By Francisco Salazar
Finish Line Sports Grill, Pomona, California - Although the scorecards read that Kaleisha West won a one-sided ten round decision over Christina Ruiz, West is quick to point out that it was anything but one-sided.
West had her hands full against Ruiz, but was able to finish strong. With the victory, West won the vacant IFBA International Female Boxers Association super bantamweight title.
The bout headlined the first fight card, promoted by former three-division world champion Shane Mosley.
In her last fight, West won a hard-fought 10 round majority decision victory over Claudia Andrea Lopez on April 14th. Ruiz fought to a four round majority decision draw against Nohime Dennisson on June 23rd.
Ruiz was fighting near West's hometown of Moreno Valley, but was unfazed by the cheers for West. Ruiz would catch West's attention by landing repeated lead or counter right hands to the head in the first two rounds.
West began to attack the body with left hooks. However, a few punches strayed below Ruiz's beltline, prompting a warning by referee David Denkin.
"I stopped going to the body because the ref warned me twice and said he would take a point away," said West, who improved to 16-1-3, 4 KOs. "I had to be careful."
While both fighters were in the pocket, Ruiz would find some success throwing and landing uppercuts tongue head of West. However, West began to land repeated right hands to the head of Ruiz.
By the eighth round, Ruiz had slowed down considerably, probably due to the body shots. West was the stronger fighter of the two in the final round, landing hard shots flush to the jaw of Ruiz.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of West, 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91. However, the scores did not reflect the closeness of the fight. BoxingScene.com scored the fight 96-94 for West.
West was happier fighting at a higher weight of 122 pounds, considering she had fought at the bantamweight limit for a long time.
"The higher weight made it easier (for me). I was much stronger. Christine is one of the best fighters I ever fought. She just wanted to stand and trade."
Ruiz, from San Antonio, TX, falls to 6-5-2, 4 KOs.
- Aside from Shane Mosley, former super bantamweight world champion Israel Vazquez was also in attendance.
- Ring announcer was Sonny Franco.
- The ring was set up outside in a patio.
Xavier Montelongo and Carlos Morales fought to a hard-fought and competitive four round split decision draw. Montelongo (2-0-1) was able to use his speed to counter Morales, who pressed or chased Montelongo around the ring during most of the fight. Montelongo looked as though he slowed down in the fourth, more than likely due to the pressure Morales applied. Morales (0-1-2) landed hard hooks and crosses to the head of Montelongo in the final seconds of the round. One judge scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Montelongo, one scored the fight 40-36 in favor of Morales, while the third judge scored the bout 38-38. BoxingScene.com scored the bout 38-38.
Bantamweight Michael Ruiz, Jr. won a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over Shawn Nichol. Both southpaw fighters had their moments early on, but Ruiz their and landed more punches. Nichol would catch Ruiz's attention with a hard left uppercut or counter cross to the head, but looked as though he tired in the last two rounds. Ruiz was at his best when he initiated the action, resulting in all three judges scoring the bout in his favor with scores of 58-56, 58-56, and 59-55. BoxingScene.com scored the bout 58-56 for Ruiz, who goes to 9-2-1, 3 KOs. Nichol, from Denver, falls to 6-12, 5 KOs.
After losing her first seven bouts as a pro, flyweight Blanca Raymundo was victorious for the first time, winning a four round unanimous decision over Katarina De La Cruz. After a close first round, Raymundo landed the more telling blows, especially counter right hands to the head of De La Cruz. An accidental headbutt between the two in the third round opened up a cut on Raymundo's hairline. However, the cut did not affect Raymundo as she was the fresher fighter of the two at the end of the fight. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Raymundo, 39-37, 39-37, and 40-36. De La Cruz falls to 2-9-1.
Junior middleweight Javier Albonica stopped Brian Brooks in the second of a scheduled four rounder. Albonica consistently landed left hooks to the head of Brooks, repeatedly stunning him at times. In the second round, Albonica (5-1, 4 KOs) landed another hard left hook to the head. This time, Brooks was badly hurt, trying to hold on and fight back. Albonica followed up with a barrage of punches, prompting Brooks' corner to throw in the towel. Upon seeing the towel, referee David Denkin stopped the bout at 1:33. Brooks, who is fighting for the third time since returning from a six-year hiatus, drops to 0-9-1.