By Paul Gallegos
In a night of upsets, Bobby D Presents continued his San Diego Fight series with "Border War II" at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Crowd favorite and local San Diegan Riccy “The Hammer” Hood (1-1) opened the show as he stepped in against Norberto Pantaleon (1-2-2, 1KO) of Oceanside, CA in lightweight action. Hood boxed well for the opening thirty seconds, controlling the distance when out of nowhere, Pantaleon landed a crunching right that sent Hood back into the ropes. Pantaleon then went to work and blasted away at the hapless Hood for a solid 20 seconds before Hood crumbled with his head careening off the lower rope. The referee didn’t bother with the count as the fight doctor came rushing into the ring. Pantaleon picked up his first win and knockout as a professional while Hood suffered his first loss. Official time was 1:58.
In featherweight action, San Diego’s own “Smoking” Joe Perez (5-1-1, 4 KO) looked to rebound from his one setback as he stepped into the ring against Gabriel “Mr. G” Braxton (1-4) of Atlanta, GA. The much taller Perez tried to establish his jab in the opening frame, but Braxton countered well and managed to get on the inside and do some very solid work to the side of Perez’s head. Perez began to establish himself a bit more in round two with clean shots to liver and kidneys of Braxton. Neither man would take a backward step, but Perez’s punches had a little more snap on them to curtail the onslaught of right hands that Braxton continued throw and sometimes land with efficiency. Midway through the third, Perez pinned Braxton against the ropes and began to pummel Braxton’s body. The punches weren’t devastating but very effective. With more punishment being delved out by Perez, Braxton’s corner finally saw enough and threw in the towel at the 1:51 mark. Perez earned himself a tough but sweet TKO victory.
The semi-main event of the evening featured Viktor Chernous of Vinitza, Ukraine against Ivan “Oso” Zavala of Tijuana, Mexico. Chernous came into the night with an outstanding record of 15-1 (5KO) while Zavala was even up in 12 professional fights with one draw and two wins coming by way of knockout. On paper, it didn’t look like much, but this is why differences are settled in the ring. Unfortunately, there were no real fireworks in this clash. Both men stalked and beat up a lot of air. Zavala did seem to have the advantage throughout as he did land some decent body shots midway through the contest. Chernous couldn’t get on track most of the evening. His footwork wasn’t great and he spent much of the rounds off balance which was unexpected after fifteen wins. In the end, the judges had a tough decision. Though most of the crowd felt that Zavala had won the fight by a point or two, the judges ruled the contest an unpopular split draw.
The Main Event featured the vacant California State Title on the line in the super featherweight division. The very rough Aaron “Gavilan” Garcia 14-4-2 (4KO) of San Diego, CA pitted himself against the lanky Daniel “Huracan” Ramirez 11-1 (5KO) of Tijuana, Mexico. From the opening bell, the boisterous crowd knew that someone was going out on his shield.
Garcia started off the action in the opening frame landing some thudding body shots. The left hook was working well, but Ramirez was game for the challenge and brought a left hook of his own. As boxing analyst Al Berstein always says, “You never hook with a hooker.” Garcia fell into that trap early and often.
In a classic Mexican super featherweight match, the “Quien es mas Macho?” attitude came into play with both men. Neither one would take a backward step as this one could have been fought in a phone booth. Left hooks to the body, crunching right hands to the side of the head, and for good measure a couple of uppercuts ended the opening round as both men scored at will. Tough round for the judges as the crowd came alive with a thunderous applause.
Though both men came in at 128lbs., it was the arms of Ramirez that started to set the pace in Round 2. Ramirez began to pepper the side of Garcia’s head with a steady barrage of jabs that threw spray on a few of the ringside crowd. Feeling confident, Ramirez decided to sit down on his punches. This strategy paid dividends immediately as Ramirez landed a classic left jab, right cross combination which split the left corner of Garcia’s eye. Even though the ref ruled it a headbutt, a devastating right hand was thrown and landed. Garcia felt the pain of this shot as he flicked at the blood leaking down the side of his face. Garcia staggered back to his corner at the end of Round 2 and his cutman had to go into emergency mode to stem the flow of blood.
The cutman did a great job, but Garcia's legs were failing him as he was lit up at the beginning of Round 4. Ramirez turned into the “Huracan” and unleashed a plethora of punches which eventually dropped Garcia. Gamely, the dazed Garcia rose to his feet, but everyone, including Ramirez, could feel the end was near. Ramirez smacked the side of Garcia’s head until Garcia crashed into the corner. The referee didn’t utilize the count as Ramirez became the new California Super featherweight champion in front of a very stunned San Diego crowd. Official time was 1:02.
With his size and huge wingspan, it looks like Ramirez will do well as he steps up against tougher competition in the near future.