By Ryan Burton
The Cosmopolitan,Las Vegas, Nevada - In a fight where the winner would take a big step forward in their career, Antonio Orozco (25-0) knocked out KeAndre Gibson (16-0-1) in the fourth round of a battle of unbeaten prospects looking to make the move to contender status.
The first round was fought on fairly even terms with Gibson starting out fast and Orozco finishing the round strong. Orozco rocked Gibson in the middle of the second round and kept his momentum going. He beautifully mixed his shots to both the head and body and also displayed excellent defense with good head movement.
After Orozco was warned for a low blow in the third, Gibson came back with a more blatant one to even the score which prompted Russell Mora to warn both men that any more punches south of the border will result in a point deduction. a one-two sent Gibson face first to the canvas in the fourth round. He rose to his feet but appeared out of it and Mora waived the fight off. The time of the stoppage was 1:31
In a barnburner, former title challenger Mercito Gesta (29-1-2) defeated Gilberto Gonzalez (27-3) by unanimous decision. The fight was a lot closer than the judges scorecards of 99-91, 98-92 and 96-93. This was the Filipino lightweight's first fight in 18 months and he started out fast and dominated the first two rounds of action with his huge advantage in hand speed.
The fight changed in the third round when Gonzalez sent the Filipino to the canvas with a left uppercut to the head. Gesta came back in the fourth and put his hand speed back on display to reassert control of the fight.
Gonzalez's face was a bloody mess with blood flowing from a cut above his eye and his nose but kept coming forward and when he could trap Gesta he would land a good shot but Gesta's footwork kept him off the ropes for the most part. The tide turned in the 7th with Gonzalez's relentless attack paying dividends as he rocked Gesta and had his best round since the third.
Gesta's bad habit of keeping his hands low and his drastic reduction in punch output cost him as Gonzalez landed multiple hooks and uppercuts to his head. Gesta was the busier fighter in the 8th and 9th but neither man was landing really hard punches. After touching hands to begin the 10th round, Gonzalez immediately landed a hook to Gesta's head and a furious exchange of power shots ensued. Gesta was hit with several big shots and landed some of his own as they closed the show with a bang.
Featherweight prospect Joet Gonzalez (16-0) kept his perfect record intact with the biggest victory of his career. He handed Derrick Murray (13-1-1) his second career loss by stopping him in the fifth round.
Gonzalez, who is also managed by Frank Espinoza, got off to a quick start against Murray. He had him hurt several times in the third round which forced the St. Louis product to back pedal throughout most of the round. Murray was badly gassed in the fourth and didn't have any steam on his punches. Referee Russell Mora stopped the action with Murray on his feet at the :56 second mark of the fifth round.
Later on tonight unbeaten super lightweights Antonio Orozco (25-0) and KeAndre Gibson (16-0-1) will face each other in the main event of the second edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. Former title challenger Mercito Gesta (29-1-2) returns from an eighteen month layoff to take on Gilberto Gonzalez (26-3) in the co-main event.
Emilio Sanchez (14-0) opened up the action with an eighth round TKO victory over a game Jose Bustos (11-7-3). The Frank Espinoza managed fighter outclassed his opponent but Bustos had his moments as well and displayed an excellent chin until Sanchez poured it on in the eighth round to send Bustos to the canvas. He rose to his feet but referee Robert Byrd made the right call in waving the fight off. The time of the stoppage was :51.