by Cliff Rold
In a blistering action affair, Mexican 32-year old former lineal World Jr. Flyweight titlist Giovani Segura (32-3-1, 28 KO) of Bell, California, scored knockdowns in the fourth and tenth rounds en route to a stoppage victory over 23-year old Felipe Salguero (19-6-1, 14 KO) of Toluca, Mexico on Saturday night at the Hipódromo Caliente, Arena Tecate in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Both men came in over the Flyweight limit of 112 for the fight, Segura weighing in at 115 ½ and Salguero at 114 ¾.
Segura came out in typical form, firing away with special attention on the body and little attention to defense. Battling off the back foot, Salguero looked for counters upstairs, doing his best not to be run over by the downhill train in front of him. Salguero went to the corner with a sigh of relief and mild grin by the end of the second frame.
Salguero landed a big right uppercut early in the third, Segura walking through it. Segura found a home for lead southpaw hooks with Salguero often pinned to the ropes. Salguero responded, throwing in the spaces between flurries, landing a nailing right late in the round.
Apparently just warming up, Segura took his relentless pace up another notch at the start of round four. Ripping to the body and occasionally using his face as defense, Segura broke through with a vicious left late in the fourth to drop Salguero near the ropes. Salguero beat the count and the bell rang before he could take more punishment.
Segura came out winging in the fifth, forcing Salguero to the floor in a tangle of bodies. The referee rightly ruled no knockdown, giving Salguero a brief respite. He gamely soldiered on, looking for an answer and taking a ton of leather for his trouble. He ended the round with a cut over his right eye…and a glimmer of hope. A late shot rocked Segura and forced him back towards the ropes. The bell rang before Salguero could explore just how badly hurt his man was.
Salguero couldn’t find another shot like it until a rally late in the seventh that had Segura backing up again after almost six straight minutes of flying hands. In the latter round, the ring doctor took a look at the Salguero cut and let the action resume. And resume it did through another hectic round in the eighth and into a machine gun salvo to start the ninth for Segura.
Through it all, Salguero stayed in there. At the end of nine, blood trickling from the eye, it was Salguero pushing forward and firing as Segura worked off the ropes. It was still a fight with one to go.
Salguero landed first, upstairs, in the tenth with Segura firing back to the body. Seemingly exhausted, Segura battled off the ropes again in the first minute of the round before turning things concussively in his favor. Working back to mid-ring, a left hand staggered Salguero. Another put him into the ropes and his body began to wane. A right rocked him and then another left, the referee looking hard at the action. Segura wouldn’t land another blow, a decimated Salguero just collapsing to the floor out of sheer exhaustion, another victim of the overwhelming attack of Segura as the referee stepped in to halt the action at 1:55 of the final round.
Segura wins his third straight by knockout after a hotly contested decision loss to former Jr. Flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa in May 2013. Currently rated #1 by the WBO, Segura appears positioned for a mandatory shot at unified WBA/WBO titlist Juan Francisco Estrada.
Estrada (25-2, 18 KO) is scheduled to make the second defense of his titles on April 26th against Richie Mepranum (27-3-1, 6 KO).
In the televised opener, upstart 26-year old Featherweight Francisco Pina (6-6-4, 2 KO), 126 ¾, of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, upset previously undefeated 22-year old Rogelio Doliguez (18-1-2, 14 KO), 127 ¼, of Agoncillo, Batangas, Philippine with a six-round unanimous decision.
Despite a losing mark as a professional, Pina wasn’t shy about mixing it up in the first round, winging right hands against the unbeaten southpaw in pursuit of the upset. An early knockdown of Doliguez set the pace for the action and Pina dug in against every Doliguez rally. The Filipino was cut near the inside of the left eye and bruised underneath of it at the end as scores favored Pina at 57-56 and 59-55 twice. The win halts a four-fight losing streak for Pina dating to January 2012.
Also on the card, former champion Juan Alberto “Topo” Rosas took the undefeated record away of Alejandro “Cobrita” González, with scores of 80-72, 78-74 and 77-75. “Topo” rises to 39-8-0, 27KO’s), and “Cobrita” falls to 22-1-1, 14 KO’s.
The card was broadcast on UniMas as part of its “Solo Boxeo” series, promoted by Zanfer Promotions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org