Fight fans were out in full force for a day of exciting fights at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arano Box Promotions, Top Rank, Inc. and ELITE Boxing Promotion presented an exciting lineup in front of a packed house of 7,025 fight fans. Live on HBO Boxing After Dark, the crowd was served up a slate of fights representing the different corners of the world.
The main event of the evening was a hard-fought face off between Chubut, Argentina’s Lucas “La Máquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) and undefeated number one contender Viktor “The Iceman” Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight World Championship. Prior to the bout, the Argentinians in the crowd erupted in a spirited chant of “Olé Olé Olé”, creating a festive vibe in the arena for this highly anticipated showdown. The fight got off to an exciting start with Matthysse mounting an aggressive offense, but Postol effectively used his height and reach to strategically render Matthysse’s attempts at an assault ineffective. Matthysse then changed tactics and came back in later rounds using long crosses and jabs to maintain enough distance to lodge an effective attack. By the end of round six, Matthysse hit his stride, tripping Postol up with a powerful right hook. However, Postol rebounded from Matthysse’s assault by lodging an effective combo series to end the round. With just seconds left in round ten, Matthysse was hit by Postol’s left uppercut cross that sent him to the ground, effectively ending the match-up. Postol successfully defended his undefeated record and won the match in a knockout.
“The punch felt natural to me because we practice it over and over at Wild Card,” said Viktor Postol. “I started boxing when I was 12 years old in a gym outside of Kiev. My ultimate goal was to win a world championship even when I was a little boy. I made a decision to come to America, which is the mecca of boxing. This is my third fight with Freddie Roach. I am the world champion because of Freddie and my other trainers at Wild Card. They taught me and they gave me strategy. During this fight, they told me what to do. I followed Freddie’s instructions and I threw that last combination to win the fight”
“Before the last round, I told the corner he was dead tired and ready to go out,” said Hall of Fame trainer and multiple trainer of the year Freddie Roach. “And, I told that to Postol.”
“Postol will be a force in the 140 and 147 positions,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. “He is difficult to fight against, Top Rank will have a lot of big fights scheduled for him.”
“I felt comfortable with the pace of the fight,” said Lucas Matthysse. “I also feel that I had dominated a few rounds and we were even in the cards. But, he got me with that right cross and hit my left eye. I felt there was damage to my eye and I also didn’t feel my body. The pain was instant and I knew I had to stop because I wasn’t sure what my eye looked like. But, fortunately nothing happened. My team tells me that it looks good. But, Postol is not the best yet.
“At the seventh round, I felt it was 7-2 in Lucas’ favor,” said Mario Arano. “But, after the seventh round, I could see Lucas getting tired, which surprised me because we had one of the best training camps in his career. Unfortunately in boxing, sometimes you have a good night and sometimes a bad one. Tonight was an example of a bad night. This is not the end for Lucas.”
The co-main event of the night saw San Diego, California’s Antonio Orozco (23-0, 15 KOs) take on Humberto Soto (65-9-2, 35 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico in a brutal 10-round super lightweight fight. The crowd was served up a satisfying bout that started out strong with Soto pinning Orozco to the ropes in the second round. However, Orozco came back strong in the third round, delivering a series of powerful body blows as well as several punches to the back of Soto’s head that drew a warning from the referee. Early on in the fifth round, Orozco had Soto on the ropes, but Soto quickly bounced back with a series of combos to end the round. Round seven brought a back and forth battle between the two opponents, but ended with Soto capitalizing on a momentary lapse in Orozco’s defense to land an effective series of blows that caught him by surprise. Orozco however came back with aggression in the eighth round delivering a below the belt punch that had Soto on his knees and drew a penalty. Orozco followed this up with another series of debilitating blows that had Soto on the ground again to end the ninth round. Orozco begins the tenth round with another assault to Soto’s beltline that the ref deems a slip. Undeterred, Orozco continues his attack on Soto, ending the bout with a final highly effective combo. In the end Orozco emerged victorious with his undefeated record unmarred in a hard-fought unanimous decision.
“I feel great about the win,” said Antonio Orozco. “It has been something we have been working for my entire career. This means that we have stepped it up in competition, and I am ready for a world title fight. I felt that I set the pace to this fight, but it wasn’t easy. Soto is a tough fighter, he came prepared and I have a lot of respect for him. This was a great learning experience for me and proves I am ready for the next step in my career.”
“I felt comfortable going into this fight,” said Humberto Soto. “I know the kind of fighter Orozco is and was prepared to take on a young tough fighter. I think I dominated the fight, the judges, with all due respect scored this fight wrong. The fight was really on my side.”
In the first televised bout of the night, East Los Angeles, California’s Julian Ramirez (15-0, 8 KOs) faced Hugo Partida (20-6-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico in a scheduled 10-round featherweight bout. While Ramirez had Partida on the ropes in the second round, the well-matched opponents started off the third round trading combos, neither willing to yield. Ramirez wrapped up the fifth round with an unforgiving flurry that has Partida on the ropes and delivered a similar assault, pinning Partida in the red corner to close out the eighth round. The hard-fought bout ended with Julian Ramirez adding another win to his undefeated record in a unanimous decision.
“I knew of Partida before,” said Ramirez. “I had sparred with him when I was younger so I knew that he was going to be a tough contender, so I cam prepared, but I felt like I dominated the fight. I did hurt my left hand in the second round but I felt like I gave a good performance and showed the fans that I’m a champion.”
The crowd went wild as Los Angeles’ very own Nick Arce (5-0, 5 KOs) took to the ring against Juan Hernandez (3-1) of Tijuana, Mexico in a scheduled six-round super featherweight fight. There was no question who many of the fans in the stadium had come to see this evening with a large percentage of the crowd donning pink Team Arce shirts in support of breast cancer awareness month. Hernandez started off the match with an effective cross, putting Arce on notice early, but Arce, known for carefully choosing his moment, evaded his opponent stealthily throughout the match up. Ultimately Arce finds that crucial opportunity midway through the fourth round delivering a decisive blow that has Hernandez down for the count. Arce’s undefeated record remains intact as he wins the fight by yet another knockout.
“I felt the fight was equal in the beginning and very entertaining for the fans that came out to support me today,” said Nick Arce. “I felt in control the whole time. He is a tough fighter and he came prepared to fight. But, I feel like we were better prepared, and I am excited to have delivered another victory for Team Arce.”
In a scheduled ten-round lightweight fight, Mercito Gesta (29-1-2, 16 KO’s) of San Diego, California took on Miguel Angel Mendoza (21-7-2, 21 KOs) of Aguascalientes, Mexico. In one of the most exciting fights of the night, the two well-matched challengers gave the crowd something to shout about. Mendoza delivered a powerful right cross at the end of the second round that has Gesta on the ground. While Gesta’s speed and agility throughout the fight appeared to exhaust his opponent, Mendoza’s powerful crosses and hooks land decisively and thrill the crowd. Still coming out strong in the tenth round, Gesta is able to land a series of effective combos to close out the fight. Gesta ultimately emerges victorious in a unanimous decision after ten dramatic rounds.
“There is a difference between clean shots and wild shots, and the refs saw that tonight,” said Mercito Gesta. “I feel like he was a very tough opponent but my boxing skills were what got me the win today. He has a lot of stamina and I respect him as a fighter.”
Marcelino Lopez (32-1-1, 17 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina took on David Rodela (17-12-4, 7 KOs) of Oxnard, California in a scheduled eight-round super lightweight fight. Lopez came out of the gate strong serving Rodela with a powerful left hook in the second round that had Rodella on his knees. Rodela quickly rebounds with a flurry of combinations to end the round. Rodela however can’t ward off Lopez in the third round as he goes down again, no longer able to compete. Lopez wins the fight decisively by knockout.
“I am very excited about the victory today,” said Marcelino Lopez. “I feel like I delivered and upheld the name of Argentina in front of the crowd at StubHub Center. I feel privileged to be part of this experience and have my first fight in the U.S. Every fighter dreams of this moment and that I can share this moment with my team Arano Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya. After this victory, I am waiting to cheer on Lucas Matthysse, the next world champion.”
D’Mitrius Ballard (10-0, 7 KOs) of Washington, DC faced Hayward, California’s Juan Carlos Rojas (8-13-1, 7 KOs) in a scheduled six-round light heavyweight fight. Ballard had Rojas on the ropes early in the first round but Rojas dealt Ballard a jab below the belt that has Ballard on his knees. Ballard’s tendency to keep Rojas in the corners early in the match-up rendered Rojas unable to fight back. Rojas attempted to hold Ballard off in the final rounds but Ballard finished out the bout strong by continuing to deliver decisive combos that ultimately won the match for him in a unanimous decision.
“I am happy about the win but I feel like my performance wasn’t at 100%,” said D’Mitrius Ballard. “He was an awkward fighter and the low blow really threw me off. I don’t think I really recovered after it. I still feel like I did a good job though. I am still trying to get more experience and really perfect my craft.”
Opening up the night, undefeated Kevin Rivers (12-1, 9 KOs) of Palmer Park, Maryland was upset by Alejandro Ochoa (7-10-2, 1KO) of Bell Gardens, California in a six-round super featherweight fight. Ochoa came out on the offense early with knockdowns in both the first and second rounds delivering consistent face blows to Rivers, while keeping him on the run. Rivers attempted to rally back in the fifth and sixth rounds with a rapid fire of effective blows, deftly answered back by Ochoa. Ochoa takes home the win in a majority decision.
“This victory just shows that all the hard work, discipline and experience has paid off, said Ochoa. This is my second win in a row against an undefeated prospect, and I am ready to keep the ball rolling. I believe my record is deceiving but I am starting to prove that I am someone to be feared. I have another fight in November and I am ready to keep the momentum.”