kenia Enriquez watched the action from ringside.
- The fight card was held outdoors in a concert area located adjacent to the famed Racetrack at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing