By Francisco Salazar
Hugo Centeno was not about to let a late replacement throw off his game plan.
It showed on Friday night.
Centeno won a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision over Gerardo Ibarra at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA.
The bout headlined a Golden Boy Promotions card and was televised live on Showtime.
Centeno was scheduled to face 2008 United States Olympian Domonique Dolton, but Dolton pulled out of the fight less than a week ago due to an injury he suffered in training camp.
Centeno was coming off a come-from-behind 10th round knockout victory over Angel Osuna on December 13th, also in Indio.
Ibarra had a decent opening round, where he took the fight to Centeno, landing hooks and crosses to the head of Centeno. The punches caused Centeno's nose to begin bleeding.
From the second round on, it was all Centeno. He was busier fighter, working from the outside and keeping Ibarra at the end of his punches. Centeno landed straight right hands to the head of Ibarra.
As Ibarra was able to get on the inside, Centeno made him pay by landing hard left or right uppercuts to the head. Centeno landed those punches repeatedly in the second half of the fight.
Ibarra tried to rally, but was relegated to throwing one punch at a time and none of his punches had the same effect as they had in the earlier part of the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Centeno, 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90.
Centeno, from Oxnard, CA, goes to 21-0 1NC, 11 KOs. Ibarra, from Houston, TX, drops to 14-1, 8 KOs.
In an upset, junior middleweight Francisco Santana won a 10 round unanimous decision over prospect Eddie Gomez.
Through the first half of the fight, Gomez boxed very well from the outside, landing a jab and following it up with rights to the head or hooks to the body. Santana would press the fight, but without a stead jab, his lead hooks and crosses were telegraphed, allowing Gomez to slip and counter them.
Santana increased his punch output and aggression in the sixth round. He had Gomez on the defensive in the sixth and seventh rounds, allowing him score more at will than he did in the first half of the fight.
Gomez came on in the eighth and ninth rounds, partly because Santana's punch output dropped. Sensing the fight was in the balance, Santana came on in the 10th round. He presses the action, again putting Gomez on the defensive during periods of the round. Santana stunned Gomez in the final moments of the round, but was unable to follow up as the bell sounded to end the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Santana, 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92.
Santana, from Santa Barbara, CA, improves to 20-3-1, 9 KOs. Gomez, from the Bronx, NY, drops to 16-1, 10 KOs.
Featherweight Diego De La Hoya stopped Rigoberto Casillas in the third round of a scheduled six round bout. It was all De La Hoya (5-0, 4 KOs) from the opening bell as he had Casillas on the defensive from the opening bell. In the second round, De La Hoya stunned Casillas (10-12-1, 8 KOs) a number of times with hard left hooks and crosses, eventually opening up a cut above Casillas' left eye. Early in the third round, De La Hoya hurt Casillas with a left-right combination. De La Hoya followed up and had Casillas against the ropes, landing at will before referee Pat Russell stepped in and stopped the bout at 28 seconds.
2012 United States Olympian Terrell Gausha won a 10 round unanimous decision over James Winchester. Gausha (10-0, 5 KOs) controlled most of the action in the fight, easily countering whenever Winchester initiated exchanges. There were lulls in action with the exception of a few exchanges between the two. Gausha dropped Winchester (16-10, 6 KOs) with a right hand in the eighth round. Winchester was able to get through the round, despite eating a barrage of punches and a nasty cut that opened over his left eye. Following the knockdown, Winchester was able to get through the last two rounds. All three judges scored the bout 100-89 in favor of Gausha.
Super bantamweight Oscar Negrete stopped Pablo Cupul after the second round. Negrete (5-0, 1 KO) went on the attack from the opening round, landing at will with hooks and crosses to the head and body. Cupul (4-16, 3 KOs) was on the defensive the entire time, even though he would try to fight back. Nothing worked for Cupul, which probably had to do with his corner telling referee Jack Reiss that their fighter had enough after the second round.
In a fight featuring local boxers from the Coachella Valley making their professional debuts, junior welterweight David Figueroa won a four round unanimous decision over Rick Quevedo. The southpaw Figueroa dominated the action in the first half of the fight, but seemed to tire in the final round, which allowed Quevedo to rally. Unfortunately for Quevedo, Figueroa made it until the final bell. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Figueroa, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Middleweight Immanuwel Aleem stopped Cameron Allen in the fourth round of a scheduled six round bout. Aleem (8-0, 4 KOs) dropped Allen with a left hook to the body in the second round. In the fourth round, an overhand right hand to the head dropped Allen (5-16, 3 KOs) to the canvas. After getting up, Aleem dropped Allen with two left hooks to the body. Referee Raul Caiz, Jr. waved the fight over at 2:56.
Welterweight David Grayton (8-0, 7 KOs) stopped German Valdez in the sixth and final round. Grayton dropped Valdez (3-5-1, 1 KO) in the second round and finished him with a barrage of punches in the sixth round. Referee Jack Reiss waved the fight over at 59 seconds.
In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions card, middleweight Kyrone Davis (3-0, 2 KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over Jas Phipps (4-4, 1 KO). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Davis.
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) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing